“Our System Isn’t Set Up for Death”

It’s Friday. We all need a little chuckle.

This little transcript has been making it around the blogosphere and e-mail lists. I can’t vouch for its authenticity. It may be the stuff of Urban Legend but I can testify that it’s a "dead ringer" (pun absolutely intended) from real conversations I’ve heard in the countless calls I’ve analyzed over the past 14 years.

A young man calls Citibank because they keep sending bills and finance charges to his dead relative:

Family Member: "I am calling to tell you she died in January."

Citibank: "The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply."

Family Member: "Maybe, you should turn it over to collections."

Citibank: "Since it is two months past due, it already has been."

Family Member: "So, what will they do when they find out she is dead?"

Citibank: "Either report her account to frauds division or report her to the credit bureau , maybe both!"

Family Member: "Do you think God will be mad at her?"

Citibank: "Excuse me?"

Family Member: "Did you just get what I was telling you – the part about her being dead?"

Citibank: "Sir, you’ll have to speak to my supervisor." (Duh!)

Family Member : "I’m calling to tell you, she died in January."

Citibank: "The account was never closed and late fees and charges still apply." (This must be a phrase taught by the bank!)

Family Member: "You mean you want to collect from her estate?"

Citibank: (Stammer) "Are you her lawyer?"

Family Member: "No, I’m her great nephew." (Lawyer info given)

Citibank: "Could you fax us a certificate of death?"

Family Member: "Sure." (Fax number is given)

Citibank: "Our system just isn’t setup for death. I don’t know what more I can do to help."

Family Member: "Well, if you figure it out, great! If not, you could just keep billing her. I don’t think she will care."

Citibank: "Well, the late fees and charges do still apply." (What is wrong with these people?!?)

Family Member: "Would you like her new billing address?"

Citibank: "That might help."

Family Member: "Odessa Memorial Cemetery , Highway 129, Plot Number 69."

Citibank: "Sir, that’s a cemetery!"

Family Member: "What do you do with dead people on your planet?"