WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- After a centenarian’s death, the family who was cleaning up her estate was startled to find a bill from DirecTV that says the deceased woman is charged with an early termination fee.
- The family realized that the charge came from a newly-purchased DirecTV box that was installed for a stay-in caregiver during their mother’s last days.
- Apparently, the newly installed box required a totally new 2-year contract.
Months after a 102-year-old California woman died, her family was shocked to find a DirecTV bill charging the deceased centenarian for early termination of the contract.
Although Isabel Albright of San Lorenzo was born before television became a central prop in American homes, she remained a faithful DirecTV subscriber. When she died in December 2018, her loved ones had been sorting through her estate and closing her final accounts.
Her son-in-law, John Manrique, told ABC-affiliate KGO that while they started disconnecting Albright’s home services, they discovered a bill that said they need to pay an additional early termination fee of $160 to invalidate her satellite TV.
“She’s gone. Nobody’s living (here). We’re selling the house. You’re going to tell us we have to keep the service at a house that’s not ours?” said Manrique.
Eventually, the family learned that the fee came from a DirecTV box that was purchased for a caregiver who stayed with Albright during her last days. Installation of the new box apparently started a new two-year contract with DirecTV.
Manrique said they were not informed about that. In fact, when they were getting the TV, they told the company that is was a temporary thing because his mother-in-law was in a hospice.
The termination fee stemmed from a simple mix-up. They found out that the name on the contract was registered to Linda, Albright’s daughter, instead of to Albright.
Initially, the family alleged that DirecTV ignored the matter. But after KGO resolved the issue, Manrique confirmed that DirecTV’s parent company, AT&T issued them a letter of apology and also disregarded the early termination charge.
A spokesperson from At&T confirmed that there was a mistake regarding the fee due to the name on the account. “In this type of situation, we cancel accounts and waive all early termination fees,” the spokesperson told In The Know adding that they have already apologized and resolved the matter.