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Question - Death of Account Holder and Switching Name On Account

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by bossfan50, Oct 17, 2007.

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  1. bossfan50

    bossfan50 AllStar

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    Apr 28, 2007
    My father passed away a few months ago and I am now living in his home. The DTV account is in his name. Back in April he entered into a new 2 year agreement when he upgraded to HD equipment and service. The retention offer included a year's worth of HD programming credit and another $10.00 service credit that is still being applied to the account. The current service in the home is the old Total Choice subscription at $47.99. There is a leased HR20, an owned Tivo, and an owned plain standard receiver. I have been paying the monthly bill but the account is in my father's name. I figured that what DTV does not know won't hurt them but now I am wondering if I should make things right by telling DTV that my father passed away.

    I am hesitant to call DTV to inquire about a transfer of the account to my name because I do not know how that will affect the current service. Will the account simply be put in my name with the existing Total Choice subscription and credits? Or will my father's subscription be canceled and I will then be considered a new customer which will force me to go to one of the new plans? Will I be forced to return the HR20 and obtain a new one if I am to become a "new" customer? Returning the HR20 does not seem right as the retention offer was $189 up front fee and the service credits I mentioned at the beginning of the post were offered to offset the $189 and the account still has another 6 months of credits to be received.

    I am hoping that there is someone that has been in a similar situation and can tell me what was done when transferring the account to your name.
     
  2. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    Nov 15, 2005
    First: Sorry for your loss... I went through the similar thing 18 months ago, when my dad passed away..

    As for DirecTV.... just call them... explain the situation....
    I called to cancel his account, not switch it... so I can't give you much advise if they will do it or not.

    But honestly... the only way to find out, is actually call them.
     
  3. Ken S

    Ken S RIP

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    Feb 12, 2007
    I too am very sorry for your loss.

    Before you call make sure you have the legal right to cancel the account. This may be meaningless in your case, but right now your dad's estate is responsible for the account.

    If there is an executor for the account they will probably be required to agree to the cancellation. This all may be meaningless in your case, but I just wanted to point it out.
     
  4. bossfan50

    bossfan50 AllStar

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    Apr 28, 2007
    Thanks, I appreciate your expression of sorrow. I know that the only way to find out is to call them but once I call I have opened up the can of worms so to speak. My reason for posting the question is not to ask what people think will happen but I hope to get a response from someone who may have been in my exact situation where an account was in the middle of a contract and still due service credits. I'm afraid that DTV may cancel the previous agreement which I don't want to have happen because the $189 fee was already paid in and the full credits promised have not been received.
     
  5. bossfan50

    bossfan50 AllStar

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    Apr 28, 2007
    Thanks for your sorrow and your input. There was no estate and I am the executor so this is not going to be an issue.
     
  6. Dusty

    Dusty Icon

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    Sep 21, 2006
    Here is their FAQ:

    I need to change the billing name on my account. Can I do it online?
    For security purposes, you must make this change via telephone. We have certain rules restricting the transfer of account ownership that are designed to protect both the former and new account holders. Depending on the circumstances, we may have to create a new account under the new name. Call us at 1-800-531-5000.

    It seems to me it implies you can keep the account number, change the name of the accounts in some circumstances. If there is one circusmstance they allows it, I think yours is a very reasonable guess. However, it seems you can only know by calling them. Personally, I will wait until next April, after existing programming credit runs out, before I call them.

    I am sorry for your loss, too.
     
  7. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    Jun 18, 2006
    You also have my condolences. I can't say I've gone through this particular thing but I have found over and over that a kind, honest, firm stance will get you almost any reasonable thing you might ask for from DIRECTV. I think the law is with you in spirit as well.
     
  8. randyk47

    randyk47 Icon

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    Aug 21, 2006
    San Antonio, TX
    We helped my sister-in-law transfer my mother-in-law's account 2 years ago without any problem. The CSR was very understanding and helpful. As I recall they simply set up a new account with whatever service was already in place. Of course, my MIL got the most basic of the basics so there wasn't much programming to mess with. This was especially complicated by the fact we'd just used the Movers Connection to get my MIL set up only to have her pass away 7 days later.
     
  9. bossfan50

    bossfan50 AllStar

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    Apr 28, 2007
    This is what I have been leaning toward doing. Although the circumstances are perfectly reasonable to expect a simple resolution we all know that dealing with DTV CSR's can be problematic. As I said if someone actually went through this scenario then I would know if I will be causing myself more problems than simply leaving the account be and wait for the credits to run out.

    Thanks to all for your condolences and opinions.
     
  10. djwww98

    djwww98 Godfather

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    Jan 11, 2006
    I would just leave well enough alone. I wouldn't consider there to be anything wrong with continuing with the current situation, nothing immoral or anything like that; especially if you are the executor of the estate. As long as they continue to get paid, they're happy. Let it ride. Life is too complicated as it is. If you are satisfied with the current service, why rock the boat. You said something about opening a can of worms, that is exactly the way I would look at... why introduce the possibility of errors, misunderstandings, etc.? Why spend all that time on the phone? I don't see anything to gain from opening that can of worms.
     
  11. bossfan50

    bossfan50 AllStar

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    Apr 28, 2007
    This has been my way of thinking which is why I have not changed the account ownership. Now that things have settled down I guess I've been wondering if keeping it in his name may be a problem should there be a service issue in the future. Think I'll at least wait for the programming and HD service credits to run out and then re-visit this.
     
  12. techrep

    techrep Hall Of Fame

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    Sep 15, 2007
    First, my condolences. I am not an attorney and I didn't sleep at a Holiday Inn last night but as the executor you are responsible for the estate thus responsible for the account regardless of wether you keep it or close it. I see no need to change the account name until it serves your purpose. There might be some language in the agreement about this but sometimes it takes years to settle an estate. Maybe an attorney will chime in with a opinion.
     
  13. Mark20

    Mark20 Godfather

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    Dec 24, 2006
    Condolences here also.

    I would also let sleeping dogs be at least until your within an month or two fo the contract end. As well meaning as a CSR can be you may not end up with a clean and simple transfer. They may not be able to apply the grandfathered service package to a new account. So if your happy with what you've got and paying the bill as you settle the estate D* can't really complain.

    When my mother passed - though she did not have D* - it took me about 8 months to settle everything and I had a lot already taken care of. As you have real estate I would suspect longer for you. You could make a list of things to do and D* just ends up near the bottom.
     
  14. Ken S

    Ken S RIP

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    Feb 12, 2007
    The executor of an estate is NOT personally responsible for the estate. They have a duty to perform to the estate and the state. Once the estate is wrapped up the executor's job is complete.

    In general executors get no pay or compensation for the duty and take on none of the estate's liabilities. It's in the best interest to wrap-up an estate as quickly as possible.

    I am not a Wills, Trusts and Estates attorney and every state has different laws on these matters...but I would be shocked if there were any where it made sense to hold an estate open longer than absolutely necessary.

    Having lost my father a few years ago...I understand what he's going through. Changing the name on the account is not a big deal...get it done when you have time.
     
  15. michaelyork29

    michaelyork29 Godfather

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    Jun 22, 2007
    I did the same thing about a year ago and had absolutely no problems....in fact, they were so sympathetic, they let me keep the leased recievers...one of which was an hd dvr

    I am very sorry for your loss, and wish you an easy recovery

    EDIT: OOOOOHHHHH!! That was my 100th post :)
     
  16. smokes20

    smokes20 Godfather

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    Sep 17, 2007
    I am sorry for your loss. My husband passed almost three years ago. All utilities were in his name. It was months before I could even speak about it, let alone making calls to inform anyone. It was March of 06 when I finally got around to calling Directv. Customer service was wonderful. They let me out of the contract, but let me know service would continue with the same contract and putting my name on the account. We didn't have any credits at the time, other than getting free movies.

    Other utilities simply left the accounts in his name and added mine. Even some credit cards where I was an authorized user still have his name listed on the account, but changed me to primary account holder.

    I wouldn't be worried about Directv cutting off services under your circumstances. Again, I am very sorry for your loss.
     
  17. HD AV

    HD AV Legend

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    Nov 22, 2006
    I inquired about getting service for my 82 yr old mother and the 2 year commitment. I stated she might not be here that long and was told that D*'s policy was, if someone passed, they did not hold one to the commitment and provided one months service free. This leads me to believe they would be sympathetic but does not guarantee you would be able to keep the same arrangement and package. I, too, would just keep paying on the account until the commitment was over. My condolences.
     
  18. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

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    Jul 24, 2006
    Columbia, MD
    Sounds like DirecTV is far better than Comcast. I was paying for the advanced tier for Comcast in my mother's nursing home (the home provided basic). They were notified she died by the nursing home but kept sending me bills and pestering me. They demanded a death certificate! (No commitment involved.) They then sent a collection agency after me. After the agency closed the account and was very nice about it, Comcast came back at me over two years later with a recently re-opened account! Horrible people.

    I hope this works out for you. It is difficult enough to bury a loved one then you have to put up with the nonsense of self-important people. Condolences on both counts.
     
  19. jtn

    jtn Banned User

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    Oct 18, 2007
    than how could you be responsible. The credit bureau will not allow a negative item once the social is reported as deceased by social security. Children are not responsible for their parents debts, once you turn 18, your parents are not responsible for your debts, so why would you be responsible for theirs? I'm confused here.:confused:
     
  20. techrep

    techrep Hall Of Fame

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    Sep 15, 2007
    He is not. When someone dies there will be an estate either - or + and the executor of the estate will settle accounts to the ability of the estate.
     
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