Tesco ‘mailed dead man for 4 years’

tesco-building-700x45_660Tesco has been forced to apologise to a Hertfordshire widow whose dead husband has been receiving letters from the retailer’s home phone service for over four years, chasing up payment.
Despite numerous phone calls to tell the company that her husband had in fact passed away – as well as sending in his death certificate – the letters kept on coming.
Then the missives started doubling up as Tesco opened another account in the widow’s name but failed to close the original one.
Not knowing where to turn next, the widow wrote to The Guardian’s Consumer Champions for help, she added: “I don’t think I am being over-sensitive; four years to close an account is plenty.”
The Guardian contacted Tesco HQ, and a senior manager at the retailer subsequently phoned the widow to apologise and to reassure her that the letters would stop.
One industry source said: “When a company like Tesco can’t get this stuff right, you have to worry. After all, its whole business is based on data-driven marketing.”
Earlier this year, Virgin Media was forced to make a grovelling apology after a broadband bill sent to a deceased man – including a £10 fine for late payment – went viral on Facebook, being shared by more than 100,000 people.
The man’s son-in-law, Jim Boyden, posted a photograph of the bill, along with a message addressed to Virgin, on the social media site. It said: “I’m really sorry for my Father in Law not paying his bill last month, but what with him being dead and all, it’s probably slipped his mind. Some people, eh?”
One recent report estimated that almost 50 million letters are posted to dead people every year, with more than 5 million pieces sent in December alone.

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