Life is hard. That's a truism and a cliché. But surely it isn't supposed to be this hard? I've come to the conclusion that it is me. I must be doing it.
This week I received a letter from a company called "Premium First" (or more properly Creation Correspondence Finance Ltd, they appear to be in a period of transition). Except I didn't Kelly did. It appears to be some sort of insurance finance agreement. They're asking for about £90. I have no idea what it is for. But there are account details so I phone them up and explain that Kelly has died. I hate having to do this. The feeling are still very raw and articulating it makes it very difficult. However, most people, on the phone at least proffer some sort of social nicety, an "I'm sorry to hear that" sort of thing. "Premium First/Creation" don't bother with that sort of nonsense. For the first time ever I'm met with silence followed by an "And how can I help you?".
That got me on the back foot, slightly. I've been on the other side of those phone-calls, not for this company, but for other insurance companies. There is a social contract there, it is a social situation of sorts, whereby, if you're a human being and someone tells you that someone that they love has died you blurt out a pleasantry. You can't help it, as insincere as it is. It's a human response. It's also good business practice, especially in an insurance company.
So I was somewhat wrong-footed. So I carried on. What is this for? I cant tell you. Why cant you tell me? We only claim back the money, sir. We aren't the insurance company. So what you're saying you want £90 but you wont tell me what it relates to or who it's for? It's Data protection, sir. We can't tell you. Well how are you going to get your money? Kelly is dead and doesnt have any money. Are you going to sue her? How do we resolve this? Could you send us her death certificate.
So you're saying that you are asking for money without telling me who you are, what the money is for, you're asking me to send you my wife's death certificate and my incentive to this is to pay you the best part of £100? Why would I do it? At this point the chap terminated the call.
I received another one this morning. Still addressed to Kelly. The amount outstanding has gone up to £111. I ring them again. Again no information, the data protection act quoted, no record of my previous call and when I ask to speak to a supervisor the call is terminated again.
So, am I obliged to pay this? Do they have any legal standing? Can they sue a dead woman? Do I have any relationship with this company at all?
Does anybody know?