Angels with Plastic

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Our family had a good laugh recently. Several of us allowed ourselves to be prospective credit applicants when Josie’s college friends did a fundraiser for an on-campus organization.
She submitted as many names as she could think of, some more creditworthy than others. To our surprise, we were all turned down except for Grandpa Steeb, who has been dead nearly 10 years! His credit card arrived with an approved limit of more than a thousand dollars.
We thought Grandma should go on a spree. Grandpa could always turn a buck. (According to Grandma, he could quickly spend one, too.) Now we’re wondering if he might still be up to some sort of business. If he wasn’t already, he’s good to go now.
I scanned the Web to see just how prevalent this scenario might be and found the following story highly amusing.
A blog at startle the echoes.com reads: “At some point our society decided that a bureaucracy was the best way to manage things. I’d like a second opinion.” Then, the following story is related:
A lady died this past January, and Citibank billed her for February and March for their annual service charges on her credit card, and then added late fees and interest on the monthly charge. The balance had been $0.00; now it’s somewhere around $60.00. A family member (FM) placed a call to Citibank:
FM: “I’m calling to tell you that she died in January.”
Citibank: “The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply. Since it is two months past due, it … has been [turned over to collections].”
FM: “So what will they do when they find out she is dead?”
Citibank: “Either report her account to the frauds division or report her to the credit bureau, maybe both!”
FM: “Do you think God will be mad at her?”
Citibank: “Excuse me?”
FM: “Did you get what I was telling you – the part about her being dead?”
Citibank: “Sir, you’ll have to speak to my supervisor.” (Supervisor gets on the phone.)
FM: “I’m calling to tell you she died in January.”
Citibank: “The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply.”
FM: “You mean you want to collect from her estate?”
Citibank: (stammer) “Are you her lawyer?”
FM: “No, I’m her great nephew.” (Lawyer info given.)
Citibank: “Could you fax us a certificate of death?”
FM: “Sure.” (Fax number is given.)
After they get the fax:
Citibank: “Our system just isn’t set up for death. I don’t know what more I can do to help.”
FM: “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.”
FM: “Would you like her new billing address?”
Citibank: “That might help.”
FM: “Odessa Memorial Cemetery, Highway 129, Plot Number 69.”
Citibank: “Sir, that’s a cemetery!”
FM: “What do you do with dead people on your planet?”

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