Yes, no problem at all.

Absolutely no problem with this Priscilla. Anything to put pressure on these organisations to behave more sensitively. Thank you for your support.

Something needs to be done. I was trained to deal with these sort of problems but others might find it extremely difficult.
Many thanks

Quite happy for you to quote, providing my name stays private.

Thanks so much everyone! I’ll keep you updated on the campaign.

Thank you very much for your support, Priscilla.

I had no end of problems with Nat West, was asked to take death certificate into my local branch which I did, then they were asking for other paperwork all of which I submitted several times, but still I kept getting emails asking for it including the death certificate. Eventually I couldn’t take anymore and snapped, so I went down the complaints route, my complaint was upheld and dealt with, but I still received another automated letter before contacting them yet again

After nearly 60 years with the NatWest bank, I have decided to change banks, I have had enough.

I Have had the same letters from Barclays, when i went to a branch o fBarclays the teller said it is a sysyten glich, so i told her, I am here to complain, when you are bereaved the last thing you need is a letter addressed to your partner RE MR … deceased, we have closed your account, if we can help you in the future!!!
I have also had one phone call, this is no joke… Caller “can i speak to the late mr …” me “well if you can perhaps you would pass on a message” :unamused:

So mum was 66 last year, but none of us bothered to apply for a state pension for her until my dear dad left us in April. Then she had to, as the council flat her and dad lived in for more than 40 years was transferred to her name, and she couldn’t get housing benefit until she was in receipt of a state pension and pension credits. Mum asked me to do this, as she isn’t proficient in written English, and so I agreed. However, as I was really struggling, I was late in making this application, and the pension office were busy, and her pension wasn’t sorted till August. The council has a rule that housing benefit can be backdated for three months, so they backdated it till the middle of May, but said mum has to pay rent for mid April to mid May. I emailed the council, explaining that mum was eligible for housing benefit for this whole duration, and so she shouldn’t have to pay any rent - that I appreciate the council rules say housing benefit can be backdated for three months only, but considering we had a bereavement, and that my mum relied on me to do all this for her and I was sturggling and was therefore late, they should take this into consideration and not ask her to pay. Mitigating circumstances should after all be applied when enforcing rules.

The council however have gone into bureaucracy mode. They are saying this is the rule, I know it’s the rule, I also know the council can apply discretion. I feel sorry for the woman I am communicating with, I know it isn’t her job to apply discretion, so I wrote to her if she could discuss this with her managers, and she did, and it’s the management at the council who are insisting mum should have to pay the rent, I think it is appalling, my parents have lived there for over 40 years, and this is how they treat my mum when she has lost her husband? Awful.

Hi Abdullah
This situation is awful.
Find the details of the Ombudsman and keep trying. I used to work for the Council and have seen ‘people power’ win the day. You know what your doing and an intelligent man, so don’t give up.
I have also beaten the council on a damages claim and the method was to wear you down until you give up. I didn’t give in and won my claim.
Good luck to you and your Mum.
Pat xx


Abdullah, Pat has given you some good advice, alternatively contact your mum’s local councillor.
Good luck,

Hi Abdullah,
I sympathize with you trying so hard to do the best by your mum. It’s so hurtful when our loved ones are treated so callously. Dealing with both my father’s and my husbands estates has opened my eyes to the sheer stupidity of some people and utter heartlessness in others. Reducing people to numbers does untold damage, especially when we are so vulnerable.
I hope you can resolve your issue with the council . A little compassion goes such a long way.

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Hey @Pattidot, @MaryL, what good ideas. I didn’t even think that there might be an ombudsman for councils, but there is! My dad always told me you should always consult things with others because they might think of something you haven’t, and it is true, sometimes you can get so emotionally involved in something that you lose focus of other options available. I’ll just email the lady at the council and tell her that if her managers don’t agree to write off that month’s rent for my mum, I’ll be contacting the ombudsman and councillor, maybe that will make the management a bit worried and show some compassion.

@Jobar, I am sorry you have had to deal with two estates. Luckily I didn’t have to do that, it must be so stressful. Yes, there is both sheer stupidity and heartlessness. Organisations have diversity training, it is about time they started having bereavement training. I feel sad for my mum because she is a very nervous person who likes to get things done immediately so there aren’t problems later, as soon as dad died, through her tears, she started doing all the things she needed to, but she needed my help here, and I was late, and the council are basically punishing my mum for her husband dying and her having to rely on someone else to help her with her applications. Ridiculous.

Wish you luck Abdullah. I have seen Councils back down when the Ombudsman or Councillors are mentioned. Not worth their time. There is also Age Concern, I forgot about them and don’t forget the CAB if you still get no luck. Let them know you have no intention of dropping the matter.

My daughter received a letter from Benefits agency asking for return of 2 weeks sickness pay as her husband died in the middle of the month , they said he was overpaid. So it’s not just private companies that are incompetent, the Bereavement Standard would be great if it can prevent this sort of distress.

This is disgusting, Jeanette.

The same thing happened to my Dad, he was sent a letter asking to pay back money for sickness benefit pay as well as they had overpaid for my Mum due to when she died. It’s awful.

I would be inclined to complain to my MP. Disgraceful.

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I know , he should have been getting a higher rate but they never pushed for it, his cancer advanced quickly, but it would be too stressful for my daughter to fight for it. There must be thousands of people going through this it is awful!