AGEISM: Ma BELL, guilty of AGEISM?

The original story
Recently, we heard this story which smacks of a big corporation guilty of ageism. A couple moved into a retirement home. A few years later, their son was given the task of looking after their accounts. As he examined the various accounts pertaining to the original residence, the home in which his parents had lived, all which supposedly had been terminated when the parents had moved out of the home, he discovered that BELL TELEPHONE had not terminated their account with the parents. BELL had been collecting monthly fees on what was supposed to be a closed account, for five years.

BELL exploits the clients
The son contacted BELL to rectify matters and to get reimbursement for fees charged when no service was provided. In short, BELL reimbursed the parents for 12 months only, citing that this a goodwill gesture on their part as the normal period in such matters was three years. BELL explained that company policy requires all account terminations to be done in writing.

Ma BELL guilty of Ageism 
BELL cannot be found totally at fault here because the corporation is not in the business of handholding its clients’ hands. Furthermore, BELL is not going to “fix it if it ain’t broke!” Nobody in the corporation is going to modify this policy if it generates income for the company. You cannot blame BELL for acting like a money making profit-seeking corporation first and foremost. They are not a philanthropic, altruistic, charity corporation. They are a communication corporation with responsibility and commitment to generating profit for its sharefholders.

What should have been done by these ‘victims’
1. The parents should have have requested documentation confirming the closure of their accounts.
2. The accounts should have monitored closely for the first few months after termination to verify closure.
3. The son should have been looking into the accounts matters and “closed off” each account with documented confirmation that the accounts were no longer active.

Closing the barn door after the horse has gone
The family may have some legal recourse even now but homework needs to be done.
1. Start with free legal advice such as available from
Osgoode Hall – phone  416-736 – 5029
2. free legal advice may be available in your community.   

Read our follow-up post to this story at DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT

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