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Firms refusing to acknowledge POA

Cinnamon009

New member
Feb 12, 2022
9
0
I have an activated POA for my mum who has alzheimers. Halifax were really great and I managed to get access to the finances pretty quickly. However, everything else is proving really tricky.

Her British Gas bill has trebled but we have no paper bills or anything which shows their usage. They have an old email address on their records which she no longer has access to (google email are pretty much locked down if you can't remember your password or any of the security question answers.) Because of this and the fact that my mum couldn't answer their offshore call centre questions they refused to deal with us. I have tried sending in the POA by post the complaints team but still no access.

Virgin Media pretty much the same thing. Their TV packages is costing £150 per month and they only watch free channels and again, they are refusing access to anything because mum cannot answer questions from when she set up the account ten years ago. Again they are refusing to even discuss the POA unless Mum can answer those questions.

I have no idea where to go next with these companies. I am submitted complaints to both of them in writing but nothing seems to happen. In the meantime my parents are financially in a difficult position due to the proportion of their pension these payments represent. They only have state pension plus a tiny amount of private pension to live on. Where can I go to to get help?
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
12,182
0
Yorkshire
hi @Cinnamon009
maybe this site has something useful
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
25,129
0
North Manchester
British Gas
Work your way through
email Iain Conn if not getting anywhere

Virgin Media
Email CEO - use phone number or account number as identity.
2022-05-26_211110 (Medium).png
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
2,029
0
65
London
This seems strange, nearly all big firms are used to POA situations. How would your mother be involved and asked questions? Normally the attorney submits the registered poa copy, the PWD would not be asked questions. If they need the PWD to answer security questions there must be some reason why these companies don't accept the poa. Has it been registered with the office of the Public Guardian? My guess is that there's a piece of the jigsaw missing.
 

Lynmax

Registered User
Nov 1, 2016
991
0
I used Live Chat to make initial contact with most companies rather than wait hours to get a phone call answered. By using Live Chat I was able to find a direct phone number or email address for the team dealing with POA ( often the same team dealing with bereavement) and so knew what documents they needed in order to register my POA.

At the time I was registering POA with lots of companies, banks and government agencies as Mum had moved to a care home and we were planning on renting out her house. I created a spreadsheet to list the various contact details and tick of when things were posted or emailed and replies received etc. it was a lot of work but it worked for me.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
3,208
0
High Peak
This will be because your mother is the only person in the world (ever) to be a customer of British Gas and Virgin, and have dementia.

What is wrong with these companies? I thought they all had measures in place these days to stop these ridiculous situations from happening. I would be complaining Very Loudly and demanding a big apology from both companies. I hope you will keep shouting till they sort it out - it is totally unacceptable. It is just crazy to expect a person with dementia to remember the answers to security questions!

It makes me wonder what these companies would say if you were Attorney for someone who was in a coma: 'Yes, but can you just bring her round for a bit so we can ask her what her mother's maiden name was?' Isn't the whole point of Power of Attorney that you are acting for the person because they are unable to? Sheesh.
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
14,994
0
England
If you cancelled the direct debit to Virgin media you would soon hear from them. You stop paying, they stop providing, I can’t see that Virgin could cause you a problem. A bit different with British Gas, you don’t want the supply cut off.
 

CAL Y

Registered User
Jul 17, 2021
305
0
If you cancelled the direct debit to Virgin media you would soon hear from them. You stop paying, they stop providing, I can’t see that Virgin could cause you a problem. A bit different with British Gas, you don’t want the supply cut off.
That was my first thought. Cancel the direct debit and let them do their worse.
Will they take a PWD to court.
That would be good for their image. Not.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
18,483
0
South coast
t makes me wonder what these companies would say if you were Attorney for someone who was in a coma: 'Yes, but can you just bring her round for a bit so we can ask her what her mother's maiden name was?'
I know someone who tried to contact a mobile phone company (dont know which one) to say that they had died and the person on the phone still wanted to speak to the account holder!!

I think this is because the call centres have a script and are told in no uncertain terms that they must not deviate from it................
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
2,029
0
65
London
This will be because your mother is the only person in the world (ever) to be a customer of British Gas and Virgin, and have dementia.

What is wrong with these companies? I thought they all had measures in place these days to stop these ridiculous situations from happening. I would be complaining Very Loudly and demanding a big apology from both companies. I hope you will keep shouting till they sort it out - it is totally unacceptable. It is just crazy to expect a person with dementia to remember the answers to security questions!

It makes me wonder what these companies would say if you were Attorney for someone who was in a coma: 'Yes, but can you just bring her round for a bit so we can ask her what her mother's maiden name was?' Isn't the whole point of Power of Attorney that you are acting for the person because they are unable to? Sheesh.
I think there's more to this than we know. I have never heard of a company contacting the donor of a poa and asking questions. That would rarely succeed. I think there must be something behind this, maybe special conditions in the poa, poa not properly registered or copied, etc. I am not clear if the poa copy has been sent by post as is usually necessary
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
25,129
0
North Manchester
I have never heard of a company contacting the donor of a poa and asking questions.
I think in this case they are trying to confirm with the account holder that they can discuss with A N Other which can't be done because account holder cannot give them security details.
I have my daughter registered with insurance companies and utility providers to talk on my behalf, she has an identifying password.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
2,029
0
65
London
I think in this case they are trying to confirm with the account holder that they can discuss with A N Other which can't be done because account holder cannot give them security details.
I have my daughter registered with insurance companies and utility providers to talk on my behalf, she has an identifying password.
I doubt that is the case. If a company receives a valid POA document that is their authority to discuss the donor's affairs. They need nothing more because the OPG has certified the POA. The whole point of the POA is that the donor cannot act for themselves. You are referring to an authority to discuss which is separate from a POA situation.
 

jugglingmum

Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
6,309
0
Chester
@MartinWL this isn't the first time that virgin has come up on this forum of being like this. The trouble is that the call centre staff probably have no clue what a poa as most people haven't heard of them.
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
4,083
0
Dorset
Try writing to one of the newspaper money page editors . Most of them have a page where a staff member chases up problems like this and shames firms into doing things they way they should be done.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
2,029
0
65
London
@MartinWL this isn't the first time that virgin has come up on this forum of being like this. The trouble is that the call centre staff probably have no clue what a poa as most people haven't heard of them.
I am sure you are right about that. Never telephone a call centre unless you can talk to a specialist. Always write a letter.
 

Carmenjane

Registered User
Mar 17, 2022
68
0
I have just been through a maze with Vodafone. I firstly phoned the number they advertised as being to do with PoA. I had obtained a code which they took down and accepted. But then I was told that dementia is not a "critical illness" and therefore they would not cancel his contract, it would automatically expire if the phone wasn't used for three months. I argued, to no avail. Next I tried the on line chat who couldn't do anything about it but gave me another phone number to the critical illness team. That person was shocked at what I had been told and said that the contract would be cancelled and that I could stop the direct debit, which I did.

Then I got an email from the critical illness team saying that they could not trace the contract and it must be an anonymous pay as you go. I phoned the previous number again and this time the whole mess was sorted out. They had got the number wrong, and I know I didn't tell them wrong because this was our only mobile phone for 20 years and I can just rattle it off. The person I spoke to warned me that I might get a letter from a debt collection agency because this happened automatically when a direct debit was stopped, but to ignore it. I find this shocking - do they not even try to find out why the DD was cancelled first? It could have been a mistake/inability to pay/anything. My own phone is on a Vodafone contract but I will be switching as soon as it ends.