Bell apologizes for withdrawals from dead man's bank account

The daughter of a man who was repeatedly billed by Bell Mobility after his death has received an apology from the telecom giant.

Bell Mobility offered an apology to Jill Druken on Thursday morning, after she told CBC News on Wednesday she could not get the company to stop taking money from her dead dad's bank account.

Edward Lupien died in November, he was 74. Druken said she presented legal documents to the company twice, but the bills kept coming as Bell continued to "help themselves to his bank account."

Bell said in a statement to CBC News on Thursday that in some cases, where pre-authorized payments are set up, there can be delays in cancelling and refunding the account.

"We apologize to Ms. Druken for not following our usual customer communications and for the resulting difficulty in closing the account," communications manager Katie Burgess wrote.

'Not a club I really wanted to be part of'

For her part, Druken said she is "gobsmacked" by the attention her story has attracted. 

She told CBC News on Thursday afternoon she has been inundated with messages from others who faced a similar situation, including a mother whose son died by suicide but continued to be billed by Bell for months.

"It's not a club I really wanted to be part of," she said.

"You know, someone who's grieving and fighting with a corporation, but so be it."

Druken said she spoke at length with a Bell representative and urged him to review the company's policies so no one else has to go through what she did.

"They could, I guess, put the hearts back in their front line people a bit. Let them be human as well and not be as scripted," she said.

Druken said Bell is giving her a $200 gift certificate to The Source, but she doesn't want to profit in any way from her ordeal and said she will donate it to a local school.

"We all know these mega-companies are out there pulling in profits left, right and centre. It shouldn't be on the backs of the common person," Druken said.

"We shouldn't be their bottom line and their profit line."