A retiree from Tennessee is looking for answers after Memphis, Light, Gas and Water — his former employer of nearly 40 years — almost turned off his utilities because they mistakenly thought he was dead.
R.C. Carter received a letter of condolences from MLGW last week, and was astonished to find out he was dead.
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“Dear Sir or Madam, please accept our condolences on the passing of R.C. Carter,” read the letter. It went on to say Carter’s account required a new name to replace the deceased former employee, otherwise the utilities would be cut off.
Carter, who has been a customer of MLGW since 1949, called the company several times to notify them he was in fact alive — but did not receive the response he was expecting.
Carter said an employee sarcastically dismissed one of his efforts to convince the company he was very much alive.
“I guess I’m the one that messed up. I’m supposed to send you flowers for your funeral,” said the MLGW representative.
Carter had his own response for MLGW.
“If I’m dead, I’ve got $45,000 worth of life insurance. Can I come and get it?” Carter asked.
Having no luck convincing the company he was still living, and at risk of having his power cut off, Carter turned to a local news station for help.
Gale Jones Carson, head of corporate communications for MLGW, explained the error was made by a third-party credit agency which thought Carter had died.
“On behalf of MLGW, I do apologize to him and I will make sure the president personally calls Mr. Carter and gets the matter resolved,” Carson said.