TECO continues sending grieving parents bills in their deceased son’s name

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A Tampa family is still grieving the death of their son – and battling TECO. The energy company continues to send the heartbroken parents bills in their deceased son’s name.

Family photo
Family photo

The family says they’ve supplied a death certificate, but the bills keep coming, and now there are threats the account will be sent to a collection agency.

“I just wish they would leave him alone and let him rest in peace,” Shirley Charles said.

Charles’ son, William Aleshire, died in February, after suffering from a stroke. Charles and her husband couple notified all creditors right away and disconnected electricity. They had their son’s mail redirected to their home, so they could take care of his affairs. But the bills for William’s electric service keep coming month after month, now with late charges.

They describe customer service as less than sympathetic. Now, there are threats to send the account to collections.

“She said, ‘You’ll continue to get them until somebody pays that bill,’ and I think for $200, ridiculous,” Fred Charles said.

So the couple decided they’d Better Call Behnken, and investigator Shannon Behnken called TECO. Spokeswoman Cherie Jacobs said TECO is looking into this situation and the family will not receive any more bills.

She did say, though, that TECO is required to send a final bill, even after someone dies. That’s because in many cases, someone handling that estate will pay the bill.

The comments from customer service about continued bills should not have happened, the spokeswoman said. Jacobs added that TECO will investigate the conversation and take appropriate action.


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