KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) – Getting things in financial order can be challenging enough, but it’s even worse while you’re grieving.
A Gladstone widow contacted our investigative team after struggling for months with Fidelity, the company that holds her now-deceased husband’s retirement account.
She was able to settle life insurance within weeks of her husband’s death, but it was a very different story with her husband’s 401k.
Cindy Corona listed all the names of different people she spoke with.
“I’ve talked to Airel, Brandy, Devin, Takisha, Linda,” Cindy Corona said, reading from her notes. Then she added more names: Crystal, Bridget, Jason, Latisha, Jay, Katie and Victor.
Every time she called to try to work out an issue, she’d get a different person. She could never talk with the same person twice. She’d answer the same questions, provide the same information over and over.
One call center representative even asked to speak directly with Richard who died months ago.
“OK,” said Cindy. “I’ll put the phone by his urn, here.”
To say Cindy is frustrated is an understatement.
“They don’t care,” she said. “I have to go through it every time and they’ll tell you, ‘Okay, I’m going to be your assigned contact.’ (but) you’ll never get a hold of that person again.”
But that’s not her only complaint.
“Then they lost paperwork, and now they informed me last week, ‘Well, we have to start all over,’”said Cindy. “It’s going to start another five months of waiting.”
During one of the calls, Cindy asked, “You know, I have my 401k with you guys, is my son going to have to go through this when I die? This is horrible.”
KCTV5 contacted Fidelity Investments on Cindy’s behalf asking what was happening.
Then finally, satisfaction.
“They did finally close — after I reported it to you,” she said. “It took them three days,” Cindy told us.
KCTV5 received a statement from Fidelity that read:
The care of our customers and their families is taken very seriously, and we apologize for any inconvenience Mrs. Corona experienced while completing this process. The payment, in this case, required additional due diligence given Mr. Corona’s beneficiary form was not up-to-date at the time of his passing. As a matter of practice, we look at all customer interactions to inform and improve the customer experience. Situations such as this one are a good reminder for customers and their families to ensure documentation and beneficiary forms are accurate to avoid any additional steps or confusion, and are compliant with IRS regulations.
Michael Aalto Vice President, Enterprise External Communications | Fidelity Investments
Cindy was unimpressed.
“I saw the statement they sent, and I’m not buying it,” said Cindy. “They don’t want to say I’m sorry we made a mistake. Now they are pinning it on my husband. I’m glad I called you. I just wanted everyone to know, you’ve got to watch them.”