A TELECOMS company charged a deceased woman for phone line rental despite her son informing them that she had died.

Brian Witherington, 47, made a call to BT three days after his beloved mother, Kathleen, passed away, aged 90, in December and informed them that the phone line was no longer needed.

Brian said that the person he spoke to confirmed that the line would be cancelled, the final charges tallied up and there would be no more to deal with.

Yet a month later, he received a letter stating that he needed to pay the charge for line rental despite the landline remaining unused.

Brian said: “They sent out a bill for £78.86 and I queried it because it was a lot higher than I was expecting it to be.

“A few days later, they sent me another bill with a lesser charge for £38.86 and still that was more than it should have been.

“When we were clearing mum’s house, I picked up the phone and heard that there was still a dialling tone.

“I rang them again and said asked them why the phone line was still live and was told that it was standard procedure to charge for an extra month’s line rental after cancellation.

“I’ve just lost my mother, I don’t need the hassle of this.”

Brian could not find anything in the terms and conditions of the BT phone contract and got in touch with the Daily Echo.

When the telecoms company carried out their own investigations, it was found that an error had led to the letter being sent to Mr Witherington asking for him to pay the line rental fee.

A spokesman said: “There were some outstanding charges of £38.86, mainly relating to phone calls and phone line rental, but in view of the circumstances and as a goodwill gesture we have waived these charges.

“A letter requesting payment should therefore not have been sent. We have contacted Mr Witherington to apologise for the error.”