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Virgin Media apologises after late payment fee bill sent to deceased customer goes viral on Twitter and Facebook

The bill, which was posted on Facebook by the man's son-in-law has been shared more than 85,000 times

A Virgin Media broadband bill sent to a deceased customer with a late payment fee added has gone viral on Facebook.

The bill, which was posted on Facebook by the man's son-in-law, Jim Boyden, has been shared more than 85,000 times since it was posted on the social networking site earlier this week.

In a post on Monday Mr Boyden addresses a letter to the company along with a photograph of the bill showing the £63.89 charge with "D.D Denied-Payer deceased" next to it, followed by the "late payment charge" of £10.

Mr Boyden writes: "I'm really sorry for my Father in Law not paying his bill last month, but what with him being dead and all, it's probably slipped his mind. Some people, eh?"

Virgin Media have since apologised to the family for sending the bill.

Beneath the letter on Facebook a number of users have posted angry comments.

Amy Rowe writes: 'Absolutely disgusting! I cannot believe the charges have been added, extremely insensitive.'

The letter was also widely shared on micro-blogging site Twitter.

Virgin Media said that they were unable to close accounts on unverified claims of a customer's death.

Pointing out that the process is especially difficult on social media, when no direct contact has been made with the business. They also stated that a further complication can be caused when the account holder and the person speaking about the account have different surnames.

A Virgin Media spokesperson said: "We've spoken to the family and offered our sincerest apologies as automated responses from banks should not appear on customer bills."

"We have a team in place to ensure bereavements are managed sensitively and are investigating how this happened."

"Once Mr Boyden brought this to our attention on Facebook, we sought to identify his father in law's account straight away which we have since closed with late payment charges removed."

Virgin Media have since said they will make a contribution to a charity chosen by the family.