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How to get a deceased person's webmail account shut down?

Not applicable
Message 3 of 3

Can someone help me solve this? I really don't want to make more phone calls, sitting in queues and getting fobbed off when I do get through.

Email exchange with a suitably empowered or influential person would be fine.



On Thu, 25 Mar 2021, 11:13 GMT, <snipped> wrote:

Dear sir / madam,


Please route this email to the team (a GDPR team perhaps?) who can help close my deceased mother's email account. Please cc me when you forward it on.


Today I spoke to your bereavements department to request my mother's email account be closed. They said they couldn't do it and the email address would stay open for a further two years. I see this as a data security risk as, if hacked, the email address could be used to social engineer identity theft. I can see the email account has been in a data breach from information on and I have lost the ability to change the email password because the main TalkTalk account has been closed. 

The bereavements team sent me the email below but it has not helped me resolve this issue.

TalkTalk's policies on identity theft appear to be too weak or not effectively circulated to relevant departments.


My mother's died in November 2020, I have paid up her TalkTalk bills and her account is closed, however, I had requested that her email address be left open so that I could check periodically for email from friends, companies etc that I might have missed. I have had sufficient time for this and would now like the account to be closed.


Please reply to this email from the department who can action the account deletion and I will reply with her details and whatever evidence you need - death certificate, my details etc.





Support Team
Message 1 of 3

Hi Bereaved, have you managed to get this sorted with Gondola's help? 



Please log in to My Account if you need to view or pay your bill, manage boosts and track your usage. From My Account you can also check your connection and test your line for any issues in the Service Centre.

Community Star
Message 2 of 3

Hi @Anonymous 


Upgrade the email password to secure the mailbox and just leave the mailbox for system deletion to be actioned.


The TalkTalk Data Protection team are the ones to give you advice. The GDPR help page 'Understanding your data rights' gives advice on contacting. You can use LiveChat or send a letter if you wish.


My understanding is that there is no automatic right of access to a deceased person's email address including to family members and executors of an estate. Your access was a violation of the individual's data protection rights, even though that registered user is deceased, and a request for deletion would equally not be accepted. Essentially this is what the Bereavement team advised.


We'll gloss over the usage and say it's a pity you didn't delete the mailbox via the MyAccount whilst that was still active, normally so for the 12 months following cessation of service.


Pragmatically, what you can do is change the password to secure the mailbox with an ultra-strong unique password and then leave it completely untouched. Mailboxes that are not used for 180 days are flagged for system deletion. Don't sign in or you'll reset the non-use timer but you can check after a year by sending the address a mail message and if that bounces back as 'Undeliverable' then the mailbox has been deleted.

GondolaVolunteer 2017-2022

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