After the husband of PayPal user, Lindsay Durdle had reported her passing, PayPal sent a letter telling them that death was a breach of condition.
Mr. Durdle’s experience started after he sent Mrs. Durdle’s death certificate, her will, and his ID as PayPal requested. Later he received a letter addressed to her, which said she owed them £3,240.72 and that “You are in breach of condition 15.4(c) of your agreement with PayPal Credit as we have received notice that you are deceased… this breach is not capable of remedy.”
Mr. Durdle sent the letter to the BBC, who contact PayPal for comment. PayPal responded by apologizing to the widower, admitting that the letter was insensitive and that they’ve committed to understanding how the letter was sent in the first place.
Lindsay was diagnosed with breast cancer approximately a year-and-a-half ago. She passed away on May 31st at age 37 after cancer had spread to her lungs and brain.
Mr. Durdle said he is part of the charity Widowed and Young and he’s “seen first-hand in there how a letter like this or something like it can completely derail somebody.”
Mr. Durdle had contacted the BBC because he wanted to “make other organizations aware how distressing automated messages could be.”
To PayPal’s credit, they’ve written off the debt for the account and have set resolving this issue as a priority. PayPal told Mr. Durdle that the letter either occurred because of a bug, a bad letter template, or a human error.
“We apologize to Mr. Durdle for the distress this letter has caused,” a PayPal spokesman added.
“If I’m going to make any fuss about this at all, it’s to make sure that PayPal – or any other organization that might do this kind of insensitive thing – recognizes the damage they can cause the recently bereaved,” Mr. Durdle said.