New Delhi: PayPal has written to a deceased woman saying her death is a breach of her contract and she must pay up immediately.
The death of the 37-year-old British woman, Lindsay Durdle, who passed away from breast cancer, apparently violated PayPal’s account holder policies. After being notified by her surviving husband, Howard, of her tragic end on May 31, the American company demanded, in a quite peculiar way, repayment of about £3,200 that she owed.
“You are in breach of condition 15.4(c) of your agreement with PayPal Credit as we have received notice that you are deceased,” PayPal said, in a letter addressed to Lindsay, after her husband provided copies of her death certificate, her will and his ID.
The letter said Lindsay’s death violated her agreement with PayPal and as a result her account would be terminated.
It came three weeks after Howard contacted the firm to inform them of his wife’s death due to cancer.
Excuse the language but this is beyond the fucking pale. PayPal – who were informed of Lindsay’s death three weeks ago -…
The widower wants the letter to serve as an example to organisations of how upsetting automated letters can be and the damage they can cause to the recently bereaved.
“Excuse the language but this is beyond the f**king pale. PayPal – who were informed of Lindsay’s death three weeks ago – have written her a letter threatening action due to her breach of contract for being deceased,” Howard wrote in a social media post, accompanied by the copy of the PayPal letter. “What the actual f**k. What empathy-lacking machine sent this? Jesus.”
PayPal have been in touch, have apologised sincerely and have promised to change whatever they need to internally to ensure this can’t happen again. I just hope more orgs can apply empathy and common sense to avoid hurting the recently bereaved.
— 𝙷𝚘𝚠𝚊𝚛𝚍 𝙳𝚞𝚛𝚍𝚕𝚎 (@hdurdle) July 10, 2018
PayPal’s reaction to Lindsay’s death was most likely caused by either a bug, a bad letter template, or a human error, the company said in a statement to the BBC. To make amends, the company went on to clear the British woman’s debt and has started an inquiry into the matter.
“We apologise to Mr Durdle for the distress this letter has caused,” PayPal’s spokesman told the news outlet. “We are urgently looking into this matter and are in direct contact with Mr Durdle to support him.”