Widower sent letter from Paypal saying wife's death 'breached terms'

Elias Hubbard
July 12, 2018

PayPal has apologised to a widower after it sent a letter to his deceased wife claiming her death was a breach of its credit rules (Facebook). "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", Mr Durdle wrote in a social media post, accompanied by the copy of the PayPal letter.

It's hard to defend the company that would send a letter like this, but one has to realize that business is business, and PayPal likely has legal reasons for sending out letters before they close an account. They also let Howard Durdle know that they were beginning an investigation to figure out how such a letter was sent out in the first place.

PayPal always comes to collect your debt, a British man has discovered in a grievous manner, after the U.S. company threatened action against his wife, who recently died of cancer, for the "breach of contract for being deceased".

It was headlined: "Important: You should read this notice carefully".

We are not required to give any further notice before taking such action, however we do understand that you may be experiencing financial difficulties and are eager to help.
When she died, there was an outstanding balance on her PayPal account of £3,200 (US$4,240). He acknowledged that creditors applying to the state for funds is quite common in such cases, but writing a letter to the deceased, terming her death as a breach of contract is unacceptable.

The letter demanded repayment of the balance by 20 July this year, and said, 'This breach is not capable of remedy'.

"I'm a member of the charity Widowed and Young, and I've seen first-hand in there how a letter like this or something like it can completely derail somebody", he told the BBC. As soon as we became aware of this mistake, we contacted Mr Durdle directly to offer our support, cleared the outstanding debt and closed down his wife's account as he requested.

PayPal has said that there are three possible causes for this, human error, a bad letter template, and a bug.

Durdle added that PayPal apologized shortly after their letter was posted on Twitter. Unfortuantely, the company will not be able to share the information because it constitutes an "internal matter". Hopefully the PR nightmare this is causing PayPal will ensure it never happens again.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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