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PayPal slammed after telling customer that her death 'breached its rules'

12 July 2018

Howard had sent copies of Lindsay's death certificate, I.D., and her will to PayPal and confirmed her death three weeks prior to the arrival of the letter, as the firm had requested.

PayPal replied with a letter addressed to his late wife, informing her she still had an unpaid balance in her account and that her death constituted a breach of contract. As Motherboard reported in 2016, at least in the USA, debt collectors have become adept at harassing recently bereaved families of the dead to put them in contact with estate administrators or even personally repay debts, even when they have no legal obligation to pay up.

On May 31, United Kingdom resident Lindsay Durdle, aged 37, passed away due to cancer. In addition, a demand of immediate repayment of the outstanding balance that amounts to £3,240.72 ($4,294.05) has been made as well. The first line, which was underlined and all capitals read, "Important - You should read this notice carefully".

PayPal even points out that "this breach is not capable of remedy", but then goes on to tell Lindsay that after July 20 her credit limit will be restricted and immediate repayment is required.

The firm has since acknowledged that the letter was "insensitive", apologised to her widower, and begun an inquiry into how it came to be sent.

Facepalm: While cases of companies chasing relatives of recently deceased customers to settle their debts isn't new, PayPal has taken this to a whole new level.

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"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.

PayPal has since issued an apology to Mr. Durdle, saying that a bug, a bad letter template, or a human error are the possible explanations for this unfortunate event.

In the time since, TNW contacted PayPal and we were told by a representative that the company is taking the matter very seriously.

He 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". "We have also urgently reviewed the company's internal processes to ensure this does not happen again".

We apologise unreservedly to Mr Durdle for the understandable distress this letter has caused.

PayPal slammed after telling customer that her death 'breached its rules'