PayPal went after a woman who owed more than $4,000 when she died — saying her death was in “breach” of its policy and leaving her grieving widower to sort out the mess, according to a report.
Howard Durdle was floored w hen he opened a letter from the electronic payment company that was sent to his home in Buckleberry, England.
It was addressed to his wife, Lindsay, who died on May 31.
“Important: You should read this notice carefully,” the letter read, the BBC reported.
It stated that Lindsay had an outstanding balance of £3,240.72 — or about $4,300.
“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,” the letter continued.
Lindsay, 37, had first been diagnosed with breast cancer about a year and a half earlier, but it spread to her brain and lungs.
After her passing, Durdle closed out her finances — which included notifying PayPal of her death three weeks ago, and sending the company a copy of her death certificate, her will and his identification.
Still, the automated letter was somehow sent.
PayPal immediately apologized for the gaffe and said it’s treating the situation as a “priority” as it figures out what happened.
“We apologize to Mr. Durdle for the distress this letter has caused,” a spokesman said. “We are urgently looking into this matter, and are in direct contact with Mr. Durdle to support him.”
The company chalked up the mistake to either a bug, human error or a bad letter template, according to Howard. He was told the company would deal with it but couldn’t learn details because it was an “internal matter.”
He passed on the offending letter to BBC News in hopes of teaching PayPal, and other companies, a valuable lesson.
“I’m in a reasonable place at the moment. I’ve got quite a level head on my shoulders and am quite capable of dealing with paperwork like this,” Durdle said. “But 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 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.”Cancer victim’s widower stunned by ‘breach’ letter from PayPal