By: Kyle James | 07-10-2018 | News
Photo credit: Howard Durdle

PayPal Tells Customer Her Death Was A Breach Of Contract

A letter was sent to a woman who died of cancer informing her that her death had breached the contract it held with her and warned legal action could be coming. The letter was mailed to the deceased and her husband reached out to the company to inform them of how distressing automated messages can be. PayPal acknowledged that the letter was "insensitive" and apologized to the woman's surviving husband.

The company also began an inquiry into how the letter came to be sent to the deceased 37-year-old Lindsay Durdle who died on May 31. Lindsay was diagnosed with breast cancer about a year prior and the disease had spread to her lungs and brain. Mrs. Durdle's husband says he informed PayPal of her death three weeks ago and provided the company with copies of her death certificate, her will, and his ID. Mr. Durdle received a letter from PayPal addressed to his deceased wife's home in Bucklebury, West Berkshire that said:

"Important: You should read this notice carefully. It said that Mrs. Durdle owed the company about £3,200 and went on to say: "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."

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PayPal has since informed Mr. Durdle that the debt has been written off and it is looking into this "as a priority". A spokesman for the company said, "We apologize to Mr. Durdle for the distress this letter has caused," a spokesman added. We are urgently looking into this matter, and are in direct contact with Mr. Durdle to support him." The spokesman for the company informed Mr. Durdle that the letter had either been mailed by mistake, a bad letter template, or human error but would not elaborate on which due to it being an "internal matter".

<img src="" style="max-height:640px;max-width:360px;">

<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Howard Durdle</span>

Mr. Durdle added, "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. 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. 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 - recognize the damage they can cause the recently bereaved."

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