Companies demanding payment from dead people happens from time to time, since they aren't automatically notified, but this case is particularly horrifying precisely because PayPal knew that the woman was dead, claimed that her death was a breach of contract rather than a tragedy, and promised to collect the money anyway.
It was addressed to his wife, Lindsay, who died on May 31.
The company recently sent a letter to a deceased woman explaining that her death violated PayPal's terms and conditions, and promising to use debt collectors to reclaim her outstanding account balance.
In response to this documentation, PayPal sent a letter with the headline: "Important: You should read this notice carefully".
Lindsay Durdle, from Bucklebury, West Berkshire, died at just 37 years old in May earlier this year after a long battle with breast cancer which spread to her lungs and her brain.
The letter refers to Mrs. Durdle's death as a breach of the company's agreement with PayPal credit, and warns her of legal proceedings.
Noting that "this breach is not capable of remedy", the USA firm, which operates a worldwide online payments system, threatened to take action after July 20 to collect the full payment for the outstanding balance.
According to Mr. Durdle, PayPal let him know there were three possibilities in play with how something like this could have happened - a bug, a bad letter template, or human error, though to think a human could have looked at the situation and thought sending this was still a good idea is a bit disconcerting.
"We apologize to Mr Durdle for the distress this letter has caused", PayPal's spokesman told the news outlet. 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.
Mr. Durdle reached out to the media, and the BBC wrote an article about his ordeal. He was told the company would deal with it but couldn't learn details because it was an "internal matter".
"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", he said.
He continued: "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".
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