Being dead is a ‘breach of contract,’ PayPal tells grieving husband
The death of the 37-year-old British woman, Lindsay Durdle, who passed away from breast cancer, apparently violated PayPal's account holder policies. After being notified by her surviving husband, Howard, of her tragic end on May 31, the American company demanded, in a quite peculiar way, repayment of about £3,200 that she owed.
“You are in breach of condition 15.4(c) of your agreement with PayPal Credit as we have received notice that you are deceased,” PayPal scolded, in a letter addressed to Mrs Durdle, after her husband provided copies of her death certificate, her will and his ID.
Noting that “this breach is not capable of remedy,” the US firm, which operates a worldwide online payments system, threatened to take action after July 20 to collect the full payment for the outstanding balance.
“Excuse the language but this is beyond the f**king pale. 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. “What the actual f**k. What empathy-lacking machine sent this? Jesus.”
PayPal's reaction to Mrs Durdle’s death was most likely caused by either a bug, a bad letter template, or a human error, the company said in a statement to the BBC. To make amends, the company went on to clear the British woman’s debt and has started an inquiry into the matter.
PayPal have been in touch, have apologised sincerely and have promised to change whatever they need to internally to ensure this can’t happen again. I just hope more orgs can apply empathy and common sense to avoid hurting the recently bereaved.— 𝙷𝚘𝚠𝚊𝚛𝚍 𝙳𝚞𝚛𝚍𝚕𝚎 (@hdurdle) July 10, 2018
“We apologize to Mr Durdle for the distress this letter has caused,” PayPal’s spokesman told the news outlet. “We are urgently looking into this matter and are in direct contact with Mr Durdle to support him.”
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