The e-payment company PayPal recently sent a deceased customer an email. The mail states that the inability of the customer to clear the balance due to their death constitute a violation of their company's policy.
According to BBC, the 37-year-old UK woman Lindsay Durdle died of breast cancer on May 31, 2018. She is survived by her husband Howard Durdle. Her death apparently violated PayPal's account holders policy. Mr. Durdle notified the e-payment giant about the passing of his wife. He even provided the company with several documents including her death certificate and other mandatory forms.
In response to this, he was received with the following letter:
"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."
Howard Durdle shared the letter he received from PayPal on his Facebook and Twitter account. He wrote that even after providing the online payment giant with all the required documents, he has received such an audacious notice.
PayPal staff told Durdle that the mistake was not meant to happen. They even gave three possible explanations that might have caused the error. According to them a software bug, a bad letter template, or a human error could be the cause behind this.
In light of the recent backlash, PayPal has even waived the repayment of Ms. Durdle's debt. PayPal has also issued an official apology to Mr. Durdle. A spokesperson told the BBC that their team is in direct contact with Mr. Durdle and is handling the matter as a key priority.
"We apologize to Mr. Durdle for the distress this letter has caused. We are urgently looking into this matter, and are in direct contact with Mr. Durdle to support him."
Mr. Durdle has contacted BBC to raise awareness about how sometimes these automated messages or e-mails can be distressing for some people.
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.— ?????? ?????? (@hdurdle) July 10, 2018
"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 added.
He hopes that companies like PayPal will learn from this tragic experience. He added that "other organization that might do this kind of insensitive thing - recognizes the damage they can cause the recently bereaved."