PayPal wrote to a woman in the U.K. who died of cancer that her death broke its rules and the company might take legal action against her.
The company has since apologized, giving the grieving husband who received letter in the mail a number of reasons as to how the letter could have possibly been sent to him.
PayPal said it could have been human error, a bad letter template, or a bug, The BBC reported Tuesday.
“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,” PayPal wrote in a letter mailed to Lindsay Durdle, who died May 31, at the age of 37. (RELATED: British Woman Dies After Exposure To Novichok Nerve Agent: Authorities)
The company sent the letter to notify Lindsay Durdle that she owed PayPal 3,240.72 pounds (4,296.28 U.S. dollars).
“We apologise to Mr. [Howard] Durdle for the distress this letter has caused,” a spokesman from PayPal said, adding that the company is making it a “priority” to look into the issue. “We are urgently looking into this matter, and are in direct contact with Mr. Durdle to support him.”
“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,” Howard 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.”
“If I’m going to make any fuss about this at all,” Howard Durdle added, “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.”
PayPal wrote off the debt while it looks into the issue.
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