While he had contacted the company to let them know so they could close out her account, providing them with everything they had asked for including her death certificate, her will, and his identification, he was shocked when a letter arrived addressed to her at their Bucklebury, West Berkshire, residence.
NOT-A-BANK Paypal has been forced to apologise after sending a letter to a recently deceased woman to tell her that her death broke her credit agreement with the company.
PayPal has never had a reputation for being a particularly upstanding organization to deal with, but its latest public misstep shows that there is nothing in this life or the next that can stop the company from tracking you down and wresting back your eBay profits from your cold, dead hands - and in this case, that's not a metaphor. Her husband, Howard Durdle, informed PayPal of her death last month.
PayPal always comes to collect your debt, a British man has discovered in a grievous manner, after the United States company threatened action against his wife, who recently died of cancer, for the "breach of contract for being deceased".
But Mr Durdle became distressed as he read the letter headed: 'Important: You should read this notice carefully'.
"We have received notice that you are deceased..." In addition, a demand of immediate repayment of the outstanding balance that amounts to £3,240.72 ($4,294.05) has been made as well.
Later the firm apologised to her widower after acknowledging the letter as "insensitive" and begun inquiry into how it came to be sent.
In a statement to BBC, a spokesman for the online payments service stated that, "We are urgently looking into this matter, and are in direct contact with Mr Durdle to support him".
Mrs Durdle's debt has been wiped as investigations continue.
"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", he said.
PayPal are looking into the matter "as a priority".
He said: 'If I'm going to make any fuss about this at all, it's to make sure that PayPal - or any other organisation that might do this kind of insensitive thing - recognises the damage they can cause the recently bereaved'.
When Mr Durdle initially contacted PayPal regarding the letter, he was told it was a bug, bad letter template, or a human error which had allowed the letter to be sent.
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