PayPal hit after telling the customer that her death ‘breached rules’

PayPal sent the letter, below, show, Lindsay and Howard Durdle.

(Facebook/Howard Durdle)

PayPal was forced to apologize after sending a letter to a woman who had died of cancer because her death “in violation of the rules.”

Howard Durdle, whose wife Lindsay died of cancer on May 31 at the age of 37, gave the mobile payments company, copies of his wife’s death certificate, her ID, as she had asked.

Lindsay was first diagnosed with breast cancer a year-and-a-half earlier, and the disease spread to her lungs and brain.

He posted on Facebook the letter PayPal sent to his home in Berkshire, united kingdom, headlined “Important: please read this announcement carefully.”

The letter says the woman owed the company about £ 3200 ($4,243), and said, “You are in violation of the condition 15.4(c) of your agreement with ideal, PayPal or Credit receipt of the message that you are deceased…this violation is not remedied.”

“What empathy is missing machine sent?” Durdle asked in his post.

PayPal has since said that the letter is “insensitive,” apologized to the widower and launched an investigation into how the letter is in the first place.

The letter PayPal sent to the Durdle family is shown above.

(Facebook/Howard Durdle)


“We offer our apologies to Mr. Durdle for the pain this letter has caused,” the PayPal spokesperson said, according to the BBC.

Durdle told the British outlet PayPal had given three possible explanations: a failure, a poor letter template or human error.

However, PayPal also allegedly told him that it would not be able to share the information, because it was an “internal matter”.

“I am in a reasonable place at the time ─ I have quite a level head on my shoulders ─ and I’m quite capable of dealing with paperwork,” Durdle, who is a member of the charity group Widowed and Young, said.

He continued: “If I go to all the fuss about all of this, it is to ensure that PayPal, or any other organization that could do this kind of insensitive thing, acknowledge the damage they can cause, the recently bereaved.”

Christopher Carbone is a reporter and news editor covering science and technology for He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @christocarbone.

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