This has to fall under the category of stories that cause people to slap their hands to their heads.
PayPal has notified a dead woman that her death violated her agreement to use the online pay service and that it was a “breach” that “is not capable of remedy.”
The company said it would wait until July 20 then “act to limit or restrict your ability to access your credit limit” or even “terminate your agreement and require the immediate repayment.”
BBC News reported on the stunning interchange because the woman’s husband contacted the news agency.
“PayPal wrote to a woman who had died of cancer saying her death has breached its rules and that it might take legal action,” the report said.
Lindsay Durdle died on May 31 at the age of 37 after she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, the report said.
Her husband, Howard Durdle, reported her death to PayPal.
The response was a letter with the following header: “IMPORTANT – YOU SHOULD READ THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY.”
The letter explained it was a “default notice” under the Consumer Credit Act 1974. The company notified her of an outstanding balance of 3,240.72 British pounds.
“You are in breach of condition 15.4(c),” the letter informed her, “as we have received notice that you are deceased.”
Durdle told the BBC that PayPal staff members informed him it might have been a glitch in the PayPal system, a bad letter template or simple human error.
He told the news organization PayPal said the problem would be addressed.
“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.