PayPal is under fire yet again for questionable practices after sending a deceased customer a letter stating that dying was against their regulations. The heartless letter was sent to the customer’s husband, Howard Durdle, who had only just buried his wife after a long bout with cancer.
• Durdle, who is a resident of the United Kingdom, posted the letter to Facebook in hopes of raising awareness. “Important: You should read this notice carefully,” it reads at the top, continuing on in “legalese.”
• PayPal accused the deceased woman of owing them a total of around $3,200 pounds (around $4,200 U.S.), stating that she was “in breach of condition 15.4(c).” The reason given? “We have received notice that you are deceased…this breach is not capable of remedy.”
• Durdle also pointed out the cold hearted nature of the letter, which could have been sent much more sensitively. “What empathy-lacking machine sent this?” he asked.
• PayPal, for their part, has apologized, blaming the on “a bug, a bad letter template or human error.” It wasn’t immediately clear whether these claims were just to placate the public or if they even really know why it happened.
• Howard has stated that he’s in a good place and can afford the fees; his point wasn’t to get out of paying, but to encourage PayPal to be more mindful and conscientious. “If I’m going to make any fuss about this at all,” he said, “it’s to make sure that PayPal…recognizes the damage they can cause.”
• Although this happened in the United Kingdom, it’s important for Americans to understand that PayPal holds this kind of power here, too. Many PayPal merchants have found themselves with their accounts suddenly locked, including balances ranging into the tens of thousands. Some have had their funds locked for six months or indefinitely frozen while doing business.
• If you use PayPal, you should be cautious about how you use it. Be wary of leaving balances sitting in PayPal; withdraw immediately or deposit only what you plan to send. If you receive a letter like this, consult with a lawyer immediately.