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PayPal tells deceased customer that being dead is a breach of its rules

By midian182 · 8 replies
Jul 11, 2018
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  1. The bereaved husband of Lindsay Durdle, who died on May 31 aged 37 from breast cancer that spread to her lungs and brain, contacted the BBC after receiving the letter. Howard Durdle says he had provided PayPal with “her death certificate, her will and his ID, as requested.”

    In response to this documentation, PayPal sent a letter with the headline: “Important: You should read this notice carefully." It read, “This is a default notice served under section 87(1) of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. Your account has an outstanding balance of £3,240.72.”

    “You are in breach of condition 15-4(c) of your agreement with Paypal Credit as we have received notice that you are deceased. In accordance with condition 15-4(c), we are entitled to close your account, terminate your agreement and demand repayment of the full amount outstanding.”

    The letter goes on to state that “the breach is not capable of remedy,” and PayPal may take legal proceedings, restrict credit limits, and/or instruct debt collection agencies to collect repayments.

    The BBC reports that PayPal staff contacted Mr. Durdle and explained that the letter was a mistake caused by either a bug, a bad letter template, or human error. The company has now written off the debt and apologized. In a statement to the Next Web, the firm said it was “urgently reviewing our internal processes to ensure this does not happen again.”

    "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," Mr. 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.

    Permalink to story.

  2. LemmingOverlrd

    LemmingOverlrd TS Addict Posts: 86   +40

    One thing I'll say for PayPal, at least they acknowledged that the error could have been human in nature. Most companies don't give a damn and blame a system error or setup.

    Sh!t happened. They owned up to it. Problem sorted. Be civil
  3. Bill4

    Bill4 TS Rookie

    I agree the wording is bad and it should have been handled better but she owes paypal alot of money
    And they deserve payment. Either her family should have to pay it or it should be payed from her remaining bank acount or by selling off her things
    Its not paypals fault or problem that she died.
    James00007 likes this.
  4. Robertrogue

    Robertrogue TS Booster Posts: 74   +29

    If this is like most cases of cancer followed by the person dying, the estate has exhausted all of their funds during the hospital and drugs and doctors. The funerals are pretty costly and then in America, one sure way of having your debts forgiven is to die poor and with no estate. Kind of hard for the creditors to get money from a dead person. Also, we don't put people in prison for owing money (except taxes), because if they are in jail they can't work to be able to pay them back. I am glad that PayPal got the issue worked out.
    TempleOrion and Reehahs like this.
  5. RevD14

    RevD14 TS Booster Posts: 92   +96

    In the US personal unsecured debts are the last priority(after taxes, mortgage, medical) when a persons estate is settled. If the estate of the deceased is tapped out the family has no responsibility for the debt. I don't know how things work in the UK though.
  6. frostyshield

    frostyshield TS Booster Posts: 87   +89

    Paypal are beyond a joke with this thing, Its probably from chargeback fraud from a buyer that caused the debt, paypal being paypal doesn't really deal with this thing they just pass it off onto the seller in hopes they pay it.

    Paypal is clearly showing what they're good at, making errors.
    Godel and SirChocula like this.
  7. Godel

    Godel TS Addict Posts: 173   +88

    I'm also curious about how you could accumulate that large a debt against PayPal.
  8. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,993   +3,480

    You do realize how abusable a system that requires the family to pay a single person's debt off would be right?
    TempleOrion likes this.
  9. TempleOrion

    TempleOrion TS Enthusiast Posts: 40   +26

    You sound like such a nice person...

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