A husband who recently lost his wife has been left shocked and saddened after a letter arrived at his home that said his wife was "in breach of contract" because of her death.
Howard Durdle's wife, Lindsay, lost her battle with breast cancer only a matter of months ago on May 31st. She was only 37 years old.
The letter from the online payment company read: "Dear Mrs Lindsay Durdle, 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,"
I mean, that's a bad enough letter to receive at the best of times, let alone when it's a letter that you are receiving on behalf of your recently deceased wife. Let's not even get started on the part that says: "we have received notice that you are deceased". Horrible stuff.
As you can well imagine, Howard was rightfully angry about this. He shared the letter on Twitter in a post that said: "Excuse the language but this is beyond the fucking pale.
"PayPal - who were informed of Lindsay's death three weeks ago - have written her a letter threatening action due to her breach of contract for being deceased.
"What the actual fuck. What empathy-lacking machine sent this? Jesus."
A PayPal spokesperson has since said that the firm has apologised and written off the debt.
The spokesperson said: "We apologise unreservedly to Mr Durdle for the understandable distress this letter has caused.
"As soon as we became aware of this mistake, we contacted Mr Durdle directly to offer our support, cleared the outstanding debt and closed down his wife's account as he requested."
Howard had sent copies of Lindsay's death certificate, I.D., and her will to PayPal and confirmed her death three weeks prior to the arrival of the letter, as the firm had requested.
Then the letter arrived.
PayPal has said that there are three possible causes for this, human error, a bad letter template, and a bug. It has opened an investigation to stop this happening again.
Mr Durdle told the BBC: "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.
"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.
"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."
A justgiving page has been set up to help charities that helped Lindsay during her illness.
Featured Image Credit: PA