PayPal accuse deceased customer of breaching rules




One of the most important aspects of running a business is customer relationship management. It’s a no-brainer really. If you take away the customers, you lose the revenue, and subsequently your business. From time to time mistakes are likely to be made, after all, nobody is entirely perfect, right? However, what shocked Hopewiser’s data-driven minds today was discovering the story about how PayPal told a customer that her death was in breach of the company's rules. Disbelief, were your sentiments? Ours certainly were.


The story unfolds as follows. Lindsay Durdle sadly died on 31st May 2018 after a year and a half long battle with cancer. Not long afterwards her husband, Howard Durdle, contacted PayPal to inform them of his wife’s death and provided them with the required paperwork, including Mrs Durdle’s death certificate, Will, and Mr Durdle’s ID.


Speaking to the BBC about his ordeal, he claimed that he recently received a letter addressed to his late wife from the online payment system, headlined: “Important: You should read this notice carefully”. Upon opening the letter Mr Durdle found the following statement: "You are in breach of condition 15.4(c) of your agreement with PayPal Credit as we have received notice that you are deceased... this breach is not capable of remedy". The supposed breach referred to an alleged £3200 that Mrs Durdle owed to the company and that it could now result in legal action.




Since the media highlighted the matter, PayPal has written off the debt whilst they investigate how and why this happened. Apologising for Mr Durdle’s ordeal, they stated: "We are urgently looking into this matter, and are in direct contact with Mr Durdle to support him". Apparently, a member of staff has put it down to three possible reasons for occurring: a bug, a bad letter template, or human error. Whatever the reason may be, what an awful thing for someone to have to go through after losing a loved one. We cannot imagine the effect that this has had on top of what is already a very painful experience. Although Mr Durdle claims he is in a reasonable place at the moment, the fact still remains that PayPal have been what they acknowledge as insensitive in this particular instance.


Like we said before, everyone makes mistakes but the consequences of major hiccups can have astronomical effects. Customers may not wish to do business with an organisation that is deemed as insensitive. We’re not saying that this will be the case with PayPal, only time will tell what emerges from the investigation.


To us, this seems like a mistake that could have been avoided entirely. Why? It’s simple. Data Cleansing of course. The quality of your business’ data is important when it comes to decision-making, efficiency, and your reputation. By using Hopewiser’s Address Cleansing services you will be able to access a number of suppression files, including up-to-date records of deceased persons. For example, the NDR (National Deceased Register) details names of deceased individuals, the address in which they lived and the date that the death was registered. This will help your business avoid continuing to send mail to these addresses.


Albeit Mr Durdle did inform PayPal of his wife’s death, somewhere along the line an error must have been made within the company for the letter to be mailed to the late Mrs Durdle.


If you want to avoid making the same mistake as PayPal why not use a Free Trial on Address Cleanse to see how many suppressions you have within your data. For more information visit here or get in touch with Hopewiser who will be glad to help.