While he had contacted the company to let them know so they could close out her account, providing them with everything they had asked for including her death certificate, her will, and his identification, he was shocked when a letter arrived addressed to her at their Bucklebury, West Berkshire, residence.
The company recently sent a letter to a deceased woman explaining that her death violated PayPal's terms and conditions, and promising to use debt collectors to reclaim her outstanding account balance.
Howard Durdle, understandably, didn't take kindly to that and blasted the company on social media, where the letters quickly went viral. He shared the letter on Twitter in a post that said: "Excuse the language but this is beyond the fucking pale".
Durdle reportedly owed PayPal £3,240 ($4,299) when she died.
"You are in breach of condition 15.4 (c) of your agreement with PayPal Credit as we have received notice that you are deceased". The company has now written off the debt and apologized.
Although there have been many automated letters or bills generated in the past that have caused confusion or upset, this one was slightly different because this wasn't a bill, it was a full threatening letter where the recipient was actually dead.
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.
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He was also told the debt has now been cleared.
And, until he opened the letter, Mr Durdle had been coping with the loss of his wife as best he could, telling the BBC: 'I'm in a reasonable place at the moment - I've got quite a level head on my shoulders'.
Mr Durdle said he wanted to use "this kind of insensitive thing" as an example of how companies should not treat customers, especially those grieving.
PayPal immediately apologized for the gaffe and said it's treating the situation as a "priority" as it figures out what happened.
"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", Durdle told the BBC.
PayPal always comes to collect your debt, a British man has discovered in a grievous manner, after the USA company threatened action against his wife, who recently died of cancer, for the "breach of contract for being deceased".
Yahoo7 News has contacted PayPal for comment.