PayPal threatens to sue a cancer victim for dying, a "breach" of its rules


Yeah, doesn’t read like something the deceased could breach to begin with, even if she were alive! Stupid, stupid letter.


wow. just… wow


Well, at least we can all agree on that much…


It’s especially ironic when “IT Lifecycle Management” is so relentlessly hyped that only people who take Gartner seriously can avoid rolling their eyes at the mention of it; but the implications of the fact that it’s a biological metaphor apparently aren’t obvious.



I’ll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one.


In a case like this where it’s one member of a married couple, what is the estate? Do they try to count up any non-joint accounts the deceased may have had?

ETA: And if she had her husband listed as beneficiary on a personal account, would that make it not count as part of the estate?


IANAL and that goes double for Great Britain. That said, the general rule is that unless you go to some trouble to keep debts and assets separate they’re assumed to be common. In other words, her debts prior to demise are his afterwards, especially if they were acquired while they were married.

Assets and debts from before the marriage can usually be kept separate with a modest bit of care. E.g, my daughter’s student loans from grad school would not be her husband’s responsibility should she die now. Yeah, lousy example. But the one that came to mind.


Well, YMMV - and perhaps they are improving. I will observe with closer interest but wonder why there are so many ‘Paypal froze my account without even talking to me when some buyer I sent an expensive piece of electroncs to claimed it was a box of spanners when they opened it’ type cases.


This reminds me of how I boycott both Comcast and AT&T because they were nasty to me after I cancelled service. It seems corporations just don’t have the ability to be nice to people who are not actively contributing to their bottom line (and even loyal customers get the short end of the stock with monopolies).


System business analyst.

There are three possible situations:

  1. PayPal intends to try to collect money off dead people.

  2. PayPal doesn’t intend to try to collect money off dead people, but has to send these letters out for an obscure business reason.

  3. It’s a bug.

I believe it’s a bug, for one obvious reason- the number of reported instances of this situation, despite death being a pretty frequent event of PayPal Credit users, is 1.

I mean, it MIGHT be true that PayPal is evil or doesn’t have a flag for such events. But if they were like this, why haven’t we seen more examples of this?

I hate evil corporations and will jump down the throat of anyone harassing a widower, but this really sounds like a horrible, embarrassing bug. If I’m proven wrong, then f*** PayPal.


I expect that part of this is that if there is an outstanding debt, then it should not be unexpected to request that the estate balance that debt before it goes to the inheritors. But there are more diplomatic ways of resolving an issue like this. Perhaps in case of death request a balancing and closing of all accounts, and could the spouse or whatever confirm than he or she is the executor of the will, things like that, so that there are no loose ends… I am not very good at this, but you get what I mean.

  1. and 3., I think. As fnordius said, there are normal and polite ways of getting money from the estate. And if they don’t want to be bothered to do that themselves, they could sell the debt to those who do. Even if the people that came up with paypal didn’t think about what happens when people die, you can bet that the people providing them startup money did.

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