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PayPal has issued an apology after sending a letter to a customer who died of cancer, saying her death had “breached its rules”.

Howard Durdle, whose wife Lindsay passed away in May after a battle with breast cancer, provided PayPal with copies of his wife’s death certificate, her will and his ID, as they requested.

Lindsay was first diagnosed with breast cancer a year-and-half earlier, and it spread to her lungs and brain.

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When Howard discovered that PayPal’s response was to send a letter to inform him that his wife had “breached its rules”, he was shocked.

He posted the letter that he received at his home in the UK to Facebook.

The letter said his wife owed PayPal £3200 ($A5700) and said: “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."

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“What empathy-lacking machine sent this?” Howard asked on Facebook.

After Howard’s post drew attention, PayPal apologised to the widower, admitting that the letter was “insensitive”.

The company then launched an investigation into how the letter was sent to begin with.

“We apologise to Mr Durdle for the distress this letter has caused,” the PayPal spokesman said, reported the BBC.

Howard told the BBC that PayPal had said the letter was either sent because of a bug, a bad letter template or human error.

Reportedly, the company said it would be able to share the findings of the investigation because it was an “internal matter”.

“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, who is a member of the charity group Widowed and Young, said.

“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.”

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