PayPal Stand Accused of Ruining Antique Violin

PayPal can rarely do any wrong in the eyes of the consumer, but recently they came heavily under-fire when they – allegedly – made a customer smash a gorgeous French antique violin to pieces due to an argument over the authenticity of the piece.

A popular online blog that heavily features rare and quirky handmade items that have been collected from all over the internet recently posted a message from user “Erica”.  Erica states that she sold a rare French violin of circa the 2nd World War to a buyer in Canada.  Having snapped up the violin for a massive $2,500 (£1,600), the buyer then argued the authenticity of the price – despite it reputedly being authenticated by an expert luthier – and wished to return the violin and claim a refund.  Due to PayPal’s terms of services in which there is a section stating in no uncertain terms that: “PayPal may require you to destroy the item and to provide evidence of its destruction” to resolve a payment quarrel, the buyer then proceeded to smash the antique violin and proudly post the results online.

And understandably upset Erica – who then had to give the buyer a REFUND – was heartbroken that she had lost such a rare violin that had survived the 2nd world war.  She stated: “Rather than have the violin returned to me, PayPal made the buyer DESTROY the violin in order to get his money back. They somehow deemed the violin as ‘counterfeit’ even though there is no such thing in the violin world.  It is beyond me why PayPal simply didn’t have the violin returned to me.”

As a rebuttal, PayPal responded: “While we cannot talk about this particular case due to PayPal’s privacy policy, we carefully review each case, and in general we may ask a buyer to destroy counterfeit goods if they supply signed evidence from a knowledgeable third party that the goods are indeed counterfeit. The reason why we reserve the option to ask the buyer to destroy the goods is that in many countries, including the US, it is a criminal offence to mail counterfeit goods back to a seller.”

Whilst the destruction of such a rare and beautiful work of art is indeed a terrible shame, this does serve as a cautionary tale to those of you who fail to read the terms and conditions of any site – including the established PayPal!

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