PayPal Tells Buyer To Destroy Purchased Violin Instead Of Return For Refund

Oh PayPal… will you never learn how to resolve a situation without having everyone hate you? Mere weeks after enduring the wrath of the internet resulting from its war with, PayPal has once again hit viral vitriol gold. This time, a seller claims that she’s out $2,500 and an antique violin after the company told the buyer to destroy the instrument.

According to the seller, who shared her tale with the aforementioned Regretsy, she had sold the old violin to a buyer in Canada, who subsequently disputed the instrument’s bona fides.

It is certainly not uncommon for people in the antique musical instrument field to argue over whether or not a particular item is the real deal, and it makes sense to notify PayPal that you are disputing the purchase.

But the decision as to whether or not the violin is the real deal or an impersonator is not usually left up to the company that promises the payment. Alas, someone at PayPal apparently is an expert in old violins, because the company determined the instrument was “counterfeit” and told the buyer he needed to destroy it in order to get his refund.

The buyer not only smashed the violin to bits; he also snapped some pics that he sent to the seller.

Writes the seller to Regretsy:

I am now out a violin that made it through WWII as well as $2500. This is of course, upsetting. But my main goal in writing to you is to prevent PayPal from ordering the destruction of violins and other antiquities that they know nothing about. It is beyond me why PayPal simply didn’t have the violin returned to me.

I spoke on the phone to numerous reps from PayPal who 100% defended their action and gave me the party line.

While we agree that no one should have to pay for counterfeits, and that most counterfeit items should be destroyed, we’re pretty sure that PayPal should not be the arbiter of what’s real and what’s bogus.

From the Mailbag []