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article imagePayPal orders buyer to destroy antique violin in alleged dispute

By Andrew Moran     Jan 5, 2012 in Business
Ottawa - published a letter from its mailbag Tuesday in which a reader, Erica, claims that PayPal forced a buyer to smash a rare French antique violin that was sold for $2,500. The buyer disputed its authenticity.
Has PayPal ever made you destroy an item? Well, one man allegedly did after he questioned the authenticity of an item he purchased from a seller.
It all started when someone in Canada purchased an antique violin for $2,500. Unfortunately, the buyer believed the violin was not genuine and demanded his money back. When the buyer contacted PayPal, the payment processor ordered him to smash the violin in order to receive the refunded price.
Erica, the seller, sent a letter to’s mailbag in which she questioned as to why PayPal didn’t allow the buyer to send back the violin.
“Rather than have the violin returned to me, PayPal made the buyer DESTROY the violinin order to get his money back. They somehow deemed the violin as “counterfeit” even though there is no such thing in the violin world,” wrote Erica. “The buyer was proud of himself, so he sent me a photo of the destroyed violin.
It turns out that when Erica contacted customer representatives at PayPal, each person she dealt with defended the company’s actions. Why? Because according to PayPal’s user agreement, “For SNAD claims, PayPal may require you to ship the item back to the seller – or to PayPal – or to a third party at your expense, and to provide proof of delivery. Please take reasonable precautions in re-packing the item to reduce the risk of damage to the item during transit. PayPal may also require you to destroy the item and to provide evidence of its destruction.”
Erica explained that there is no such thing as counterfeit violins. She claims that she had her Antonio Stradivarius violin, which there are only 1,100 in the world, “examined and authenticated by a top luthier prior to its sale.”
PayPal has stated that it will investigate the matter.
More about Paypal, antique violin, Smash, regretsy, erica
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