Blog Archive

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Paypal Violin Update

As an update to the Violin destruction incident that was featured heavily in the blogosphere earlier this year, I felt that it was important to let the people over at Paypal have a chance to voice their side of what happened and give an explanation about why they ordered the destruction of an antique violin before determining whether it was genuine or not.

There was much debate online in many different forums: about paypal, musicians forums and also in general forums. Some people said that it was because it may be illegal to post a counterfeit item. This was reiterated in a statement by a paypal employee:

A spokesperson for PayPal said: "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."
taken from the Guardian newspaper

But in reality this is nothing but a smokescreen by paypal. Before establishing the veracity of the claim, the violin is a bit of a Schrodinger's cat. Is it real? Is it counterfeit? Before they know, how can it be a problem to post it? Would the buyer post it to an expert for authentication? The seller had a certificate from a luthier to show that it was authentic but paypal chose to ignore this because all sellers are cheating, lying, underworld criminals trying to hoodwink the poor, helpless buyer at every turn!

But, I sent off an email to a contact at paypal customer services nevertheless to try and find out the result of the enquiries they had conducted.

Dear 'Customer Services',
Earlier this year, there was a story about a suposedly antique violin which had been ordered to be destroyed by Paypal. It was widely reported that you were conducting your own enquiries into the matter.
Since several months have now passed, I was wondering whether you had come to any conclusions regarding this matter.
 This is the reply I received several days ago and have not heard anything back since:

Thank you for contacting PayPal Customer Service.
In an effort to assist you as quickly and efficiently as possible,
please direct all customer service inquires through our website. Click
on the hyperlink below to go to the PayPal website. To ask a question
that is specific to your account, you must log in to your account. If
you indicate the type of question you have with as much detail as you
can, we will be able to provide you with the best customer service
If your email program is unable to open hyperlinks, please copy and
paste this URL into the address bar of your browser.
If you are contacting PayPal because you are unable to log into your
account, please use the contact form below.

Thank you for choosing PayPal!

This email is sent to you by the contracting entity to your User
Agreement, either PayPal Inc, PayPal Pte. Ltd or PayPal (Europe) S.à
r.l. & Cie, S.C.A. Société en Commandite par Actions, Registered Office:
5th Floor 22-24 Boulevard Royal L-2449, Luxembourg RCS Luxembourg B 118

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