PayPal Orders Antique Violin Worth $2500 Destroyed

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Fresh off news that President Scott Thompson is heading off to be Yahoo’s new CEO, PayPal again finds itself with a bit of a PR problem today. Last month we ran a story about PayPal’s severe mishandling of Regretsy’s attempt to raise funds for needy children at Christmas. Now it seems that they’ve stepped in it again. A post on Regretsy’s blog late yesterday contained a letter from a reader who had a very interesting story to tell.

It seems this reader, Erica, had sold a $2,500 violin (after having it authenticated by an expert). She received payment via PayPal. The buyer, however, disputed the label, which is apparently not uncommon with antique violins. When the buyer contacted PayPal, they determined that the violin must be counterfeit - how a violin could be counterfeit is unclear - and insisted that the buyer destroy it in order to get his money back. The buyer complied, sending the following picture of the splintered violin - with the disputed label displayed prominently - to Erica and to PayPal.

Broken Violin

Once the post went up on Regretsy, it did not take long for the situation to be picked up on Twitter and Reddit. Most people were, as you might imagine, outraged.

Every new story I hear about @PayPal fills with RAGE RAGE RAGE. Their immorality is exceeded only by their mind-boggling lack of logic. 36 minutes ago via Twitter for Mac · powered by @socialditto

There's an opportunity for a paypal competitor. One with better service and that doesn't have ppl destroying antiques. 1 hour ago via Echofon · powered by @socialditto

The puppy I ordered over eBay does not have the advertised race! Reported as counterfeit, PayPal asks for destruction - who am I to object? 1 hour ago via web · powered by @socialditto

Celebrations involved destruction of entire orchestra. “@nytimes: PayPal Executive Named C.E.O. of Yahoo 1 hour ago via Twitter for iPhone · powered by @socialditto

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