Skip to comments.PayPal Does Something Truly Evil
Posted on 01/04/2012 3:31:35 PM PST by Swordmaker
If truly dispicable acts are now the norm for PayPal (EBAY), Scott Thompson should kick off his new Yahoo (YHOO) gig with a dog fight.
Sharing a heartbreaking account of a buy gone horribly wrong, Helen Killer of the hilarious Etsy send-up Regretsy posted an email from a reader who saw a treasured item destroyed at the behest of PayPal. Reader Erica writes in describing a recent sale she made to a buyer in Canada.
The item in question was a pre-WWII French violin worth $2,500. The buyer, however, disputed the label -- which isn't uncommon, Erica claims, but shouldn't detract from the craftsmanship of the instrument.
She writes, "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." And to the delight of the buyer, he sent Erica a photo of the destroyed antique.
Erica has since been on the phone with "numerous reps," but they have "100% defended their action and gave me the party line."
And lest you think Erica's situation was solely due to one disgruntled PayPal executive who's declared a war on art, the destruction of items that are simply suspected of being counterfeit is actually laid out in the company's Terms of Service. The very definition of "Smash first, ask questions later."
Although this seems a tad excessive, it doesn't stray far from other acts of delusional and malevolent behavior perpetrated by PayPal.
(Excerpt) Read more at finance.yahoo.com ...
I guess you better not use paypal to sell antiques!
From her own words, it sounds like the seller knew the label was counterfeit.
I’ve watched antique roadshow enough time to know than even forgeries are sometimes worth a bundle.
I guess I’ll never pay for anything that can be destroyed by using PayPal. Then again I haven’t had need to use it for anything for some time.
Based on what? EVery user of PayPal agrees to their terms of service explicitly. You don’t like them, don’t use them. This is simply a matter of taking responsibility for your actions . . . and knowing what you are doing before you do it.
In any dispute with Pay Pal I’ll destroy them first. I mean who am I to argue with their corporate policy?
A few years back I sold on ebay and one customer complained that one of the items was chipped and she wanted to keep all 9 plus get her money back...ebay told her to package up all items and send back to me then they would take the money out of my paypal account...she never sent them back, I was watching her site and she sold them....she didn’t get her money back cause she had no proof that she returned them to me...but paypal still stinks and I finally just quit selling...
What’s to prevent the buyer of the alleged fake from buying a cheap POS violin from a thrift shop, smashing it and using that to satisfy PrayPal, then keeping the money and the good violin too?
I read about someone being told to destroy a Hermes purse without proving it was counterfeit! Paypal really messes up sometimes. Hate them, but if you use EBay, not much choice.
that’s really insane. If you know anything about violins, it’s that half the violins made in the 19th century say that they are Stradivari. Of course they are not, but they can be perfectly serviceable violins. It’s very different transaction to sell one of that than selling a counterfeit modern consumer good.
When using paypal you got to sell”as is where is, no warranties expressed or implied, all sales final” on the invoice!
Burned last year at Christmas using both Ebay and Paypal.
There is some truly stupid corporate leadership afoot here in the US. Verizon Wireless was the latest idiot, charging money to people who want to pay bills a certain way. Pulled the policy the next day, but the damage was done - shareholders found out the company is run by morons.
I can’t believe Netflix CEO still draws a paycheck.
“From her own words, it sounds like the seller knew the label was counterfeit.”
I missed where the seller implicated herself by her own statement. Could you show me where those words were?
I use paypal rather irregularly and for small purchases and sales. I don’t trust it at all, but there is no doubt it makes things SO much easier.
I used to be a huge ebayer - one of the first in, when it really was “one gigantic garage sale”. Listed everything for one penny, and had a lot of fun. But somewhere along the way Ebay decided they didn’t want people like me, and they used paypal to make that very clear to me.
For me, Paypal is in the same category as Google and Verizon. It’s a great product, but the company is rotten.
The ONLY time I used Pay Pal, I ended up with fraudulent charges on my Visa.
No big deal you say?
When you have had a card for 15 years, it is a significant anchor in your credit rating.
When it is replaced with a new card, that continuity evaporates.
Paypal offers nex to no protection for sellers. They greatly, greatly favor the buyer. There is seller protection but it regularly fails. What’s worse is that as a seller you have to deal with credit card chargebacks that paypal has no control over and can be dragged out over months and even years. If the buyer defrauds you(more often than not) and wins the credit card chargeback(which they normally do b/c CC companies don’t want to lose customers), Paypal will come to YOU looking for the money. There are plenty of stories of Paypal bringing collections agencies against people. Oh, and they also charge a fee against you if you get a chargeback against you(even if it’s a fraudulent one that is eventually found in your favor.
Avoid using paypal unless you absolutely need it.
I will add though that all the paypal help center people I spoke to on the phone were prompt and spoke English as a first language. I just wish their ToS didn’t make it so easy for buyers to defraud people.
As you know, I have had my share of issues with Paypal recently, and while I appreciate the effort they made to do the right thing in our case, I still have a lot of misgivings about them as a company.
This e-mail didnt help.
Dear Helen Killer,I forwarded this e-mail to my contact at Paypal several days ago. They have not replied.
I love your site and was thrilled to hear of your win against PayPal. I recently had a heartbreaking experience of my own with them.
I sold an old French violin to a buyer in Canada, and the buyer disputed the label.
This is not uncommon. In the violin market, labels often mean little and there is often disagreement over them. Some of the most expensive violins in the world have disputed labels, but they are works of art nonetheless.
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.
The buyer was proud of himself, so he sent me a photo of the destroyed violin.
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 didnt 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.
UPDATE: I neglected to mention in the original post that the violin was examined and authenticated by a top luthier prior to its sale.
UPDATE 2: Thanks to sharp-eyed reader Mr. Pete, who found this paragraph in Paypals Terms of Service:
UPDATE 3: Paypal has advised that they are now looking into the matter.
“Whats to prevent the buyer of the alleged fake from buying a cheap POS violin from a thrift shop,”
Reminds me of a favorite event from my teen days.
My maternal grandmother was living with us, and pretty much non compos mentis from hardening of the arteries.
Every five minuets, or so, she would ask what the weather was outside.
My father bought a cheap violin at a pawn shop and gave it to her to see what she would do.
She immediately put it to her shoulder and started playing My Old Kentucky Home. Kentucky was her home state.
The buyer, however, disputed the label — which isn’t uncommon, Erica claims, but shouldn’t detract from the craftsmanship of the instrument.
Agree! This could easily be the scenario. Wonder if the seller had it insured and would it be covered?
A few years back I sold on ebay and one customer complained that one of the items was chipped and she wanted to keep all 9 plus get her money back...ebay told her to package up all items and send back to me then they would take the money out of my paypal account...she never sent them back, I was watching her site and she sold them....she didnt get her money back cause she had no proof that she returned them to me...but paypal still stinks and I finally just quit selling...
She didn’t complete the scam. she could have sent back a rock in a box with tracking and paypal would have given her the money. Count yourself lucky.
When using paypal you got to sellas is where is, no warranties expressed or implied, all sales final on the invoice!
First, a contract must be negotiated by both parties. This is a contract of adhesion. Although technically legal, she has a great case that PayPal was virtually the only payment source she could use and their actions are unconscionable. In addition, she was not given a chance to defend herself to a reasonable degree.
This is great fodder for class action. Also, Ebay is not about to pay some lawyer in her state $6500 retainer to defend a $2500 action.
She should get a lawyer, write a demand letter mentioning a potential class action and demand $2500 plus 40% legal fees. At a minimum they will settle for $2500, with her paying her own lawyer.
Nope, you gotta put it on the paypal invoice when you invoice your customer.I have sold hundreds of items through pay pal, some of them running into thousands of dollars, never had a problem
In addition, their TOS legal language is horrible. Ebay MAY REQUIRE you to destroy the item?
Ebay is therefore liable for the arbitrary decision they made. Secondly, where did SELLER agree that the item could be destroyed?
Destroy a $2500 work of art to avoid $20 return shipping charges? Does not pass the smell test... and juries eat that stuff up!
“My” damages claim just went to $102,500. Lots of mental anguish, you know.
Paypal will have to make the seller more than whole.
The negative publicity is killing them.
...Or valuable collectible baseball cards, magazines, comic books, etc., etc.
"You thought that Honus Wagner card was what? So you WHAT??"
I have one cc that I use for telephone and internet purchases. Everything else? other cards.
As anyone tried?
Let me tell you about my own experience with e-Bay just today. The first time I ever bid on something, though I seemed to have an account. Perhaps via one of their buyouts like Half.com, I don’t know.
An item I needed. brand new, starting bid $65, or Buy Now for $90. Not bad considering other new offers for $125-179, and used ones starting @$60. But I am replacing a used one myself, which failed after couple of years, so a new one is a must.
One bid $66. I researched the matter to find out about proxy bidding which is setting your max price, known only to you and e-bay, and e-Bay will bid competitively for you up to that price. OK, I set it at $81, and the new bid is set at $71, which tells me that the other guys max price was $70. He or some other bidder (biddie?) bids $72, e-Bay bids on my behalf $73. (This happens over a couple of days.) I’m still the highest bidder. I watch the last minute, my bid of $73 still stands, and in the last few seconds, somebody outbids me with $82. I try to outbid, but there isn’t enough time. I lose! WTF happened? How did anyone know my highest bid of $81? This was ‘sposed to be a secret? Or is this perhaps how e-Bay closes the bidding when the seller’s minimum selling price was set above the highest bid?
Anyway, a few minutes later I found this item on the web from a reputable store for $79, shipping free, unlike the e-Bay auction. Ef e-Bay!
He didn't. He's a "sniper" who comes in at the last second and makes a bid. It's a common practice. He bid at least $82 (probably something like $90) and legally outbid you.
No, but the highest bid was $73, as I said, why didn’t he bid 74, 75, 76, why did he bid just above my supposedly “secret” max of 81? Something fishy.
Never mind, I get it, he must have proxy bid himself!
eBay’s system doesn’t bid in increments for the autobid. So assume you bid $10, max of $30. If someone comes in and bids less than $30, It should have what they bid, then your autobid going higher. But if they type a max bid of $50, it’ll jump straight to the first bid that’s higher than yours, $31.
Well, surely Paypal can provide her with a copy of the appraisal that they had performed in order to ascertain that the item was, in fact, a counterfeit and worthless...right? Right?
I would say a third party cannot legally tell someone to distroy something that does not belong to them...did they have it verified as a fake, if not I hope the seller takes them for thousands....along with the idiot that destroyed it...unless they have it in writing from ebay/paypal, they are in for a lawsuit...
There is also www service software that can make final bids for you:
Additionally if you are looking for a rare something or other on Ebay, but don’t want to have to search every day for it, there is an auto www search sevice that sends an Email report that I use at:
Cool, thank you. I just downloaded a Chrome browser extension, that just sends info but performs no other actions.
RRRRIIIIIIIIIIGGGGHHHHTTTT.... crickets... crickets... crickets...
That's it. Sometimes these snipers get too smart for themselves as they put in some REALLY ridiculous price in order to outbid everybody. A couple of times I have seen a $100 antique reloading tool go for $500 and when you check the bidders, you see where one guy bid $490 and another bid $500. Oops! Dunno if, under those situations, the buyer ever paid up.
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