There’s a story going viral today about an eBay transaction that seems to have gone horribly wrong, with Paypal being accused of allegedly requiring a $2,500 violin to be destroyed. But when you look into the details, there’s a little more to this story.
The whole thing appears to have started with a dispute over the violin, which apparently triggered a clause in Paypal’s terms and conditions that sometimes requires items to be destroyed. Hence, you can now see a rather heartbreaking photo of a perfectly good, very valuable violin that has been smashed to pieces.
While I have no great love for Paypal, having been dicked around by them more than once, I have to say that the real anger here should perhaps be directed at the buyer who actually carried out the smashing up of the violin. Did Paypal ‘make’ the buyer do this? No. Did Paypal provide a technicality that the buyer used, that involved destroying the violin? Yes. Again: Paypal didn’t ‘make’ anyone do this.
Nevertheless, this is more bad publicity for Paypal at a time when there are an increasing number of Paypal alternatives hitting the market. Here’s a nice list, but new services are being set up on an almost daily basis.