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A meme in the making: PayPal orders rare violin destruction

January 4, 2012

We are watching a meme being created before our very eyes. 


The story begin yesterday at Regretsy with this letter from a reader:

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 didn’t 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.

Now the story has been picked up The Guardian, CBS, Daily Mail, QMI, The Mirror, Gizmodo, Boing Boing, and others.  Look for Web saturation by tomorrow.

However, I do not think that this is the top web story of the day so far.  I would give that honor to the new 50 pence coin in Britain that attempts to explains the offside rule in soccer.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 4, 2012 6:11 pm

    If a London Olympics match is to be decided by a coin toss, then it won’t be with the wheel-chair rugby coin but with this one. And if England wins by that toss, then that will be the bigger story.

  2. January 5, 2012 4:18 pm

    It will be particularly amusing if after the coin toss, the refs start arguing over the offside rule.

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