People still do business with PayPal?





  • That just makes me sick, I was an early supporter of PayPal when they first started (I sent unsolicted donations to web comic artists before the "donate" button thing existed, along with suggesting that the artist setup to take donations that way...) but this is just monstrous.



  • Oh please, PayPal is hardly at fault here.  Of course they would say something so stupid, they're a big lumbering corporation with no sense.  That's why us consumers are supposed to be the firewalls that prevent such stupid instructions from being executed.  The monster here is that dumbfuck who spent two and half grand on a violin and was so unsure of it's authenticity that he completely bypassed the buyer and just went straight to PayPal, as if a fucking online pay company that isn't even an actual bank would know dick about fuck about violins.

    That said, the loss is truly tragic.  That stupid asshole ought to be drawn and quartered for destroying such a gorgeous object on orders from any company, let alone one with such a checkered past.



  •  But ... but ... but ... getting it independently authenticated yourself would cost money!



  •  Just wondering - is there a saner payment system out there for those that don't trust PayPal and can't afford dealing with all the requirements to process credit cards directly (merchant account, contracts with credit card issuers, being fucked over by the idiotic PCI DSS requirements, etc.) ?



  • While seeing the pictures makes my heart bleed too, it's not like Paypal specifically asked for a hundred-year-old violin to be destroyed. Their rules about counterfeits serve a purpose, they were just horribly misapplied here.

    Whoever added the 'proof of destruction' clause can't have been thinking about unique antiques. Fake handbags, knock-off DVD, things that have no intrinsic value because they are cheap copies, that's what the rule was designed to handle. You wouldn't expect a sane individual to take an axe to a real antique that would have a shitload of value even if its label wasn't real. Granted, that's a problem with the way Paypal handles counterfeits - but what else can they do? Sending the item back makes counterfeiting a riskless crime, and letting the buyer keep it opens the door to all sorts of abuse.

    What the seller should have done here - or may have done, dunno, there isn't much details - is escalate the dispute to a real live human being ASAP. I'd be very surprised if a real living breathing person familiar with the concept of PR would have allowed this to happen.



  • @SteakTartaar said:

    I'd be very surprised if a real living breathing person familiar with the concept of PR would have allowed this to happen.

    But it's The Process! You don't question The Process. It says "destroy the item" right there. I personally wouldn't be surprised. Disappointed, yes, but not surprised.

    Seriously, you'd think they'd at least mention the possibility of exceptions.

    @bdew said:

     Just wondering - is there a saner payment system out there for those that don't trust PayPal and can't afford dealing with all the requirements to process credit cards directly (merchant account, contracts with credit card issuers, being fucked over by the idiotic PCI DSS requirements, etc.) ?

    Alternatives I know of include Amazon Payments and AlertPay, but I haven't personally used them, so I can't say how good or bad they are. I have some friends who swear by AlertPay, but they're notoriously unreliable.



  • @Yukabacera said:

    But it's The Process! You don't question The Process. It says "destroy the item" right there. I personally wouldn't be surprised. Disappointed, yes, but not surprised.
     

    I, for one, am in awe of the kind of distorted mental processes that caused that buyer to physically desintegrate such a fine piece of craftsmanship. You don't do that.



  • @Yukabacera said:

    But it's The Process! You don't question The Process.

    You can't blame The Process for the puny human's failure to include an ItemIsAntiqueException. That's just rude.



  • @dhromed said:

    @Yukabacera said:

    But it's The Process! You don't question The Process. It says "destroy the item" right there. I personally wouldn't be surprised. Disappointed, yes, but not surprised.
     

    I, for one, am in awe of the kind of distorted mental processes that caused that buyer to physically desintegrate such a fine piece of craftsmanship. You don't do that.

     

     

    Apparently, they did

     



  •  Anyone care to post the article, or a synopsis thereof, for those of us whose employers have chosen to block regretsy?



  • @TwoScoopsOfHot said:

     Anyone care to post the article, or a synopsis thereof, for those of us whose employers have chosen to block regretsy?

     

    Antique violin was sold on PayPal, dispute about labels (a common thing) so PayPal decided to use it's counterfeit system to handle it (means that item had to be destroyed and proof of destruction sent to paypal).



  • @bdew said:

     Just wondering - is there a saner payment system out there for those that don't trust PayPal and can't afford dealing with all the requirements to process credit cards directly (merchant account, contracts with credit card issuers, being fucked over by the idiotic PCI DSS requirements, etc.) ?

    1. Any merchant worth dealing with has an account with a merchant bank and can do the transactions themselves.

    2) Compared to SMASHING A 70+ YEAR OLD ANTIQUE VIOLIN? Write a fucking check and mail it! ANYTHING is better than dealing with these bozos.

    The reason PayPal still exists and is still evil is because of fucking lazy people who don't stop using it, no matter how many horror stories they hear. If you care, stop using it. I don't care what you replace it with. I don't care if you replace it with "nothing". "Nothing" is still a net gain here.

    Of course, the real problem here is the hole eBay/PayPal collusion which makes it impossible to use the most popular auction site without using PayPal. But, again: the solution to that is just don't use it. Use Amazon Marketplace. Or go to your local swap meet. Or, again, nothing. Nothing is better than PayPal.



  • @TwoScoopsOfHot said:

     Anyone care to post the article, or a synopsis thereof, for those of us whose employers have chosen to block regretsy?

    Person Authenticates Violin through [reputable] dealer

    Person sells Violin and accepts PayPal Payment ($2,500 [USD?])

    Violin arrives at buyer

    Buyer disputes authenticity

    Buyer pursues stop payment through PayPal

    PayPal orders "counterfit" item destroyed

    Buyer complies and sends seller and PayPal picture of Antique WWII violin in many pieces.



  • @locallunatic said:

    @TwoScoopsOfHot said:

     Anyone care to post the article, or a synopsis thereof, for those of us whose employers have chosen to block regretsy?

    Antique violin was sold on PayPal, dispute about labels (a common thing) so PayPal decided to use it's counterfeit system to handle it (means that item had to be destroyed and proof of destruction sent to paypal).

    There's a little more to it than that. The violin was independently certified as genuine before the sale took place, and the seller offered to both PayPal and the buyer to take it back and refund the money, while covering the additional shipping cost. She also called back to PayPal multiple times, and this action was defended by the representative every time. Showing either that the seller is an extremely bad communicator, or nobody working at PayPal has a soul. (My guess: the latter.)



  • @Yukabacera said:

    I have some friends who swear by AlertPay, but they're notoriously unreliable.

    AlertPay or your friends?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Nothing is better than PayPal.

     

    I disagree, I think PayPal is pretty terrible personally. I would choose to simply not buy something if my only other choice was PayPal.

    / yes, I know what he really meant

    // oh and thanks for the summary of the article

     



  • Wow, that really sucks.  I didn't know PayPal was in the business of destruction of property.  But I'm curious to know how the scheme works - if the seller has proven the violin's authenticity and the buyer [i]admits[/i] to destroying the violin, shouldn't the buyer be the one who is fucked?



  • Well, no, because the buyer got their money back, and the seller's net difference from before is that they lost an antique violin because some asshat destroyed it because they were following the rules of some even bigger asshat who didn't understand how to include exceptions in a conditions statement. The buyer was already fucked because he was buying a violin and clearly didn't know shit about how to verify authenticity.



  • I'd be sueing paypal.  I don't care what their ToS say.



  • @BC_Programmer said:

    Well, no, because the buyer got their money back...
    Right, and I was implying that he shouldn't have.



  • @SteakTartaar said:

    Granted, that's a problem with the way Paypal handles counterfeits - but what else can they do?
    Uhmm...  alert proper authorities?

    Which in this case would probably not order the violin's destruction.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    I think I'm missing something here. Did the buyer have to provide any evidence that the violin wasn't authentic?



  • @kilroo said:

    @Yukabacera said:
    I have some friends who swear by AlertPay, but they're notoriously unreliable.

    AlertPay or your friends?

    Yes.



  • @rad131304 said:

    Person Authenticates Violin through [reputable] dealer

    Person sells Violin and accepts PayPal Payment ($2,500 [USD?])

    Violin arrives at buyer

    Buyer disputes authenticity

    Buyer pursues stop payment through PayPal

    PayPal orders "counterfit" item destroyed

    Buyer complies and sends seller and PayPal picture of Antique WWII violin in many pieces.

    Am I the only person wondering whether perhaps this buyer is actually a fence for stolen antiques? I should think that once it's in pieces, one violin can be made to look like pretty much any other. All you need to do is falsify a label for it, and that only has to look good enough to pass inspection via digital photo.



  • @PedanticCurmudgeon said:

    I think I'm missing something here. Did the buyer have to provide any evidence that the violin wasn't authentic?
     

    That would have required the buyer to have made some attempt to determine authenticity; apparently they only suspected that it was not authentic.

     It seems that Paypal assumed the buyer had not skipped that crucial step, and that the buyer had already determined it was counterfeit (it's certainly not PayPal's job to do that). Obviously, they gave the buyer too much credit.

     The Regretsy article includes a screenshot of PayPal's terms of service, highlighting the offending line about possibly requiring proof of destruction. But the same ToS says in the previous paragraph

    You may be asked to provide receipts, third party evaluations, police reports, or anything else that PayPal specifies [including your blood type and firstborn child?]

    So the buyer didn't have to provide evidence that the violin wasn't authentic, but only because PayPal didn't bother to ask for it.

     



  • @Kittemon said:

    Am I the only person wondering whether perhaps this buyer is actually a fence for stolen antiques? I should think that once it's in pieces, one violin can be made to look like pretty much any other. All you need to do is falsify a label for it, and that only has to look good enough to pass inspection via digital photo.

    You are far from being the only person wondering this.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Watson said:

    The Regretsy article includes a screenshot of PayPal's terms of service, highlighting the offending line about possibly requiring proof of destruction. But the same ToS says in the previous paragraph
    You may be asked to provide receipts, third party evaluations, police reports, or anything else that PayPal specifies [including your blood type and firstborn child?]

    So the buyer didn't have to provide evidence that the violin wasn't authentic, but only because PayPal didn't bother to ask for it.

     

    Then it's even worse than I thought. This fail isn't antique-specific. If a buyer can get a refund simply by asserting an item is counterfeit, and the item gets destroyed in the process so that the seller can't sell it to someone else, you'd have to be crazy to sell anything using PayPal.

    Also, how do we know the buyer didn't substitute a cheaper violin in the proof of destruction picture? It's not like PayPal would know the difference.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Kittemon said:

    Am I the only person wondering whether perhaps this buyer is actually a fence for stolen antiques? I should think that once it's in pieces, one violin can be made to look like pretty much any other. All you need to do is falsify a label for it, and that only has to look good enough to pass inspection via digital photo.

    Maybe someone should report PayPal for laundering money.



  • @markfiend said:

    @Kittemon said:
    Am I the only person wondering whether perhaps this buyer is actually a fence for stolen antiques? I should think that once it's in pieces, one violin can be made to look like pretty much any other. All you need to do is falsify a label for it, and that only has to look good enough to pass inspection via digital photo.

    You are far from being the only person wondering this.

     

    Indeed- buy antique violin, report as counterfeit, smash $100 violin, take photo, shoop label, profit doesn't seem beyond the faculties of an enterprising criminal.  Hell, you can get back your money if you claim non-delivery and the assumption will go in the favour of the buyer if the seller doesn't have proof of delivery.  That's why you should never, ever hand deliver anything you've sold via ebay/Paypal.

     



  • @orange_robot said:

    Hell, you can get back your money if you claim non-delivery and the assumption will go in the favour of the buyer if the seller doesn't have proof of delivery.  That's why you should never, ever hand deliver anything you've sold via ebay/Paypal.

    This goes for digital downloads as well. There's a small craft community site where people sell their patterns, and paypal doesn't do a great job of digital delivery things. People have been buying patterns, downloading them, and then claiming non-delivery, because there's no proof of delivery (not even weblogs will please them). In these days, it seems more like 'seller beware' than 'buyer beware'.



  • @tweek said:

    This goes for digital downloads as well.

    Whenever I see this term, I think, "as opposed to what other kind of downloads?"



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @tweek said:
    This goes for digital downloads as well.

    Whenever I see this term, I think, "as opposed to what other kind of downloads?"

    Sry; it's the way it's referred to in multiple documents on the site (and possibly paypal as well, although I can't be arsed to parse paypal documents right now). Irritates me, too. I prefer 'digital document' or 'downloading a goddamned file you paid money for'. Each group has its own language, and that's one bit of language I picked up there. I'm guessing it's a digital download (aka file you requested) as opposed to a digital performance (aka streaming video/audio) terminology.

    It's slightly less annoying to me than my coworker's reference to a "Local LEC", to me, but everyone has their own threshold for these things.



  • @tweek said:

    Sry; it's the way it's referred to in multiple documents on the site (and possibly paypal as well, although I can't be arsed to parse paypal documents right now). Irritates me, too.

    Amazon uses the term too.

    @tweek said:

    I'm guessing it's a digital download (aka file you requested) as opposed to a digital performance (aka streaming video/audio) terminology.

    That actually slightly makes sense.



  • Well, it could be an analog download over the radio...



  • @ekolis said:

    Well, it could be an analog download over the radio...

    In the 80s some radio stations here transmitted C64 and ZX Spectrum programs at some nighttime hour... You tuned your sound set to the station, recorded to tape, and then loaded it to the computer as usual.

    And sometimes it even worked. ;)



  • @bannedfromcoding said:

    @ekolis said:
    Well, it could be an analog download over the radio...

    In the 80s some radio stations here transmitted C64 and ZX Spectrum programs at some nighttime hour... You tuned your sound set to the station, recorded to tape, and then loaded it to the computer as usual.

    And sometimes it even worked. ;)

     I remember those well <showing my age>

     Just keep in mind that to any qualified electronics engineer all digitial signals are in fact analog...then go take to a quantum physicist and find out that all analog activities are actually digital.



  • @TheCPUWizard said:

    Just keep in mind that to any qualified electronics engineer all digitial signals are in fact analog...then go take to a quantum physicist and find out that all analog activities are actually digital.
     

    Keep in mind that for all the vaunted advantages of digital audio, the eardrum is an analog device.

    But then again, auditory neurons apparently fire either all or none, so hearing is at that level a digital phenomenon after all.



  • Maybe the guy who wrote "United Breaks Guitars" could add another chapter to his epic saga, this time about how PayPal commits acts of senseless Violins (sorry, could not resist that one).

    EDIT: TRWTF is how the forum software keeps breaking my youtube link, when adding such links has worked in the past. Here's the unlinkyfied version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo



  • @da Doctah said:

    Keep in mind that for all the vaunted advantages of digital audio, the eardrum is an analog device.
     

    What does this mean?



  • @dhromed said:

    @da Doctah said:

    Keep in mind that for all the vaunted advantages of digital audio, the eardrum is an analog device.
     

    What does this mean?

     

    Look at the eardrum in action.  You've got a membrane responding to changes in acoustic pressure.  Outside pressure goes up a little, eardrum moves in a little.  Outside pressure goes up a lot, eardrum moves in a lot.  Outside pressure goes down an intermediate amount, eardrum moves out an intermediate amount.  There's no quantization.  The eardrum doesn't move in "steps" from one "permissible" position to the next; it's continuous.  That makes it an analog sensor.

     



  • @da Doctah said:

    The eardrum doesn't move in "steps" from one "permissible" position to the next; it's continuous.  That makes it an analog sensor.
     

    You are correct, but what is your point?



  •  My point is that all the hype about digital music reproduction being inherently better than analog is flawed because it ignores the fact that your anatomy forces you to listen to it in analog anyway.



  • @da Doctah said:

    My point is that all the hype about digital music reproduction being inherently better than analog is flawed because it ignores the fact that your anatomy forces you to listen to it in analog anyway.

    So you're saying that a 512kbps MP3, compressed with the highest quality compression available, stored on a digital medium rated to be error-free for 25 years, is better than a 16 year old LP record with scratches all over it and grooves full of grit?



  • What hype?

    I can assure you the output of your amplifier is 100% analog.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    So you're saying that a 512kbps MP3, compressed with the highest quality compression available, stored on a digital medium rated to be error-free for 25 years, is better than a 16 year old LP record with scratches all over it and grooves full of grit?

    I am not 100% sure (but almost sure) of that being a technical limitation of the format, but no software I've ever seen was capable of creating an MP3 with bitrate larger than 320kbps...



  • @bannedfromcoding said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    So you're saying that a 512kbps MP3, compressed with the highest quality compression available, stored on a digital medium rated to be error-free for 25 years, is better than a 16 year old LP record with scratches all over it and grooves full of grit?
    I am not 100% sure (but almost sure) of that being a technical limitation of the format, but no software I've ever seen was capable of creating an MP3 with bitrate larger than 320kbps...

    https://www.google.com/#hl=en&sa=X&ei=VVIHT4mBL6ahiAL8poGSCQ&ved=0CBoQBSgA&q=encode+512+kb/s+mp3&spell=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=9df5ef630f05ae0f&biw=1017&bih=824



  • Oh.

    I stand corrected.

    Thanks.



  • @bannedfromcoding said:

    Oh.

    I stand corrected.

    Thanks.

    If you're going to be a pedantic dickweed, at least make sure you're actually correct. (Note: don't be a pedantic dickweed.)



  • @Sutherlands said:

    @bannedfromcoding said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    So you're saying that a 512kbps MP3, compressed with the highest quality compression available, stored on a digital medium rated to be error-free for 25 years, is better than a 16 year old LP record with scratches all over it and grooves full of grit?
    I am not 100% sure (but almost sure) of that being a technical limitation of the format, but no software I've ever seen was capable of creating an MP3 with bitrate larger than 320kbps...

    https://www.google.com/#hl=en&sa=X&ei=VVIHT4mBL6ahiAL8poGSCQ&ved=0CBoQBSgA&q=encode+512+kb/s+mp3&spell=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=9df5ef630f05ae0f&biw=1017&bih=824
    It is a technical limitation of the format - the ISO standard only allows up to 320kbps. LAME's higher bitrates are non-standard. So you're right that such a thing exists, but wrong about it being a proper MP3.

    @blakeyrat said:

    If you're going to be a pedantic dickweed, at least make sure you're actually correct.
    Quite.@blakeyrat said:
    (Note: don't be a pedantic dickweed.)
    How are you getting on with your campaign to close the forum?


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