Just wanted to share a similar experience that I had yesterday and bump this thread to alert some CD sellers of this issue.
I had read your thread and had never seen any damage to the surface of the CD’s from these sponge or foam inserts so I didn’t check the CD sets that I had listed at the time. Bad error on my part as I could have prevented this issue from happening.
I received an order for a 3 CD classical boxed set that I had listed about a year ago Sunday evening, when I listed the CD’s they looked fine and unfortunately I kept the sponge inserts on the CD’s.
Monday morning when I went to pack the order to ship, lo and behold, the first CD had some small shiny silver dots across the surface, I tried to clean with Windex to no avail. CD’s #2 and #3 had excessive small to tiny silver and gold dots blemishing the label sides of both all over.
Not a good way to start off the week. I did try my cleaning and polishing machine on the label side to no avail for 10 seconds and at that point the only thing to do was to contact my buyer, apologize and explain why the CD’s were unsellable and to cancel his order.
I cancelled his order immediately after sending the email and put another note in the cancellation comments regarding why in case he didn’t receive or read my email.
The buyer replied this morning and asked if the CD’s were still playable and I remember reading this thread and johnnypuck’s reply that they still played fine. I thought it was worth a try and let the buyer know I would play the three discs through and send them out no charge if they didn’t have any playability issues.
The three CD’s did play fine but just didn’t look very pretty with all of the silver dots and I shipped them today at no charge.
Sorry for the long post but I just wanted to make other CD sellers aware of this issue and to please remove any sponge or even possibly foam sheets/inserts you may find when you list a CD for sale so you don’t have to cancel an order and possibly disappoint a buyer.
I did close down all of my CD set listings to check them all out and remove any foam or sponge inserts yesterday after I noticed this issue.