web analytics
March 29, 2015 / 9 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Delayed Order

Business-Halacha-logo

Mr. Sofer completed his book order with an online company. The vendor offered special, fast shipping for an additional cost, but he opted for regular free shipping. “Delivery within three weeks,” stated the site.

Three weeks passed and the order did not arrive. Mr. Sofer contacted the vendor’s customer service by e-mail. “I ordered a book, which was supposed to arrive last week,” he wrote. “It hasn’t arrived yet. Can you please verify that the order was shipped?”

“We shipped the book promptly,” the vendor replied. “Mail is at its busy season, though. Please give it another week and contact us again if the order doesn’t arrive.”

Mr. Sofer waited another week, but the book still didn’t arrive. He contacted the company again. “The order still hasn’t arrived,” he wrote, “even though a month has already passed.”

“We apologize for the inconvenience,” the vendor replied. “Would you like us to resend the order or refund your money?”

“I’d like to have the book resent,” answered Mr. Sofer.

“We will send out another copy immediately,” the company replied.

Three days later, the original order arrived in the mail. Shortly afterward, the additional copy also came.

“Well, I’ve got two copies of the book, now,” Mr. Sofer said to his wife. “Maybe I’ll give the spare copy to the library.”

“What do you mean?” Mrs. Sofer said. “You have to return the extra copy!”

“They decided to send the extra copy,” reasoned Mr. Sofer. “It was a gift to me. They didn’t tell me I would have to return the other copy.”

“Clearly, they sent you the extra copy only because the original order was lost in the mail,” responded Mrs. Sofer. “If you keep it, you’re stealing from the company!”

“How can this be stealing?” argued Mr. Sofer. “They chose to send the extra copy to make good on their delivery!”

“It would be best to ask Rabbi Dayan,” suggested Mrs. Sofer.

Mr. Sofer called Rabbi Dayan. “I ordered a book, and shipment was delayed,” he said. “They sent another copy and both arrived. What should I do with the extra copy?”

“You should contact the company and notify them that the original shipment arrived,” answered Rabbi Dayan. “Ask them what they would like you to do. They will either ignore the notice, ask you to return the extra book, or tell you to keep it.”

“Why should I have an obligation to do this?” asked Mr. Sofer.

“It is a form of hashavas aveidah,” said Rabbi Dayan, “either of the initial copy or of the extra one that was sent. Thus, if the company is Jewish owned, there is a requirement of hashavas aveidah. If not, you should still return the item as a Kiddush Hashem.” (C.M. 266:1)

“If they want me to return the extra copy, am I expected to cover the postage cost?” asked Sofer.

“Your primary responsibility is to notify them that you have their item,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “Although the shipping cost for returned items on the customer, costs incurred for hashavas aveidah are not on the finder, but on the owner of item. If he is not willing to cover the cost, you are not required to expend it in order to return the lost item to him. Nonetheless, if the postage cost is small, it is proper to do so.” (C.M. 264:1; See Hashavas Aveidah K’halacha 10:3)

“What if they ignore my e-mail?” asked Sofer. “Do I have to send the extra copy back to them?”

“If they ignore your notice, it would be proper to contact them a second time,” said Rabbi Dayan. “Beyond that, you would be allowed to keep what they sent. There is concept of ‘aveidah mida’as – willful loss. They knowingly sent the extra item, and if they don’t follow up afterward, this indicates disinterest in the item. This exempts you from having to return it to them, and some even allow taking it for yourself.” (C.M. 261:4)

About the Author: Rabbi Meir Orlian is a faculty member of the Business Halacha Institute, headed by HaRav Chaim Kohn, a noted dayan. To receive BHI’s free newsletter, Business Weekly, send an e-mail to subscribe@businesshalacha.com. For questions regarding business halacha issues, or to bring a BHI lecturer to your business or shul, call the confidential hotline at 877-845-8455 or e-mail ask@businesshalacha.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Delayed Order”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
obamatargetiran-275x167
Iranian Journalist Defects, Says US Team Speaking for Iran
Latest Judaism Stories
Bodenheim-032715

Our ability to teach is only successful if done by example.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

Outside of the High Holidays, Pesach is probably the most celebrated biblical holiday for the majority of Jews.

Business-Halacha-logo

“If I notify people, nobody will buy the matzos!” exclaimed Mr. Mandel. “Once the halachic advisory panel ruled leniently, why can’t I sell the matzos regularly?”

The-Shmuz

So what type of praise is it that Aaron followed orders?

Her Children, Her Whim
‘Kesubas Bnin Dichrin’
(Kesubos 52b)

Question: Must one spend great sums of money and invest much effort in making one’s home kosher for Passover? Not all of us have such unlimited funds.

Name Withheld
(Via E-Mail)

Yachatz is not mentioned in the Gemara. What is the foundation for yachatz?

First, the punishment for eating chametz on Pesach is karet, premature death at the Hand of God.

Why is it necessary to invite people to eat from the korban Pesach?

How was I going to get to Manhattan? No cabs were going, we didn’t have a car, and many people who did have cars had no gas.

Did you ever notice that immediately upon being granted our freedom from Egypt, the Jewish people accepted upon themselves the yoke of a new master – Hashem?

Why does Torah make the priests go through a long and seemingly bizarre induction ceremony?

Often people in important positions separate from everyday people & tasks-NOT the Kohen Gadol

You smuggled tefillin into the camp? How can they help? Every day men risked their lives to use them

Rambam: Eating blood’s forbidden because connected to idolatry;Ramban: We’re affected by what we eat

Rambam warns that a festival meal without taking care of the needy isn’t fulfilling simchat yom tov

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-logo

“If I notify people, nobody will buy the matzos!” exclaimed Mr. Mandel. “Once the halachic advisory panel ruled leniently, why can’t I sell the matzos regularly?”

Business-Halacha-logo

“Do we have to donate again?” some people asked. “Is it fair that we should have to pay twice?”

“This sounds like a question for Rabbi Dayan,” said Mr. Cohen. He took out his cell phone and called Rabbi Dayan.

“We really appreciate your efforts in straightening the shul,” said Mr. Reiss. “How is it going?”

“Halacha differentiates between giving a gift, forgoing a debt [mechila], and granting permission to take something,” answered Rabbi Dayan.

“I don’t accept this,” said Mr. Zummer. “I want you to finish! You’re not allowed to just stop in the middle!”

“That’s what you’re wondering?” laughed Mr. Rubin. “That ring is not mine at all. A relative gave me money to buy it for him.”

“How could you have expected my glasses to be there?” argued Mr. Weiss. “You shouldn’t have to pay.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/delayed-order/2013/12/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: