“What if the time element was not stipulated, but clearly understood?” asked Mr. Freilich.
“Presumably, the same would be true,” answered Rabbi Dayan. “If the delay makes the merchandise unusable, it’s tantamount to damaged merchandise.” (See Darchei Mishpat 13:14)
“What if the time element wasn’t critical, but mentioned as a stipulation for the order?” asked Mr. Freilich
“The Taz might not allow cancelling such an order,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “However, the Shach [Nekudos Hakesef Y.D. 263:3-7; C.M. 21:3] writes that if the delivery arrangement was mentioned as a stipulation, if it was not upheld, even due to uncontrollable circumstances, the customer can refuse the shipment. Only if the order was placed without stipulation, and the terms of delivery were added later or not presented as a stipulation for the sale, is a claim of oness valid. His position is accepted by later authorities.” (See Nesivos C.M. 21:3; Pischei Teshuvah 207:2;)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com.
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