1

When someone cancels a transaction and in order to save on any associated fees, they lie about the reason

  1. Which issur (if any) is being transgressed?
  2. Does it matter if the merchant is Jewish or not?

I'll give an example: on some of the parking apps there is a fee to cancel the booked parking spot if cancelled after a certain time. This fee is waived if the cancelation is because the parking lot is full. What if a person, didn't end up parking in the lot and in order to not have to pay the fees lied by saying that the lot was full.

To further clarify: the parking app charges the credit card the full amount at time of booking and will fully refund if cancelled prior to the begin of the booking time. Throughout the sign-up process to the app one has to accept their terms.

My question is about monetary issurim, not about the issur of lying

3
  • The analysis might be different if it is a government operated lot (i.e. a certain amount of accepted corruption baked into the equation גזלנותא דמלכותא might mean it is equitable and expected to "cheat" the system back). Commented Jun 25 at 12:29
  • @Deuteronomy is your comment "if it is a government operated lot (i.e. a certain amount of accepted corruption baked into the equation" intended seriously?
    – Edward B
    Commented Jun 26 at 15:16
  • @EdwardB Yes (15 char) Commented Jun 30 at 22:12

1 Answer 1

0

If I understand the question correctly, the answer is well summarised in this article Theft And Deception by Rabbi Doniel Neustadt

The essence of the article's conclusion is in this short passage:

It is strictly forbidden to deceive or trick any merchant, Jewish or not. Doing so is considered “stealing” min ha-Torah which is forbidden without any exception...

I have tried hard to understand the facts of the question but have not been entirely successful.

The "terms of the parking app" cited as an example by the OP are:

the parking app charges the credit card the full amount at time of booking and will fully refund if cancelled prior to the begin[ing] of the booking time

There appear to be two possibilities: either

(a) cancellation is permitted prior to the commencement of the booking for any reason; or

(b) cancellation is permitted prior to the commencement of the booking only if the parking lot is full.

If the fact pattern of the question posed by the OP is (b), then lying about the reason for cancellation is deception and such conduct is stealing as set out in the short extract above from Theft And Deception by Rabbi Doniel Neustadt.

If the fact pattern is (a), then although the customer has deceived the merchant, the deception has not caused the merchant any loss as the cancellation was permitted in any event under the terms of the transaction. Still morally wrong but perhaps not contrary to halacha.

9
  • Don't I need to "take" something by way of kinyan gzeila or gneiva- in my case nothing was taken from the other. Rabbi neustatadt doesn't address that. I don't disagree about the immorality.
    – Yoreinu
    Commented Jun 25 at 10:07
  • I assumed that what the question was looking at was something like cancelling a parking transaction after 3 minutes not because the lot was full but because all that was required was 3 minutes parking to pop in and out of a store.
    – Edward B
    Commented Jun 25 at 10:25
  • @Yoreinu The buyer (parker) is taking the fee which rightfully belongs to the seller (lot owner)
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 25 at 11:29
  • @DoubleAA in order to rightfully belong to the lot owner, wouldn't there have to be some type of binding Kinyan?
    – Yoreinu
    Commented Jun 25 at 13:36
  • @Yoreinu there was a kinyan when the parker bought the pass. If I buy groceries and take them to my car and refuse to pay, that's clearly not ok, right?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 25 at 14:53

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .