A take-out place near me has a coupon code that gives you $10 off a minimum $15 order if you are a first-time registrant through "Seamless", a food ordering app.

Technically, the code is supposed to be used only for the 1st order. However, one could get around this system indefinitely by creating a new email address and using a different credit card for each order.

Despite the procedure, above, being civilly legal (in NY State, at least), would this still be considered stealing or a violation of some other halacha?

Additional info (if relevant) - AFAIK, "Seamless" is not owned by Jews. The take-out place that I order from is. However, when paying for the order, the takeout place gets the full price of the order, not the discounted price. Seamless "absorbs" the remaining cost.

  • It seems like gneivas da'as to me, sidestepping the intent by hiding behind the letter of the law, thus taking money from the store through that artifice. – rosends Nov 9 '15 at 23:48
  • @DanF , Can you explain how a different credit card would allow a second use? A new email address can easily be created for free; (minus a small amount of time of course) but a credit card in one's wallet usually has the same name as the other card. Wouldn't that alert the store or coupon system to deny the code and discount? Did you mean that you could use a friend's or corporate card? – David Kenner Nov 10 '15 at 0:05
  • @DavidKenner - You can't identify a card by name alone. There is more than one John Smith with a card. In a country that requires the entry of an ID number associated with the card (like Israel), that could trigger a warning flag. In any case, I side with Danno, and anyway don't see the point in setting up another card just for this. There are too many cards in most peoples pockets as it is. – Epicentre Nov 10 '15 at 5:23
  • @Danno apparently, Seamless cares more about the card number than the email address, as that's what it uses for payment, obviously. Also, the email address is used as your login name, so, you need a new email address. However, a different email address with a different credit card number makes Seamless think this is a different customer. Epicenter is correct - apparently, Seamless does not do that thorough an identity check on initial registration. – DanF Nov 10 '15 at 18:19
  • 1. Why would it not be considered stealing? 2. Since when is stealing from non-jews allowed? 3. There's also the Chillul Hashem aspect of cheating the system, if you can get around the first 2 issues. – Danny Schoemann Nov 11 '15 at 10:29

Valid emails
The point of their discount is to collect valid email addresses.

So as long as one uses a valid email address, i.e. one that is read, it should be OK.

They are more than happy to have you read their promotional emails more than once.

Unread email addresses
Once you use email addresses that you never read (like disposable ones) then you have to keep in mind various Halachot.

  1. Chilul Hashem; if your behaviour is unbecoming - and lots of Yidden do this shtick - then it could cause a "Yidden rip off Seamless" headline and accompanying Chillul Hashem.

  2. If you're in a location where this is illegal, then it's forbidden because of Dina D'Malchusa; the law of the land has to be followed - especially in monetary issues.

  3. As to the stealing issue: It would depend if this behaviour is considered that you are stealing or you are simply taking advantage of a loophole they didn't close.

    • Stealing - even from non-Jews - is forbidden.
    • Taking advantage of their ignorance (if no Chillul Hashem is involved) is permitted.

I imagine a lawyer could answer that.

Some Sources from the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch:

סימן סג - אסור להונות בדברים ולגנב דעת הבריות

סעיף ד': אָסוּר לִגְנֹב דַּעַת הַבְּרִיּוֹת (פֵּרוּשׁ לְרַמּוֹת בִּדְבָרִים, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ חֶסְרוֹן מָמוֹן), אֲפִלּוּ דַּעַת עוֹבֵד כּוֹכָבִים. וְלָכֵן אָסוּר לִמְכֹּר לוֹ בְּשַׂר נְבֵלָה בְּחֶזְקַת שְׁחוּטָה. אִם מוֹכֵר אֵיזֶה דָּבָר שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ מוּם, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַדָּבָר שָׁוֶה כְּמוֹ שֶׁהוּא מוֹכְרוֹ לוֹ, מִכָּל מָקוֹם צָרִיךְ לְהוֹדִיעַ לְהַלּוֹקֵחַ אֶת הַמּוּם (וְעַיֵּן לְקַמָּן סִימָן קפ"ב סָעִיף ד') (וּבְמַתָּנָה לֵכָּא מִשּׁוּם גְּנֵבַת דַּעַת). ‏

סימן קפב - הלכות גנבה וגזלה

סעיף א': אָסוּר לִגְזוֹל אוֹ לִגְנוֹב אֲפִלּוּ כָּל שֶׁהוּא, בֵּין מִיִשְֹרָאֵל בֵּין מִגּוֹי. ‏

סעיף ד': אָסוּר לַעֲשׂק אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ אֲפִלּוּ כָּל שֶׁהוּא, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר, לֹא תַעֲשׂק אֶת רֵעֲךָ. וְאֵיזֶהוּ עושֵׁק. זֶה שֶׁבָּא מָמוֹן חֲבֵרוֹ לְיָדוֹ בִּרְצוֹן חֲבֵרוֹ, כְּגוֹן שֶׁיֵשׁ לוֹ בְיָדוֹ הַלְוָאָה אוֹ שְׂכִירוּת, וְאֵינוֹ רוֹצֶה לְשַׁלֵּם לוֹ, אוֹ שֶׁדּוֹחֵהוּ בְּלֵךְ וָשׁוּב, לֵךְ וָשׁוּב. וְכֵיוָן דִּכְתִיב רֵעֲךָ, אֵינוֹ אָסוּר בַּגּוֹי. וְהוּא שֶׁאֵין חִלוּל הַשֵּׁם בַּדָּבָר, כְּגוֹן שֶׁלָּוָה מִגּוֹי וָמֵת, רַשַׁאי לְכַחֵשׁ לִבְנוֹ, שֶׁאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ בְּבֵרוּר שֶׁהוּא מְשַׁקֵּר. אֲבָל כְּשֶׁהַגּוֹי יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁהוּא מְשַּׁקֵּר, אָסוּר, מִפְּנֵי חִלוּל הַשֵּׁם. וְאַף בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ, אֵינוֹ רַשַׁאי אֶלָּא לְהַפְקִיעַ הַלְוָאָתוֹ אוֹ שְׁאָר חוֹב שֶׁהוּא חַיָב לוֹ. אֲבָל חֵפֶץ שֶׁהוּא בְעָיִן, אָסוּר לִכְפֹּר, שֶׁהֲרֵי זֶה הֲוֵי גָזֵל מַמָּשׁ. וְלֹא עוֹד, אֶלָּא אֲפִלּוּ קָנָה מִמֶּנוּ חֵפֶץ, אָסוּר לְהַטְעוֹת אוֹתוֹ בְּחֶשְׁבּוֹן בִּנְתִינַת הַמָּעוֹת, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר, וְחִשַּׁב עִם קוֹנֵהוּ, דְּמַיְרֵי בַּגּוֹי, שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵינוֹ מַקְנֶה לוֹ הַחֵפֶץ אֶלָּא בְּעַד הַסְּכוּם שֶהִשְׁתַּוּוּ. וְהַמַּטְעֵהוּ בְּחֶשְׁבּוֹן הַמָּעוֹת, הֲרֵי זֶה כְּגוֹנֵב אֶת הַחֵפֶץ וְלֹא כְּמַפְקִיעַ חוֹבוֹ. וַאֲפִלּוּ גְנֵבַת דַּעַת שֶׁאֵין בָּהּ חֶסְרוֹן מָעוֹת, אָסוּר בְּמַשָּׂא וּמַתָּן, כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתַבְתִּי בְסִימָן סג. וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם אִם הַגּוֹי טָעָה בְעַצְמוֹ, מֻתָּר אִם לֹא יִהְיֶה חִלוּל הַשֵׁם בַּדָּבָר, שֶׁלֹּא יִוָּדַע לוֹ. וְנָכוֹן שֶׁיֹּאמַר לוֹ הַיִשְֹרָאֵל, רְאֵה שֶעַל חֶשְׁבּוֹנְךָ אֲנִי סוֹמֵךְ.‏

  • Thanks for the research and thorough answer. Offhand, this seems like a question of "ignorance", but that's my own take on it, which, I admit, is biased, since I'm the one doing it. Looks like I'll need a rav or another opinion / analysis on this. I'm sure that this scenario has occurred numerous times before. – DanF Nov 16 '15 at 16:14

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