In many places (or at least in the USA), users are charged for incoming calls and text messages.

If someone explicitly tells someone else to stop calling or texting their number, does that person then become responsible for such charges? Or can he/she claim that the phone company is the one charging, and it's not their "headache"?

  • I know that my provider allows blocking of numbers you do not want calls or messages from. Jun 28, 2011 at 13:39
  • It may depend on the cost per message/call, ie. less than or greater than a shava peruta.
    – Adam Simon
    Jul 28, 2011 at 23:03
  • @Adam Simon See here. Sprint, for example, charges: $.40 for an overage minute, and $.20 for a text message. Given 2 minutes, or 3 text messages, it would most probably a shava perutah according to all.
    – yydl
    Aug 5, 2011 at 17:50

1 Answer 1


I don't think they can automatically be liable to pay the whole cost of the text message. The person has texting enabled on his phone, so he agreed to pay the phone company for incoming messages. And he probably read the message and got 'benefit' from it. The person didn't remove the capability to receive a text, so I don't see how just by asking someone he can create an an obligation for payment. I think its between the person and the phone company. (Though it is ridiculous that they charge for text messages.)

  • 1
    Suppose I have a deal with the city that I will pay a fine if my yard is too messy. (I do, by having moved in to where I live.) And someone dumps garbage on my yard. And I ask him not to. And he does it anyway, and I get a ticket. That case seems analogous to this one. Do you think I have a claim against him in halacha?
    – msh210
    Aug 5, 2011 at 17:45
  • Correction: The yard case seems analogous to the phone case except that the recipient of text messages knows he will pay for them whereas the yard owner will not certainly get a ticket. The analogue to "The person didn't remove the capability to receive a text" (in your answer) is "The yard owner didn't build a fence with a lock on it".
    – msh210
    Aug 5, 2011 at 17:49
  • Its not comparable cases. People have a right to text you. True, you asked him not to, but I don't think that's enough to create a financial obligation.
    – Ariel K
    Aug 5, 2011 at 19:44
  • Btw, for calls you obviously cannot make him pay, since you don't have to pick up the phone.
    – Ariel K
    Aug 5, 2011 at 19:45
  • Re "right to text you": I'm unfamiliar with the concept of right in halacha. Source, please? (Note that I'm not saying you're wrong in your answer. I just don't know. I brought my analogue as something to think about.)
    – msh210
    Aug 5, 2011 at 19:53

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