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Recently while shopping at a Judaica store I was overcharged for a product…

 

Question:

Recently while shopping at a Judaica store I was overcharged for a product (I will assume that it was an honest mistake although I can’t be sure). On the one hand I should go back in to ask for a refund. But I personally don’t mind leaving the Jewish owner with some extra income, especially in these hard times. Should I nonetheless go in and ask for a refund so that everything is handled honestly? Is this the wrong way to give a little Tzedakah?

 

Answer:

When someone was overcharged in a transaction, they have limited time to claim a refund. (In this case you may be able to claim that you delayed because you were asking a rav what to do). Of course the seller can choose to refund the buyer if later, and the buyer can choose to forfeit their money.

In the event that the store owner is financially strained, this would be an excellent way to help them with tzedaka.

However it is very possible that there is a glitch in their computer system or labeling and many other people are also being accidentally overcharged. You would be doing the store owner and others a favor by notifying him and he can choose to refund you.

 

Sources:

ע”פ שולחן ערוך חושן משפט רכז, ז ונו”כ. (אף ששקו”ט הרבה בגדר מחילת המתאנה והאם מהני לענין איסור המאנה, שאני הכא כשמחל בפירוש).

צדקה – ראה רמב”ם הל’ מתנ”ע פ”י ה”ז. טושו”ע יו”ד רמט, ו.

 

 

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