Phone Warranty and Bus Tickets
QUESTION 4: PHONE WARRANTY
I bought a portable phone with a one-year warranty. It broke several
times, and each time the company I bought it from replaced the phone.
The last phone they sent me lasted for 3 months and broke again. But at
that point the one-year warranty had expired. It seems to me that the
warranty should be that a single phone is protected for a year. When I
called, however, they asked me when I originally bought the phone. Do I
have any leeway in what I say so that I can get this one replaced too or
do I have to tell them the actual date, which would probably mean that the
company will no longer replace the phone.
It is unjust and unfair that the phone company supplies one broken phone
after another. But how could you tell somebody a sheker (lie) and on that
basis have him give you something - that if you were to tell him the truth,
he wouldn't give it to you. This person will be giving you something based
on false pretenses. Getting something based on false pretenses is thievery.
So the general rule is that you cannot lie in order to get something from
someone else. If something is legitimately yours - and the only way to get
it is by being guileful, by using some type of deception - that's
But you cannot take something that is not yours. The distinction is
QUESTION 5: BUS COMPANY TICKETS
I buy a monthly bus ticket from an Orthodox owned commuter bus company.
The booklet says that it is not transferable. Can I sell a ticket to
someone else? Can another person in my family use the ticket?
You can't sell it to someone else. That is the most obvious thing in the
What is the idea behind this monthly pass? The bus company offers a big
by giving 20 or 25 tickets and charging for only 15 rides. Why? Some rides
be missed, or it's a bulk rate for monthly passengers. But a person
can't go into business by buying ten such books and selling them for the
price. That's not what the monthly deal is made for.
Let's say someone comes over to me and says, "I ran out of tickets. I'm
going to buy a monthly book tomorrow, but I left my checkbook home. Can
I buy a monthly ticket today, and I'll give you one of mine tomorrow?"
That's okay. If you are entitled to the ticket, but you forgot it, you
still own the ride. It doesn't matter if the ticket is not your ticket; it's your ride. You're using ha'romah (guile) to get the ride that belongs to
As we discussed earlier, that's acceptable. But if the ticket doesn't
belong to you, that's thievery. Thievery is the same whether you're
doing it with a false ticket or if you come in with a machine gun - in both cases, you're taking something that is not yours.
NEXT WEEK QUESTION 6: COMPANY PHONE DIRECTORY
I work for a large company that has a company telephone directory.
A friend who works for a Jewish outreach organization asked me for
a copy of the directory so he could call the employees with Jewish
names to find out if they would be interested in receiving a weekly
fax on the Torah portion of the week. The telephone directory says
'internal use only'. Am I allowed to give or lend him a copy of
NEXT WEEK QUESTION 7: ANOTHER QUESTION ABOUT PHONE WARRANTY
The warranty for a telephone I once bought says that the phone is guaranteed for normal use. If my child threw the phone into the bathtub and the phone
stopped working, can I return it anyway, without telling them how it broke?
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