I ordered a pair of glasses from an optician. The glasses had some unusual specifications, but this optician was recommended as someone who’s the best in town. It took several corrections until the glasses were made even close to properly. Sometime in the process, I paid about 4/5 of the price. After these attempts to get it right, the optician said that I should keep the balance and the glasses and that he basically was through with me and my business. Later, he started billing me for the balance. On seeing me in shul thereafter, he called me a “gannov”, and then he added “with a capital ‘G'”. (1) Must I pay him the balance if not satisfied? (2) Must he pay me back what I paid him? (3) Is there any action I can/should take for his calling me a gannov (I don’t think anyone heard him say that.) Thanks for your opinions and suggestions. DW

Answer

Someone who has a financial claim against another must file a summons in Beis Din, and may not call him names or embarass him in public.

It is impossible to render a decision based upon the claim of one party without hearing the other party. I suggest that you contact him and inform him that you too have a possible claim against him, and that you would like to clarify the issues at a mutually agreeable Beis Din or with a mutually agreed Rabbi. Then both sides will be able to present their case and a decision can be rendered.

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