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Simchah Hall electricity blackout on Shabbos ?Caterer sent more food than ordered

Question:

We rented a local Simchah Hall for all 3 Shabbos aufruf seudas, on Friday night the lights and A.C. went out and we had a blackout twice for between 15-20 min or more each time we had to send someone to search for a Shabbos goy willing to come and help it, we sat in hot weather sweating in the dark, obviously it ruined the atmosphere and simchah, what was worse is that the other people we encountered when searching for a goy all said, oh yeah that hall, yeah that hall always has issues and problems! I confronted them and they hung up on me and are avoiding my call. Since the lights and AC worked during the day but not at night is it reasonable for me to demand all my money back, half my money back? or less?
Also the caterer sent extra food, after I called him and reminded him that we ordered 30 portions he agreed that he made the mistake, I had no way to return the extra food since it was not sent in individualized portions. I am still obligated to pay him for it al pi din/halachah? thanks yasher koach

 

Answer:

Hello,

Disregarding what the people in the street have to say, who might be guilty of speaking lashon hora, the first point that needs clarification is if the blackout was the negligence of the hall, or did it have to do with the electric company. If it was indeed the fault of the hall, then you would be entitled to partial compensation, as you didn’t get the full service that you paid for. You are not entitled to full compensation, because you did use the hall, the AC, etc., and because there was a problem doesn’t give you the right to get the hall for free. However, like all question regarding a dispute, an answer cannot be given until both sides represent their angle o the incident. On a practical level though, I don’t think it is worth the fight, to go to Bais Din, and all the headache, and tension involved, because at the end of the day, you don’t know how much compensation you can get for being in the dark for 15-20 minutes each time. It would be in your best interest to just be mevater, on what happened, even if you are right, and gain the merit for it in shomayim.

Regarding the extra food that the caterer sent. If you informed him about it, and he admitted that it was his mistake, if he would want to food back, or if he would have wanted compensation, he would have come to get it. Since he didn’t ask to be paid partially, nor come to get it, and he knows that if he doesn’t come in a timely fashion, the food will spoil, since he didn’t come, it shoes that he doesn’t want it back. Therefore, there you do not have to pay him for it.

Best wishes

 

 

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