Charging the client for the delivery note

Q: Zaid (a wholesaler) sold goods on credit to the value of R 100 000 to Amr (a retailer) on 15 January 2018. The goods were delivered on the same day and the customer’s copy of the delivery note was signed by Amr and given to him for his records with the goods that were delivered to him on the same day. On 26 February 2018 the amount owed for the goods was still outstanding and Amr realised that his goods receiving clerk misplaced the delivery note that was given with the goods. Amr very concerned that his auditors will insist on inspecting the copy of the delivery note then quickly contacts Zaid requesting a copy of the delivery note that the supplier normally keeps. Zaid informs Amr that his companies policy is to charge R100 for this request as it requires the time of his admin clerk who has to leave whatever work he is doing and now attend to searching through the company records and locate that particular delivery note, then scan it and email it. Amr is very happy to pay the R100 fee so long as he gets a copy of the delivery note.

Question:

1) Will it be permissible for Zaid to charge this agreed upon fee to Amr for the copy of the delivery note?

2) Will the answer differ if the goods sold was for cash rather than credit?

A: He may be charged for the delivery note. However, the fee should be charged for the note itself and should be at a nominal price. One should not take advantage of the situation and exploit the debtor, as is the practice of many businesses nowadays.

And Allah Ta'ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

 

Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)