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How much should I tip while traveling?

Tipping is dead.

at least tipping, As you and I understand it. Mandatory 20% gratuity on every meal in the restaurant? Mandatory tips for housekeepers, concierges and tour guides? Kiss them goodbye.

And if you want to know why, just ask Jerry Heather.

Like many Americans, I’m tired of the attitude that all service workers are entitled to tips. She has become angry at point-of-sale terminals that demand a reward before serving her food. But then the final straw was when restaurants started adding automatic gratuities to their bills for their “convenience.”

“I don’t tip anymore,” said Heather, a retired nurse from Mesa, Arizona.

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Americans are known for their generosity and willingness to tip for good service. But the Recent opinion poll Through USA TODAY’s chart, 63% of respondents found that too many companies ask for tips, and 48% are tired of being asked to tip.

About the same number of Americans (62%) In another poll They said they would not give service workers end-of-year tips, according to digital personal finance company Achieve. the reason? Fatigue advice.

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Why have Americans had enough of tipping?

A growing number of Americans believe unfair expectations are unfair, said Carla Bivins, an expert in business communications at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. This has led to a shift in public attitudes towards rewards.

“The momentum behind the no-tipping movement stems from growing scrutiny about the fairness and necessity of traditional tipping practices,” she explained.

To hear people like Ian Duncan talk about it, it’s a reaction to the prevailing attitude around entitlement in the hospitality industry. They are tip packets at coffee shops, laundromats and grocery stores. You have to pay a gratuity before you even receive a meal or service.

Duncan, a small business owner from Toronto, recently booked a cruise. However, when he received his bill several weeks before his departure, the cruise line added more than… $200 in automatic gratuities on his bill.

“He did it for me,” he said. “I canceled the trip and requested a refund of my deposit.”

Duncan said he wants to decide who and when to tip — or whether to tip at all — and resents it when a company assumes it deserves a tip. He also doubts that employees will receive any automatic bonus added to his bill, which is a legitimate concern.

Even etiquette experts say it’s time to talk about tipping.

“Tipping evolves over time, and we are long overdue in reconsidering the legal and social standards of how employees are paid,” said Judy R.R. Smith, an etiquette expert at the Foundation. Mannersmith Arts Consultations. “Expecting individual consumers to tip generously at every turn is not a long-term plan for economic success.”

Big dumper

Even service workers agree that it has gone too far

Even people who rely on advice realize that things have gone too far. Mike Aguirre, a guitarist who performs in the Caribbean, blames new stations that try to extract a tip from customers before they receive their meal.

“Leaving a tip before you receive your order seems premature – no service has been provided yet, but there is a definite element of guilt,” he said.

It actually gets worse. In some places abroad, restaurant staff will come to your table using a mobile payment system and ask you to enter a gratuity While they watch. Talk about pressure!

But people like Aguirre are likely to suffer because of the understandable backlash. Many service workers have become dependent on tips to make a living. Taking a tip from a customer before the meal is served or under the watchful eye of your server is not the employee’s fault. However, employees are likely to pay the price for these misguided policies.

Even etiquette experts have limited tipping. Etiquette consultant Rachel Wagner said she no longer tips at self-service snack bars in hotels (even where there is a tip jar), at restaurants where you order at the counter, and at airport food kiosks.

“When the station shows me the tipping options, I choose ‘no tip,'” she said.

She calls these types of tips “entitlements” and doesn’t worry about how the service worker will react.

“All this person did for me was take my money and put my stuff in a bag,” she said. “There’s no need to tip!”

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How to avoid tipping

The truth is that most service workers continue to rely on tips, and many believe that you should always leave a gratuity. But there are ways to evade this unspoken obligation.

  • Going to work does not tip. Some hotels and restaurants advertise themselves as “no tipping.” The easiest way to avoid tipping — and encourage other companies to adopt sensible tipping policies — is to give these companies your business. He had dinner at Thato in Chicago, an Indian restaurant that pays its workers competitive wages and does not ask for tips. Or Casa Bonita, a Mexican restaurant in Lakewood, Colorado, which doesn’t accept tips.
  • Get the output. No reasonable person would expect you to tip your restaurant worker when eating out. So, one way to avoid leaving a reward is to get your next meal at a restaurant.
  • Reject advice. You can also send a company a message about tipping by putting a zero in the tip line. Heather, the retired nurse who stopped tipping, said the service workers’ response was to quit. They seem to know the system is broken, but they don’t know how to fix it.

The Future: Tips based on good service

When it comes to tipping, the future may look a lot like the past. Travelers say they don’t think it’s fair to subsidize a service worker’s salary with a mandatory bonus. But they like the traditional idea of ​​offering a service person a little extra for exceptional service.

Heather said she’s still open to rewarding good customer service with a bonus. But she will never again throw off more than 20% of her bill because she feels obligated.

“Tipping should be based on exceptional service,” she said. “This is not an entitlement.”

Christopher Elliott Author, consumer advocate and journalist. establish Elliott Law Firm, a non-profit organization that helps solve consumer problems. Publish Elliot Confidentialtravel newsletter, and Elliott Report, a news site about customer service. If you need help with a consumer issue, you can Access it here Or send him an email at chris@elliott.org.

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