Opinion: Why I'm sick of automatic tipping

Nov 25 2016, 10:06 pm

I am so sick of being asked for tips.

I feel like every store I walk into now has an automatic tip option on their debit and credit machines, and I despise being asked for a tip when nothing has been done to earn it.

Now, let me preface this rant by telling you that I used to be a server. I served in Canada, where tips are a huge bonus. And I also served in the States, where tips are necessary to subsidize your income. And because of my serving past, I am a good tipper. I am a generous tipper…. when a tip is deserved.

My problem is how tipping has evolved.

You see, we originally started off tipping servers. Then we progressed to tipping pizza delivery people, then hair stylists, then furniture and appliance delivery people, tow truck drivers and grocery story baggers (Seriously? Have you ever tipped a grocery store bagger? Well, apparently you should.) And the list continues to grow and grow and grow, and it’s just getting ridiculous.

In the past week, I’ve gone into three businesses that have automatic tip options on their credit and debit machines. At my local coffee shop the automatic tip option is 15%, 20% or 25%.

Now I appreciate that the barista has made my latte and heated up my cinnamon bun, but their tip expectations are out of this world. You expect a 15%, 20% or 25% tip for making my coffee? I walked up to the counter, I placed my order and I carried it all to my table. I actually cleared my own dishes too. And you want a 25% tip? I’m okay with tipping 5-10% at a coffee shop, but 25%? Let’s not be absurd.

Or how about the frozen yogurt place where you make your own dessert and then they want you to tip 15%, 20% or 25%? Let me explain this particular frozen yogurt place to you: you grab a bowl, you fill it with frozen yogurt, you put your toppings on it, you take the bowl to the cashier, you put it on the scale, the cashier tells you what you owe, you pay, then you carry your bowl of frozen yogurt to your table and you put it in the garbage and recycling when you’re done.

Do they seriously expect someone to tip them when they didn’t do anything? And then to have the audacity to ask for a potential 25% tip? It’s actually insulting.

One of my other favourite examples of the offensive automatic tip option is a cold beer and wine store I was at last week. I walked into the store, walked to the cooler, grabbed a six pack and carried it up to the counter. I paid with my visa and an automatic tip option came up. I could choose the tip percentage option or a dollar amount.

A tip for what?

Aside from ringing in my purchase, the employee did NOTHING to help me. Nothing. What are they asking me to tip for? An employee at a fast food restaurant deserves a tip before the person who rings in my beer.

Again, I don’t mind tipping when tipping is warranted. But asking me to tip you when you have done nothing to deserve a tip is aggressive in an ‘in your face’ sort of way. And I don’t like it.

A tip is earned, not a given. If you didn’t do anything to deserve a tip, don’t expect one. It’s a pretty simple concept.

Give me the opportunity to decide whether or not I want to give you a tip. And if you try to decide for me with your ridiculous automatic tip options? I can guarantee I’ll hit $0 every time.

Amy BeemanAmy Beeman

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