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  #1  
Old 23-11-2009, 07:54 AM
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Allan_L (Allan)
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Thumbs down Caution to Travellers US couple jailed for not tipping

....and from unusual stories from America .....


Quote:
Leslie Pope and John Wagner were hauled away by police and charged with theft for not paying the mandatory 18 percent gratuity totaling $16 after eating at the Lehigh Pub in Bethlehem Pennsylvania with six friends.

After the $73 bill came, the group paid for food, drinks, and tax but refused to pay the tip. After explaining the bad service to the bartender in charge, Pope claimed he took their money and called police. The couple was handcuffed and placed in the back of a police car.
When is a gratuity really a mandatory?

Last edited by Allan_L; 23-11-2009 at 10:53 AM.
  #2  
Old 23-11-2009, 07:57 AM
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Kal (Andrew)
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Do you have a link?

This sounds rather absurd, the whole premise behind the tipping is to reward end encourage good service (which I found while travelling, the service over there is much better than over here). If the gratuity is forced then they should just do what fast food places do and increase the menu prices and not ask for it. If it is called gratuity then the customer should have the option to not pay if the service is poor!

Being the US they will probably have a good case to sue the police force now anyway and make a million dollars.
  #3  
Old 23-11-2009, 08:33 AM
Ian Robinson
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The gratuity is a optional as far as I have heard and I've never given one by the way .

Since when was it made compulsory to pay an extra 18% tip (which is a pretty big BTW) over there ?

Another reason why I never plan on visting the USA , really , why would you want too ?

I think this story is a load of bull dust ....
  #4  
Old 23-11-2009, 08:44 AM
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Omaroo (Chris Malikoff)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Robinson View Post
Another reason why I never plan on visting the USA , really , why would you want too ?
What a completely ludicrous thing to say.

In the USA, most waitstaff and bartenders in restaurants are paid below the minimum wage, because the employees are expected to make up the difference, so to speak, in tips. This means that a server could earn far above minimum wage on a good night, or hardly break even on a slow night. Servers are even expected to pay income tax on your tips -- they truly are part of their normal wages for the job they do, not just "extra" money for them.

Even including tips, most average restaurant meals that you buy in the States are cheaper than they would be here. I don't see the problem...

Last edited by Omaroo; 23-11-2009 at 09:00 AM.
  #5  
Old 23-11-2009, 08:45 AM
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kustard (Simon)
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A friend of mine travels to the US once a year and says that tipping is virtually compulsory. They get very very upset if you don't tip or don't tip enough.

Only in the US....
  #6  
Old 23-11-2009, 09:04 AM
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Yes. I've been 'swatting' up on the whole tipping system ahead of my trip in 2010.

It's a bit confusing when you're not used to it, because different services attract different tips.
  #7  
Old 23-11-2009, 09:22 AM
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wasyoungonce (Brendan)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kustard View Post
A friend of mine travels to the US once a year and says that tipping is virtually compulsory. They get very very upset if you don't tip or don't tip enough.

Only in the US....

That's because their basic wage is quite a bit lower than in Australia...even with the conversion rates. I could never understand why Johnny Howard wanted Australia to have a lower basic wage like the US model.

Anyway, they (the service industry workers) are also taxed on a % extra that they would have earned (potential) in tips based upon their actual income. So not tips...they get a double whammy!

The flip side is basic foods & consumables are cheaper.
  #8  
Old 23-11-2009, 09:27 AM
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Although it might be extreme, I am not that surprised by this story. Many restaurants will say clearly on their menus that large groups (could be 6 or more) will attract an automatic 18% gratuity. Especially if more than 1 waitstaff is used.

As has been pointed out, many restaurants in the USA will pay help less than minimum wage with the expectation that tips will put them over the top.

Waistaff are responsible for all income taxes (state and federal).

Depending on the restaurant, tips may be pooled and shared by others in the service chain (hostess, busboy, bartender, dishman etc.)....you can imagine how this might influence behaviour...

Okay, here is a rough tipping guide...

Poor service - ask to speak with the manager
Below average service - 10% before tax
Average (good) service - 15% before tax
Great service > 15% before tax...

Remember, if the food is bad but the service getting it there was good a tip would be in order.
  #9  
Old 23-11-2009, 09:43 AM
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I lived in the US for about 6 months, while working on a contract, and apart from the ignorance of some people, and some ridiculous "unspoken laws" like this one, i loved it. i thought it was a great place, all things considered.

All these people saying "dont go to the USA", have you actually been there? i dont think i have ever been made to feel so welcome, in all my life, when i was in the US. Infact, at the risk of starting something, some Aussies who work in both the leisure and retail industries, could learn a thing or two about learning from thier attitiude.

Honestly, some of the post in here just scream of xenophobia, they have thier customs, as outlandish as some of them seem down under, and Australia has her own.


Last edited by [1ponders]; 23-11-2009 at 10:30 AM. Reason: removed previous quote
  #10  
Old 23-11-2009, 09:50 AM
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Hear hear Duncan. Bloody unbelievable.

Apologies to all of our American members and friends. Again.
  #11  
Old 23-11-2009, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toryglen-boy View Post
All these people saying "dont go to the USA", have you actually been there?
Do you really need to ask?
  #12  
Old 23-11-2009, 10:05 AM
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I've removed the anti-american posts from this thread.

C'mon guys, if you haven't got anything nice to say, don't post.

We have lots of members in the US, and that sort of sentiment is just not warranted or welcome.
  #13  
Old 23-11-2009, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iceman View Post
I've removed the anti-american posts from this thread.

C'mon guys, if you haven't got anything nice to say, don't post.

We have lots of members in the US, and that sort of sentiment is just not warranted or welcome.
Good to see
  #14  
Old 23-11-2009, 10:24 AM
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One expects a little culture shock when one travels overseas.
Every country is different and that's the allure.
I guess that because we invite the US into our homes every evening on the telly, we expect it not to be any different to Oz.
Now what's that saying.
"When in Rome do as the Romans do."
  #15  
Old 23-11-2009, 10:37 AM
FredSnerd (Claude)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omaroo View Post
What a completely ludicrous thing to say.

In the USA, most waitstaff and bartenders in restaurants are paid below the minimum wage, because the employees are expected to make up the difference, so to speak, in tips. This means that a server could earn far above minimum wage on a good night, or hardly break even on a slow night. Servers are even expected to pay income tax on your tips -- they truly are part of their normal wages for the job they do, not just "extra" money for them.

Even including tips, most average restaurant meals that you buy in the States are cheaper than they would be here. I don't see the problem...
Ohhh dear me. Its precisely this reasoning that perpetuates the system that allows employers to avoid properly paying their employees and transferring the risk of running a business to their employees. There really isnt much hope for us when we pedal this kind of reasoning by rote; just like we were taught.
  #16  
Old 23-11-2009, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjjnettie View Post
"When in Rome do as the Romans do."
Bloody oath! I'm on a "vegemite bootcamp" Nah... new year resolutions ... maybe
  #17  
Old 23-11-2009, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal
Do you have a link?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Robinson
I think this story is a load of bull dust ....
The link:

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/...052.html?yhp=1


I heard it on the radio this morning, and found this link via Google.

I agree it sounds unbelievable, that is why I posted it.
As said by jjjnettie One expects cultural differences between countries. That is one of the joys of travelling, to explore cultural differences, and force oneself to look at things from another point of view. Eyeopening.

If it turns out to be a myth, it has fooled more than just myself.

Anyone who knows how to Google would see that there is a lot of chat about this at the moment.
  #18  
Old 23-11-2009, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FredSnerd View Post
Ohhh dear me. Its precisely this reasoning that perpetuates the system that allows employers to avoid properly paying their employees and transferring the risk of running a business to their employees. There really isnt much hope for us when we pedal this kind of reasoning by rote; just like we were taught.

i think this was meant to be more about the difference in values and behaviour, as opposed to "workers of the world unite"

Thats there, this is here.

thats it!
  #19  
Old 23-11-2009, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FredSnerd View Post
Ohhh dear me. Its precisely this reasoning that perpetuates the system that allows employers to avoid properly paying their employees and transferring the risk of running a business to their employees. There really isn’t much hope for us when we pedal this kind of reasoning by rote; just like we were taught.
That may be Claude - but that's how it's been in the USA for decades - and it's worked, by and large. The tip system is designed to FILL the hole left by minimum wages and that's why people over there are upset by fools who come into the country refusing to pay because they don't need to at home. it's not as though workers over in the US are ultimately underpaid - it's just that their pay comes from two sources - wages and tips rather than wages alone. To add to that - if good service is given then the workers who are willing to work harder to provide that service are rewarded for it. In that light - it's a very good system.
  #20  
Old 23-11-2009, 11:15 AM
FredSnerd (Claude)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omaroo View Post
That may be Claude - but that's how it's been in the USA for decades - and it's worked, by and large. The tip system is designed to FILL the hole left by minimum wages and that's why people over there are upset by fools who come into the country refusing to pay because they don't need to at home. it's not as though workers over in the US are ultimately underpaid - it's just that their pay comes from two sources - wages and tips rather than wages alone. To add to that - if good service is given then the workers who are willing to work harder to provide that service are rewarded for it. In that light - it's a very good system.
Chris, you say that their emploment contract fixes their salery below minimum wage (I think you suggest that it can be very much below minmum wage). In other words less then what normal people would regard as fair or enough to manage from week to week. But they can make up their salery depending on the caprice and charity of their patrons. That is, employees putting in a minimum of 40 hours a week have to rely on charity to get a fair wage for their efforts and you're conclusion is that "its a very good system". Not in my book I'm affraid, no matter how much of a good time Duncan had when he was there.
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