18 Times When It’s OK To Skip Tipping

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By Jonathan Trent

Tipping is customary in many cultures as it’s perceived as polite and a way of showing gratitude towards servers. However, there may be some instances where it’s unnecessary, just like these 18 times when it is absolutely fine to skip tipping.

When Service Charges Are Included

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Some establishments will already have a service charge attached to the bill. There is no need to tip when the service charge is already included, as this means you are tipping twice! This is a common practice in expensive or upmarket restaurants, so watch out.

Poor Service

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Tipping is normally done when you have received good or outstanding service, and therefore, The Guardian recommends not paying a tip when the service really isn’t worth what they’re charging. Not tipping them sends a message that you weren’t treated correctly and that change is needed.

Self-Service Establishments

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As self-service establishments don’t have personal servers, it’s okay to skip tipping as you haven’t really received a service. For example, restaurants with buffets usually don’t ask for tips as you are in charge of picking and serving your food.

Delivery Fees Are High

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If a delivery fee is extremely high, there is a good chance that they will already include a built-in tip for the driver. These high fees already take care of the driver, so it’s best to check whether the delivery fee includes tipping the driver to avoid paying a tip twice.

Bad Attitude

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Occasionally, you may encounter a server who is extremely rude or has a bad attitude. Even if it’s considered rude to swerve tipping the server, you are not obligated to validate their horrible behavior by giving them a monetary reward. Don’t encourage them!

Takeout Orders

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If you order takeout and it’s delivered promptly, it’s obviously polite to tip. However, as The Takeout advises, you shouldn’t feel obligated to tip more than a few bucks. After all, you’re only tipping for delivery, not table service.

Automated Services

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Your intuition will usually tell you if you need to tip. For example, tipping at a self-checkout is not customary because you are the person scanning and packing the items. This also extends to automated kiosks for ordering food or tickets. Use your common sense!

Extremely Poor Food Quality

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Going out to eat should be a good experience overall. So, even when your server is helpful or nice, giving a tip is unnecessary if your food wasn’t cooked properly or isn’t satisfactory. Major issues with the food quality can absolutely justify skipping the tip!

Hotels With Resort Fees

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Resort fees often cover all of the services that would otherwise warrant tips, such as housekeeping and concierge services. If you are unsure whether to tip in this scenario, it’s best to check the resort fee and then decide.

Overcharged Bills

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There are times when the charges on your bill may not match up with what you have received. The New York Times reveals that this is shockingly common, and customers are absolutely uncomfortable with it. Requests to tip and pressure to pay more are unjustified if you’ve already been overcharged!

Hostile Environment

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We shouldn’t have to tell you that it’s fine to avoid tipping in cases where you have had a bad experience in an establishment. When you feel uncomfortable and unsafe, withholding the tip to servers can communicate that you have had a bad experience and will not be returning.

Inclusive Group Gratuity

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Large parties often include a compulsory gratuity, which is usually a percentage of the whole bill and is applied for convenience purposes, as the servers don’t want to collect each tip individually. Therefore, it’s OK to skip paying out a second tip, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

Waiting Excessively Long

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An extremely long wait never justifies a tip, plain and simple. It’s totally understandable to grow irritated or frustrated when you have waited ages for food or a service, so why on Earth should you award the service team for this with a tip!?

Damaged Goods or Property

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It goes without saying that in instances where a member of staff causes damage to personal property, you should not tip them. There is no need to reward them if they have inflicted damage, especially if they have not offered you compensation for it. That’s just unprofessional.

Counter Service Only

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The Independent explains that there are no specific legal rules regarding the proportion of service charge payments that must go to hospitality workers–always remember that! This is why it’s okay to skip paying when you pay at a counter, as there is no way to tell who has served you.

Special Promotions

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Many special offers and promotions already include a tip, with such details normally being laid out in the deal’s terms and conditions. Therefore, the server will not be offended if you don’t decide to tip, as they will already have received a reward.

Inappropriate Behavior

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Staff who engage in inappropriate or offensive behavior that makes you uneasy do not deserve to be tipped…duh! If you are unhappy with the way they conduct themselves in your presence, there is no rule saying you should give them a tip.

Tipping Against Company Policy

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Last but not least, some companies and establishments are actually against the idea of tipping, actively warding off people from doing it. If you try to tip when they have explicitly told you not to, it can be seen as offensive or rude, making you seem disrespectful in their eyes. So, follow their rules, not your own.

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