Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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TikTok User Calls Out Store for Forceful Tipping Culture

TikTok User Calls Out Store for Forceful Tipping Culture
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TikTok User Calls Out Store for Forceful Tipping Culture

Source: CNBC/YouTube

In recent months, tipping culture has become a controversial topic of discussion, especially on TikTok. Users are expressing their frustration over feeling forced to tip for every transaction.

Some TikTok videos are now targeting tipping customs in the United States. Businesses are adding automated tipping prompts to their services. But most customers agree they shouldn’t feel forced to do it if they don’t want to tip.

The Culture of Tipping

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Tipping is generally considered a voluntary act of gratitude for good service. However, automatically adding tips to bills has raised ethical questions. Forcing customers to tip, particularly without their explicit consent, undermines the voluntary nature of tipping.
It can also lead to feelings of resentment and distrust towards the business. Moreover, low-income individuals may not have the financial means to afford paying tips. 

The Viral TikTok Video

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Tipping is required in some places or for certain services, but no law says you must tip. Usually, this means you’re not obligated to tip, even if it’s suggested. Yet, a customer found out they had to leave a tip for the worker at a boba store called Bubble U.
The customer Joostan went viral on TikTok after capturing the end of the transaction and showing different tipping choices. Users could pick between a 10% and a 25% tip, but there was no clear option to choose not to leave a tip.

The Internet Went Agog

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So, Joostan ended up tipping even though they didn’t intend to. Some sharp-eyed viewers of the video noticed that there was an option to leave no tip. The TikTok user could have clicked the “Custom Tip” button and chosen to leave $0. 
However, this button was hidden under the “Continue” button. The customer didn’t notice the hidden “Custom Tip” button that other viewers mentioned. 

The Customer Was Unhappy

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As a result, they were forced to leave a tip between 10% and 25% before completing their checkout process. Feeling disappointed and angry about being forced to leave a tip they didn’t want to, the customer shared the video on TikTok.
This quickly stirred up a debate online about the ethics of tipping culture and what is considered right and wrong. Many people called out the boba store for forcing people to tip.

TikTok Users Shared Their Opinions

Source: Unwedvampire/TikTok

Many users shared their thoughts and viewpoints. “Went to a boba store in the Bay Area with 25%, 30%, and 40% only options. I paid in cash instead,” one told the poster.
“I used to work there and I hope you walked out after this,” one wrote. “Why do boba places even have prompts that ask for tips for doing nothing beyond the job requirement?” another asked confusedly. 

Touchscreen Transactions

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Touchscreen transactions have become popular nowadays. They offer customers a quick and convenient way to complete their purchases and provide a convenient option for customers to leave a tip when using their debit or credit card.
Typically, customers have the option to select tipping percentages, like 10% or 20%. The tablet then calculates your updated total, including the chosen tip amount.

The Cafe Responded

Source: Joostanah/TikTok

But surprisingly, Bubble U, the café where the incident occurred, left a comment on the viral video. “Thank you for bringing this to our attention, and we’re sorry about your experience. We checked our systems and found no problem selecting the $0 tip.”
However, the Bubble U representatives didn’t provide any further explanation or mention how customers could locate the zero-tip option, leaving many questions unanswered.

Businesses MandatingTips

Source: Joostanah/TikTok

Even though the boba store apologized, many online users jumped on the idea that businesses shouldn’t make people tip if they don’t want to. Most customers, workers, and businesses agree that tipping should be a choice.
While businesses can ask for tips, making it mandatory is a different story. Still, some businesses have started giving customers tips, whether they like it or not.

Mandatory Tips Was Not the Standard Practice

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Years ago, it wasn’t common for every business to ask for tips after a service or job. Dipayan Biswas, a marketing and business professor at the University of South Florida, suggested that businesses started requesting more tips when digital kiosks became popular. 
Many businesses argue that tipping can help them cover increasing employee wages and living costs. They also claim that without tips, they would face financial hardship.

Some Services are Terrible

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It is particularly frustrating when people are compelled or encouraged to give tips, especially when the service isn’t up to par. Many have said that tipping is like another tax.
As this culture becomes more common, some businesses are opting to enforce tips or automatically add gratuities to bills. Customers dislike this practice, but businesses aren’t interested in changing their approach.

Is Tipping Favorable for the Waitstaff?

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The waitstaff themselves might be even more unhappy about this situation than customers. Depending on tips can put customers in control. 
The staff has to be quick to respond, stay friendly, carry hot food and drinks, and move fast to keep customers happy and get good tips. They have to do everything they can to avoid upsetting customers and getting smaller tips.

The Bottomline

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As customers feel burdened by the “Tipflation,” some are choosing not to tip at all. Many have turned to the internet to educate others on where tipping is appropriate and where it isn’t.
Generally, it’s customary to tip restaurant servers, bartenders, delivery drivers, baristas, and taxi or rideshare drivers. While other services and individuals may also warrant a tip, these professions are the most commonly tipped.