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HomeGeneralTikTok User Calls Out Store for Forceful Tipping Culture

TikTok User Calls Out Store for Forceful Tipping Culture

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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.

Add a Tip!
Source: CNBC/YouTube

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

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.

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Giving Out Tips
Source: Pexels

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. 

ALSO READ: Consumers Lament Increasing Hidden Restaurant Fees, Say They Are Getting Out of Hand 

The Viral TikTok Video

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.

Boba Store
Source: HowtoBasic/YouTube

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.

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The Internet Went Agog

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. 

A Smart Phone Displaying TikTok
Source: Pexels

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

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.

How to Handle Tipping Fatigue
Source: Pexels

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.

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TikTok Users Shared Their Opinions

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.

POLL—Should the Government Increase Taxes on the Wealthy To Reduce Economic Inequality?

TikTok User Calls Out Tipping Culture
Source: Unwedvampire/TikTok

“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

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.

Cashier Using a Digital Touchscreen Machine
Source: Pexels

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

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.”

Bubble U Responded to TikTok Call Out
Source: Joostanah/TikTok

However, the Bubble U representatives didn’t provide any further explanation or mention how customers could locate the zero tip option. This left many questions unanswered.

Businesses MandatingTips

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.

Mandatory Tips Was Not the Standard Practice
Source: Joostanah/TikTok

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.

ALSO READ: Anonymous Walmart Employee Reveals Tips to Help Shoppers Save Cash

Mandatory Tips Was Not the Standard Practice

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. 

Waiter Getting Customer's Order
Source: Pexels

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

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.

A Hostile Waitstaff
Source: NYC Photos and Videos/YouTube

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?

The waitstaff themselves might be even more unhappy about this situation than customers. Depending on tips can put customers in control. 

A Picture of a Waitress
Source: Howcast/YouTube

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

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.

A Tips Jar
Source: CBS News/YouTube

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.

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