Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: Yarnspinner on November 10, 2013, 12:13:32 AM

Title: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: Yarnspinner on November 10, 2013, 12:13:32 AM
For the last few years, I have been maintaining acrylic nails with every other week visits to my manicurist for fills.  I cannot maintain a decent manicure with my own nails (I literally pick them apart whenever there is no acrylic on them) so this is a splurge I keep because I like my hands to look nice when I am doing story telling or going on interviews.

My manicurist is WONDERFUL.  Her work is excellent, she has figured a way around some problems I had with skin sensitivity and her work is so good, they look very real.  However...

Somehow yours truly managed to not notice what Fills cost.  When I got the first full set done she charged me $30 and I added on $5 as a tip.  Somehow I came to believe that this was also what fills cost and I have been paying that amount, plus tip ever since. 

Today, for the first time, I noticed the price for services quotes near her station.  They have been there since before forever, I have read the price quotes before because I wanted a pink and white (and she told me it was impossible because it required something that would make me break out in a rash)  and I don't know how I failed to miss that a full set of fills is HALF THE COST of the first set.   So every two weeks I am paying twice what I should AND slapping on a tip.

If I wasn't in the dire financial straits I'm in right now, I wouldn't mind: her work is really that good and I know that she and her husband need the money.  But now, so do I.  And I don't know how to ago about downsizing what I am paying without her wondering if I am not happy with the work.

So the question is:  next time do I give her the $15 plus a $5 tip and not mention that I am decreasing because I am a stupid person who can't read?  Do I mention that I am a stupid person who can't read?  Do I apologize for decreasing the amount?  Am I locked in to continuing to pay what I have been paying? Should I be a teensy bit annoyed that she has never questioned my openhandedness?   And, just to make me feel better about my own inability to read and understand signs written in my own language, please share stories when you overpaid because YOU missed the important information on a sign you had been staring at for months.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: NyaChan on November 10, 2013, 12:17:09 AM
Could you clarify - was she charging you double what she should have, or did she just ask you what total she should put on your card (basically how much tip to add) and you said to put the high amount?  I mean, clearly the first time she told you how much it cost or else how would you have known the first set is $30, so I really have to wonder how she wouldn't have known to speak up that a fill was $15 or at least check that you meant it before just going ahead with the charge.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: Yarnspinner on November 10, 2013, 12:28:26 AM
I've been writing a check for the whole amount made out to Cash. (She has a very long name that features more consonants than vowels.)  Or handing her the amount in cash.  The salon she works in doesn't take credit cards.   They are a casual,  tiny hole-in-the-wall store whose clients are generally ladies of a certain age who get weekly curl and sets or teens going to the prom. I get my hair done there as well and practically have to strong arm my stylist into taking a tip on top of the cost of the cut and color.  I'm wondering if Manicurist even LOOKS at the check before she signs off on the back because she got after me for overpaying on something else and gave back the cash. 
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: JenJay on November 10, 2013, 12:33:42 AM
Were you paying in cash and you'd hand her $35? On what turns out to be a $15 service? I'd be annoyed that she never said "Oops, you overpaid me. It's only $15." The cynic in me thinks she took advantage. The optimist hopes she was going home each time and telling her DH about the wonderful, generous customer who tips so incredibly well.

I suppose next time I'd give her $18 and not say anything. If she asked I'd explain why I'd been paying so much before.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: starry diadem on November 10, 2013, 12:38:02 AM
But this has being going on for weeks (months?). Surely the first time she looked at the cheque to bank/cash it, she couldn't help but see she was getting a 130% tip? Or as those of us less generous might have it, that you were overpaying by 100%? And she has said nothing.

If you intend to continue using her services, your next cheque should be for the correct amount. If she says anything, then a simple "I have noticed the correct charges for the service." should suffice.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: m2kbug on November 10, 2013, 12:47:00 AM
This is a pickle.  I'd be pretty upset that she didn't mention that it's an awful lot of money for a $15 fill.  I mean, great tips are wonderful, but a $20 "tip," which is greater than the actual service, should have caused question.  On a high end, I might just pay an even $20, which is still a pretty substantial tip and greater than 20% and leave it at that.  $18 is perfectly fine.  I would be loathe to drop her at this point, given the nail troubles you have and her ability to find perfection, so she gets a pass.  I don't know that I would really say anything unless she mentions something or has a look, in which case you can explain you didn't realize all this time you were paying for a full set, not for a fill.  If she does notice the drop, you will also be aware she noticed you were paying double and never said anything, and you can make your choices from there. 

If she truly never really noticed you were paying double+tip, she also won't notice you are now paying the regular fee+tip.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: Raintree on November 10, 2013, 01:33:00 AM
I'd want to clarify before paying next time, "Is it $15 for a fill?" Just in case there was something on the sign I wasn't understanding, and it really was $30. So to answer that question, she either says, "Yes, it's $15" and you can give her $20, or, she says, "No, it's $30. It's $15 only for (some specific situation)."  Cause I'd hate to be mistaken.

I think it's pretty incredible that she'd accept a tip for over 100% without saying something. So I'd want to confirm with her what the amount being charged was, before paying next time.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: sweetonsno on November 10, 2013, 01:39:39 AM
I like Raintree's suggestion. "Fifteen for the fill, right?" and hand her twenty bucks. I don't think you need to explain anything unless she asks or seems worried that you are unhappy. You could also consider adding on another little luxury once a month. I recommend pedicures.


Also (a bit OT), have you ever tried getting a shellac manicure? The stuff is pretty much indestructible.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: Bijou on November 10, 2013, 01:40:01 AM
Why didn't she give you the change from the check or cash, instead of jut keeping it, and let you give back whatever would be her tip?    I think it is odd that anyone would accept a tip that is more than the service costs without at least questioning it.  You were tipping her $20 for a $15 procedure.  She may be good, but I wonder about her not saying something to you.  Is it possible that even she has not read the sign and thinks a fill is also $30? 
I would just quietly start giving her $15 with whatever tip  you would normally include for a $15  service.  Or might mention that  you had not noticed that the fill was $15 and not the $30 you thought it was, so she'll know why you are changing what you are doing. 
I agree with Raintree that you could ask for clarification.  That's a good idea.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: Raintree on November 10, 2013, 01:58:46 AM
Quote
And, just to make me feel better about my own inability to read and understand signs written in my own language, please share stories when you overpaid because YOU missed the important information on a sign you had been staring at for months.

Here's mine:

We have two sales taxes in my province. GST used to be 7%, and although we also had a provincial sales tax (PST), only GST was charged in restaurants. So a simple way to figure out the tip in restaurants was to double the GST and then tack on a little bit more (ie double 7% and you have 14%, add a little bit more and you have 15%, which is standard for where I live).

So then I moved to another province for a while, and I'd see the amount for "tax" on the check, and double that for my tip. Except then I began to realize my tips seemed very large. Fine if you can afford it, but money was tight for me.  Upon further scrutiny, I realized that in this other province, you had to pay both taxes on restaurant meals, not just the 7% GST and the tax on restaurant meals was more like 15%. So my tips were 30%. Oops.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 10, 2013, 08:25:11 AM
I would definitely clarify the next time you go that a fill is only $15.  And if that's the case, I'd be PISSED that she never said anything about me double paying her and then some.  So much so that I'd find somebody new.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: violetminnow on November 10, 2013, 08:29:07 AM
If it only costs 15 for a fill, your next question should be how much credit you've saved up at this point? Maybe you'll get a few free treatments which can help in tough times. If she admits that she's been overcharging but doesn't offer you credit, you should find someone else.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: TootsNYC on November 10, 2013, 08:37:26 AM
I'd want to clarify before paying next time, "Is it $15 for a fill?" Just in case there was something on the sign I wasn't understanding, and it really was $30. So to answer that question, she either says, "Yes, it's $15" and you can give her $20, or, she says, "No, it's $30. It's $15 only for (some specific situation)."  Cause I'd hate to be mistaken.

I think it's pretty incredible that she'd accept a tip for over 100% without saying something. So I'd want to confirm with her what the amount being charged was, before paying next time.

I think I agree with Raintree.

But I might elaborate a little:
"I think I've been getting the price wrong for a while--this time is the fill, right? And is that sign--which I just read!--says that this is only $30?"

And then I'd tip 25%, because she is really good. And because at $15, that's only 75 difference.

And I might say, "OK, I'm glad I finally got that right. And that's a 25% tip--I really appreciate your work."

So now you're not Ms. Moneybags, but you're still a pretty generous customer.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: YummyMummy66 on November 10, 2013, 10:09:49 AM
So, let me get this straight.

You have been paying $ 15 for the refill and also paying another $ 15, because you thought it cost $ 30 and also a $ 5 tip?  So, in essence, this great nail person has been getting a twenty dollar tip every other week?

Um, no, not that great of a tech in my opinion if she did not point this out to you before now. 

I think I would calculate exactly how much you have "overpaid"  for services, which, if I am correct, is $ 15 each week?  Correct?

Then, if you still want to go to this girl, I would be letting her know that from now on, you will only be paying the fee and you will keep track of her $ 5 tip until it is paid up from your over paid amount(s).

I would start out by asking her exactly how much the services are?  And then I would ask her, why haven't you ever said anything to me that I have been overpaying you and providing you with a tip yet?  I would really want the answer to that one and an apology.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: GreenBird on November 10, 2013, 01:02:55 PM
You could try anonymously calling the salon to ask about their pricing (or ask a friend to call if your voice is too recognizable), and clarify exactly what the pricing is for the services you're getting.  There's at least a chance that the sign is poorly worded and you haven't been overpaying after all. 

If it turns out that you have been drastically overpaying, I think that just paying a normal amount and tip from now on is the way I'd go if you want to keep going there.  If the manicurist didn't say anything about getting a 100%+ tip, she's probably not going to say anything about getting a more normal tip either. 

If by chance she does say something, you can just say you've actually finally read the sign and didn't realize you were overpaying by quite so much, and as much as you like her, you really can't afford to keep overpaying by that much!  And then I'd drop the issue - I wouldn't ask for money back or bring it up again.  Just act like nothing is wrong and pay the actual charge with a normally nice tip, and the awkwardness will fade.  Presumably she doesn't want to lose you as a customer, so she'll let it fade too. 
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: GLaDOS on November 10, 2013, 01:53:33 PM
What outcome are you looking for? Are you willing to just let the overpayment be a "School Of Hard Knocks Tax", or since money is a little tight, for her to apply that as credit to a future payment?

If it's the first, I'd just start paying the $15 + whatever tip you normally would, with no mention of it, or just brush it off with a "oh, I finally read the sign! I've thought that the price was $30 all this time. Silly of me, huh?" and move on with things.

If you want reimbursement, I'd take her aside and say something like "Manicurist, I love your work, and I really appreciate the work-arounds you've come up with for me. I just now looked at the sign, and I realize I've been paying you double, plus a tip for fills. I'll be a client for a very long time, and I'd like to work out something so we can even that out."  If it was a clueless mistake and she didn't realise it either, it shouldn't be a problem and she'll probably want to make it right with you as well.

If not, or if she balks at even a discounted fill, I'd take what you learned (ie, what works for you and what doesn't with your nails) and find a more reputable manicurist.

Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: Slartibartfast on November 10, 2013, 01:57:02 PM
I'd find someone else, honestly.  Even if you go somewhere else for just a few months, then if/when you come back it's not "business as usual" and you can start paying the accurate rate (and a realistic tip) without feeling like you need a big explanation.

Although honestly, if the price really is $15 instead of $30, I would think her decision to not at least mention your huge overtipping each time would be reason enough for me to not come back.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: bopper on November 10, 2013, 02:38:44 PM
Or you could say "I have a question about the pricing...I paid $30 for my initial acrylics and have been paying that much every time even though I have been just getting fill-ins after that, and the price for that according to the sign is only $15. So I have been overpaying for months now.  What can we do about that?"
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on November 10, 2013, 02:41:02 PM
Based on my experience, I think it's strange that the manicurist doesn't tell you the amount due when you get ready to pay.  Customers shouldn't have to guess based on a sign that some people may not see and that may be ambiguous or out of date.

I overtip my hair stylist a bit ($20 tip on a $60 charge).  She always over-thanks me a bit.  I think it's odd that your manicurist does not show a response to a huge tip (if indeed the cost is only $15). 

This is a business transaction, and there's no need for you to be embarrassed about asking what the cost is.  Next time you're there, simply ask, and if the price doesn't match the sign, ask why.

I don't think it would be fair to ask for reimbursement if it turns out you've been over-paying, even for years.  Ultimately, that was your responsibility, and it might be difficult for her to come up with the money after the fact.  If she offers, fine; you can work something out.

The first step here has to be to determine whether the actual cost is $15 or $30. 
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: miranova on November 10, 2013, 03:55:55 PM
If she has indeed been pocketing a $20 tip for a $15 service(as opposed to the pricing sign just being wrong or something) and never said a word or told you that you were overpaying, I would never use her again and I'd consider telling her why.  I really don't care how tight money is.  Money is tight for a lot of people.  My personal ethics would never allow me to keep money under false pretenses just because I happen to need it.  She should have said something the very first time.  If you had said "oh I know it's only $15, the rest is your tip", then fine, you would just be a ridiculously large tipper and I could understand her not saying it again repeatedly.  But to never tell you?  Unacceptable and I'd be finding a new nail salon. 
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: delabela on November 10, 2013, 04:51:49 PM
I don't think it's all on the manicurist here - she could very well have assumed that the OP was grateful for the level of service and was tipping accordingly.  While maybe it would have been best practice to double check such a large tip, the manicurist probably assumed OP read the sign and was doing what she intended to do.

I think it would be completely inappropriate to ask for reimbursement (but it doesn't sound like that's your intention).  Perhaps you can just say - "I just noticed the sign said it's $15 for a fill - is that the correct price?" and when she confirms, tip on that.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: sparksals on November 10, 2013, 05:09:20 PM
Are you actually handing the payment to her or a receptionist at the desk?  If it is the latter, she may not know you are overpaying.  I know many salons that are setup this way.  The desk may keep track of tips or she may have to give a percentage to the salon or the front desk clerk might be pocketing if this is the setup.  If you are handing the payment to her, there is no way she was confused. She took the payment fully knowing the actual cost.  She should have said something.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: turnip on November 10, 2013, 05:29:08 PM
Practically speaking - I would never try to get any sort of credit out of her or the store, and continue as a customer.  The likelihood is you are going to upset her, and having a person mad at you doing your nails strikes me as a very bad idea.

Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: LifeOnPluto on November 10, 2013, 08:00:45 PM
Definitely find out about the sign, and whether it matches the service you are getting. You can just ask casually - eg "Hey, I noticed the sign over there. Just want to clarify whether my fills are $15 or $30?"

If it turns out to be $30, that's great! Although you might want to point out the sign is misleading.

If it turns out to be $15, you'll need to decide what to do. Ask for credit? Go somewhere else? Say nothing, but only pay $15 (plus tip) from now on?

FWIW, I think that if she was accepting $35 from you each time for a $15 service, she was in the wrong. Maybe not technically rude from an etiquette POV, but from a moral POV, I think she had a responsibility to speak up, and clarify with you as to whether it was an extremely large tip or not.

Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: Yarnspinner on November 10, 2013, 08:21:44 PM
I don't think it's all on the manicurist here - she could very well have assumed that the OP was grateful for the level of service and was tipping accordingly.  While maybe it would have been best practice to double check such a large tip, the manicurist probably assumed OP read the sign and was doing what she intended to do.

I think it would be completely inappropriate to ask for reimbursement (but it doesn't sound like that's your intention).  Perhaps you can just say - "I just noticed the sign said it's $15 for a fill - is that the correct price?" and when she confirms, tip on that.


I really do think it's this.  And I think I am going to just start paying the $20 and chalk it up to the school of hard knocks.  One reason I was probably so slow on the uptake is that this actually seemed CHEAP for a fill after one of the last places I went, where they charged $50 every two weeks.  Back then my rent was low and I had cash to burn....Everyone, thank you for your really good advice!
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: Yarnspinner on November 10, 2013, 08:28:29 PM
Just to clarify a little more: if this place was any more casual, we'd be sitting in each other's living rooms braiding each other's hair and having popcorn while we watched "Real Housewives."  The manicurist is also from another country and there is a bit of a language problem.  (No, I don't think I am being treated like Elaine on "Seinfeld.")  And, honestly, I don't want to find someone else because I ALSO get my hair done there...and I do NOT want to find another stylist.  This place is inexpensive and they do a good job.  I've been going there for closing in on twelve years, though I have only been going to Manicurist for the last three or four.  I switched to her from someone who used to work in the place, quit because she didn't like Manicurist's ethnicity, and became so slipshod and unhygienic after leaving the place, I just quit going to her.  So, as I said, I'm going to suck it up and just start paying the fifteen plus tip and see what happens.  Fingers crossed.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: MommyPenguin on November 10, 2013, 11:39:24 PM
I think I may have done this once.  I paid for a more expensive service, and it was my last time getting this service.  I meant to give a $20 tip, which would have been fairly generous.  But as I went to leave, she ran to the door and called behind me, "Did you mean to leave this much?" and waved it.  I told her yes, and went on my way feeling pleasantly generous.  And then at some point later I remembered that I thought I might have had a $50 in my purse, a gift for my birthday.  Had I given her the $50 instead of the $20?  That haunted me for a while.   But she'd certainly given any potential mistake her due diligence, so it was my fault if I had.  I was never quite sure if I'd broken the $50 previously or if I'd given it to her.  Oops.

I'd ask her the next time, "So, I think I've been misreading this sign the whole time... fills, are they $15, or $30?"  And if she says, "$15," then laugh at yourself and say, "Man, you'd think I'd be able to read a sign correctly after all these years.  Well, that will certainly make my life easier, as money has been a bit tight lately and I'd like to be able to keep getting my nails done!" and then give her the $15 plus whatever you'd usually tip on it.  If, however, she says, "$30," say, "That's what I'd been thinking, but then I saw that sign and got confused," pointing to the sign, and wait for her to clarify.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: Arila on November 11, 2013, 12:09:29 PM
It is certainly a pickle.

I wanted to address some of the comments about why change isn't being made, or prices clearly stated at the end of the service. At my mother's favored nail salon, the prices are quite passively communicated (there is a "menu" of services). You have the money out, or in an envelope before you even get the service, and they take it when they escort you to the drying station. You're expected to have planned out your cash in advance, and I never see anyone having any sort of back-and-forth handing of money transaction there.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: Yarnspinner on November 11, 2013, 07:14:20 PM
It is certainly a pickle.

I wanted to address some of the comments about why change isn't being made, or prices clearly stated at the end of the service. At my mother's favored nail salon, the prices are quite passively communicated (there is a "menu" of services). You have the money out, or in an envelope before you even get the service, and they take it when they escort you to the drying station. You're expected to have planned out your cash in advance, and I never see anyone having any sort of back-and-forth handing of money transaction there.
This.  I usually write a check because I don't carry much cash.  and I fold it over and hand it to her.  Others stick the money in envelopes and put it in the drawer of her station.

Ditto my hair stylist.  I write a check that includes her tip and she rings the sail up and removes her tip from the register at that time.

And then there's the owner. She will say "I'm going to subway, anyone want a sandwich?"  I've never done it but some customers have and then tried to give her money and she waves them off, returning with twice the food they asked for and extras.

We're sort of like a big sloppy family who toss money around with abandon.

Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: esposita on November 11, 2013, 07:33:30 PM
"I'm wondering if Manicurist even LOOKS at the check before she signs off on the back because she got after me for overpaying on something else and gave back the cash.

and I fold it over and hand it to her.  Others stick the money in envelopes and put it in the drawer of her station."

Because of these two points (I cannot figure out how to quote two separate comments) I would just give her the correct amount in the same way you're giving her the other one.
It sounds like a possibility that she might not have even noticed? And I have no idea how tips are done at this type of place, but what if someone just goes through all the checks and gives everyone their tips? She might notice more than usual but not have a way of consistently knowing who paid more. Maybe. I really have no idea...I've only had a manicure like, twice in my life. :(
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: Possum on November 12, 2013, 05:04:39 PM
Were you paying in cash and you'd hand her $35? On what turns out to be a $15 service? I'd be annoyed that she never said "Oops, you overpaid me. It's only $15." The cynic in me thinks she took advantage. The optimist hopes she was going home each time and telling her DH about the wonderful, generous customer who tips so incredibly well.

I suppose next time I'd give her $18 and not say anything. If she asked I'd explain why I'd been paying so much before.
This.  She's been taking advantage of you.  No average person tips $20 on a $15 bill, and if they do, sooner or later you'd think that the attendant would say something, or show great gratitude, or something.  Go one more time, pay and tip the appropriate amounts, see how she reacts.  If you go again after that and service is as good as always, you can continue--but honestly, I'd consider shopping around for a new salon.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: fountainof on November 13, 2013, 12:03:01 PM
I don't think it is right to assume that this nail person is taking advantage.  I will say that for me when a service is a low cost I may tip 100% or more.  I wouldn't for example take a $5 cab ride and give $6, I would give at least $10.  My hair stylist once charged me only $5 for a cut for DD as she said it was like a bangs cut and I paid her $12 as I thought $5 was way too low.  Sometimes when prices are lower people tip more.  For example in my province there is now sales tax on salon services.  Tips have declined because people were used to just paying $XX for the service and tip and didn't really think about paying $XX plus some more for tax. 

Anyway, next time I would just give $20 and probably not say anything.  If I did want to say something I would say it like I had thought the prices changed "Oh, I see here your refills are now $15".
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: Lynn2000 on November 13, 2013, 01:14:47 PM
It sounds like payment is very casual at this place. In my imagination, a business would be run more strictly, so that there was no way someone could not realize the enormous tip/overpayment they were receiving for so long; but it seems like they've chosen a different route, and the clientele they've cultivated like it that way. Which is fine if you like that.

First I think I would double-check on the price some way--either asking in person, or doing the anonymous phone call thing. It sounds like they have a relaxed atmosphere where an out-of-date or misleading sign might not be noticed or removed right away.

If indeed it turned out I'd been paying the wrong price, I would just start paying the right one using the same method I'd been using before. Unless you said something first it seems like they wouldn't even notice the change.

Part of me thinks something ought to have been said to me early on--I won't suggest the manicurist is taking advantage of anyone, but it seems like at best sloppy record-keeping, and that would make me personally uncomfortable. But at the same time, I would feel embarrassed that I hadn't caught the mistake earlier myself, since the sign was right there, and if I wanted to keep going there I would just say good-bye to that money and treat it as a lesson learned.

Interesting situation.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: tinkytinky on November 13, 2013, 03:03:11 PM
If everyone is paying her in a different manner (check, cash, envelope of money, etc) she very well could not have known about the over tipping. for example, if she just adds up her amounts received and jives that with the amount of work she did for the day, (or 2 or 3 days...) the extra tip would blend in:

"I had 3 full sets x $30; 7 fills x $15; 6 manicures x $8 (?); 2 pedicures x $10 (?); so my total would be $263 for services and I have $330 including tips! wow I rock!" a 20% tip on that amount would be $52.60 so she may think that a few people may have rounded up their tips... it could easily happen especially with the relaxed feel for the salon.

I would probably just pay the $18-$20 and not mention it.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: Rigatoni on November 13, 2013, 05:03:31 PM
I had been having some very intricate art done on my artificial nails at my fill every 3 weeks.  The stylist charges $30 for the fill but I would tip $10 or more depending on how involved the art was.  It's not unusual for me to tip $20 or more on a $30 fill, because the art is "free".  At the same time, if the stylist wanted to be sure she was going to be paid well enough for something involved, she would say "ok but that will be $40" or something and it's still tip the additional $10 or more if I thought it was worth it.  Overall, I look at the service and tip together and give the total amount of money that I think the service I got was worth to me.

So what I mean through all that was that if the fills were done spectacularly, paying $35 for them is not such an unexpected number that I think the stylist would go out of her way to mention the "overpayment".
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: gramma dishes on November 13, 2013, 07:34:46 PM
This is so embarrassing.   :-[

I've never had acrylic nails, so I don't know what "a fill" means.

Could someone explain it in a simple way?
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: Rigatoni on November 13, 2013, 07:54:45 PM
When your nails grow out, instead of putting new tips on, they file down the edges where the nail originally touched your cuticle.  Then they put new acrylic on in the gap area and smooth it out so it looks like you just had the tips put on.  Basically they're "filling in" the area on the natural nail that is now bare.

Eventually you have all natural nail supporting the acrylic part, and it's stronger and better than when you first had them.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: gramma dishes on November 13, 2013, 08:15:45 PM
Thank you, Rigatoni! 
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: violetminnow on November 14, 2013, 11:48:17 AM
If Yarnspinner was paying 60 for every new application and 30 for every fill, you could say that the manicurist assumed a 100% tip was normal, but she's not. Getting 4x the tip when you do a simpler procedure isn't the norm. I don't think the manicurist would think that it was her intention.

 I understand why Yarnspinner wouldn't want to rock the boat at this point, but I think she should at least let her know that she thinks she's been paying the wrong price. That way they will know to be more mindful of issues like that in the future. Not all customers would be so forgiving. I know the feeling of being cheated would tarnish the business to me forever.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: Lynn2000 on November 14, 2013, 03:54:47 PM
It's a really interesting situation, I think. I could imagine being like the OP--having found a place I'm comfortable, I don't want to disturb things, so I'll just quietly start paying the correct price and save $15 each time. I just wonder if I, personally, would be able to get over it, though--or if, like violetminnow says, I would keep thinking about it each time I went there.

I mean, the way I figure it, there's only a few scenarios.

1) The manicurist knows the OP has been paying way too much but never said anything to her, which is kind of dodgy. She should have double-checked with the OP right at the beginning, and not "assumed" it was a massive tip each time.

2) The manicurist has no idea how much the OP has been paying, due to the way payments are done at the business. That seems like a really bad way to run a business to me, especially one so heavily based on tips. How does the manicurist even know whether she's getting good tips from individual customers or not? What's the point of tipping if there's no connection between the money given and the job done? And, no one else at the whole business noticed, either.

3) Payment setup like #2, but someone at the business--not the manicurist--is taking advantage of the casual bookkeeping to skim from the till, so the records come out like they "should" in the end.

None of those things make me, personally, very comfortable. #2 is probably the "best" and it still suggests a really ridiculous level of sloppy business practices. I will be really curious about what happens the next time the OP goes there and pays only $20--if anyone even notices or says anything.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: MommyPenguin on November 14, 2013, 10:58:41 PM
You know, there's also a slim possibility that the manicurist didn't notice that the payment should have been $15, either.  She might have received $35, or whatever it was, and not had it register in her mind that, oh, wait, this service is $15.  So she just recorded it as $30 with a $5 tip, making the same mistake that the OP was making.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: Yarnspinner on November 14, 2013, 11:50:11 PM
I see her next week.  I will keep you posted!
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on December 05, 2013, 04:07:10 PM
I see her next week.  I will keep you posted!
Where's our update?  :)
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: Marisol on December 05, 2013, 04:31:13 PM
I'd probably start going somewhere else because I don't know how I would approach the topic (shy!).  I am curious to know what happens when you do, and what you ended up saying.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: Yarnspinner on December 05, 2013, 10:46:02 PM
You know, I almost forgot about this!  Had my nails done last week and handed her a twenty dollar bill, which she looked at oddly.  I said "This is kind of awkward.  I noticed that the price for fills is $15.00  I never actually asked...I always assumed fills were the same amount as a full set."  She said "Well, I am using a much more expensive powder on you and the process is more time consuming (and it is, I know it takes at least another twenty minutes).  So I went into my pocket book for more money and she said "No, no.  I should have had the price up before this.  The powder fills are twenty five dollars.  But you always tip so well, don't even think about it this time."  So I decided that, with the fills being twenty five, I will add on a five dollar tip and call it good.  She knows I am having financial troubles (what is it about having one's hair done, getting one's nails done that turns us all into gabby gusses?)  so I don't think this will be a problem.  Given that one of the places I used to go charged me forty for fills before we even talked about tip, I still think I am getting a deal.  If there are any more issues, I will let you know.  Thanks for the help and support!
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: Surianne on December 05, 2013, 11:14:39 PM
So she started providing a more expensive service and charging you for it, without asking, even though the advertised price was less?  That seems pretty uncool to me.  Granted, I've never had my nails done, so I may not fully understand the culture, but to me it sounds like she's playing you to get extra "tips" (with the tip now supposedly being for the fancier powder).
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: MariaE on December 06, 2013, 12:00:23 AM
So she started providing a more expensive service and charging you for it, without asking, even though the advertised price was less?  That seems pretty uncool to me.  Granted, I've never had my nails done, so I may not fully understand the culture, but to me it sounds like she's playing you to get extra "tips" (with the tip now supposedly being for the fancier powder).

Thanks, Surianne. I was thinking the same thing.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: ktanne on December 06, 2013, 12:14:08 AM
I wonder though, if the more expensive powder is being used due to the skin sensitivity issues that Yarnspinner mentioned in her  OP?  I thought part of the reason OP was so happy with the manicurist was due to the the fact that she (the manicurist) had managed to work around some issues... in which case, I think I would be happy to pay more, in order not to be suffering from allergic reactions or similar.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: YummyMummy66 on December 06, 2013, 07:38:17 AM
I'm sorry, but even with the update, I think she has been taking advantage of you.  You finally called her on it and she told you what she has been doing, without even asking you first if it was ok to do so.  She decides to tell you when you call her on the charges.

I would find someone else.  I don't feel she is trustworthy. 

What if you had never said anything?  She knew exactly what she was doing. 
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: Yarnspinner on December 06, 2013, 09:34:07 AM
I DO agree with what you say.  But, to be honest, the fact that my skin no longer cracks, flakes and peels around my nails is worth the price of admission.  The last three places I went told me it was MY fault my skin was peeling (from the knuckles down, I looked like a cast member from the walking dead) and charged me more than she did for fills.  It is a huge relief to have pretty nails (I cannot grow them for beans) and NOT have the itching red peeling skin. 

This may be a language problem between us, too, which it occurs to me that I should have mentioned.  I promise to look around, though, and keep all suggestions in mind.
I was trying to be upbeat and came off looking ditzy instead.  Thanks for making me keep focused on reality.  I'll keep you posted on my research.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: Lynn2000 on December 06, 2013, 09:49:24 AM
Personally, I prefer things to be done in a more formal way, but then again I don't get my hair and nails done, in part because I don't like the atmosphere of many salons--the intimacy always feels forced to me.

But if you're happy with the results, the atmosphere, and the price you're paying for that, especially having experienced dissatisfaction at other places, I don't think you need to look for reasons to change. It might be useful to find out exactly what products she's using and look them up online, so you can know for the future should you have to tell a new person. And if in the course of doing that research, you discover something that feels shady, you can decide what to do next.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: Marisol on December 06, 2013, 09:52:57 AM
I'm guessing you also discussed your skin allergies with her when you first came in.  So she probably made a choice to use the high end stuff on you, which increased the price of refills, and didn't realize you were never made aware that they cost more.  She probably thought you knew about the extra cost and were giving a $10 tip each time.  I don't think she was being deliberately sneaky.  It sounds more like a communication error. 
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: TootsNYC on December 06, 2013, 10:44:16 AM
So she started providing a more expensive service and charging you for it, without asking, even though the advertised price was less?  That seems pretty uncool to me.  Granted, I've never had my nails done, so I may not fully understand the culture, but to me it sounds like she's playing you to get extra "tips" (with the tip now supposedly being for the fancier powder).

Well, maybe what happened is that she said, "She tips so well, I can upgrade her to this slightly more expensive powder that's safer for her. It's the least I can do since she tips so well."

Or, as Marisol said, she thought you knew that she was using a more expensive powder.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: JenJay on December 06, 2013, 11:02:49 AM
I'm guessing you also discussed your skin allergies with her when you first came in.  So she probably made a choice to use the high end stuff on you, which increased the price of refills, and didn't realize you were never made aware that they cost more.  She probably thought you knew about the extra cost and were giving a $10 tip each time.  I don't think she was being deliberately sneaky.  It sounds more like a communication error.

I think so too. I imagine her thought process was "Okay, my awesome customer seems to be allergic to the less expensive supplies so I'll try the better stuff. Hey that worked! Note to self - make sure Yarnspinner gets the good stuff." Should she have explicitly said "I've got this better powder that should fix you up but it costs more. Do you want me to use that instead?" Yes, she should have. I think she just took for granted that OP either realized, because she'd been having her nails done for awhile, or would say "Absolutely!" and went ahead. Not professionally ideal but I think her heart was in the right place and everything worked out as it would have anyway. If I were OP I'd definitely stick with her.
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on December 06, 2013, 11:10:47 AM
It's a very interesting assumption to attribute nefarious motives to someone when there are obviously communication, cultural, and language issues involved.  It's self-sabotage to look for fault in a situation that one is actually quite pleased with.

It's the responsibility of the customer to determine the cost of a product or service. Of course, the merchant should be upfront and honest.  It's business, and there's no reason to feel awkward about establishing a price.

It isn't unusual for customers to give large tips to manicurists and hair stylists they like.  My SIL, a high-end hair stylists, rakes in huge tips, and during the holiday season, she receives hundreds of dollars in nice gifts. 

The miscommunication has been resolved. I vote for letting it go and being pleased with future good service (that is now less expensive). 
Title: Re: Holy Mackeral! I Have Been WAY Overtipping! What to do.
Post by: TootsNYC on December 06, 2013, 11:27:58 AM
It isn't unusual for customers to give large tips to manicurists and hair stylists they like.  My SIL, a high-end hair stylists, rakes in huge tips, and during the holiday season, she receives hundreds of dollars in nice gifts. 

This is true! I got a $25 haircut this weekend and tipped $10. Because I'm -still- getting a great deal at $35. Interesting note: I handed her two $5s, sort of fanned out a bit, and she took just one of them. I had to actually hand her the other $5 again. She acted like it was a significant generosity.
   Well, I guess it was: It was a 40% tip. But I usually tip a huge percentage on small charges; a $7 breakfast would get a $5 tip, probably.