Author Topic: When you can't tip on a credit card  (Read 6017 times)

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chigrrl1

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When you can't tip on a credit card
« on: November 27, 2012, 09:44:49 AM »
My city has a number of coffee houses that pride themselves on being eco-friendly, local friendly etc.  They have a small food menu, some of which is pick up and go and some that requires order and prep.  I'm not a fancy orderer, I generally get a black coffee and something pre-made, but therein lies a tipping conundrum.   One can pay with a credit card, but not tip.  You can't even tell them to add on the tip when they are running the total.  They simply don't allow you to tip using a credit card.  I never carry cash.  Not that I live in the scariest neighborhood, but it definitely has it's fair share of hold ups and it's just smarter to use a card instead, if someone swipes my purse, I can minimize the damage. 

The coffee shop also does not have an ATM, but even if it did, I would feel a little resentful about paying a $3 fee to give a $3 tip.  When caught in the situation where I am unable to tip or tip decently because I don't have cash, I apologize profusely and over-explain myself.  The barristas are always gracious.  I go to this place about once a month, not only is it close, but the food and coffee are great.  Aside from keeping a few dollars at home that I'd probably forget to stick in my purse when out and about and in need of coffee, what can be done?  I could see if the store didn't accept cards at all, but don't understand why they'd punish their employees.  I didn't think that credit card companies charge the store more in allowing a write-in tip, but I could be wrong.  I also went to a salon that had this set up, it was really embarrassing to find out about that policy AFTER I got my cut.  I plan to send an email to the company to voice my concerns, but am I out of line for going to the shop at all knowing that I only can pay for my food/coffee and do not have the ability to tip?

Hmmmmm

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Re: When you can't tip on a credit card
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2012, 09:47:27 AM »
I've not seen this before.  No idea why they don't allow it other than not wanting to deal with the book keeping side.  Are the barrista's maybe the owners too?  I know a local coffee/bakery where the workers are the owners and they don't accept tips. 

Jones

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Re: When you can't tip on a credit card
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2012, 09:50:11 AM »
I personally keep a handful of singles in my purse in case of emergency. Could be anything from a tip to a helpful panhandler, needing change for a quarter machine or an honest kid who says "Excuse me, you dropped this". I can understand if you don't want that, however.

How would you feel about $5 gift cards?

GoTwins

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Re: When you can't tip on a credit card
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2012, 09:51:44 AM »
Tipping at coffee shops is optional (and something you never used to see). These aren't people who are being paid below minimum wage and need tips to survive. I just wouldn't worry about it. You're a regular customer and I'm sure they appreciate your business.

MrTango

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Re: When you can't tip on a credit card
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2012, 09:52:22 AM »
My thought would be that it's their loss.

I understand that it's customary to tip at coffee houses, but I'm not going to go out of my way to do so (i.e. by carrying cash when I'd be paying with plastic, paying fees at an ATM, etc).

My suggestion is to be polite, thank them with a pleasant smile, and move on with your day.  Maybe if you catch a manager, ask them to look into adding a tip line to their CC receipts.  I can't imagine that's a difficult setting to change.

WillyNilly

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Re: When you can't tip on a credit card
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2012, 09:55:40 AM »
I very rarely carry cash.  And as such I don't often tip at Starbucks.  But what I do is every once in a while, I put like $10 in the tip jar.  At Starbucks they pool the tips and divide them up weekly (I was told this by 3 different Starbucks employees who each worked in different stores, across 2 counties) so I figure, the money is going to the people who helped me even if they aren't behind the counter the second I tip.

I also don't feel guilty when I don't tip as A) they are paid well and don't rely on tips like waitstaff and bartenders and B) I know I'm a good customer - I order quickly and clearly, I smile, I say "thank you" and just generally don't give them a hard time.

Friday

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Re: When you can't tip on a credit card
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2012, 09:57:24 AM »
If a store accepts Visa, MC, etc., for a purchase, they MUST accept it for tips.  Not doing so is a violation of their cardholder agreement.  Report them.

cattlekid

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Re: When you can't tip on a credit card
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2012, 10:00:48 AM »
The nail salon that DH (yes, I said DH LOL) frequents does not allow tips on credit cards either.  I think it is because the salon has to pay a percentage on each transaction to the credit card processor and that percentage would decrease the amount of tip they would be able to turn around and give the staff person. 

My bigger pet peeve is places that have artificially high minimums on the dollar amount you can put on a credit or debit card.  It is actually against the credit card processing rules to require a minimum charge, but I've seen it at all sorts of places.  For example, a local restaurant has lunch specials that are under the credit card minimum.  I'd love to go there more often, but I'm not going to order food I don't need just to meet your arbitrary rule. 

cattlekid

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Re: When you can't tip on a credit card
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2012, 10:01:26 AM »
Ooh....good to know.

If a store accepts Visa, MC, etc., for a purchase, they MUST accept it for tips.  Not doing so is a violation of their cardholder agreement.  Report them.

The Wild One, Forever

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Re: When you can't tip on a credit card
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2012, 10:01:32 AM »
If it bothers you and you really want to tip, I guess the obvious solution would be as suggested upthread, which would be to carry a few singles on you specifically for that purpose.  That's really bizarre that you can pay with a CC but not tip on it.  I've gotten back CC slips at places where I'd never think to tip, and yet there is a "tip" space on the slip.  I had almost begun to believe that was the default CC machine setting for most food places. 

I don't believe tipping is mandatory when those who serve you are being paid a "normal" wage, however. 
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WillyNilly

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Re: When you can't tip on a credit card
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2012, 10:02:30 AM »
Maybe if you catch a manager, ask them to look into adding a tip line to their CC receipts.  I can't imagine that's a difficult setting to change.

I think it would be a much bigger deal then this.  At Starbucks for example they just take your card and swipe it down the register and there is no credit card receipt other then your overall receipt which they never even hand you anyway unless you ask for it.  There is no signature required for under $20 and so they simply don't even offer the option of signing - no option to sign means no option to add on a tip.  To add the step of print receipt, have customer total receipt, have customer sign receipt, cashier takes back receipt and puts it somewhere secure... that's adding 40-80 seconds per transaction.  Maybe in some places that's no big deal, but its a corporation that probably wants across the line policies and in cities where morning Starbucks lines can be literally out the door, 20+ people long, adding a minute to each transaction is a terrible idea that would severely negatively affect profits.

CaptainObvious

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Re: When you can't tip on a credit card
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2012, 10:02:43 AM »
If a store accepts Visa, MC, etc., for a purchase, they MUST accept it for tips.  Not doing so is a violation of their cardholder agreement.  Report them.

 They are not doing anything wrong, tips are not required at a coffee shop, it is just like ordering food at McDonalds.

NyaChan

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Re: When you can't tip on a credit card
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2012, 10:02:56 AM »
If they allow you to pay with credit card, but not tip, that is their problem.  The owners are the ones denying their employees the tip and I wouldn't feel guilty about not tipping at the counter of a no-table service coffee house, especially with such a simple order.  If you feel uncomfortable in the moment or if you get a comment, I might even say "Normally I would be happy to tip, however, I don't use cash and this slip the store doesn't allow tips on credit card."  If you really want to tip them, make a point of bringing in a $5 or a $10 at holiday time and explain that you come in a lot but haven't been able to tip on the card, so here's a small token of appreciation.

WillyNilly

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Re: When you can't tip on a credit card
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2012, 10:04:51 AM »
...It is actually against the credit card processing rules to require a minimum charge, but I've seen it at all sorts of places... 
If a store accepts Visa, MC, etc., for a purchase, they MUST accept it for tips.  Not doing so is a violation of their cardholder agreement.  Report them.

You are getting into legal territory here and quite frankly I know at least one of these statements is absolutely false.  The other I suspect is false in the case of a take-out shop.

chigrrl1

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Re: When you can't tip on a credit card
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2012, 10:08:21 AM »
I personally keep a handful of singles in my purse in case of emergency. Could be anything from a tip to a helpful panhandler, needing change for a quarter machine or an honest kid who says "Excuse me, you dropped this". I can understand if you don't want that, however.

How would you feel about $5 gift cards?
Not to be a negative nelly, but one of the common ways that people get their purses snatched  is while they dig around looking for change or singles.  The request for spare change is a distraction and a way to determine if the person has actual money in their bag.  Just a heads up, this is common enough where I don't give to panhandlers and always report them when they are outside places of business, they are a bit of a problem around here.  As regards gift cards, $5 seems a bit much when that's how much you are spending for your coffee and muffin already.  It is nice that you'd give a kid a couple bucks for being helpful though! :)