Guilt tipping has got to stop

Jan 7, 2020, 4:00 PM


(Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

(Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

You order at the counter, they spin the tablet around and the screen reads: Click here to tip 15%, 20% or 30%.

Hold up buttercup, you haven’t even handed me my drip coffee yet!

Regardless of the service provided, we are now being asked to tip while the cashier is staring at you with judgy eyes. Which button are they going to click?

Have you seen this? Where the tip amount has a cute description next to it?

25% – I would tell my friends where I got my facial.
30% – I would definitely do this again, I’m worth it!

Not only is this manipulative, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Don’t tell me how to value my experience with your employee, not everyone has a 5-star day. How much is enough of a tip so you and the person behind me won’t judge?

There’s a saying in charity marketing: you get what you ask for. This is what companies like Square are doing with tips — starting your tipping ask at 20% on screen will get that person who was going to tip 15% to up it to 20%.

We have to stop guilt tipping. Tell me I’m wrong.

We are seeing tipping pop up in unusual places. I’ve seen new tip lines at a craft store, clothing store, and a 7-11 in the last few months. All of that guilt tipping adds up. So I have a plan. If you hand me a cookie, no tip. If you balayage, yeah, you’re getting at least 20%.

Listen to the Candy, Mike and Todd Show weekday afternoons from 3-7 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Guilt tipping has got to stop