How to ask for optional service charge 12.5% to be taken off?

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  • Jew
    Jew Posts: 276 Forumite
    edited 21 August 2012 at 12:36PM
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    Guifre wrote: »
    I appreciate and respect your opinions. I do, however, find your tone fairly aggressive and aimed mainly at rubbishing my own opinions.

    Must be your interpretation; wasn't intended to be aggressive. Concise, yes.

    If anything, while trying to mask yourself as polite, you're coming of as pretty passive-aggressive to me.
    Your experience of 'who gets the tip' seems not to contradict my experience, only to add more data to the sample. I don't believe that you can say what happens in 'most large chains in the UK'.

    I eat out really often — in all sorts of restaurants, and I've asked in pretty much all the major chains: large parts (if not all) of the tip go to the restaurant and higher paid staff members. I think that constitutes as a decent sample to counter the data you put forth: in my chain, it goes to us.
    Also I would hate to think that people who tip are doing so out of peer pressure. It's not the case in my opinion.

    How can you back that up?

    You said it yourself, if the service is added to the bill, people who wouldn't have left as much when they're in large groups, suddenly do. In my opinion, the most viable explanation is pure psychology, if it's added to the bill, people either consider it as mandatory or just don't want to bother arguing. Maybe they'd argue if they were alone, but they don't want to look cheap in front of their friends, or new acquaintances, co-workers and so on.

    Now if they consider it mandatory, then they're mis-informed, because it usually says "discretional" — interesting choice of words by the way... why not just "optional", a word most people know the meaning of?

    Why choose a word that tourists and even many Brits won't know the meaning of? If anything, it sounds authoritative, like it means "mandatory".
    And, with respect, going to a restaurant 'just for the food' puts you in a minority - most people rate the atmosphere and service very highly in any survey that you care to observe. Again, though, it's a valid opinion as far as your personal case goes.

    The food is the priority. Things like atmosphere and service are extras. Atmosphere is governed by the interior designer, lighting specialist, etc. — should we tip them also? No, they get a salary, just like waiters.

    You didn't at all respond to my suggestion for waiters to unionize or address their employing restaurants in cases where the restaurants keep the tip. That's the solution if you're complaining about a low salary.
    But although we disagree, I appreciate that you have revealed your opinions to me, and I hope you appreciate mine. Sadly, it seems that you do not.

    Last part sounds pretty passive aggressive.
    One last thing - please don't wheel out the 'if you don't like the work, do something else' line. Not everyone is blessed at every point in their life with boundless choice about what options they have for earning a living. It's a throwaway comment that some (not me) would actually find offensive.

    I never said I'm "blessed" (and I haven't been), or that you have boundless choice for employment.

    But the fact of the matter is that while it is difficult to find a job in this economy, one does have choice in the type of job they go for. The system is pretty broken, don't get me wrong, social mobility isn't great and people can't choose any career they want... But in essence, either complain to your employer, join a union or organization that protects you — don't put it on the end consumer to throw their money at the problem. Otherwise, find a profession you are happy with and feel appreciated and valued at. As I said, there are much more charitable causes than supporting waiting staff.
    Lazer - cash tips do not need to be declared. Tip earners have the fact reflected in their tax codes.

    See, now most other people have to have their bonus or any extra money taxed. In fact, if you're saying that tips constitute a large part of waiters salaries, then you're already doing better than most other jobs, where all (at least most) of our salaries are taxed.
    Again thanks for your opinions. I think the NMW point and the fact that other jobs have similar needs and challenges is fair comment, but I don't think it necessarily trumps every argument for a tipping culture. And if everyone rounded up the bill in the way you suggest, I would make somewhat more in tips than I do now ;-)

    From what I can tell, tipping culture is new to Britain. In most places in Europe, people round off the cents! It's no surprise that service charge is automatically added to the bill more in London than anywhere else... more tourists to rip off here.

    In America, tipping makes sense (with exceptions) — because staff there sometimes don't receive a salary. (Then again, that's a similar situation where staff should complain and fight against such malpractice.)
  • Idiophreak
    Idiophreak Posts: 12,024 Forumite
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    Jew wrote: »
    Must be your interpretation; wasn't intended to be aggressive. Concise, yes.

    Large, multiquoted posts with parts in bold will always come across as aggressive. Just FYI.
  • Jew
    Jew Posts: 276 Forumite
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    Idiophreak wrote: »
    Large, multiquoted posts with parts in bold will always come across as aggressive. Just FYI.

    Thanks but to clarify:

    I bolded things for the benefit of other people who don't have time to read all of my replies but just want to get the gist.

    Large post? Well, the post I was replying to was large — that's pretty much the reason my reply was large.

    Multi-quoting, I don't see how that's aggressive — I'm simply making sure the discussion flows accurately and it's clear what I'm replying to. Plus, it saves time without needing to introduce each part that I'm replying to (like I am doing now, haha).
  • lazer
    lazer Posts: 3,402 Forumite
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    Guifre wrote: »
    Hi.

    Lazer - cash tips do not need to be declared. Tip earners have the fact reflected in their tax codes.

    Again thanks for your opinions. I think the NMW point and the fact that other jobs have similar needs and challenges is fair comment, but I don't think it necessarily trumps every argument for a tipping culture. And if everyone rounded up the bill in the way you suggest, I would make somewhat more in tips than I do now ;-)

    Actually, the tips may or may not be reflected in the tax code - and if reflected in the code it is an estimation absed on expected tips.
    The estimate should be corrected to the actual amount to ensure you pay the correct tax - do you do this?
    Weight loss challenge, lose 15lb in 6 weeks before Christmas.
  • Guifre
    Guifre Posts: 23 Forumite
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    Hi Lazer,

    Up until about 15 years ago, tips were not taxable. Then Gordon Brown as chancellor changed this by giving tip earners a different tax code. Tips are not declarable, and never have been. Tips left on credit card, however, tend to be taxed and paid in weekly wages. The same goes for service charges payable to the waiter/waitress. This is another part of the same law change implemented by the chancellor. I don't know too much more on the subject to be honest. I do know however that, fair or otherwise, there is no need to, or means to, declare cash tips.
  • Guifre
    Guifre Posts: 23 Forumite
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    Hi Lazer (again)

    My apologies - it appears that my reasons for not declaring tips are wrong, but the fact that I don't declare them is correct - estimates are made based on the industry and that is what you pay tax on, based on tax code.

    Individually companies can agree modifications to this system, such as one chain I worked for where all credit card tips are taxed at full rate, and cash is left undeclared.

    Clear as mud, I'm sure you will agree.
  • Guifre
    Guifre Posts: 23 Forumite
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    Thanks Idiophreak for mentioning the bold/multi-quoting.

    'Coming across as aggressive' isn't purely a matter of intention, it's about the perception of others. I found Jew's need to dissect my opinions piece by piece, and present his/her own as the final word, to be aggressive. I'm used to such an approach when I comment on, say, a football forum (when passions run riot, everyone thinks they're right, and therefore there are no grey areas). I didn't anticipate it on a consumer affairs forum. Your opinions were appreciated by this member.
  • Jew
    Jew Posts: 276 Forumite
    edited 21 August 2012 at 2:30PM
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    Guifre wrote: »
    Thanks Idiophreak for mentioning the bold/multi-quoting.

    'Coming across as aggressive' isn't purely a matter of intention, it's about the perception of others. I found Jew's need to dissect my opinions piece by piece, and present his/her own as the final word, to be aggressive. I'm used to such an approach when I comment on, say, a football forum (when passions run riot, everyone thinks they're right, and therefore there are no grey areas). I didn't anticipate it on a consumer affairs forum. Your opinions were appreciated by this member.

    Yup, my suspicious were verified. You're being passive-agressive.

    I never said my opinions are the final word. Please quote me. I didn't "dissect" anything more or less than you did either. It's how I reply to most long posts. It makes logical sense to keep track of multiple thoughts and arguments. At least to me. If you don't want to do it that way, fine, but don't accuse me of being aggressive where all I'm doing is being concise and systematic.

    Then again, I already said that before — but it seems you don't reply to my posts unless they're bolded and multi-quoted ;)


    I think the real reason why you're being passive aggressive and accusing me of being aggressive is because I questioned whether you're genuine — probably not smart on my part. However, that's only logical to do when there were red flags, on a forum where we can't verify if you are genuine. I had my suspicions (and still do).
  • Idiophreak
    Idiophreak Posts: 12,024 Forumite
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    Jew wrote: »
    I didn't "dissect" anything more or less than you did either. It's how I reply to most long posts. It makes logical sense to keep track of multiple thoughts and arguments. At least to me. If you don't want to do it that way, fine, but don't accuse me of being aggressive where all I'm doing is being concise and systematic.

    Might make sense to you, but that doesn't mean it doesn't come across as aggressive.

    IT'S LOGICALLY SENSIBLE TO TYPE IN UPPER CASE ON THESE BOARDS - IT'S EASIER TO READ AND SAVES BOTHERING WITH CAPITALS. BUT IT STILL ANNOYS PEOPLE AND MAKES THEM THINK YOU'RE SHOUTING AT THEM. SO PEOPLE DON'T DO IT, OR ACCEPT THE CONSEQUENCES IF THEY DO.
  • Jew
    Jew Posts: 276 Forumite
    edited 21 August 2012 at 6:45PM
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    Idiophreak wrote: »
    Might make sense to you, but that doesn't mean it doesn't come across as aggressive.

    IT'S LOGICALLY SENSIBLE TO TYPE IN UPPER CASE ON THESE BOARDS - IT'S EASIER TO READ AND SAVES BOTHERING WITH CAPITALS. BUT IT STILL ANNOYS PEOPLE AND MAKES THEM THINK YOU'RE SHOUTING AT THEM. SO PEOPLE DON'T DO IT, OR ACCEPT THE CONSEQUENCES IF THEY DO.

    CAPS and <strong> are two different things.

    And your argument is weak because:

    - What you wrote in caps is not true — caps aren't easier to read; in fact, advertisers stay away from caps because it takes longer to read and looks confusing (unless it's for short words).
    - I don't think it's easier. Not bothering with capitals is fine. Would you be mocking me the same way if I would have written without proper capitalization?
    - In any case, I never said that bolding things is easier — in fact, I took my time for the benefit of people with less time to make things legible. What I did say is that replying point-by-point is easier — also for the benefit of others to follow the discussion if they're interested. When you argue law, you do it point-by-point. Same with responses to essays and so on, and for good reason. That's at least how I was taught in school and university.

    All you're accusing me of here is using standard writing practices; and you're doing it pretty poorly as you're basically building a straw-man fallacy.

    A <strong> tag is for emphasis. It appears usually as bold — the two are used interchangeably (often, albeit, incorrectly). In the absence of the strong tag, the bold tag takes its place. The HTML guidelines state: "Renders as strong (highlighted) text" — that's just how I meant it: the main point, identified and highlighted out. That's how it's meant across the web, for search engines, and so on.

    The only consequences I accept are that someone misinterpreted what I wrote. Not my problem. I think that replying to things part-by-part is a logically sound way of going about an orderly and civilized discussion. I think that bolding points of emphasis — mainly for readers who don't have time to get the gist — is also a good and useful thing to do.
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