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  • FIRST POST
    Jew
    0 WOW
    How to ask for optional service charge 12.5% to be taken off?
    • #1
    • 11th Jul 12, 3:35 PM
    0 WOW
    How to ask for optional service charge 12.5% to be taken off? 11th Jul 12 at 3:35 PM
    What is the best thing to say when asking to take off the optional service charge from your bill when paying by card?

    What gets it done with the least confrontation and awkwardness?


    I find the whole process to be very awkward. Sometimes when I've asked to remove it, I am negatively confronted and questioned by staff. I want to avoid that. I hate to ruin a good meal, but I also hate to walk away feeling ripped off by a restaurant that didn't deserve it.

Page 1
    • richardw
    • By richardw 11th Jul 12, 9:38 PM
    • 19,082 Posts
    • 8,072 Thanks
    richardw
    • #2
    • 11th Jul 12, 9:38 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Jul 12, 9:38 PM
    Just say you are going to tip in cash.
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
  • Jew
    • #3
    • 11th Jul 12, 9:40 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Jul 12, 9:40 PM
    Just say you are going to tip in cash.
    Originally posted by richardw
    But what if the service wasn't worth tipping?
    • richardw
    • By richardw 11th Jul 12, 9:43 PM
    • 19,082 Posts
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    richardw
    • #4
    • 11th Jul 12, 9:43 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Jul 12, 9:43 PM
    But what if the service wasn't worth tipping?
    Originally posted by Jew
    You have a number of 5p 10p 20p 50p coins ready in change.
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
  • Jew
    • #5
    • 11th Jul 12, 9:49 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Jul 12, 9:49 PM
    You have a number of 5p 10p 20p 50p coins ready in change.
    Originally posted by richardw
    LOL!

    I'm not that mean.

    As I said, I want to leave the place feeling good. If the service was bad, to hell with them, not gonna let it ruin my day — what will, is an awkward confrontation and negative energy from the staff...

    ...I'd like to avoid that.

    But 50p is a lot!
    I haven't found that on the floor in ages...
    • richardw
    • By richardw 11th Jul 12, 10:03 PM
    • 19,082 Posts
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    richardw
    • #6
    • 11th Jul 12, 10:03 PM
    • #6
    • 11th Jul 12, 10:03 PM
    If you're not getting the service you expect, some restaurants may expect you to say so when it happens.
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
  • Jew
    • #7
    • 11th Jul 12, 10:16 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Jul 12, 10:16 PM
    If you're not getting the service you expect, some restaurants may expect you to say so when it happens.
    Originally posted by richardw
    Usually, I don't think service is worth 12.5% anyway. And that's usually my concern. Especially if I order a lot/expensive things. I don't see why I should be forced to pay a percentage.

    But in either case, I didn't go there to give them a free focus group. I don't want them to ask questions, and that's it.

    I think it's very nosey, and annoys me further...
    • richardw
    • By richardw 12th Jul 12, 8:33 AM
    • 19,082 Posts
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    richardw
    • #8
    • 12th Jul 12, 8:33 AM
    • #8
    • 12th Jul 12, 8:33 AM
    If you are spending a lot, perhaps negotiate a flat fixed service charge with the Maitre'D before you sit down.
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 12th Jul 12, 8:35 AM
    • 67,745 Posts
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    PasturesNew
    • #9
    • 12th Jul 12, 8:35 AM
    • #9
    • 12th Jul 12, 8:35 AM
    Vote with your feet - and don't go there again. Find somewhere that doesn't make you feel awkward... after all, being made to feel awkward or not IS part of the customer experience and therefore the customer service.
    • HappyMJ
    • By HappyMJ 12th Jul 12, 8:39 AM
    • 20,595 Posts
    • 17,201 Thanks
    HappyMJ
    I say. "Sorry, I'm eating here on business expenses and my company does not allow tips on the bill to go through on expenses and I can't afford it".

    If they wanted to charge the correct rate for the food and service in the first place then they would get their money. I never tip and always take optional tips off the bill when they have been added.

    Regular savers earn 6% interest (HSBC, First Direct, M&S) Loans cost 2.9% per year (Nationwide) = FREE money.
  • Jew
    Thanks guys! Good tips!

    If you are spending a lot, perhaps negotiate a flat fixed service charge with the Maitre'D before you sit down.
    Originally posted by richardw
    ...and get spit in my food? :P
    • richardw
    • By richardw 12th Jul 12, 1:08 PM
    • 19,082 Posts
    • 8,072 Thanks
    richardw
    Thanks guys! Good tips!



    ...and get spit in my food? :P
    Originally posted by Jew
    If you think that is likely, avoid that restaurant.
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
  • Jew
    If you think that is likely, avoid that restaurant.
    Originally posted by richardw
    I don't know, is it likely?

    And I can't know until I've eaten there... and I'm asking this in regards to restaurants that are either new to me, or well-known...
    • greenface
    • By greenface 12th Jul 12, 2:33 PM
    • 4,581 Posts
    • 2,390 Thanks
    greenface
    Firstly i dont like when the charge is put on for service charge and always ask it to be removed from the bill . If the service is good i normall round up to the above 10% (so a 68.32 bill gets 7 tip)I pay this in cash seperate from the bill and there is a better chance of the service staff and cooks getting it. If the service is rubbish and/or food rubbish ask them to remove it and pay the flat amount but please tell them its not up to standard as they can improve this way. Often people never tip no matter how good the food and service was and i dont blame them either. You dont have to and how often do you tip the friendly helpful boy/girl who is serving you your monthly shop in asda or local newsagent etc. Staff get a wage if its low its upto the owners to increase the pay or price of the food to cover and risk custom.
    hard as nails on the internet . wimp in the real world
  • Jew
    Often people never tip no matter how good the food and service was and i dont blame them either. You dont have to and how often do you tip the friendly helpful boy/girl who is serving you your monthly shop in asda or local newsagent etc. Staff get a wage if its low its upto the owners to increase the pay or price of the food to cover and risk custom.
    Originally posted by greenface
    Agreed.

    That's why I'm looking for ways to ask easily, without any added talking.

    I think it's very strange how one has to ask... something like this would be illegal in Germany, for example.
    • Idiophreak
    • By Idiophreak 12th Jul 12, 3:11 PM
    • 11,635 Posts
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    Idiophreak
    I don't really see the big issue. So you weren't happy with something and want the tip taking off. If they ask why you want the tip taking off, you tell them what you were unhappy about. Job done.

    I really don't think it's unreasonable for them to want to know what they've done wrong...and in my experience, it very rarely turns into any kind of scene...
  • Jew
    I don't really see the big issue.
    Originally posted by Idiophreak
    The big issue is that they are adding things to the bill, often without clear notice prior, and the only way to have them removed is by asking.

    There is a barrier there. Especially when in a group, or with people you are trying to "impress". Even if the service is bad, people are unlikely to ask to remove it, just because of that awkward barrier.

    Also, for tourists, there's a language barrier, not everyone knows what "discretionary" means. Optional would have been a better word to use, and even then, people may not know. British people complain of being ripped off when they travel, but they are doing the same in London.

    Frankly, I really think it should be outlawed. As I said, consumer rights are a big thing in Germany, and this would not be tolerated there.
    • Idiophreak
    • By Idiophreak 12th Jul 12, 3:48 PM
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    Idiophreak
    The big issue is that they are adding things to the bill, often without clear notice prior, and the only way to have them removed is by asking.
    Originally posted by Jew
    So, out of curiosity, what would you view as being a better way of having the charge removed? ESP?

    "Asking" really isn't that hard. You just use your words.

    I understand where you're coming from re: foreign tourists etc, but people being foreign doesn't change the reason the charges are added in the first place - it's just harder to wait on large groups of people.
  • Jew
    So, out of curiosity, what would you view as being a better way of having the charge removed? ESP?

    "Asking" really isn't that hard. You just use your words.
    Originally posted by Idiophreak
    Before more clever comments, maybe take a look at my initial post... I'm not looking for a discussion with you. It is clear to me that doing this is wrong and that I need to look for solutions.

    I want to look for easy ways around it — good things to say, tips like that, etc.

    I understand where you're coming from re: foreign tourists etc, but people being foreign doesn't change the reason the charges are added in the first place - it's just harder to wait on large groups of people.
    That's not my concern. It should be included in the prices. Don't have a restaurant business if something's too "hard" for you that you need to add hidden surcharges at the end.

    I've even seen places say that any more than 5 people and they will add a mandatory 20% service charge. Where is the logic there? How come when you buy everything else in bulk you get a discount? I this case, you even bring them more customers, and they rip you off?

    Like it or not, most British people avoid confrontation like this. Even if the service has been bad, most people will not ask for the service to be taken off. In other words, they are playing on psychology to earn more money in a fraudulent way. It's the same as when you find a flight for a certain price, enter all your details, and at the very last step, you're told that there's going to be an additional fee. Even if there was an asterisk at the beginning, this is fraudulent in my mind. And the EU government is doing something about it now.
    Last edited by Jew; 12-07-2012 at 3:57 PM.
    • Idiophreak
    • By Idiophreak 12th Jul 12, 4:11 PM
    • 11,635 Posts
    • 15,175 Thanks
    Idiophreak
    Before more clever comments, maybe take a look at my initial post... I'm not looking for a discussion with you. It is clear to me that doing this is wrong and that I need to look for solutions.
    Originally posted by Jew
    But what's wrong with just "ask for the thing to be removed" as a solution? You think it's un-British? It's really not that hard...especially if you have good reasons for wanting it taken off. You don't need to make excuses or use "tips and tricks"...you just tell the truth. Even if it's just that "I don't give tips".

    That's not my concern. It should be included in the prices. Don't have a restaurant business if something's too "hard" for you that you need to add hidden surcharges at the end.

    I've even seen places say that any more than 5 people and they will add a mandatory 20% service charge. Where is the logic there? How come when you buy everything else in bulk you get a discount? I this case, you even bring them more customers, and they rip you off?
    Originally posted by Jew
    It's just not the same thing. With service, the more people you're serving, the more time it takes. Waiting on three tables of two is much faster than waiting on one table of six.

    On a table for two, or four (which is most people), why should I pay more just to subsidise the group of 12 in the corner that are making a racket, slowing down our food order and taking up all of the waitresses' time? Seems entirely fair that large groups, who take up proportionally more of the staff's time, should pay more. The only thing I'm not sure about is why it's optional...
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