Tipping has really changed over the years

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

By now, you’re probably used to tipping by tablet. You know, when it comes time to pay a bill and you swipe your card into a tablet to settle up and then a range of suggested tips is presented. 

The practice is common everywhere from restaurants to hair salons, taxi cabs to coffee shops. And now, that’s not all.

“You might be prompted for a tip in places that you don’t expect. So, you might be prompted for a tip at your local bakery or at your local food truck,” says author and personal finance columnist Liz Weston of NerdWallet.

Weston looked into the tipping trend. She determined the digital checkouts are not only adding tips where tips didn’t exist before, but that the size of the suggestions is creeping up too. And, there’s more.

“Sometimes, a tipping option might be pre-checked for you. This is something that my editor ran into when he went to get a haircut. That’s where he saw the 25 percent tip as the suggested tip.”

Some apps pre-program suggestions up to 25 percent, others allow businesses to set the tips at whatever amount they want. Many times, you can click on a “no tip” button, but one report finds nearly a third of those asked said the button would actually increase their chances of leaving a tip.

Research also shows whenever people are offered a range, they tend to go for the middle option.

Weston says, “Whereas a normal tip might be 15 percent, they might be trying to get it up to 25 percent, and maybe they just hope you’ll settle for 20 percent.”

Websites of some leading payment systems tout customer convenience, saying that the programs “calculate the math” and offer “digital receipts,” but the “suggested tip options keep employees happy too.” 

Weston says, “This is a trend that’s going to grow because the merchants have discovered it does boost tips.”

She says no matter what the buttons say, remember: you are always in control. “Take a breath and make sure you’re tipping the amount that you want to tip. If you can’t find the custom option, then don’t leave any tip at all via the app and give the person something in cash.”

Also, it’s worth noting: while the suggestions have gone up, tipping rules haven’t changed. The etiquette is still 15 to 20 percent for good service at a sit-down restaurant, 10-15 percent for home delivery, 15 to 20 percent for a taxi.

We contacted the Small Business Administration for the small business side but did not hear back. We also reached out to Square, a leading payment system, but did not get a response.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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