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Tipping is in the culture


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#241 Steve Douglas

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 02:20 PM

Leading a group to the Cocos this coming week. One gal from S. Africa, two from England, one from LA, one from Arizona, one from Palau, about 9 from N.Carolina, me, a New Yorker living in San Diego, and can't recall where the others are coming from. Maybe I should do a poll by the individual states vs the rest of the world.
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ps. Agreed, an interesting PhD theses might be in the calling

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#242 Pete L

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 02:27 AM

What a great way to think. A returning customer is the best tip a business could ever wish for.

Stew



I once heard someone say that a happy customer will tell 2 friends how good there experiance was but an unhappy customer will tell 10 friends how bad the service was.

The maths are pretty simple on that one me thinks.

Maybe people need to start looking at what they do have instead of what they don't have.

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#243 Autopsea

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 10:36 AM

BTW, why everyone that goes on our photography galleries don't just send a few $ to our paypall, as tips for all the work and money involved in taking these pictures? :B):
AND, a lot of us don't even have a salary for taking these pictures. so giving a tip at each gallery look is a huge increases of the money we make.

Maybe this is silly, BUT, it probably explain a lot : if you get tips, you give tips. In the U.S. the system is made for the money to move a lot between people. In other countries, you do your work, and one get money ONCE a month, and this is all what you will get, ever. you keep it for as few things as you can.

Just look at the number of cofee shops and all that in a big U.S. city compared to any european big city. American uses their money for anything, European mostly keeps it for "important" things. Just a difference of system, not judging :huh:

#244 Drew

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 03:42 AM

Just look at the number of cofee shops and all that in a big U.S. city compared to any european big city. American uses their money for anything, European mostly keeps it for "important" things. Just a difference of system, not judging


Well it's also about having the disposable income due to lower taxes, less protective labor laws, general propensity to work more hours per week than the Euro counterparts etc etc. I've alway thought the point of this thread was to point out once you leave your country, your rules don't always apply in the foreign place.

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#245 cor

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 04:15 AM

Heh Drew, except for dive operations, who seem to all have adopted the american tipping culture no matter what country they're in :B):

In the US tipping is no longer a 'culture' thing. It once was, but not anymore. In many other places in the world it still is (but slowly changing as well). In the US it's about companies having been allowed to lower wages significantly below minimum wage, arguing that tipping should be seen as part of their wages. This switched the dynamics of tipping. Instead of being appreciated, it's now the norm, and not tipping is seen as highly offensive. People have actually grown to find this normal. That shows the power of the company in the US. They force you to pay their employees wages twice (product and tipping) and have successfully psychotrained you to defend this practice vigorously. Hats off :huh:
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#246 Drew

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 04:27 AM

Well one can blame PADI for that! :huh:

I agree and it's BS. I've never been trained well for that, having lived in so many countries from young. I guess I'm not a good gauge for the US citizens! :B): I must say that when I'm in the US, the 15-20% rule applies without thought.

I was in Capetown with some friends at a restaurant, and thanks to some bad iPhone math, my friend miscalculated the tip to about 8%. The "waitron" actually told us it was low by 2%.
The good news is that the dive industry in South Africa don't expect a 10% tip... but they do take getting paid promptly seriously! :)

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#247 BDSC

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 03:31 AM

I'll be headed to Cocos with Steve this week along with some friends of ours. The four of us went out to dinner this past weekend and the very subject of how much to tip came up. I think with liveaboards it's hard to base your tip strictly on a percentage of the cost of the package. A 10% tip on a $4200 package would be $420! To me, that seems like a lot of money for a "tip".

#248 Steve Williams

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 09:08 AM

Sure seems like a lot of money doesn't it. I've always struggled trying to figure out what the right about to tip should be. I finally figured out that if you break it down to what you'd be paying if you stayed in a resort it doesn't look so out of line.

Figure what you'd normally tip for meals for 10 days. Think about breakfast, lunch and dinner the tip you'd leave can easily come to $10 a day. Ten days gets you $100. Throw in a couple of drinks and it would be more. :B):

If you figure you'd slip the dive guide at the resort a ten for helping you get that great shot, you come up with 40 a day for 4 dives off the boat. Seven days of diving comes to about $280.

Would you tip the captain and crew of a boat that took you out for a day on the water? Thinking $200 a day even at just 10% you'd get $200 for ten days.

If you add that up you would have spent somewhere around $580 in tips for my scenario at a resort. You're $420 number doesn't look so out of line.

This doesn't even take into account if someone goes far beyond your expectations and you want to thank them with a little extra. I remember writing to Peter Hughes years ago and asking why he split the tips on his boats evenly. I thought the dive masters/guides should get more than the lady who cleans the rooms. He was adamant that everyone on board had an equally important role in making the quests happy. He knows what he's doing so I couldn't argue. My answer was to send my favorite guide a birthday card when I got home with a little present inside.

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#249 londonsean69

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 09:11 AM

If you figure you'd slip the dive guide at the resort a ten for helping you get that great shot, you come up with 40 a day for 4 dives off the boat. Seven days of diving comes to about $280.


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#250 Steve Williams

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 09:29 AM

I wish I had customers like you when I was a dive guide


:B): My son is a instructor/ trip leader, dive guide so I may have a skewed view of the world.

I understand we're all different and our cultures affect the way we think about things. If I went out for a two dive day trip, say off Florida or someplace typical I'd normally leave a $20 for the crew assuming they were busting their butts to help me have a great day.

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#251 BDSC

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 10:09 AM

You must stay at some really great resorts!

This past spring we went and stayed in Cayman Brac at the Brac Reef Beach Resort. The resort is basically brand new. The cost for the week for the rooms, all three meals (and the food was truly outstanding), 17 dives, three alcoholic beverages per day, taxes and service charges (tips) was right at $1450 or so. The only thing not included in that price is tips for the dive crew. The diving there is valet service diving. You sit at the back of the boat and they bring your BC, cameras, etc. and you just slip everything on and fall in the water. At the end of the dive they take your tank/bc and switch to a new tank. They rinse your gear at the end of the day. So these guys work hard. They have a sheet in the dive office that "recommends" a tip for the week of $100 per diver for a weeks package. Now Kim and I did tip more than that because they do work really hard and are a great group. And like I said, tips for the restaurant and cleaning staff at the resort were included in the $1450 price and they even tell you tips are not expected. Again, we did leave extra for those folks but when you total it up it didn't come close to $400 per person.

I guess it really boils down to a personal thing. I usually end up tipping on the high side but still it needs to be within reason.

#252 Drew

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 10:48 AM


[font="Calibri"][size=3]This doesn't even take into account if someone goes far beyond your expectations and you want to thank them with a little extra. I remember writing to Peter Hughes years ago and asking why he split the tips on his boats evenly. I thought the dive masters/guides should get more than the lady who cleans the rooms. He was adamant that everyone on board had an equally important role in making the quests happy. He knows what he's doing so I couldn't argue. My answer was to send my favorite guide a birthday card when I got home with a little present inside.

Cheers,
Steve

I have to disagree with that assessment. It's easy for the customer relations people to build rapport. I think the engineer who keeps the boat running, the cleaners who make sure my room is in great shape, the cook who feeds me well etc all deserve to have a fair share of the tip. I'm with Hughes on this one. I think the front line person represents the whole crew.

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#253 Steve Williams

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 12:09 PM

I'm with you Drew. Peter convinced me back in the early 90's when this came up. Every member of the crew is critical to a successful trip. In this one case the photo pro on the boat was trying to make a video for us. It was the second trip of the ill fated Wave Dancer in Belize. The poor guy was trying to sync the music to the video and every time the gen sets would switch over (Hourly) he would lose lock and have to start over. New boat, new systems, new video gear. It took him all night and then some to make our little video and since it was his first he went a little overboard. I thought his extra effort was worth an extra tip.

Cheers,
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#254 loftus

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 12:10 PM

Heh Drew, except for dive operations, who seem to all have adopted the american tipping culture no matter what country they're in :huh:

In the US tipping is no longer a 'culture' thing. It once was, but not anymore. In many other places in the world it still is (but slowly changing as well). In the US it's about companies having been allowed to lower wages significantly below minimum wage, arguing that tipping should be seen as part of their wages. This switched the dynamics of tipping. Instead of being appreciated, it's now the norm, and not tipping is seen as highly offensive. People have actually grown to find this normal. That shows the power of the company in the US. They force you to pay their employees wages twice (product and tipping) and have successfully psychotrained you to defend this practice vigorously. Hats off :)

Remember this is only in certain restricted service professions like restaurants, others have to pay at least minimum wage. This is the case not only for large franchise type restaurant companies but also your little mom and pop restaurants. One of the first things that struck me when I moved to America, was how much better the service was in American restaurants than in European or South African restaurants where I am from. I have to believe that is largely due to the incentive of tips, and not due to innate superiority of American waiters over Europeans.
Wow, what a concept! How surprising people are motivated to work harder if they know there's more money in it for them, and not to work so hard if they are going to earn the same no matter what. Yeah I'm sure it's only ugly Americans who think like that, everybody else gives 100% just for a fair wage. :B):
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#255 Steve Douglas

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 12:44 PM

Hey Steve
Leaving tomorrow and will be at the airport at 8:40. There is a huge difference between diving off a resort and doing a liveaboad yet tipping is part and parcel of the US culture regardless whether other societies tip or not. That said, tip what you think is best; some can afford more than others plain and simple. Peter was correct, the cleaning people and the cooks all contribute to your good times. I completely understand his point. Never the less, if some one is extra special, slipping them a little something extra doesn't hurt.
Only once, on the Galapagos Aggressor with only 6 guests on board did I not tip. The crew were just plain lazy as all get up. The one crewman who was helpful and went out of his way I had come to my cabin on the last day and I tipped him privately.
That said, what you tip is your business and should be kept private. The only thing I don't like about the Aggressor in C.R. is that each person comes up individually to settle accounts including the tip, so as soon as you run your card through the machine, the captain sees right away what you've tipped. This can make the person who can't afford as much feel badly. Another reason why I prefer my guests just to give me their tips to put in a collective envelope so it stays private as to what you did or didn't tip.
Didn't know your son was a trip leader and got tips. In all these years, rarely has a tip been thrown my way, never even think of it any more. When I owned a dive shop, tourist divers who hired me to take them out would sometimes tip me but, more often than not, didn't.

Steve

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#256 bvanant

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 01:46 PM

It is clear that most restaurants and most service operators like taxi drivers expect tips in the U.S. but isn't a service charge often added to restaurant bills in most of Europe? At a recent meeting in Berlin there was a service charge added (not just VAT) to most of my restaurant bills, is that normal?
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#257 cor

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 03:26 AM

In restaurants in amsterdam ive not seen this yet. Maybe in some really touristy areas, i generally dont go to those restaurants. But like I said, it's finding its way to other places as well. It's a business model that can't be beat.
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#258 Steve Douglas

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 09:38 AM

So, let me ask this. Where in the world is tipping not expected, even from Americans? Are there places where tipping would be an insult?
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#259 Pete L

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 01:41 AM

Australia doesn't have a tipping culture. At least not that i am aware of. I do sometimes leave my change behind or i might tip $10 or so for an exceptionally good meal but it is no way expected here in aus.
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#260 Luko

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 07:40 AM

Where in the world is tipping not expected, even from Americans? Are there places where tipping would be an insult?
Steve

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