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Steve Douglas

Tipping is in the culture

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As for the bad service due to nationalities issue, it's a vicious circle. I prefer a pricing structure that pays their staff so they don't depend on the supplementary income of gratuities. Then a tip becomes a tip and not a mandatory service charge.

 

Agreed... Its basically racism and just pure greed to isolate Europeans and us in the UK :) for extra charges... If you don't like your jobs wages go somewhere else, I know many probably cannot but you know the wage when you get the job... I dont expect a bloody tip everytime I do a job for someone but I do a good job (hopefully) and if I do get a tip then thanks...

 

I defo won't be using any boat/centre etc that charges a 'tip' before you get there... Cheeky sods... If I tried that I'd be out of work sharpish...

 

Dive safe

 

DeanB

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The worst part of tipping is when you get really good service from some and totally awful service from others within the same operation.

 

I had such a situation a couple of years ago in Bali. The level of organisation at the dive centre was hopeless

 

I know their in Lembeh now but tip Simon as he's getting married and Mikey is rich enough to go without ... :):)

 

Dive safe

 

DeanB

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Well, still haven't heard back yet from DB.

Drew..I really have to disagree with you on "I think it's fair to add a service charge as part of the bill, IF they say so before hand. I consider that part of the price of a meal but just itemized on the bill"

The purpose of a tip is to show appreciation....it is voluntary. To have that automatically added, to me, is just plain wrong.

 

Steve, perhaps I wasn't clear. Usually they list it as a service charge but it's basically you're paying for the labor but it's itemized on the bill vs pre-added as part of the cost said item. Stupid to separate it but it's part of the cost. There's no expectation for a tip anymore because they are compensated. Only if they go beyond their duties, would I give a tip. That's the way it should be.

If they list it separately, it's harder to stomach but that's the double edged sword... Include it in the price, it's higher and turns off potential customers... list it and it pisses off other people.

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What about the crew that you didn't see? The engineers, the cabin stewards, the second chef, etc?

 

The reason that I don't like selective tipping is that the ones who are most visible aren't necessarily the ones working the hardest.

 

But if tipping is based on the quality of service how do you judge the quality of service of the people you never see? How do you know if they're working hard or tossing it off? And if tipping is not based on quality of service but just on people being there doing their job, then why not just up the price of the trip and get rid of tipping?

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And if tipping is not based on quality of service but just on people being there doing their job, then why not just up the price of the trip and get rid of tipping?

That's the issue here. Some industries just have a wage structure that includes relies on tipping. If it were different, I don't think we'd be having this conversation!

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That's the issue here. Some industries just have a wage structure that includes relies on tipping.....!

 

But why??

 

I guess this is going to be unpopular on a predominantly US based forum but why do Americans think they are the ones in step. More than half the world has a culture where people are paid the rate for the job and tipping is a reward for excellent service beyond the call. I find it difficult to understand why it is necessary for things to be different.

 

The randomness of tipping can, at the end of the day, only be inequitable, give employers an excuse to under-pay and ultimately cause dissatisfaction - unless you're the "big guy" flashing the cash.

 

Please US citizens, don't pollute the rest of the world with this culture.

Edited by Balrog

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Please US citizens, don't pollute the rest of the world with this culture.

There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that tipping was an English import into the colonies.

 

My understanding is that English taverns had no waiter and people served themselves ... but when rich folks would come around, people would "wait" around to see if the rich folk needed anything, and then would accept a "tip" when they would clear their plates or fill their glasses. Eventually, the inn and tavern-keepers hired such folk as "waiters" and paid them small wages ... wages that were supplemented by tips. The rest is history.

 

So blame yourself and your caste system.

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...So blame yourself and your caste system.

Yes, there's a lot of history us Brits are not proud of :)

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Usually they list it as a service charge but it's basically you're paying for the labor

This may be the case, but in many countries a government tax and "service" charge are added to the bill (up to 21%, for example in Indonesia), and I would be surprised if the individual employees actually see any of it. It's probable (Please correct me if I am wrong..it won't be the first time) that it's more of a Value Added Tax. Last year, whilst at an upmarket Lembeh resort, we were assured that service was included upon our orientation. (Frankly, I was surprised, as I had budgeted for tipping) Then, we were given an envelope upon checkout for tips, which seemed contradictory.

As a Canadian, contrary to popular belief, we do tip (not just our canoes), but probably not to the degree of Americans (but again, it varies like mad from individual to individual). I have just returned from Indonesia, and I again tipped,(but not individually, for the first time.) The guides, of course help me immensely! But, I thought what about the guy filling my Nitrox tank, or the lovely man that hauled my camera rig up the stairs to my room after the dive day, even though I tried to convince him not to? Or, (and this is why I don't like the guides getting the bulk of diver's tips, whilst leaving nothing else) what about the girl mopping the deck of the boat, cleaning the head or the equipment room after you're back enjoying a cocktail? I decided this time, I would give a tip to the hotel staff, kitchen staff and dive staff.

I really appreciated the tipping advice left at the last resort that I stayed (Black Sand, in Lembeh). They didn't push tipping, (although I wish that their wording had been a little more encouraging) They really thought that it should be up to the guest. The best part was that if you wanted to designate part of your tip to one person, so be it. I have never seen this, so I liked it a lot. It gave me the flexibility to reward good guiding, yet not ignore what was fine service from people I never even saw, like the staff that cleaned my room.

I am not a wealthy person; I am rich by the standards I see when I travel for diving. I abhor the "you should pay a certain percentage of the cost" attitude I have seen from many North American based liveaboards. I know that in some cases, the local staff do not ever see those tips; it ended up in the "western" liveaboard manager's or owner's pocket.

So, this thread will resurrect from time to time, because there are "no rules". Wouldn't it be nice if there were? (I'd rather there not be) Forgive me if I "spoil" it for someone that feels that by giving someone a month's salary's tip that may help them get access to health care that on their measly salary they could not afford will somehow "obligate them" on their holiday. $50 is the monthly salary for a dive guide in some parts of the world. I think we all need to put it into perspective. Instead of translating everything into the country's standards, i.e. based on their economy, try to think of it in perspective of your own existence. Maybe with a tip or two (and I'm not talking extravagant), you can help an employee send their child to school or nurse an ailing parent. When I unexpectedly ran into last year's guide at a different dive operation this year, I was given the warmest hug for my "month's salary" tip. It helped provide for his extended family the basics that we take for granted.

 

My 2 cents,

Marli

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Yes, there's a lot of history us Brits are not proud of :)

That's ok. "To Insure Promptitude" is an export but not your invention. There's evidence that tipping existed during the Roman Empire (damn the Romans for giving us togas and tipping!) :)

It's amazing that in the early 1900s, 7 states in the US banned tipping and even Mark Twain wrote against it.

Marli, "service charge included" to me means the staff is being paid already. So only when there's extraordinary service, like when one boat engineer spent the whole night fixing a part I was modding for a housing, on his own accord, when I'd given up, because he wanted to. He got a serious tip.

Marli's post actually reminded me one aspect I found in the various papers I read about tipping including NWU's Azar's paper on gratuity. There is a socio-economic element to it that is peculiar. We don't tip doctors, lawyers or anyone we deem are our socio-economic equals, but somehow, the laborers get the tip and it's obviously encouraged by the owners.

I've been guilty of that vein of thought when one of Eric's client tipped me for running the boat in South Africa. I felt insulted and outraged that someone would dare to tip me (he's a friend now and no longer dares to).

Regardless of the history and socio-economic underpinnings, it's obvious that many take advantage of such social norms. I think Eric Felten's article sums it up nicely:

The point of tipping

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There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that tipping was an English import into the colonies.

 

My understanding is that English taverns had no waiter and people served themselves ... but when rich folks would come around, people would "wait" around to see if the rich folk needed anything, and then would accept a "tip" when they would clear their plates or fill their glasses. Eventually, the inn and tavern-keepers hired such folk as "waiters" and paid them small wages ... wages that were supplemented by tips. The rest is history.

 

So blame yourself and your caste system.

 

 

That may be so, but we have moved on. When are the rest of the world going to follow. We used to have slaves as well but we dont anymore.

 

 

 

Stew

Edited by stewsmith

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Ahhh....the thread that will not die! :)

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That may be so, but we have moved on. When are the rest of the world going to follow. We used to have slaves as well but we dont anymore.

 

Equating slavery and tipping is a bit strange.

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Equating slavery and tipping is a bit strange.

 

LOL... it wasnt meant like that.... I was trying to say that we used to have slaves but dont any more. You were making a point that tipping started over here. I was replying saying, but we dont do it anymore. I was not putting the two together Jeremy.

 

Stew

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LOL... it wasnt meant like that.... I was trying to say that we used to have slaves but dont any more. You were making a point that tipping started over here. I was replying saying, but we dont do it anymore. I was not putting the two together Jeremy.

 

Stew

I hear ya.

 

It was an interesting contrast.

 

This really is the thread that will not die ...

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What about the Red Sea? What is the norm out there as regards tipping these days?

Edited by RedSeaDiver

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What about the Red Sea? What is the norm out there as regards tipping these days?

 

I have not ever seen any form of pressure to tip the guides out there, although i do and i have only had 1 trip years ago where i didnt feel the guide earned a tip as she only dove 3 times in a week !!!! But the rest of the crew deserved one so a tip was given to them. In my experience the Egyptian guides love their jobs, are enthusiastic and try to make sure that the guests are having a good time. This isnt to say all of them are like this, but the ones i have come across on liveaboards have been. BIG Ahmed on the Grand Sea Serpent would take drink orders last thing at night and deliver a freshly brewed mug of tea or coffee to my cabin every morning when he came to wake me up. Service like this is great and of course make divers tip a little bit more and enjoy their trip a little bit more also. I think i usually tip around £100-150 for a weeks liveaboard which is a tip from me and my wife. Again if someone on the boats go out of their way to make it more enjoyable then they get a little extra. Guys on the zodiacs that look after both of our rigs are usually tipped seperately. Again this is a personal preference and because i tip this amount does not mean that others have to.

 

Stew

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You Americans are far more generous with the tips.. Indeed I agree

Edited by weedray

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I thought I would leave a response from someone working in the dive industry in Thailand and in the past Egypt, that receives tips regularly (depending on where my guests come from)

 

Working in an industry where a professional earns 20 euro a day for what can be up to a 10 hour day and costs of working, work permits, visas, dive equipment, servicing, camera gear and replacing dive equipment eats up most if not all of your money tips are really appreciated.

 

While we do not expect tips from everyone when you go that extra mile for a customer it is appreciated when it is recognized by someone by slipping you a few notes and saying thanks for your help today here go and have a couple of beers on me.

 

Personally I grew up in a non tipping culture and only became aware of the impact when choosing this line of work. I don't think a tip needs to be a percentage of what you have spent it should be as much or as little as you are comfortable with. As someone who receives tips I would never feel insulted by receiving no tip or a low tip as we are in the service industry after all.

 

I use the beer meter to gauge tips (not that I ever spend it on beer myself) If someone does a hard days work I tip them the equivalent of what a couple of beers cost at the local bar for each day they have looked after me. If they sit on the back of the boat texting their girlfriend all day – I wouldn't bother.

 

If someone gives you exceptional service you may want to buy them dinner (or tip equivalently). This is how I gauge how to tip others who provide me service. I personally spend all my tips on dive equipment, servicing and further advancing my training so that I can provide a better service to my customers.

 

So receiving a tip could mean the difference between getting my regulators serviced or not.

 

I would never pay a tip up front and I would never pay it to the business owner. I tip as a sign of appreciation and I want the person I tip to know I appreciate them so I would give it to them personaly.

 

http://www.kevinblack.co.uk

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I always tell people that my remaining grey hair didn't come cheap. I believe when it comes to tipping, it's important to give what is considered normal at the place you are at.

I learned the hard way. A little shoes-shine buy did such a good job of my shoes in Instanbul that I generously gave him a 20 dollar tip. He ran like hell but the other shoes shine boys caught him, beat him up and took it from him. I wasn't very generous after all, was I?

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I believe that the trick to tipping is to give the amount that is customary in that place. Too much is as bad as too little. I was once so pleased with the efforts of a little boy who cleaned my shoes (renovated might be a better word) in Instanbul that I gave him $10 tip. He looked at it, snatched it and ran leaving his cleaning kit behind. Why? Because he was pursued by his colleagues who probably beat him to a pulp in order to take it from him.

Largesse can often cause unhappiness. However, if you want to send some dollars to my children, please feel free - although I might snatch it from them!

 

 

I always tell people that my remaining grey hair didn't come cheap. I believe when it comes to tipping, it's important to give what is considered normal at the place you are at.

I learned the hard way. A little shoes-shine buy did such a good job of my shoes in Instanbul that I generously gave him a 20 dollar tip. He ran like hell but the other shoes shine boys caught him, beat him up and took it from him. I wasn't very generous after all, was I?

 

Hmmm John, how come the tip increased $10 over the last 4 years? Is this inflation adjusted due to the Lira dropping all the zeros in 2007? :):D

 

Speaking of tipping, I was told (off) by 2 waiters in 2 different restos in Capetown that the norm is now 10-15%. Just when you think you know the local customs, they go and change due to higher international client traffic. One even chased me outside the resto to ask for the full 15% because our party was over 7. I politely refused since there was nothing written and 11.2% was more than adequate for slow service and botched orders.

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This subject will never die. I really cant understand why we are expected to pay 10 sometimes 15 percent of a liveaboard cost as a tip. That is just outrageous. Lets again do some sums.

 

A liveaboard has 18 passengers paying $4750 for a ten day trip. They are expected to leave 15% each so 18 x $475 = $8550 divide that by say a maximum of 10 crew and they each get a whopping $855 each for a ten day trip. I am sorry but that is just wrong.

 

What has happened to the fee of $4750, did the crew not get paid any wages from that amount. If not, why the hell not. 18 passengers each paying $4750 gathers a very healthy kitty of $85500. I am sorry but fuel, food and a bit of nitrox, running of an office, port fees and maintenance of the boat does not equate to there not being enough money left over to pay the crew. This is for a 10 day trip. so multiply that by 34 trips per year and you have $2,907.000.

 

To say that most of the crews wages comes from tips is not acceptable and the tight fisted owners need to start bloody paying their employees. I am fed up with the same old sh1t. I tip when I get good service and have a good time, not because it is expected. It also makes me laugh that most American boat operators even have the cheek to put on their websites that this percent or that percent is an expected tip. lol GET REAL.

 

A tip is gratuity and needs to be earned, earn it you MAY get it.

 

Now I am rattled again

 

Stew

 

PS and for the record I consider myself a good tipper when people have made my holiday special

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I caught this thread late, but I have to share my two cents...consider it a tip. :)

 

Many moons ago I worked as a DM at Bob Soto's in Grand Cayman and being one of the most bargain dive operations on the island we were rarely tipped and really knew what NOT to expect. On those rare occasions we were tipped it allowed us a decent meal and a few brews, otherwise with our minimum wage pay we were living paycheck to paycheck and drinking beer and eating french fries with tartar sauce pretending they were shrimp. Of course living arrangements were substandard....mine was a fold up cot in the kitchen/living room of a tiny rental with no A/C.

 

If you can afford a $5k trip surely you can afford to tip your crew who make a measly wage and work their asses off to keep you safe and comfy....if not maybe you should dive in cheaper places.

 

TIP and don't be a w*****!

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If you can afford a $5k trip surely you can afford to tip your crew who make a measly wage and work their asses off to keep you safe and comfy....if not maybe you should dive in cheaper places.

 

TIP and don't be a w*****!

 

who the hell are you calling a wan-er

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I caught this thread late, but I have to share my two cents...consider it a tip. :)

 

Many moons ago I worked as a DM at Bob Soto's in Grand Cayman and being one of the most bargain dive operations on the island we were rarely tipped and really knew what NOT to expect. On those rare occasions we were tipped it allowed us a decent meal and a few brews, otherwise with our minimum wage pay we were living paycheck to paycheck and drinking beer and eating french fries with tartar sauce pretending they were shrimp. Of course living arrangements were substandard....mine was a fold up cot in the kitchen/living room of a tiny rental with no A/C.

 

If you can afford a $5k trip surely you can afford to tip your crew who make a measly wage and work their asses off to keep you safe and comfy....if not maybe you should dive in cheaper places.

 

TIP and don't be a w****!

 

 

You are comparing working for a bargain dive operation against what I am describing as a top end operation. why should a guy working on a $4750 boat be tipped more than a guy working for a bargain operator. That just doesn't figure. Do they not deserve the same if they give an equal level of service.

 

Yes I am fortunate and can afford a $5k trip but that doesnt mean I will pay a tip on demand. Like I said, earn it you may get it.

 

You had a choice, you didnt have to work there. But regardless of not being paid very much and not getting much in the way of tips, you still worked there because I guess you actually loved doing your job rather than the money. Which if you read all of the previous postings about tipping is what I have said all along. The trouble that I have experienced is some DM's are so engrossed in how many hundreds of dollars they are going to make from each trip that they forget to give the customer any over the top service and in some circumstances below standards service. Why the hell should I have to tip someone who has not given me good service.

 

I think a lot of the world live paycheck to paycheck, you dont have to be a DM to be like that. If you thought that you were going to get rich by being a DM then PADI mis advised you BIG TIME.

 

And yes when i have taken $5k trips I do tip 10-15%, not because the brochure says so, but if it has been earned. I have also refused to pay it as it hasn't been earned.

 

Stew

Edited by Drew

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