Get Ready for a Guilt Tip

While tipping etiquette depends on where you are in the world, many workers rely on tips to live. These pandemic times have encouraged more customers to tip and tip generously. This is an undeniably good instinct, but some companies are capitalizing on this generosity.

How? “Digital payments make tipping SO fast and easy,” a tablet screams at the customer punching in payment, “why wouldn’t you want to do it? Are you a very mean person who no one likes?!?”

You really want to tip now, right? That’s the power of digital payments. Business owners are increasingly using this new world of digital to their advantage. Guilting someone into tipping by forcing them to say (or select) ‘no’ makes a tip more likely than asking them to say ‘yes.’ That is sometimes good, though it is pretty manipulative. And the digital-ness of this makes it unclear exactly where the money is going.

Tipping is necessary in many parts of the world, and it’s a good habit to get into. But I’ve fallen into the trap of digital-tipping when I wouldn’t have before, for counter service or a pick-up order. Sticking to cold, hard cash for tips might help avoid the power of the guilt tip, but who has cash anymore?

UGH. I guess we need to use our brains and avoid the traps. Life is so hard.

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