NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s a choice consumers face more often as technology makes it easier than ever to leave gratuity — but now some say they’ve reached the tipping point.
From coffee shops to food trucks, places are now asking for tips in new ways — like apps. As CBS2’s Kristine Johnson reports, with a swipe of your card, you can easily leave a tip. Some apps even figure the amount for you.
“I will take your money however you want to give it to me,” food truck operator Emily Darland said.
Some like it, saying it makes tipping convenient.
But others say they feel coerced.
Some say the suggested tip amounts continue to go up. At one West Side coffee shop, you might even end up tipping more than you pay for a cup of coffee, Johnson reports.
“It’s ridiculous,” said one consumer. “It’s highway robbery.”
While a tip is supposed to be a reward for good service, there are now ways to tip in advance regardless of the service.
At the Newark Liberty International Airport restaurants, iPads let you order, pay and tip before your food arrives.
Clients at some salons use the Whttl app to pay and tip in advance.
“We’re trying to eliminate that little awkward exchange that sometimes happens at the end of an appointment,” said Ashley Groves, Whttl’s director of marketing.
While some consumers may feel under siege, it is paying off for workers. One study of a mobile payment company found tipping increased by 38 percent when the app was used. Experts say that’s because consumers feel they are in the hot seat.
“A lot of people say they feel really pressured and guilty if they don’t do it and everybody in line is looking at them so they put you in a situation to feel forced to do it,” said psychotherapist Diane Lang.
But etiquette expert Patricia Napier-Fitzpatrick says customers should stand their ground and only tip if it’s earned.
“It’s up to you — you know you feel about the service and whether you want to. But don’t feel guilted to do it — if it doesn’t warrant it,” Napier-Fitzpatrick advises.
Experts said there is a lot of confusion, but beyond the technology, there is something else to consider. When you have a relationship with a server, tipping is considered more appropriate.