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20 Things People Shouldn’t Be Expected Tips For (But They Do)

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Ever found yourself in a situation where you’re unsure if tipping is necessary or just an added expense? The pressure to tip has increased, with more services adding tipping options to receipts and digital payment devices. Plus, social media is full of people hotly debating this subject.

But are there times when you shouldn’t feel obligated to tip? Below is a list of 20 instances where “most” people can agree you are not expected to leave anything extra.

1. Fast Food Joints

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You are expected to tip at least 20-25% at sit-down restaurants these days. However, fast food chains are designed for convenience, offering speed and low prices. Most workers at fast food restaurants are compensated accordingly, without relying on tips to make up their wages. 

You are not bound to tip here, but if you have the means, giving a few dollars for excellent service won’t hurt your wallet and might make someone’s day!

2. Customer Support  

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Customer service representatives are the voice on the other end of the phone or the person replying to your emails when you’re looking for help. While they work hard to resolve your queries, remember that they are doing their job. Their assistance is included in the service you’ve paid for and doesn’t require additional tipping.

3. Medical Consultations

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You must pay a visit fee or copay when you visit your doctor or any medical professional. Beyond that, there’s no need to tip your medical professional. In many places, this would be considered an indecent gesture. Instead, you can always offer a gift card or gift (if needed) to show gratitude. 

4. Repair and Maintenance Services

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Be it your plumber, electrician, or any maintenance technician, appreciating their work is enough. Tipping on top of the bill is only expected if you need their services on weekends or outside their normal job timing.

5. Self-Service Anything

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You don’t tip yourself for serving yourself, do you? In self-service facilities or where services are standardized without personal interaction, tipping isn’t generally expected. It includes self-checkout lanes and self-service coffee or gas stations as well.

Although tipping options have surprisingly shown up at some of these kiosks, most people just ignore them.

6. ATM Withdrawal Assistants

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Some locations may have staff who assist with ATM transactions, like showing you how to insert your card or type in your PIN. You don’t need to give them a tip. These are there to make sure everyone can use the machine easily and they’re paid a regular wage for their job. 

7. Service Charges Disguised as Tips

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Certain facilities add a “service charge” to your bill. It might look like a tip, but it actually goes directly to the business and not to the service staff who helped you.

Always check your bill or the contract for services. If there’s a service charge mentioned as a tip, that’s double-dipping. Don’t add anything more.

8. Quick Drive Through Services

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Drive-through services are the most convenient, allowing you to get your order without leaving the comfort of your car. If you are happy with the quick and excellent service, a small tip can be nice, but again, it’s not expected. 

9. In-Flight Services

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While flight attendants do their best to make us comfortable during flights, their service is part of the experience your airline ticket pays for. Also, the aviation industry doesn’t have a culture of tipping flight attendants. A simple thank you could be appreciated, but a tip isn’t part of the usual behavior.

10. Volunteers

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Volunteers provide services for free out of benevolence. If you feel compelled to show appreciation, you can choose to donate to the cause they support instead of a personal tip.

11. Digital Tipping Prompts

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These days, you often come across electronic tipping options. These little reminders pop up on payment terminals and service apps, suggesting different tip amounts even for services that didn’t expect tips. 

However, you don’t need to feel pressured to tip whenever you see a tipping prompt. If you had an exceptionally good experience, go ahead with the tip; if not, or it’s feels totally out of place, you can skip it!

12. Government Employees

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It should go without saying that you don’t have to tip government workers. It’s against the policies for public sector workers to accept tips or gifts for performing their duties. It is to prevent bribes or undue influence on public servants who are expected to serve the public selflessly.

13. Emergency Service Providers

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Police officers, firefighters, and paramedics are similar to healthcare workers in tipping. They’re there to help, and a tip differs from what they seek.

14. Coffee Shops With No Table Service

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While it’s relatively common, you don’t need to tip at coffee shops where orders are placed on the counter, and you pick your drink yourself. These places calculate staff wages without expecting tips. Moreover, they often have a tip jar by the register, making it easy to leave a tip if you had a great experience and you want to appreciate it. 

15. Additional Packaging with Online Shopping

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When you shop online, and your items arrive with extra packaging, it’s just the company ensuring your goods reach you safely. This extra step is included in the service you’re already paying for, so there’s no need to tip for shipping services.

16. Hotel Shuttle Services

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Hotels usually include shuttle services in their overhead and do not expect tips. However, a small tip, if they handle your luggage, is appreciated but not required.

17. Food Samples

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At grocery stores or food courts, you are not expected to tip the staff providing them. These samples are offered as a promotional service to introduce customers to new products. Their smiles are part of their job. There is no need to tip for that delicious sample.

18. Airport Check-In Agents

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Agents who help with check-in or issue boarding passes at airports are performing their job duties like any other employee. They are not part of the professions traditionally recognized for tipping.

19. Maintenance Services

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Maintenance workers at hotels or in your apartment building typically receive a salary for their tasks, including anything from repairing things to keeping common areas clean. While it’s common to feel a need to tip for basic maintenance, these personnel are doing their jobs and not providing an ‘extra’ service that needs tipping. A simple thank you or a gift for the holiday season would do the job!

20. Restaurants with a “No-Tipping” Policy

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Some restaurants have a policy where tipping is not needed. It means the cost you pay for your food already includes the money for the workers’ pay. However, at such restaurants, the food cost is comparatively high to make up for the tipping amount. You don’t need to leave extra money at the end.

There are a lot of other more controversial services that some people think do require tips, while others don’t. These include beauty salons, taxis or uber drivers, food delivery services (such as Door Dash), cleaning services at hotels or home, and more.

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