Dressed-up Tipping

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#1 Mar 3rd, 2011, 22:14
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#1
Tipping concerns are sometimes a big deal to India beginners (old-times too). The exchanges below concern tipping but are Off-Topic in a useful thread on clothing, Dressing Up.

Not wanting this information to get lost, and wanting to make it available to searches on the title Tipping, I thought I'd cut-and-paste it as a separate thread. Hope the gods and mods and powers that be will smile on this endeavor.

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Originally Posted by poisanna View Post One question, could someone direct me to a thread that talks about tipping in India. I want to make sure that i do it right. Thank you!
Quote:
Originally Posted by jan999 View Post Hi Poisanna - try this one:

tipping

Or just type 'tipping' into the search box (top right of the screen)

And have fun in India!

Jan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post The Search box near the top right hand corner of the page can be very useful
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Originally Posted by poisanna View Post Thank you!
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Originally Posted by zenwalker View Post wow people are soo concerned about tipping!
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Originally Posted by hfot2 View Post Perhaps not surprising in a country where open hands are so often thrust at you.
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Originally Posted by poisanna View Post I am concerned because I like to keep people happy. I WOULD hate to disappoint someone. It is important to me to do the right thing.
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Originally Posted by PeakXV View Post You'll 'appear' to disappoint many people in India. Don't let those big crocodile tears fool ya or draw at your heart strings though. Because it is impossible to live up to all of their expectations - all of the time.
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Originally Posted by arindamdas View Post Poisanna,

15 years back, when I first came over to the USA, I had no idea of the practice of tipping. I had never, ever tipped at a restaurant or a cab driver. My first introduction to the practice of tipping in the US came in the form of the university booklet which is mailed out to international students. Having become so accustomed to tipping, these days I carry over the practice whenever I am visiting India. My personal tipping rates in India (these are almost identical to what I follow in the US):

a) Restaurants: 12-15%
b) Cab drivers: 10-12%
c) Bell boys: Rs. 50 /suitcase (but I rarely ever use this service)
d) Long haul cab service (e.g., 18-20 hr rides, possibly overnight): 20%, plus I pay for their food. Needless to say, this goes to the driver, not the cab agency.

Arindam
Quote:
Originally Posted by hfot2 View Post You must make a lot of people in India smile indeed. We've been told the following by the head of our Delhi travel agency:

a) Restaurants: 5-7% , but only if you think you've received any special service.
b) Cab drivers: assuming they're working from meters, round upwards trivially to the nearest even figure; if they've quoted you a fixed price, nothing, as you're probably paying too much anyway.
c) Bell boys: Rs 10/ suticase. We travel with two heavyish and two small rollaboards and tip Rs 20/heavyweight and Rs 10/lightweight. We visit a couple of hotels in Delhi and Mumbai regularly, and I note that the porters are quite eager to work for us at those rates.
d) Car-and-driver: We make long trips with one driver and have been advised to tip Rs 400-500/day. Many long-time IM'ers are horrified at such an "extravagance," many first-timers horrified at the stinginess.

Above all, India is not the US. You will have to feel your way along with this. And it's not easy for Indians either. An Indian friend of ours, used to the idea that tipping is more of an acknowledgment of their existence than a reward of services rendered, once extended Rs 10 to valet at a five star hotel for fetching the car; our friend's wife went upside his head for being so cheap and made him fork over Rs 100.

One useful piece of tipping advice from a friend who visits India very much more often than we: at your Indian bank, get Rs 1000 packets of Rs 10 notes (often stapled, sometimes rubber-banded) and keep a stack handy to resupply your wallet or pocketbook so you'll always have a wad of small notes available. I find I routinely go through several Rs 200 days in a row, then somehow have several days when there's no need to tip anyone.
Quote:
Originally Posted by arindamdas View Post I am glad I am able to make some people smile. The way I look at it, if it takes me 12-15% to please somebody over here, I should make the same effort to please somebody over there. Tipping is an appreciation of somebody's services. Why should I be any less appreciative of somebody's services in India?

Of course, YMMV (your mileage may vary).
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Originally Posted by hfot2 View Post Whatever happened to "When in Rome...?"

The problem with tipping way above the local scale is that you screw it up for everyone in the end. Foreigners are perceived as gullible idiots for tipping so grandly, and locals become despised for not tipping like foreigners.
Quote:
Originally Posted by arindamdas View Post Very, very valid point. In fact, my relatives argue along the same lines whenever I am with them. But, first and foremost, I prefer to be true to myself. I can not, in good conscience, be any less appreciative of them. I guess there's no one good answer here. Peace.

Arindam
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Originally Posted by hfot2 View Post Fair enough sometimes Polonius is right.

And don't tell my wife, but it's not unknown for me to sneak in a little extra when the rupees go flying.

Peace indeed!
Quote:
Originally Posted by arindamdas View Post Lol (I don't think I need to expand this one). And namaste to you too!

Arindam
#2 Mar 4th, 2011, 09:47
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#2
Cutting and pasting, thats one way to increase your post count, and catch upto Nick.
Lord, Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of those people I had to kill because they pissed me off.
#3 Mar 4th, 2011, 09:49
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#3
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Originally Posted by JOHNLORD View Post Cutting and pasting, thats one way to increase your post count, and catch upto Nick.
Good luck with that!
#4 Mar 4th, 2011, 09:59
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With me it's very simple as far as tipping is concerned: in a restaurant if there's a service charge they get no tip. Else 10 pct if I'm happy with the service, if the service was so-so or I had to wait half a day they get nothing. Outside restaurants I only tip when someone does something for me beyond the service I pay them for. For instance, I don't see the need to tip a cab or rickshaw driver just for bringing me from A to B, I already pay the fare. If they help me carrying my luggage for more than a couple of meters then I give a small tip. Bellboys etc get nothing, they merely do their job. If I take a trip of a couple of days then the driver gets a good tip if he was on time, no hassles, didn't want to convince me to see three emporiums etc, but I pay him directly, not the agency and tell the agency that they don't have to bill me separately for drivers' allowance etc.

Summed up: no free lunches in my universe, if they want a tip they have to earn it. Just smiling and asking yields nothing.
"It is preferable to have a criminal for a servant rather than a fool because a criminal's actions are predictable and you can protect yourself against them, whereas there is no telling what a fool's next move will be.
#5 Mar 4th, 2011, 10:24
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Originally Posted by JOHNLORD View Post Cutting and pasting, thats one way to increase your post count, and catch upto Nick.
Look at our post count, then look at his.

Ain't no way we gonna catch up to Uncle Nick, no way.

Just trying to get the discussion out there where it might do someone some good.
#6 Mar 4th, 2011, 10:38
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#6
Tuning in to dillichat's point: I have never been to Europe, so I don't know what the tipping culture there is. What I practice in India is exactly what I practice over here. The cab fare from my home to the airport is $40. Does the cab driver need it? Heck no. Does he demand it? No again. But, it's expected (assuming of course, he came on time, etc.), and the rates are kinda standard too.

Same goes with restaurant servers, bell boys and pizza delivery men(women). All these folks are paid by their employers, and yet tipping is appreciated, expected and custom (assuming the service was acceptable).
#7 Mar 4th, 2011, 10:59
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#7
Quote:
Tuning in to dillichat's point: I have never been to Europe, so I don't know what the tipping culture there is.
I'm not speaking for all of Europe but in my country it's not customary to give a tip beyond rounding of the bill if you're happy. Besides, by law all prices (restaurants, shops...) there have to be inclusive of VAT and service. That being said, the difference with the US is that staff get paid a decent wage, not the rock-bottom legal minimum and (through social security) enjoy full health benefits.
Last edited by dillichaat; Mar 4th, 2011 at 11:05.. Reason: Clarification
#8 Mar 4th, 2011, 13:23
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#8
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Originally Posted by hfot2 View Post Look at our post count, then look at his.

Ain't no way we gonna catch up to Uncle Nick, no way.

Just trying to get the discussion out there where it might do someone some good.
I was joking.
#9 Mar 4th, 2011, 13:26
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by dillichaat View Post With me it's very simple as far as tipping is concerned: in a restaurant if there's a service charge they get no tip. Else 10 pct if I'm happy with the service, if the service was so-so or I had to wait half a day they get nothing. Outside restaurants I only tip when someone does something for me beyond the service I pay them for. For instance, I don't see the need to tip a cab or rickshaw driver just for bringing me from A to B, I already pay the fare. If they help me carrying my luggage for more than a couple of meters then I give a small tip. Bellboys etc get nothing, they merely do their job. If I take a trip of a couple of days then the driver gets a good tip if he was on time, no hassles, didn't want to convince me to see three emporiums etc, but I pay him directly, not the agency and tell the agency that they don't have to bill me separately for drivers' allowance etc.

Summed up: no free lunches in my universe, if they want a tip they have to earn it. Just smiling and asking yields nothing.
Excellent, this is the same as what I do.
#10 Mar 4th, 2011, 22:36
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Originally Posted by JOHNLORD View Post I was joking.
Oh, I know. But look at it this way: we've each gotten a couple of posts out of the interchange.
#11 Mar 4th, 2011, 23:01
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#11
Hey, I'm watching!

And this is one more post for me! <Wicked Laugh>
#12 Mar 4th, 2011, 23:25
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#12
44 892 and counting ... I really don't know how you do it. Eighteen posts per day or so. I can't think that much let alone post that much. Its absolutely amazing or disgusting in "Get a Life, Man!" which of course may be an opinion expressed by some.

Re tipping - Just be yourself. Do what feels right. There is no standard. Either that or go back to your hotel every night and rethink or meditate on all 20 transactions. Then the next day, on all those you think you overtipped, go find the guy and ask for some of it back, and then on all those who you think undertipped, go and give more. But just remember you are only one guy or gal in one situation of somewhere near 44 892 transactions that waiter or driver or door opener has had in the last 7 years. Your impact is next to nil. However, I do remember my single biggest tip as a youth in a bar. Twenty bucks ... day before Christmas, about 1972.
Last edited by Eastern Mind; Mar 5th, 2011 at 01:42..
#13 Mar 6th, 2011, 03:58
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#13
if i am going to the same restaurant for a week or so, i don't tip every time, i give a nice tip at the end of my stay. then you know if someone is being genuine and not just sucking up for the tip
i usually get the same waiter each time.
#14 Mar 6th, 2011, 04:08
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#14
We do something like that in hotel breakfast rooms.

Where breakfast is included, most people don't tip at all. But if we've stayed for several days and made pests of ourselves asking for masala chai or specially cooked eggs or something, we feel a tip is in order.

On the rare occasions when only one waiter has helped us, we tip him about Rs 10/day. More often several waiters have got involved, so we give the total tip to the most frequent attendant or to the head of the waiters, with instructions to share it out taking care to do it within earshot of at least one of the other waiters so the sharing might actually happen.
#15 Mar 6th, 2011, 04:20
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#15
If you are a visitor to India who works in the wealthy world, say from Europe or the USA, for example, you could think about putting tipping in a context. The chances are strong that the person you are tipping comes from the poorer part of the economy. And just how poor is that? Despite the stunning post-Independence advances Indians have created for themselves, over 40% of people still scrape by on $US1.25 a day or less. India has the largest concentration of poor people in the world. If you're travelling in a poor state, the per capita income is over 3 times less than in an advanced state. About half of India's kids are underweight, and nearly that many kids under three suffer from malnutrition. The hand in front of you extended for a tip has a really high likelihood of being the hand of someone with few valuable job skills, many relatives back home in villages, and kids. The rules that are useful in thinking about tipping a waiter in a Geneva restaurant, where the meal just cost an Orissan tribal family's annual income, don't make much sense in India. This isn't guilt-tripping, just common sense.
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