Paris tipping hotel maids

Old Jul 27th, 2015, 03:22 AM
  #41  
 
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We fear tipping in Europe. Bit like the start of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, you see a rancid plague pinging around a map of North America, then it jumps on a plane and infects the world.

We fear it because intripid expeditionary European explorers have seen the effects of its excesses.

My parents have just returned from Vancouver Island and paid $40 a piece at Butchart Gardens for a cup a tea, a butty and a cake all badged up as a high tea. The credit card machine was brought to them with the compulsory option of a 25%, 35% or 45% tip.

To really put fear into your bones, like watching Jaws as a 10 year old, just visit the Tripadvisor Turks and Caicos Forum. High rolling Texans suggest tipping everyone, everything in sight. Added together, one poster tipped 15 employees a day. I didn't sleep for 3 nights after reading that.

Still my most confusing travel experience as a Brit was in a posh hotel in Charleston. Breakfast was free but we were expected to tip, I had to get the calculator out to multiply $0 by 20%.
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Old Jul 27th, 2015, 04:44 AM
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>>doing so can contribute to some negative stereotypes about Americans (or others) who tip – that Americans are culturally insensitive, <<

LOL. Odd, I have never heard a server in Europe complain about it. A friend of ours in restaurant management in London tells me the servers love to wait on Americans and try to avoid others (such as Germans).

>>but fully expect others to respect YOUR countries tipping culture.. <<

Actually, most of us don't expect anything, since most of us don't work as servers. If you want to cheap out, I'm OK with it.

>>What statement are you trying to make? Oh look at me - I'm a rich American, just trying to make your poor little life a bit better?<<

Yes, the secret is out. We're trying to make a statement. Now, will you admit to being a drama queen?
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Old Jul 27th, 2015, 06:32 AM
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BritishCaicos, there is never a compulsory tip option on those machines, you just press OK if you don't want to tip or there is an %option to leave your own percent. I don't like those pre programmed tip options either as I think they pressure some people into tipping/tipping more than they want to.

I find it really hard to believe the tip amounts were 25%, 35% or 45%. I live in B.C. and have only seen 15% 18% and 20% or your choice to put the percentage that you want. So in the interest of finding out if the Butchart Gardens is ripping people off I am going to phone and ask them and next time I'm in Victoria I will go in there and check.

I see on their website the afternoon tea is $32.50 plus tax. Most reviewers on Yelp and TA gave it positive feedback although some felt tea at the Empress was better and a fair few thought it was pricey but delicious.
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Old Jul 27th, 2015, 06:33 AM
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Personally I don't think it is a matter of where I am from or where I am visiting e.g. Paris. The key question is where is the maid from? If the maid is European I don't tip. If the maid is American I do tip.

It isn't that difficult.
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Old Jul 27th, 2015, 06:37 AM
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<B>WeisserTee:</B> >>Yeah, kerouac, you do that. Show those chambermaids and bus boys who's boss. And while you're looking down on them from that high horse, make sure they know you're stiffing them on PRINCIPLE and not because you're just some petty git who got his nose out of joint on an Internet forum discussion.<<

You really disappointed w/ that post (you are usually quicker on the up take)

You obviously <i>totally</i> missed kerouac's intent.
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Old Jul 27th, 2015, 06:40 AM
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oh there you are coldie. Have you deserted us over in the Lounge?
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Old Jul 27th, 2015, 06:48 AM
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"You obviously totally missed kerouac's intent."

No I didn't. I just thought it was incredibly lame.

The whole reason we're told not to tip -- as the Europeans bleat over and over -- is because all these people get a "living wage", that they're "paid well". That's the deal.

But they're not. Now you, thursdaysd and bokhara may think that living on 1100 euros a month in Paris as a grown woman is child's play, a doddle, a piece of cake (as in "let them eat...) but I don't see it that way. I don't think 1100 a month working full time in one of the world's more expensive cities is a "living way" or qualifies in any way as being "paid well". So the deal has been broken and I feel no qualms about leaving a couple of euros each day to the smiling, cheerful woman who makes my bed, straightens my room, and cleans my toilet. Some think my gesture is meaningless. YMMV. And I don't think giving these women who are mostly at the bottom end of Parisian society's totem pole a few extra euros is going to rip apart the fabric of French civilization. Again YMMV.

FWIW, I don't tip everyone and anyone. For example, I don't tip the woman who cleans our apartment every other week. She works full time and gets 40 francs an hour. At the moment, she's off on a three-week holiday in Croatia. She DOES make a living wage. Now if Paris hotel chambermaids start getting similar pay, I'll happily stop giving tips.
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Old Jul 27th, 2015, 06:57 AM
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BritishCaicos.. not sure if your parents are just remembering it incorrectly, or you are not telling the truth.. but living here, the tipping options on the machines at Butchard Garden are exactly as Raincitygirl describes, 15, 18 or 20 percent.

What you wrote is beyond the realm of possibility.. so as I said.. not sure if you were misinformed.. but in no way would any server here expect a 25 percent or more tip( although , they would all love it I am sure.. as would anyone) most expect between 15 and 20 percent.. and that is our norm.

Please confirm your information.

If you can be sure it is correct,( do check the slip) ,, I will phone Butchard Gardens right now.. confirm, and contact the local paper... they would have a field day with that information.
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Old Jul 27th, 2015, 07:08 AM
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<they would have a field day with that information> my thoughts exactly Justine!!
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Old Jul 27th, 2015, 07:18 AM
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>>What statement are you trying to make? Oh look at me - I'm a rich American, just trying to make your poor little life a bit better?<<

Actually, IF I were to tip a maid in Europe, the statement I'd be trying to make is, thank you, I appreciate your hard work. Believe it or not, that's what we Americans think when we leave tips because that's what we are brought up to believe tips mean.

Blather about noblesse oblige is just the usual European defensiveness rearing its head.

I do think that it's important to respect whatever the local tipping culture may be, but not because society will be doomed otherwise.

I also think that tipping when one need not is no crime, whereas not tipping when one should rather is.
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Old Jul 27th, 2015, 07:23 AM
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>>Would you drive on the right in England, even though the custom is to drive on the left? <<

You have an interesting -- and wrongheaded -- definition of "custom."

But, OK. You're right. Tipping is the same as driving on the correct side of the road. Good point. Just the other day in Paris, I had a head-on collision and killed a maid I was trying to tip.
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Old Jul 27th, 2015, 07:49 AM
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I was discussing with my taxi driver today and asked her who were the worst tourists in her trade.
Answer :
No let's start with the best tourists :
- the Brits : cool, never complaining
Now the worst :
- the US citizens
Why ? because they feel they DESERVE because they pay.
So they demand, they don't have a second look for their luggage (taxi driver is paid, so she can put those in the trunks), they claim etc.
so yes, they pay, and yes they tip. But guess what ? They get no respect.
In Europe we tend to respect people and US tippers help give the impression that the US respect only money.

Ah, yes, of course, people accept tips. But you should see the scorn in they eyes when you have left...

As a good European, I would love to keep things the way we have been raised. And I resent that people come and tell me that obviously tipping is good.

When I'm in the US I tip, because it is the way it goes.
Why is it so complicated for US to understand that in Europe you don't tip because it is the way it goes.

Arrogance maybe ? Lack of interest ? Can't US have a relationship not based on money ?
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Old Jul 27th, 2015, 08:00 AM
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<i><font color=#555555>"And did you remember to leave $ for the maid, $ for the porter, $ for the maintenance man....."</font></i>

Good luck finding someone who is willing to carry your luggage up three flights of stairs (or even one flight) in your fabulous European boutique hotel. Good luck finding a maintenance man, who is available at the last minute, when the fuse for your entire hotel floor breaks and the air conditioner in your room no longer works in the 100º heat wave. When this last happened to me (just a few weeks ago), I lost eight hours of work time needed in my room. We were forced to take our laptops (with cords and hard drives) to the hotel lobby, and work around the crowds of sweaty, thirsty tourists, most of whom weren't staying at my hotel, who were looking for some kind of refuge from the heat.

Many in the hospitality business in Europe cling to a "cheap is better" mindset. This silly notion that a maid anywhere is "living the good life," is a myth promoted by ignorance and locals who don't want to see the status quo change.

Too many people want something for nothing. At a certain point, the numbers won't add up for a business. Sure, I think the tipping process is tacky. I wish all quoted prices in the service industries included such things. But that's not how competitive marketing 101 works. Too many people shop, looking for the lowest quoted price, and that's the reality, regardless of perceptions.

If my acceptance to tip will guarantee that someone will be there to carry my bags when I need them carried, or give the hotel the ability to afford "on-site" maintenance, then I'm content to open my wallet to show my appreciation.
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Old Jul 27th, 2015, 08:06 AM
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NYC
That is totally condescending.
So no one works if you don't 'bribe' them.
I get maintenance contract signed and done and they don't imply tips. If the hotel has a bad maintenance contract, then people will not come back, as you undoubtly will not anymore.
Then, tourists are 'smelly' ? Sorry if they distrub you.
And you need somebody to carry your luggage ?
That's another difference : I carry my own luggage, I don't live like a royal. And I raise my kids into carrying theirs too.
Ah, and I clean my own WC bowl with the brush.
That's my way of respecting the cleaning lady, more than to let her clean after me and leave (throw ?) her a 1 $ tip.
Each to his culture / ethics.
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Old Jul 27th, 2015, 08:10 AM
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>>Good luck finding someone who is willing to carry your luggage up three flights of stairs (or even one flight) in your fabulous European boutique hotel<<

I have never stayed anywhere from 1 to 5 star that they would not carry my bags up if I asked . . .

I just don't understand why "When in Rome . . . " is hard for some to get their heads around.

When in Europe -- don't tip
When in the States -- tip
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Old Jul 27th, 2015, 08:46 AM
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<i><font color=#555555>"That is totally condescending."</font></i>

Say what? There is nothing "condescending" about understanding how the bottom line works in maintaining a small business. As for the rest of those poorly typed words, I'd need a translator first in order to respond.

<i><font color=#555555>"I have never stayed anywhere from 1 to 5 star that they would not carry my bags up if I asked . . ."</font></i>

And of course EVERYONE knows that if it's YOUR experience, then it must be the ONLY experience.

There are thousands (and I'm not exaggerating), thousands of complaints on TripAdvisor, regarding hotels in Europe that offer no baggage assistance upon arrival and departure. For many places, this remains the status quo.

When faced with the reality of no designated porter help and no elevator in a five-story European hotel, NO CUSTOMER should have to "ask" for baggage assistance. That's not how I define customer service in the hospitality business. As long as there are customers like "don't tip" janisj and "I don't live like a royal" pariswat, you get what you think you deserve.
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Old Jul 27th, 2015, 09:03 AM
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I have been following this thread, and frankly, I cannot understand what the issue is, why some folks are so determined that their customs in their country are the correct ones when they visit another country.

I will sheepishly admit to tipping the maid last year in Paris. It actually never occurred to me not to, as I just assumed it was the norm. Now I know it's not required or expected, I won't be tipping them in Provence this year. I look at it as, good to know that, thanks for pointing it out, smack on the forehead, don't know how I didn't know that.

I love this forum for the helpful advice from those who live locally or travel extensively.

I'm just totally baffled by the hubris and stubbornness of those who insist on being right. If it didn't sound so condescending, I'd recommend saving those €'s and chilling out with a glass of champers...
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Old Jul 27th, 2015, 09:11 AM
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For one thing, NYCFS, no hotel in France could receive a 3, 4 or 5 star rating if it does not have an elevator. People in 1 or 2-star hotel know that they may have to carry their bags themselves. Big deal.

I love the term "hospitality business" -- so hypocritical! In a true condition of hospitality, nobody has to bribe people to do things. They are done spontaneously. Otherwise, there is a charge.

Basically, as concerns France, the employees do not consider themselves to be inferior to the customers. They are equals. You will almost always get excellent service if you treat them as equals. Otherwise, you are definitely in trouble and no greasing of palms is going to help.
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Old Jul 27th, 2015, 09:19 AM
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Vincenzo32951, thanks for a great laugh!
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Old Jul 27th, 2015, 09:21 AM
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NewBe.. I have read hundreds of posts on tipping.. and sorry I think you may have a very narrow view of why other Americans tip( I can't speak for why you do )..

You claim Americans tip to say thank you for your hard work or good job.. but that's simply not true in some cases.. they tip because they know the server gets slave wages . There idea of making a statement is tipping 15% instead of 25 %.. lol

I have read posts by Americans who say they would NEVER not tip a server.. even if service was BAD!!

So .. that certainly does not say " thank you for a job well done" now does it?

Have you ever not tipped ( in America).. has your service or room cleaning always been great.. somehow this I doubt.. we have all over the years encountered the incompentent or lazy server or maid etc. But .. you would tip them anyways? So that's saying what?
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