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Can someone please explain gratuities

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Can someone please explain gratuities

Hi my husband and I recently went on a Cosmos Tour to Italy where we were asked to pay the driver and tour guide graqtuities.w Coming from Australia we are not used to tipping which is what I think this means. So on top of our trip and air fares we also then had to pay about another 150euros. I dont' really understand, doesnt the bus driver and guide already get paid for their job. We are due to go to the United Kingdom later in the year and were told that they want almost 300 british pounds on top of what we have to pay for the flights and holiday with them.......totalling over $10000 aust. dollars Can anyone please explain why we have to pay, do we have to pay and if we don't what will happen

Thanks Roxy

UK
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for North Wales
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1. Re: Can someone please explain gratuities

In short no you don't have to pay

Coach drivers and taxi drivers expect a tip and if you feel that they have looked after you above and beyond then at your own discretion you can give them a tip

In London many establishments are now adding 12 per cent to what is an already expensive bill e.g Fortnum and Mason tell you that this money goes towards staff welfare facilities and into a pension fund

Cheek

They should provide that out of their profit

A tip is optional not an additional cost

london
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2. Re: Can someone please explain gratuities

I got caught like this on a cruise and was as taken aback as you were ... we did tip some but nothing like the levels expected ... the reaction of other passengers was interesting, fellow Brits were horrified, US passengers couldn't understand what all the fuss was about as they considered it normal ... our cabin attendant acted like he'd been insulted (although we'd never asked for anything special from him) ... the US passengers explained that the cruise staff are paid barely minimum wage and rely on the tips to make a living ... personally I think this is a real cheek, workers should be paid a living wage out of what you pay for the cruise (or in your case tour)

unfortunately the US model seems to be taking over but personally I challenge it wherever and whenever I can ... I won't add a tip onto the bill when I'm handed the card terminal, if I want to leave a tip it will be in cash because I don't trust the business to be honest with their staff's tips

I understand that the legal position is that you're not obliged but some places are increasingly adding gratuities as part of the booking

why are you travelling with Cosmos anyway? ... it's not that difficult to organise your own trip

Edited: 08 January 2012, 09:56
UK
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3. Re: Can someone please explain gratuities

In tour situations like the the OP mentions, and cruises, these "tips" are in fact pretty much part of the employees Known wages, and if they weren't there then the tour or cruise price would simply be raised by about the equivalent amount of the tip. It's partly a scam by the tour operators who no doubt can minimise paying all sorts of taxes if staff are lower paid as far as their payroll is concerned, even if the staff get e same total money in the end via taxes.

At least Cosmos have been upfront about them so you should just treat it as part of the total price rather than as an extra, assuming they are in fact obligatory.

As to what will happen if you don't pay, it depends what the agreement you sign says, they may be obligatory, but they may not.

As casinatutu says above, why a tour anyway? If price is a concern DIY it, I'd expect it to be cheaper and definitely no tips except where you think they are deserved.

Edited: 08 January 2012, 10:33
Stanley, Falkland...
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4. Re: Can someone please explain gratuities

You come from Australia, which doesn't have tipping ingrained in the service/hospitality/tourism industry.

On the other hand, if you search for "tips" on here, you will find most posts are from Americans who are asking HOW MUCH to tip, as they don't want to offend the waiter, concierge or whomever.

The UK is somewhere between the US and Australia. Only a very few people expect a tip, but some organisations have introduced optional tipping (partly, they say, to help avoid embarrassment), but have dressed it up in such a way that the unwary might think it is compulsory.

If the service is poor or ordinary, I've asked for the 12% service charge to be removed from the bill. Often they rely on people not doing this.

Adelaide, Australia
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5. Re: Can someone please explain gratuities

On coach tours in europe the driver and tour guide are well paid, however if the service is exceptional, one aud$ a day is generous.

In European hotels we tip the person who cleans the room the same.

Though in restaurants in Italy you are not obliged to tip.

Too add in London restaurants on top of the price of the meal they add service charge and VAT, which in a way nearly doubles the cost of what you though your meal would cost!

Edited: 08 January 2012, 10:47
UK
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6. Re: Can someone please explain gratuities

On coach tours in europe the driver and tour guide are well paid

=======

Can you give some examples please?

London, United...
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7. Re: Can someone please explain gratuities

> nearly doubles the cost of what you though your meal would cost! <

Tosh. How does adding a 12.5% service charge "nearly double" the price you originally saw?

Edited: 08 January 2012, 11:43
Adelaide, Australia
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8. Re: Can someone please explain gratuities

Ex coach tours of europe organiser who employed them, and the greenwich person wot u on about mate!!

London, United...
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9. Re: Can someone please explain gratuities

You claimed that adding service charge (which is typically 12.5%) to a restaurant bill "nearly doubles" the price that was listed. It doesn't.

Cotswolds
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10. Re: Can someone please explain gratuities

Well he did say VAT as well - though VAT <<SHOULD>> be included in the original price