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Paying for Toilets

Frankfurt, Germany
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Paying for Toilets

As there seem to be some misunderstandings:

Restaurants:

Restaurants, cafés, bistros, beer gardens etc. are required by law to provide toilets for free for their guests. There might be a saucer standing around where you can leave a tip of 20 or 50 Cent, you are not oblieged to do so.

Shopping Malls, Museums and other public places:

It is very likely that there will be a "Klofrau", a lady cleaning the toilets. If the toilets are clean and up to your standards its nice to leave a few Cents for her, again you are not obliged to do so. She's got her fixed wages.

If she's only standing around, chatting with her friends or knitting socks while the toilets are a mess: don't pay!

Motorway Service Areas, Train Stations etc:

It's likely there will be a gate in front of the restrooms, you pay 50 Cent and the gate opens (children are free). Most of these toilets are operated by Sanifair, they are very clean and very modern. If you eat at the Motorway Restaurant your 50 Cent will be refunded.

Dublin, Ireland
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for Austria
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1. Re: Paying for Toilets

I heard that there is a scam on motorway rest places, where a person sits at the entrance and "takes" an entrance charge. hasn't this been deemed as illegal?

Frankfurt, Germany
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2. Re: Paying for Toilets

I haven't seen them for a long, long time but I usually pick the motorway stations with "Sanifair" label on the signpost because they are the cleanest and best maintained.

Theoretically they are not allowed to charge you when you eat there, but I wouldn't argue when I have urgent needs.

Edited: 30 September 2013, 10:24
Karlsruhe, Germany
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for Baden-Wurttemberg
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3. Re: Paying for Toilets

The "Sanifair" toilets have a turnstile where you have to throw a 50 cents coin in. You then receive a voucher for 50 cents which you can use in the shop and cafeteria. Lousy trick, as in summa they aren't charging anything. So go before having your coffee.

Toilets in shopping malls, at tourist attractions, at motorway rest places, or somewhere in cities, are often rented out, i.e. the person who works there receives NO wage, instead they have to pay rent and their only income are the fees charged from the users. They will of course insist on the charge. If this can be called a "scam" it is a scam directed at the Klofrau, but not at the visitors. If you read "Pachttoilette" it is one of those.

Frankfurt, Germany
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4. Re: Paying for Toilets

I never heard of "Pachttoiletten".

Frankfurt, Germany
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35 reviews
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5. Re: Paying for Toilets

Google tells me these toilets are outsourced by the shopping mall etc. The "Pächter" is paid by the shopping mall management to maintain the toilets, he often employs low-wage personell to clean the toilets. Seem they are often not allowed to keep the tips for themselves.

Amsterdam, The...
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for Munich, Amsterdam, The Ardennes
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6. Re: Paying for Toilets

I think the Sanifair has raised the prices. You pay 70 cents and get 50 cents back when you purchase something.

Frankfurt, Germany
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7. Re: Paying for Toilets

There are even court desicions regarding "Toilettenfrauen", they have labor agreements (Tarifverträge) and minimun wages

(crappy translation by google)

"Klofrauen are not a security service for tips:

If a toilet woman of her ancestral main task is not to keep its supervision lease toilets clean, but she spends her service essentially trying to guard the tips of the customers on the collection plates, it still remains a cleaner. Their activity is governed by the collective agreement of the craft of building cleaners and the amount of social security contributions owed ​​for that is calculated according to the prescribed minimum wages by collective agreement - and not to the actual wages paid a lot worse guards standing there. Then the Berlin Social Court has passed (Ref. S 73 LR 1505/10)."

***

Toilettenfrauen sind kein Wachdienst fürs Trinkgeld

Kommt eine Toilettenfrau ihrer angestammten Hauptaufgabe nicht nach, die von ihr beaufsichtigten Pachttoiletten sauber zu halten, sondern verbringt sie ihren Dienst im wesentlichen damit, die Trinkgelder der Kundschaft auf den Sammeltellern zu bewachen, so bleibt sie doch eine Reinigungskraft. Ihre Tätigkeit unterliegt dem Tarifvertrag des Handwerks der Gebäudereiniger und die Höhe der dafür geschuldeten Beiträge zur Sozialversicherung berechnet sich nach den tarifvertraglich vorgeschriebenen Mindestlöhnen - und nicht nach den tatsächlich gezahlten Löhnen eines wesentlich schlechter dastehenden Wachpersonals. Darauf hat das Sozialgericht Berlin bestanden (Az. S 73 KR 1505/10).

Die Deutsche Rentenversicherung war bei der Betriebsprüfung eines Berliner "Reinigungsservice" darauf gestoßen, dass das Unternehmen 23 bei ihm angestellten Toilettenfrauen nicht den für Gebäudereiniger verbindlichen Mindestlohn von rund 8 Euro, sondern lediglich zwischen 3,60 und 4,50 Euro pro Stunde gezahlt hatte. Dadurch waren in dem 3-jährigen Prüfzeitraum 118.000 Euro an zu wenig überwiesenen Beiträgen für die Sozialversicherung aufgelaufen, die das Unternehmen nun nachzahlen sollte.

Was die Inhaberin der Reinigungsfirma allerdings zurückwies. Und zwar mit der originellen Begründung, für ihren Betrieb gelte der teure Tarif der Gebäudereiniger überhaupt nicht. Denn ihre Angestellten seien gar keine Toilettenfrauen, sondern vielmehr eine Art Hilfswache. 75 Prozent ihrer Dienstzeit würden die meist Rentnerinnen nämlich neben dem Teller für das Trinkgeld verbringen und die Grundreinigung der Toiletten würden nicht etwa von ihnen, sondern anderen Mitarbeitern einer speziell beauftragten Firma erledigt. Die von den Nutzern der Sanitäranlagen dabei gezahlten freiwilligen Trinkgelder seien im Übrigen die einzige Einnahmequelle des Unternehmens.

Trotzdem sah das Sozialgericht die Nachforderung der Versicherungsbeiträge als rechtmäßig an. Dafür, dass es sich um keinen Betrieb der Trinkgeldaufsicht, sondern um ein Unternehmen handelt, dass überwiegend Reinigungsleistungen erbringt, spreche schon sein Name 'Reinigungsservice'. Wie ein Chirurg, der nachts Bereitschaftsdienst leiste und auch nicht ständig operiere, stets ein Arzt ist, bleibe auch eine Toilettenfrau, die nur einen Teil ihrer Kraft der Beseitigung von Verschmutzungen durch ihre Kunden widme, ihrem Berufsstand nach immer noch eine Reinigungskraft.

Karlsruhe, Germany
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for Baden-Wurttemberg
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8. Re: Paying for Toilets

Well, look at the signs next time.

The individual regulations depend on their contracts. I have spoken to some and this is what they told me, in a way that sounded honest to me. Maintaining toilets is not the most pleasant job in the world. If they do their job well, paying them for their work is okay with me.

Frankfurt, Germany
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9. Re: Paying for Toilets

>>>If they do their job well, paying them for their work is okay with me.<<<

That's what I said, if the toilet is clean, I leave some coins in the saucer, if it's not I feel no obligation to pay.

UK
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10. Re: Paying for Toilets

Here in the UK toilets are free - and clean (in general). That's because the toilet operator (for want of a better word) employs cleaners who do their job - i.e., they clean.

In Germany, by and large, you have Klofrauen (or their male equivalent) who, by and large, do nothing but sit by the entrance and wait for their tips.

I can't help feeling ripped off when I use a public toilet in Germany...

(I spent the first 20 years of my life in Germany, and I own a house there... so I don't look at the country through "tourist eyes")