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Tipping-our bad experience

Tudela
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32 posts
3 reviews
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Tipping—our bad experience

We went to a 4-day safari with Bobby tours. The safari was fine, we had (like everybody) our guide and a cook. We got on very well with them (or that´s what we thought), we invited our guide to dine with us every evening, we let him our sleeping bag when we found out that he slept in the car, etc. So, the last day when we were leaving, we gave them the tips according to what we read in Internet. Our surprise was when the guys turned away from us and started to count money..They said no ¨thank you¨ , no good-bye, no nothing. It was such a violant situation for us. We didn´t know if we had to leave or wait until they say somehting. At the end we left without receiving any word from them. That was so shocking!! it was really terrible to receive that treatment from the persons that we thought we got on well and got some small affection to each other. Has anybody have similar experience or we just had bad luck with our guides?

Arusha
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38 posts
2 reviews
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1. Re: Tipping—our bad experience

I've even seen portors on Mt Kili demand their tips before they start up the mountain.. If they don't get it they sit down and wait for you to pay!! They will also coherse you into you giving them your sleeping bag, walking equipment and even shoes when the trip is finished.. they then sell this on and still wear their old gear for the next trip.

On Mt Meru on my 3rd night I was asked by the park ranger (not the company i was with) for his tip. When I said that I will not give it to him until I have finished my climb. He was quite angry and started to demand that I pay it that night. Which I did not. He wasn't a good ranger and did not occomapny us up to the summit. wich by law he is suppose to do.

The next day he was always a long way ahead of us and it was the cheif guide and chef that walked me back down!! I gave the tip I was going to give the ranger to both the guide and chef as they helped me more then the ranger.

Isle of Man, United...
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2. Re: Tipping—our bad experience

saneyevan. this is bad. I think you may have just been unlucky (maybe they were so overcome with emotion at your generosity they cried! Joking!)

I should have mentioned this to Bobbys management.

but your conscience should be clear. You gave what you thought and that is the end of it.

Even rafiki's post shows that this tipping is getting out of hand. The Kili Porters want their tips before the start because as soon as they are out of sight of the entrance, they share out the load between a few and the rest go home. This abuses the strict Maximum load rule.

If the Ranger did not come to the summit then "No tip" and file a report with TANAPA.

Arusha
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38 posts
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3. Re: Tipping—our bad experience

Yes I did report the ranger.. but know that this is not an icelated event.

Also saneyevan just be thankful they didn't ask for your email address!

Maybe the kili tanapa can also sort out the porter and guides accomodation. Instead of over booking the guest huts, making the guests sleep in the porters huts and the porters are to sleep outside!! Also empty the loos.. yukky yukky.

Isle of Man, United...
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4. Re: Tipping—our bad experience

I agree. This should not happen but unless and until people make their views known in a blunt and forthright manner it will persist. But most trekkers just shrug and set off for the Beach so NOTHING HAPPENS.

Findlay, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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5. Re: Tipping—our bad experience

Typically, I have found that more demands are made for tipping from mountain porters and guides then for safari guides. This is unusual for this to happen with a safari guide, at least to my experiences. It only goes to show us that when outrageous tips are given from some then much more is expected from everyone. This is a disease which I hoped would not get to these tourist areas, like they have here in our tourist areas. For you saneyevan, I wouldn't worry about this and put it out of your mind. You did the right thing, they were in the wrong.

When something like this happens to me, I always try to get the money back. I recall one time (in the early 1960s) in New York City I handed a doorman a 25 cent tip and he raised h@ll with me about the size of my tip; I stepped back and said I'm sorry, I give you the wrong amount, took the quarter back and left telling him that he deserved nothing.

I have always looked at a tip like a do a gift to someone. If they don't appreciate what I think is appropriate, then that's their problem and I would just as soon they return it to me and I wouldn't be bashful about asking for it back so that I would leave them with nothing.

In certain of their Tanzanian cultures it is not a faux pas to ask someone who has a lot for something material or monetary. And it is not a faux pas for the person to refuse them. I know a Hehe there who is fond of saying to me "when you take a bite out of an elephant, the elephant does not miss what you took; you are an elephant."

Isle of Man, United...
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6. Re: Tipping—our bad experience

Karl echos my sentiments as many previous posts will show. The problems stems from over generous tipping by a few, who then raise the aspirations of the recipients to expect this each and every time. Lots of posters will write in and disagree but saneyevan's experience is a classic example of what I referred to.

Saint Paul...
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for Tanzania, Serengeti National Park
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7. Re: Tipping—our bad experience

Karl and Mfuwe,

I think you probably suspected that I would chime in here. :)

Let's think about the main assumption that both of you are making: large tips are causing this problem of some guides demanding tips and/or not appreciating them.

Let's consider two possible scenarios from a guide's point of view:

(1) In Brian's world: Tips vary. Sometimes I get a lot and sometimes I get a little. But my chances of getting a good or even great tip greatly improve if I work hard.

(2) In Karl's and Mfuwe's world: Tips are consistently average to low - but a big tip never happens. If I work really hard, I might get a slightly larger tip, but never a 'great' tip.

In which of these scenarios is a guide/porter more likely to work hard and in which scenario is the guide more likely to look for ways to convince guests to pull more money out of their pockets?

Isle of Man, United...
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8. Re: Tipping—our bad experience

Hi Brian.

with respect you are jumping the gun.

The post was about surly ungrateful wretches and it is clearly unacceptable to treat your client/guests in this way.

As in all things there is scope for moderation and tipping is one of them. We do appreciate the "economics" of industry BUT we are not there to subsidise the Safari employer who has already been paid mega bucks to provide a Safari which we have a right to assume includes paying his drivers a reasonable wage. (If they have not, I would advocate that this is where your ire should be directed.)

Our tips, mine anyway, are a token of gratitude for an enjoyable experience. If the guy has worked his But off, then the tip will reflect this but it is EARNED and NOT a right. I thought that this "incentivisation" was all the rage in the US.

We will of course never agree on the actual level of the 'golden mean' and I tend to follow my instinct here. I have in front of me an Itinerary for another trip where the Operator suggests a tip of $15/20 per Group per day so for a 10 day trip I would be giving $150/200. I do not have a problem with that.

It is the all pervasive "big spender" (no prizes for guessing their residence) that causes the problem.

Findlay, Ohio
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for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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9. Re: Tipping—our bad experience

No Brian I didn't expect you to chime in at all, hadn't even though of that. But since you have then I will give you a direct response. If the safari operators, like yourself, would pay a living wage to their employees then there would be no problem. I don't know if you do or not, and I don't really stay awake at night thinking about whether you do or not. I only know what I do, and I only think about that. If someone treats me badly after providing them with a tip, then I react from that bad treatment. And if I were the safari operator who had an employee which treated their clients badly for what they expected them to provide, I would fire that employee, quickly and without any negotiations. And I have been an employer in the public service business of many, and I have fired employees for their bad treatment of clients. I would always tell my employees that they would lose their job quickly for one of two reasons, treating clients and customers badly and getting caught with your fingers in the till. When you are in the public service business you cannot ever have an employee who treats their clients and customers badly. If you do you will not be in business very long and rightly so.

Saint Paul...
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for Tanzania, Serengeti National Park
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10. Re: Tipping—our bad experience

Thanks Mfuwe and Karl,

I should point out that we fully agree with each other on several points:

(1) The behavior noted by 2 individuals above is completely unacceptable and inappropriate. Those people involved should probably be released. They should have been properly instructed before it even happened.

(2) Tour operators should all pay their guides a respectable wage and this too would greatly help reduce the chances of such inappropriate behavior. I fully and whole-heartedly agree.

(3) Tourists are not there to subsidize what the tour operator should be paying. I fully agree. My ire is very much directed in this direction as well.

(4) Tips are to be given as a token of appreciation, not as a requirement. It is up to each individual to decide how much they want to tip and that is perfectly fine and the way it should be.

It seems to me there's really only 1 area where we disagree:

You think everyone should keep their tips down to a moderate level because big tips ruin it for others.

I believe that an occasional big tip is perfectly fine and doesn't harm a thing. (Remember, I'm not a big tipper myself, but I just don't see why we would encourage people to keep their tips small.)