woman swiping credit card on card reader

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‘I literally got shamed by a credit card machine’: Customer says tipping screen read ‘BAD TIP’ after she didn’t tip on $10 smoothie

'I stood there and waited for my smoothie, embarrassed.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Aug 17, 2023

The tipping debate is an oft-discussed topic of conversation on social media, with throngs of people slamming “entitled” employees and POS systems that ask patrons if they’d like to leave a tip on services where, traditionally speaking, gratuities weren’t expected.

Some folks don’t like that their transactions are “held hostage” by these questions whenever a POS machine or tablet is swung around for the customer to insert their card into and punch in a tip amount.

And there have even been some employees who’ve expressed their ire over being forced to ask customers for a tip.

Now one TikToker is saying that they’ve experienced a new level of gratuity pressure after they were effectively “shamed” by a credit card machine at a smoothie shop for not leaving a tip.

TikToker Charlotte Muller (@breathe_strength) asked others if they’ve had similar experiences while they were out shopping themselves.

@breathe_strength HAS THIS HAPPENED TO ANYONE ELSE #tipping #tippingculture ♬ Spongebob Tomfoolery – Dante9k Remix – David Snell

While she didn’t name it, Muller said she went to “a really popular smoothie establishment” to get an acai smoothie, with extra protein, for her fiancé. She said the smoothie was $10.51, which was more expensive than she expected it to be—even with the added protein. She recounted how the interaction between her and the worker went.

“I’m like, oh in my head, I’m like, ‘Oh that’s an expensive smoothie.’ But it’s literally Long Island, like fine. Then she goes, ‘Do you wanna round up?’ I’m like, ‘No, how about you round down?’ I didn’t say that, so then I pay with my card, and I’m prompted to leave a tip, and it’s automatically highlighted at 20%, and in my head, I’m like, ‘I’m not tipping.’ Literally just grabbing my smoothie and leaving,” she said.

Muller clarified the situations in which she does give a gratuity. “I do tip if I like sit at the establishment or, like, I’m actually using their thing,” she said.

“But I’m literally paying … top dollar for this smoothie, so I click, ‘No tip.’ Then an alert comes up on the credit card machine all in caps, it says, ‘BAD TIP.’ When I tell you I stood there and waited for my smoothie, embarrassed. I literally got shamed from a credit card machine,” she shared.

Numerous commenters replied to her video expressing their thoughts on tipping culture in the United States, with many of them stating how sick they are of the expectation that gratuities are now the norm.

“I don’t understand tipping. I’m supposed to tip my wedding photographer but not tip my plumber? It doesn’t make sense,” one person wrote.

Someone else seemed to share Muller’s own ideas on tipping, writing, “I only tip actual waiters/waitresses at this point.”

There was one TikToker who shared an anecdote that encapsulates a major gripe folks have with tipping culture, and it’s the idea that the onus of compensating employees rests on the shoulders of the customers and not their employers: “I got a receipt from a restraunt that said ‘please pay your servers’ and I was like isn’t that YOUR job??”

Another penned, “Why don’t employers just pay their employees a fair wage so that they’re not depending on tipps?”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Muller via email for further comment.

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*First Published: Aug 17, 2023, 12:04 pm CDT