Customer asked to tip at mechanic shop after paying $500 to fix car

@leahova/TikTok Lesterman/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘Are we tipping car mechanics now?’: Customer asked to tip at mechanic shop after paying $500 to fix car

'I was at SELF CHECKOUT and it asked me to tip 30%????!?!!'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Nov 30, 2023   Updated on Nov 30, 2023, 8:10 am CST

Requests for tips appear to be on the rise. While there’s not much reliable data about tip requests today compared to a decade ago, Americans certainly suspect that more businesses are asking shoppers to drop a few extra dollars for the employees.

According to a study from earlier this month by the Pew Research Center, “around seven-in-ten U.S. adults (72%) say tipping is expected in more places today than it was five years ago”—a change that the piece notes is occasionally called “tipflation.”

This apparent rise in tip requests is supported by anecdotes shared on the internet. For example, one user claimed that an automatic gratuity was added to their pickup order—and that they were then asked to tip twice more. Another alleged they were prompted to tip anywhere from 20 to 40% on a $15 bubble tea.

Now, another user’s tipping story has gone viral after they alleged their father was prompted to tip while at an auto mechanic.

“‘Tipping culture is not out of control, you guys are just assholes’—which is what I used to think until my parents were visiting me and their air conditioning broke,” says TikTok user Leah Ova (@leahova) in a video with over 315,000 views.

According to Ova, she had driven her father to pick up her car after it had been repaired. When she saw her father, he appeared confused.

“He’s like, ‘I always tip, but I’m confused,’” recalls Ova. “And I’m like, ‘What are you talking about?’ He’s like, ‘I literally just paid, I don’t know, $500 to have my car fixed, and then the…car mechanic swivels the screen around, and it’s like ‘you wanna tip 20% 25% 30%?’’”

“‘I never don’t push a button for a percentage to tip, but I didn’t tip,’” her father continued. “‘Are we tipping car mechanics now?’”

Ova had never heard of such a practice and informed her father of that fact.

“I was like, ‘No, we’re definitely not tipping car mechanics now, at least not that I know about,’” Ova says. “I don’t know. I think that’s pushing it.”

@leahova As far as I know this isn't a thing? #tippingculture ♬ original sound – Leahova

In the comments section of her video, users agreed that such a request went too far, with many sharing their own perceived egregious requests for tips.

“I was at SELF CHECKOUT and it asked me to tip 30%????!?!!” exclaimed a user.

“I was buying a lamp ONLINE and it asked me if I wanted to tip!” added another. “C’mon. Out of control!”

“22/24/28% tip screen for 3 UNCUT bagels in a bag,” detailed a third. “Like, what?”

The Daily Dot reached out to Ova via email.

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*First Published: Nov 30, 2023, 8:30 am CST