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New trend? automatic service charges

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New trend? automatic service charges

rwarren | Dec 29, 2007 04:18 PM

Dear foodies,

I eat out with a couple of different dinner groups, at least twice a month. I've noticed that several of the places I've been to recently have taken to adding a service charge to the bill -- and not advising you in any manner that this will take place.

I prefer to tip (if/when I do) by merit. Only once have I challenged this charge, where it most certainly was not merited, and the response I got from the waitress was so unbelievably rude that once the "tip" was erased from the bill, she didn't get anything at all from me.

I do take the time to inform the organizers, who seem happy to know that this is being done, but shrug it off and pay it anyways.

I don't want to get into a debate of "to tip or not to tip" -- but when these service charges start popping up, can they be refused? I am uncomfortable being forced to tip.

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