When you go to a restaurant, you probably expect that your credit card number is used to process your payment and, perhaps, so your server can buy cool stuff online. But what about your name? Well, if your server thinks you are cheap, your name may end up in the [BEEP] Tipper Database ("beep" is what my son would say, with a sly grin), along with editorial comments about how unpleasant a customer you are. Kottke.org has a bit of discussion about this site, which provides disgruntled foodservice employees an opportunity to vent about customers using the names lifted from credit cards:
The [BEEP] [BEEP] Tipper database (kottke.org)
Does the [BEEP] Tipper Database seem wrong to anyone else? I'm all for underpaid service staff venting and attempting to raise public awareness about bad tipping (which, in the absence of poor service, amounts to an unjust pay-cut determined completely by some random idiot customer). But since when is anything under 17% considered shitty? $0 on a $125 bill, that's shitty. 15% (on the pre-tax amount, I might add) is still the industry standard, no matter how much it sucks to get exactly the minimum for adequate service.
More importantly, what gives these people the right to take someone's full name off of a credit card (procured on the job, BTW) and put it up on the web because of some completely subjective gauge of service provided? If I'm eating somewhere, my expectation is that my credit card is being used only for payment and not for any personal use by the employees of the restaurant. If I don't leave someone what they think was deserved, they should catch me on the way out and ask me about it. Perhaps I forgot or miscalculated. Or maybe the service was a bit off in my mind. If I left no tip, I probably talked to the manager about why I did so and they'll be hearing about it from them. But to be all passive aggressive and get my name from my CC and post it on some internet message board...that suggests to me that maybe they didn't deserve a good tip in the first place."
So if you are going to tip less than fifteen percent and want to remain anonymous, use cash like the "bunch of soccer moms" from Halifax:
Tipper's Name: Some Pub Crawl for Soccer Mom's
Where it happened: Halifax NS
Total bill / Tip amount / Percentage: $110.00 / $0.17 / 0%
This bitter old hag bought many rounds of shooters for her washed up friends who were in their late forties and trying to look like britney spears. She didn't tip all night, but I was still all (fake) smiles and joy, until I brought around their last round for last call. When I gave her change, she proceded to hold up one of the loonies (a dollar coin) and asked me to make change for it so she could finally tip me. I told her I didn't have small change, thats the smallest I have, so instead of just givin up that pathetic dollar she proceded to open up her wallet and dropped a dime, nickel and two pennies on my serving tray. SEVENTEEN CENTS! After slaving for them all night! ..."