Couple Busted for Refusing to Pay Tip

mscriv

macrumors 601
Original poster
Aug 14, 2008
4,916
596
Dallas, Texas
If you’re frustrated by poor service at a restaurant, think twice before you decide to not tip. You may be in for a bit more than just a dirty look from the waiter.

"Nobody, nobody wants to be forced to pay a tip or be arrested for terrible service," Leslie Pope said when her happy hour ended in handcuffs.

Pope and John Wagner were hauled away by police and charged with theft for not paying the mandatory 18 percent gratuity totaling $16 after eating at the Lehigh Pub in Bethlehem, Pa. with six friends.

Pope claimed that they had to wait nearly an hour for their order and that she had to get napkins and silverware for the table herself.

“At this point I became very annoyed because I had already gone up to the bar myself to have my soda refilled because the waitress never came back,” Pope said.

After the $73 bill came, the group paid for food, drinks, and tax but refused to pay the tip. After explaining the bad service to the bartender in charge, Pope claimed he took their money and called police. The couple was handcuffed and placed in the back of a police car.

“I understand that, you know, we didn’t pay the gratuity, but it was a gratuity, it wasn’t something that was required,” said Wagner.

The owner admitted that the group waited unusually long for their food, but said the pub was extremely busy that night. He said managers offered to comp the food, a claim the couple denies ever happened.

“Obviously we would have liked for the patron and the establishment to have worked this out without getting the police involved,” said Deputy Police Commissioner Stuart Bedics.

Police charged them with theft since the gratuity was part of the actual bill. However, it is doubtful that the charges will hold up in front of a judge. The couple is scheduled to appear in court next month.
Link

Wow! How silly. It's a shame police time was wasted on this.
 

jmann

macrumors 604
I wouldn't have tipped either. Once an old man told me at one of my tables, that tips meant to insure proper service. I being a server myself don't like tipping when servers do a crappy job either. I know how the job is supposed to be done, and don't like when servers aren't attentive or nice. :)
 

Steven Jackson

macrumors 6502
Dec 8, 2006
384
7
Lincoln, U.K.
I wouldn't have tipped either. Once an old man told me at one of my tables, that tips meant to insure proper service. I being a server myself don't like tipping when servers do a crappy job either. I know how the job is supposed to be done, and don't like when servers aren't attentive or nice. :)
That acronym would only work if you were asked to "tep" the server...

Steve.
 

harperjones99

macrumors 6502
Nov 3, 2009
497
0
They should go after the pub for their court costs and lost wages after it get's tossed out. It's embarrassing this kind of thing even gets to court. The police should have told the pub owner to get bent. You arrest people when they break a law not over this kind of crap.
 

velocityg4

macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
4,885
1,438
Georgia
I would have refused to pay the tip too. Though I would simply have walked away after paying the other part of the bill.
 

steve knight

macrumors 68030
Jan 28, 2009
2,644
7,105
there re places that right on the menu has gratuity added to the price. it is really only raising prices without looking like they are getting raised. like smaller containers of food but that cost the same.
 

savoirfaire

macrumors 6502
Nov 23, 2003
324
22
New England
The automatic gratuity thing is definitely annoying. I don't have any problem with the concept of tipping, but a lot of waitstaff don't really feel that they need to "earn" tips anymore. On top of that, I've seen other discussions where waiters and waitresses express outrage that a customer would dare to leave a paltry 15% tip. :rolleyes:

In this case, I'd say the European countries that don't allow tipping at all have it right.
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,168
1,212
NYC
I understand suggested gratuity but mandatory?

I see the couple suing the restaurant out of oblivion.
 

sammich

macrumors 601
Sep 26, 2006
4,287
215
Sarcasmville.
Tipping, isn't it about the customer giving the server/waiter some money because they get paid squat? 18% is also absolutely insane, so it's some tax that gets levied on everyone?
 

Gregg2

macrumors 603
May 22, 2008
6,014
472
Milwaukee, WI
A place that has a mandatory 18% gratuity is a place where I'm not going to patronize any sit-down restaurants! You have now entered a fast-food only zone. Of course, if they pass that where I live, then I can just eat at home.
 

ucfgrad93

macrumors P6
Aug 17, 2007
17,945
8,925
Colorado
A lot of restaurants have gone to mandatory gratuities for larger parties. There were 8 people in the group, so I guess the mandatory gratuity kicked in. Personally, I would have tried to talk my way out of the tip. If that didn't work, I would have paid it and told them I would never go back.

Hopefully, this will get thrown out of court. It seems hard to believe that they just couldn't settle this at the restaurant. Sad, that they were arrested for $13.
 

solchitlins

macrumors regular
Nov 12, 2009
104
0
Michigan
Large parties are notorious for not leaving tips. Every one seems to forget what they ordered when the check arrives.

Here in Michigan Wait staff make $2.65 an hour plus tips.

Allot of Bars/Restaurant's have started making their Wait Staff claim "pay taxes" on 18% of their sales whether they actually collected those tips or not.

The taxation of gratuity started in the Reagan era, btw.

It's a crummy job where everyone and their brother thinks your beneath them and take out their daily frustrations on you.

Not to forget that owning a Bar or Restaurant is one of the hardest ways to make money period.

My family owned a Tavern for 34 years.

This all said I still don't believe in adding the gratuity right on the bill but I understand why it is done.
 

ezekielrage_99

macrumors 68040
Oct 12, 2005
3,336
17
While I do understand there's the intrinsic need for tipping I will NEVER tip if the service isn't worth it, if they don't do their job why should I tip for that?

Depending on where I go also dictates tipping, why does a restaurant require a tip while Burger King doesn't?
 

solchitlins

macrumors regular
Nov 12, 2009
104
0
Michigan
While I do understand there's the intrinsic need for tipping I will NEVER tip if the service isn't worth it, if they don't do their job why should I tip for that?

Depending on where I go also dictates tipping, why does a restaurant require a tip while Burger King doesn't?
Because Burger King is required to pay minimum wage where a employee working for tips only has to be paid $2.65 per hour.

"far below minimum wage"
 

CorvusCamenarum

macrumors 65816
Dec 16, 2004
1,231
2
Birmingham, AL
While I do understand there's the intrinsic need for tipping I will NEVER tip if the service isn't worth it, if they don't do their job why should I tip for that?

Depending on where I go also dictates tipping, why does a restaurant require a tip while Burger King doesn't?
Because except in rare circumstances, when you go to BK they don't service your table the way they do in a real restaurant.
 

184550

Guest
May 8, 2008
1,980
2
A mandatory gratuity?:confused::confused:
Every sit down place I have ever been in has a policy/ statement on the back of the menu, underneath the drink selection usually, that states that for groups that are larger than 6-8 people, an automatic tip of 15 to 18 percent is included on the final bill for the table. This is not uncommon at all to me. It would seem that by sitting down and ordering the food you are agreeing to the terms and conditions of the establishment.

However, I think that is it pathetic that the police were called and had to waste their time over such a petty arguement.

Edit: So the party was eight people total and they really wanted to argue over $2 bucks a person??? If you can't afford that kind of change, perhaps you shouldn't be going out to begin with...
 

barkmonster

macrumors 68020
Dec 3, 2001
2,123
12
Lancashire
I noticed the bit where they offered to "Comp" them for it. If that means either "Compensate" financially or even better, means the meal would be "Complimentary". Why the hell would they refuse it then refuse a tip? Anyone would have asked how they intended to "Comp" them and then make their tipping decision based on that.

I think getting the police involved is pathetic either way.
 

Rodimus Prime

macrumors G4
Oct 9, 2006
10,136
4
Every sit down place I have ever been in has a policy/ statement on the back of the menu, underneath the drink selection usually, that states that for groups that are larger than 6-8 people, an automatic tip of 15 to 18 percent is included on the final bill for the table. This is not uncommon at all to me. It would seem that by sitting down and ordering the food you are agreeing to the terms and conditions of the establishment.

However, I think that is it pathetic that the police were called and had to waste their time over such a petty arguement.

Edit: So the party was eight people total and they really wanted to argue over $2 bucks a person??? If you can't afford that kind of change, perhaps you shouldn't be going out to begin with...
I am going to side with the people here for not paying the tip. I know at a resturant if I get crap service as describe by the people then you are damn right I will walk out with out paying a tip.

Requirments to get a tip from me.
1.) keep my drinks full
2.) I expect to be check on at every now and then

Basicly if they do their damn job I give them 15-20%

In all the times I hve gone out to eat I have only not tip once and the service was crap. i was never check on. My food sat WAITING to be brought to me a good 15 min (saw it sitting there the entire time) to get my drinks refilled I had to do it my self. my server never check on me once while I was eating.

My food was dropped on the table very rudely.

I tipped 1 penny to prove I though about it.
 
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