Do You Want to Tip for that MacBook Pro?

May 04, 2023

Bloomberg reports that the union for employees at the Maryland Apple Store want to have employees accept tips on your MacBook or iPhone.

Why It Matters

Tip creep is a “win-win-lose” situation where the employee wins by getting more money, the employer wins by not having to spend any money, and the consumer loses because they either pay more or are burdened with navigating yet another awkward situation.

Tipping is Racist

You might be surprised to learn about tipping’s racist history. I sure was.

Tipping is both Inconvenient and too Convenient

Even with the rise of Venmo, Square, and other easy to use payment tools the reality is post-COVID many places went cashless. It is great to navigate the world without having to carry a wad of cash, but it leads to some awkward situations when a bellhop helps you with your bags on vacation and you’re not prepared. Meanwhile payment terminals will shamelessly throw up a tipping screen for transactions that previously did not require a tip.

Unexpected Tips are Deceptive and Unfair to Consumers

While not required, a suggested tip in a situation where it normally is not expected adds cost to a transaction that was not advertised. When you look at a food menu you understand you will be adding 20%, but not when you buy an iPad. If you are not familiar with whether tipping is customarily expected in a situation, you may end up having to pay more than you should. They are no better than the junk fees Ticketmaster adds when you purchase concert tickets.

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This work by Matt Zagaja is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.