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Self-Checkout Machines Are Now Begging For Tips


As if it couldn’t get any worse than having to navigate tablets at every coffee shop and convenience store that now ask for tips for employees simply doing their jobs, now even some automated self-checkout machines are begging for tips. 

Yes, the cash grab is continuing in truly Orwellian fashion, as Fox reported this week that some self-checkout machines are asking for tips. Not only are we being put to work, scanning our own groceries and bagging them now, but we’re expected to offer up a tip for the privilege for doing the store’s work for them. 

Fox calls it a “self-serve tipping option”, wherein “customers can leave tips including the typical 20%, despite facing minimal to no interaction with any employee”. The option has left some customer feeling “obligated” to leave a tip, the report says, without knowing where the money eventually winds up. 

Businesses “are taking advantage of an opportunity,” says William Michael Lynn, a consumer behavior and tip culture professor at Cornell University’s Nolan School of Hotel Administration. He told The Wall Street Journal: “Who wouldn’t want to get extra money at very little cost if you could?” 

In addition to requesting tips, some companies alter their point of sale systems so that massive tips – sometimes starting at 30% and moving upward – are the only selections someone can make without having to go through a lengthy process of editing their tip on-screen.

Day trader Shaun MacDonald expressed his desire for more transparency to Fox, stating: “I feel like if there’s an automatic question to ask for tipping, there should be fine print stating where these tips go.”

He concluded: “It doesn’t have to be huge, but it should be in writing on the screen saying these tips help out employees or these tips go to all employees, which includes management. It should be specified.”

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