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Bareback
 Post subject: Re: Service Charge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:09 am 
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Duane, the issue is that there is another layer of charges being applied to the food which already has a hefty mark up on it.

Take your example of a steak; I can buy the entire Strip Loin, cut my own steaks and feed my family of 3 a steak dinner with bake potatoes, corn, mushrooms, garlic bread and salad for less than $150 for all 3 meals. In your example of the steak dinner for $400 (let's say the range is $250 to $400) that is on a per meal basis and thus the price also includes the overhead of the restaurant. This overhead should also include wages (in theory). So now with the addition of service charge it is akin to adding a mandatory tip regardless of the level of service, and if the rumours are true, the staff usually don't receive this. So the right of the consumer to not pay the service charge cannot be compared to the right of the restaurateur to demand payment for food consumed. We cannot refuse to pay for food that we have consumed and they cannot demand that we pay an additional compensation to them, especially if the service is bad.


Last edited by Bareback on Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sivic Distributors
 Post subject: Re: Service Charge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:10 am 
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Duane 3NE 2NR wrote:
Sivic Distributors wrote:
Duane 3NE 2NR wrote:
Sivic Distributors wrote:
What this means is that there is no law imposing this charge but there is also no law regulating or prohibiting this charge. As such it is discretionary for both the proprietors to impose the charges and the customers to pay it.
I'm concerned about this part because what I'm thinking is once you are presented with the bill after consuming the service, however poor, the price on the bill is what you must pay. It would be no different then from getting a bill for a steak at $400 and claiming you are not paying it because the size of steak you got costs only $84 in the supermarket. That steak at that restaurant costs $400, complain how much you want, that is what you owe them. Your argument so far is that the service was not worth the amount stated on the service charge, however you still need to pay it.

WRT to double tipping, tips are not mandatory. So while I think you still have to pay the service charge, you are well within your right not to tip.


Duane i have spoken to numerous establishment owners and managers (all at movietowne and Mr. Chin himself) and they all have acknowledged that no customer is required to pay the service charge. Also please bear in mind it's not the cost of the food or whatever you have consumed that you are refusing to pay but the service charge as outline in the bill....
I didnt' say you are refusing to pay for the food, I was drawing an analogy from the example with the steak.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad you posted this - good looking out!

I'm not discounting your noble research and what these people say. I'm saying that if there are no definitive guidelines or laws, then it is, as you said, at the discretion of the establishment to charge you whatever service charge they want and so it will remain an argument/complaint/inconvenience each time you have a bill to pay if you wish to hold up your beliefs. Unless of course you plan to take this to another level and have the Consumer Affairs Division of the Ministry of Legal Affairs make it law. Until then I prefer not to have a planned argument with the manager of each restaurant every time I take my wife out for dinner!

I'm just saying...


Oh i understand..... In my experience managers and employees, knowing that the charge is not mandatory, are happy to oblige your decision/request to not pay the service without there being any argument. As far as i understand they literally do all they can to keep this option to pay or not a secret.

I have been doing it ever since i found out and to this date i never had a conflict with any establishment over the matter. As a matter of fact the employees/waiters are happy to oblige me because they actually don't get the service charge which is actually charge for them. Last place i had dinner was zanzibar at peakes, where the waitress was more than happy to readjust my bill after i told her i wasn't paying the service charge. I opted to give it to her directly and not through the bill.


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Sivic Distributors
 Post subject: Re: Service Charge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:15 am 
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Stephon. wrote:
I dunno though, I'd be too scared to tell them I'm not paying the service charge, I'd just not leave a tip, or I'd try that tipping a dollar method :lol:


You don't have to, that's the thing, the employees/waiters are actually happy to readjust your bill because they know they are never going to get the service charge and if you don't have to pay it chances are you will tip them more than what you had planned to.... that's how they see it.... The waiters of course, not necessarily managers.


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adriano7910
 Post subject: Re: Service Charge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:27 am 
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this is very interesting and i believe trintuner's users must include a number of lawyers who can clarify this. I have been one to many times stuck paying service charge for service that was horrible and the bill in question would include a service charge of ther-about $80. this to me is all but right. Why should i pay service charge for something i didn't not receive. Your salary paid for you bringing me my food, the cook making my food and so on. Now why should i pay you $80 more when you didn't deserve any of it. The server and cooks and all others are paid a salary so service charge therefore is and added bonus.


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S_2NR
 Post subject: Re: Service Charge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:54 am 
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good info here!
sounds too good to be true, i'll try this next time service is shiddy.


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Damien
 Post subject: Re: Service Charge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:57 am 
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I just watch the service charge stueps and pay anyway, i dont like the idea of beating up in a public place one or two occasions i aint leave no tip because of poor service but thats it, remember you dont HAVE to tip eh


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Bareback
 Post subject: Re: Service Charge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:00 am 
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Damien wrote:
I just watch the service charge stueps and pay anyway, i dont like the idea of beating up in a public place one or two occasions i aint leave no tip because of poor service but thats it, remember you dont HAVE to tip eh

And the essence of this thread is that you also don't have to pay the service charge!


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Damien
 Post subject: Re: Service Charge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:02 am 
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punchin NOS
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so how would the waiter or waitress get paid?


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wagonrunner
 Post subject: Re: Service Charge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:06 am 
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So my Flow bill has "Total Service Charges $404.32". According to OP, that's at my discretion?


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Bareback
 Post subject: Re: Service Charge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:08 am 
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Damien wrote:
so how would the waiter or waitress get paid?

They get paid wages which are built in to the price of the food.


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black start
 Post subject: Re: Service Charge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:10 am 
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I personally will just bypass the service charge from now and pay the waiter instead if the service is good and if the service is poor,.....

Good looking out OP.


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Dizzy28
 Post subject: Re: Service Charge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:01 pm 
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Interesting. I been robbed all these years paying service charge and leaving tips.


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ruff neck chicken
 Post subject: Re: Service Charge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:15 pm 
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so just tell them i'm not paying the service charge then tip them well.cool.


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AllTrac
 Post subject: Re: Service Charge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:27 pm 
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you guys try this first and report back here, let me know how it works out :lol:
Either way im taking my gf out for dinner friday, so ill try it.

me: could i get the bill please?
waiter: ok sir
me: please dont include the service charge, thanks.
waiter: SIVIC DAT MODDA CONT BUSSIN UP HE GUM ALL OVER ORRRRR??


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crazybalhead
 Post subject: Re: Service Charge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:31 pm 
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wagonrunner wrote:
So my Flow bill has "Total Service Charges $404.32". According to OP, that's at my discretion?



Yeah. :drinking: Stick it to de man WR, don't pay them charges. 0X


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Sivic Distributors
 Post subject: Re: Service Charge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:14 pm 
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AllTrac wrote:
you guys try this first and report back here, let me know how it works out :lol:
Either way im taking my gf out for dinner friday, so ill try it.

me: could i get the bill please?
waiter: ok sir
me: please dont include the service charge, thanks.
waiter: SIVIC DAT MODDA CONT BUSSIN UP HE GUM ALL OVER ORRRRR??



lol....honestly though in all my encounters the waiters are actually happy to adjust your bill if you tell em you not paying service charge because they think it will increase their chance of getting a bigger tip...well those i have dealt with thus far..... yo i do this ever since i found out and everyone was more than willing to do the adjustments on my request. Honestly i ain't gonna come here and make statements unless i did it myself and i did without any "scene"


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Sivic Distributors
 Post subject: Re: Service Charge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:20 pm 
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wagonrunner wrote:
So my Flow bill has "Total Service Charges $404.32". According to OP, that's at my discretion?


That's a totally different service charge. They categorise their products as services, however feel free my friend to withhold payments if you wish. hope you like local programming.


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ek4ever
 Post subject: Re: Service Charge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:49 pm 
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Bareback wrote:
In one instance at TGIF Gulf City, the service was so incredible that my daughter insisted that I leave the server $40 on a $150 bill. I think the only thing she did not do was feed the food to us. The order was exactly as we wanted and we never had am empty glass nor had to wait for her attention. We definitely rewarded her by also letting her manager know what a diamond in the rough she was.


Glad you brought up that point. We're quick to complain about service but how do we reward good or exceptional service? At Woodford cafe in Chaguanas there's a server who provides great service, always a pleasant smile and terrific attitude. I always ask for her now when I go there and she always does a great job. I mentioned it to her manager the first time she attended to us and I guess other ppl have too as she quickly moved up to supervisor. I noticed that her supervisor also provides great customer service so Woodford Cafe Chaguanas seems to recognize the value of good customer service.


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crazychinee
 Post subject: Re: Service Charge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:36 pm 
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ek4ever wrote:
Bareback wrote:
In one instance at TGIF Gulf City, the service was so incredible that my daughter insisted that I leave the server $40 on a $150 bill. I think the only thing she did not do was feed the food to us. The order was exactly as we wanted and we never had am empty glass nor had to wait for her attention. We definitely rewarded her by also letting her manager know what a diamond in the rough she was.


Glad you brought up that point. We're quick to complain about service but how do we reward good or exceptional service? At Woodford cafe in Chaguanas there's a server who provides great service, always a pleasant smile and terrific attitude. I always ask for her now when I go there and she always does a great job. I mentioned it to her manager the first time she attended to us and I guess other ppl have too as she quickly moved up to supervisor. I noticed that her supervisor also provides great customer service so Woodford Cafe Chaguanas seems to recognize the value of good customer service.


I going to try this in Ruby tuesday Drive thru tommorrow afternoon.
Me: So hear this na, alya take too long to bring me my food to the car, i NOT paying no service charge....but wait why the ass I paying service charge on a takeout order.


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r3iXmann
 Post subject: Re: Service Charge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:58 pm 
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ek4ever wrote:
Bareback wrote:
In one instance at TGIF Gulf City, the service was so incredible that my daughter insisted that I leave the server $40 on a $150 bill. I think the only thing she did not do was feed the food to us. The order was exactly as we wanted and we never had am empty glass nor had to wait for her attention. We definitely rewarded her by also letting her manager know what a diamond in the rough she was.


Glad you brought up that point. We're quick to complain about service but how do we reward good or exceptional service? At Woodford cafe in Chaguanas there's a server who provides great service, always a pleasant smile and terrific attitude. I always ask for her now when I go there and she always does a great job. I mentioned it to her manager the first time she attended to us and I guess other ppl have too as she quickly moved up to supervisor. I noticed that her supervisor also provides great customer service so Woodford Cafe Chaguanas seems to recognize the value of good customer service.


yup..that's where i had the incident/resolution with the food


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Sky
 Post subject: Re: Service Charge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:30 pm 
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Sivic Distributors wrote:


From workers: Management takes the service charge and give the worker a percentage of the service charge, in most case 30 percent of the service charge.

So in essence you are "double tipping". What an employee told me was that customer who are aware of their right to refuse to pay the service charge exercise that right and then give the service charge to the waiter as their tip.

I have done this ever since being enlighten on the matter 2 weeks ago.


30% yuh say!!
Nice, from now on, if I get good service, the 15% goes as the tip and I pay no SC.
If I get bad service I complain until I get better, and pay the SC.

Trinis are too proud when it comes to demanding service, and this bred an awful culture of


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UML
 Post subject: Re: Service Charge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:39 pm 
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Sivic Distributors wrote:
AllTrac wrote:
i need more information on the legality of this, wrt not paying the service charges because if we have the right to refuse to pay the service charge I for one as a consumer will exercise that right.

When you go to other countries and eat in what the locals would call the lower end fast food joints the service there would trump the service we get here in the higher end restaurants, not even fast food places here. I am very outspoken to the managers when it comes to bad service (when i have my food infront of me ofcourse) many times my gf and family would tell me to just forget it or be quiet cause to them its embarrassing and i think thats the problem, we just like to accept anything which in turn sets the bar very low.


To shed some light on your concern, let me say this, through my extensive research and professional inquiries there is no law validating this charge. I asked a couple of highly ranked attorneys and legal minds and you wouldn't believe they themselves never really gave much thought to the charge until i made my inquiries. They all consulted the laws and legal precedents and found no authority for this charge. What this means is that there is no law imposing this charge but there is also no law regulating or prohibiting this charge. As such it is discretionary for both the proprietors to impose the charges and the customers to pay it.

I spoke to certain managers and workers of establishments and the following is what i was told:

From managers: the service charge is for the waiters (tips).

From workers: Management takes the service charge and give the worker a percentage of the service charge, in most case 30 percent of the service charge.

So in essence you are "double tipping". What an employee told me was that customer who are aware of their right to refuse to pay the service charge exercise that right and then give the service charge to the waiter as their tip.

I have done this ever since being enlighten on the matter 2 weeks ago.


some establishments dont even give the waiter/waitress the service charge/tip :cry:


Sivic Distributors wrote:
ruff neck chicken wrote:
AllTrac wrote:
i need more information on the legality of this, wrt not paying the service charges because if we have the right to refuse to pay the service charge I for one as a consumer will exercise that right.


Same here, but at the same time how does one not pay service charge ? :?

Just short the bill, minus the service charge from total and walk out?
Should i bring it to their attention that you are not paying service charge?
I'm sure alot of waiters/managers are not aware of the service charge being optional, what are we supposed to do when they say it is compulsory?


When you asking for your bill tell them you are not paying service charge. That is what i do.
The first time they had already brought the bill so i told them i wasn't paying service charge at which point they went back inside, adjusted the bill and returned it to me, but the better practice is to tell them you are not paying service charge when you ask for the bill because believe it or not they charge you vat on the service charge as well.


which is illegal and discussed already


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~Vēġó~
 Post subject: Re: Service Charge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:46 pm 
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^^^now dais ah next issue altogether....

good info here....


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bonzo.specb
 Post subject: Re: Service Charge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:46 pm 
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Great info here. Thanks for posting. 8-)


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UML
 Post subject: Re: Service Charge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:50 pm 
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btw me eh leaving no damn dollar!!! NUTTIN FOR DEM!!

dey go say "at least i get a dollar"

let dem see nuttin and cuss.....and if i cud give exact change to the cent I WILL!!!


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brams112
 Post subject: Re: Service Charge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:18 pm 
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i dont mind paying a server a 20 or so when i go to a resturant,thing is the server is human after all,also you wont believe how nice the server will treat you when you go back,some of them do remember you with kindness or hate believe it or not,as for service charge just go to the kitchen order ur food,when it is finished go get it yourself.


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ZeroOne
 Post subject: Re: Service Charge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:06 pm 
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I knew it.

All these years im being robbed..

I too questioned the service charge but never followed it up.....good job OP

My only concern with this is how the establishment is going to treat you when you return since they know your not going to pay the service charge.

Although the waiters may be cool with it, the people who call the shots (managers/owners) will not, thus creating some tension that would eventually filter down to the waiters and over time the waiters attitude to "not paying service charge" customers will change for the worst.

This would start a form of discrimination where customers who pay the service charge will get better attention by the establishment, although the waiters may try to mask this discriminating attitude for the sake of keeping customers.

If an establishment charges VAT to a service charge the bill should be adjusted and they should be reported.


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Duane 3NE 2NR
 Post subject: Service Charge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:22 pm 
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Sivic Distributors wrote:
I have done this ever since being enlighten on the matter 2 weeks ago.


Sivic Distributors wrote:
I have been doing it ever since i found out and to this date i never had a conflict with any establishment over the matter. As a matter of fact the employees/waiters are happy to oblige me

how many restaurants have you dined in in two weeks?


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bushwakka
 Post subject: Re: Service Charge
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:37 pm 
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Duane 3NE 2NR wrote:
Until then I prefer not to have a planned argument with the manager of each restaurant every time I take my wife out for dinner!

I'm just saying...


that there is the reason i wouldn't "exercise my right" either. I dont wanna end up in an argument with ignorant people all the time. I remember sometime aback, someone had posted about their Christmas lunch experience at a certain restaurant on Ariapita where they were strongarmed by the establishment (right or wrong)....i don't wanna be strongarmed and then have the hassle of takin ppl to court etc etc

good research tho OP

the only time i have thought about refusing to pay service charge is if i order takeout. I find its incredible that some restaurants have the audacity to charge service charge when u just coming to grab and go. I feel like I could fight down that one!


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DRAGULA
 Post subject: Re: Service Charge
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:56 am 
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In addition to the service charge, when you leave a tip, does 100% of that tip go to the waiters? Or does management take piece of that too? And also, which is better, leaving a tip via your credit card or leaving the tip in cash even though you paying with your credit card? Just askin to make sure that the correct people gettin the tip


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