Service Charges

Service charges annoy me. Without reason or deliberation seeing “A 12.5% discretionary service charge will be applied” at the bottom of a menu or the bald figure itself on a receipt rankles; in a less profound way than seeing children in Business Class (that produces inchoate rage and disguised elbow jabs), but tangible. I dispel the rage into the tumour of course because I’m gracious. I mean gutless.

Actually, I’m English. I’m culturally predisposed to tamely accept this without complaint. It strikes me as cynical of restaurants to graspingly take advantage of an English person’s crippling inability to contest such a fait accompli. I don’t begrudge tipping and like to think that I over tip if anything (though in reality I criminally under tip).

Is it common for the English, or indeed British among us, to reject the 10% or 12.5% routinely added onto bills? Tell me. I’m curious. How do you go about it? I never do. I never will be able to unless a waiter spits in my food and gropes my bird in front of me (I always think two transgressions is my limit. Is a solitary grope so bad?) (I’m told that it is bad and saying otherwise makes me a bad person).

Neither the Daily Telegraph or Daily Mail printed the above, if you can believe that, though I’ve since been informed that you need to send them an actual email or letter rather than a drunken voicemail. But still.

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