Chris Neuswanger
Vail, CO, Colorado

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January 26, 2013
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Vail Daily letter: I'll keep this change, thanks

There seems to be a new standard of low that is becoming normal in several valley restaurants. Three times in the last few months I have gone out for lunch, and when I pay the bill in cash, I find that the cashier has rounded up the amount of my bill to the nearest dollar and kept the change. When I asked why this is, I only get my change returned with a look that I must be the world's biggest cheapskate.

I can only surmise that owners of these establishments seem to think that consumers don't really care about a few coins or that somehow customers should now tip the owners for the privilege of eating in their establishments.

While I don't really miss the money, it is usually part of what I would normally leave toward the tip, and this practice lowers the amount of money the servers take home for a job that is generally well done.

I feel obligated to tip the server properly if they provide good service but do not feel obligated to toss a few coins to the owner, as well, and the owner definitely does not have the right to presume I am so grateful for eating in his establishment that he can keep my money without asking me if I wish to round up the bill to their benefit.

If the owner needs to make more money off my lunch, then they can raise the menu prices accordingly. This behavior is neither ethical nor good customer relations.

This seemingly new normal behavior is just plain tacky, poor service and annoying. Diners should stand up against this nonsense promoted by some restaurants and politely ask for the correct change.

I can't think of another business that could (or would have the nerve to) ring up $7.50 on the register and ask the customer with a straight face to give them $8 and not expect any change.

Imagine the public uproar if the local grocery chains or Walmart suddenly told consumers that their bills would be automatically rounded up to the nearest dollar. Shame on those establishments who think they can get away with this just because people do not want to be unpleasant and point out they were shorted on their change. To those business who do this, you are an embarrassment to the community.

Chris Neuswanger


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The VailDaily Updated Jan 26, 2013 05:00PM Published Jan 26, 2013 04:59PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.