When I Tipped 31 Percent on a Restaurant Tab, My Bank Asked if My Server Was Stealing From Me

It Could Happen to You

Here’s one more reason to abolish tipping culture FOREVER:

Last Friday, I saw Jonathan Coulton perform with Paul and Storm at Seattle’s Triple Door. The Triple Door provides sit-down dining service during its events, and although the service is generally good, they had some kind of electrical/internet problem that Friday, and all of the servers had to submit their orders by hand.

That meant the food took extra long to arrive, which meant our server comped our drinks, which meant—because I have been a server myself and know how it works—that I tipped the server on the cost of the food and drinks, even though the drinks did not show up on the bill.

Then I got an email from my bank, asking if my server was stealing from me.

The subject line: “You gave an extra generous tip.” The body of the email explained that I had tipped over 30 percent (technically I tipped 30.66 percent), and that’s unusual enough that my bank automatically suspected fraud.

They didn’t say it in those words, of course. They simply invited me to review my transaction, and gave me instructions on how to start the dispute process if the transaction was in fact incorrect.

Has anyone else gotten one of these emails? I guess I should appreciate my bank looking out for me, but the whole thing just made me loathe tipping culture EVEN MORE.

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