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We don't subcontract with waiters and pizze boys to provide services, and their service is part of the cost of the product. So why should I pay twice for the same thing?

I think Galileo Blogs answered that well in his last post.

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I think Galileo Blogs answered that well in his last post.
Are you referring to the "if we don't voluntarily knuckle under to terrorists, they will hurt us" implication. Whether you feel "stiffed" is completely unimportant to me. It's also rude to expect to be given the unearned, so you shouldn't be rude. It's not actually rude to not tip service people, which blunts that argument. Most pizza delivery guys are rude in how they dress sloppily when they come to my house or in their speech and general demeanor. I admit that this could be the class of uncouth and unprofessional louts that are hired by the places that service my neighborhood; still, I've never met a pizza boy who wasn't rude at a certain fundamental level. Not vulgar and offensive, just a bit rude in general manner. That's probably why I'm more willing to reward waitresses, who are not generically rude and who may tend to exhibit professionalism.

So it seems to me that there was no answer at all to my question about why I ought to pay for the same service twice. I assume you didn't really think that GB actually addressed my point in his post.

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Most pizza delivery guys are rude in how they dress sloppily when they come to my house or in their speech and general demeanor. I admit that this could be the class of uncouth and unprofessional louts that are hired by the places that service my neighborhood; still, I've never met a pizza boy who wasn't rude at a certain fundamental level. Not vulgar and offensive, just a bit rude in general manner. That's probably why I'm more willing to reward waitresses, who are not generically rude and who may tend to exhibit professionalism.

How do you want a pizza guy to act exactly? What do you want him to do?

So it seems to me that there was no answer at all to my question about why I ought to pay for the same service twice. I assume you didn't really think that GB actually addressed my point in his post.

GB said: "The point was that the nature of the personal service provided by a waiter is such that the customer is in the best position to evaluate a significant part of the waiter's work. That is why the customer effectively pays part of the waiter's wages. This is not true in the situation Moebius describes where the service provided is clear-cut. When I buy a product from a store, the service is clear-cut and I pay a fixed price. When I get a haircut or a restaurant meal, the service provided is highly personal to me and there are clearly many subtle, almost intangible factors that I alone am in the best position to appreciate."

Thats a reason to pay twice.

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GB said: "The point was that the nature of the personal service provided by a waiter is such that the customer is in the best position to evaluate a significant part of the waiter's work. That is why the customer effectively pays part of the waiter's wages. This is not true in the situation Moebius describes where the service provided is clear-cut. When I buy a product from a store, the service is clear-cut and I pay a fixed price. When I get a haircut or a restaurant meal, the service provided is highly personal to me and there are clearly many subtle, almost intangible factors that I alone am in the best position to appreciate."

Do you perceive that this argument applies well to pizza delivery? In your personal experience, do different truly customers expect different levels of customization in the manner and promptness which you deliver their pizza? I imagine that everyone essentially wants you to just deliver them the pizzas as soon as possible. The same cannot be said about waiters or hair stylists.

Galileo Blogs' quoted argument seems to apply well to very personal services. To use it, you need to argue why bringing a customer a pizza is a more personal service. Of course a pizza boy does have a single common responsibility with a waiter in that you both transport food. However, you do not need to make suggestions, clear plates, repeatedly fill glasses of water and the like.

Thats a reason to pay twice.
Why should anyone pay for ANYTHING twice? In other words, why pay twice the market value for a service? Amortizing a transaction over multiple payments does not count here.

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Do you perceive that this argument applies well to pizza delivery? In your personal experience, do different truly customers expect different levels of customization in the manner and promptness which you deliver their pizza? I imagine that everyone essentially wants you to just deliver them the pizzas as soon as possible. The same cannot be said about waiters or hair stylists.

Yeah, I guess thats a point. From my experience, I would assume the majority of the customers already know what tip they are going to give before the driver even delivers the food, and as long as the food doesnt arrive really late then that pre-set tip amount wont change. And if the food is late, its probably not even the drivers fault. The people back at the store are probably at fault since its a matter of the food coming out of the oven behind schedule. So that means customers tip moreso on the service that goes into preparing the food than the people who bring the food to them, even though the person who brings the food to them receives all of the tip.

Why should anyone pay for ANYTHING twice? In other words, why pay twice the market value for a service? Amortizing a transaction over multiple payments does not count here.

I didnt mean pay twice for the same thing. First you pay for the product, then you pay for the service.

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We don't subcontract with waiters and pizze boys to provide services, and their service is part of the cost of the product. So why should I pay twice for the same thing?

I think I misinterpreted what you said before, but I still think the answer has been given. The reason why you "pay twice" is because the service of the driver isnt part of the cost of the product. If it were part of the cost of the product, the product would be more expensive because the wages of the drivers would be higher. It may not be the ideal system, but thats what it is.

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A funny story about the industry in the Green Bay/Ashwuabenon area, near Lambeau field: In my store, there are about ten different stock reasons the computer has for why a driver didn't encounter success while trying to deliver a pizza. One of them is 'customer passed out in doorway.' This is used during and after packer games when drinking was a little too much for the customer and they either passed out in the doorway, or (more likely) passed out before the delivery guy got there (the driver can often see them through the window, next to the bottles). Is it fair to say the delivery guy deserves a tip if he makes a second trip there after they wake up?

So why should I pay twice for the same thing?

Baseball Genius kind of addressed this, as did GB. The idea of the tip custom is that you have more flexibility in deciding how much to compensate those who serve you, as opposed to other goods and services where you wouldn't dream of paying more than the asking price. This flexibility makes the most sense in the delivery field where you often encounter new subdivisions that aren't on the map and creative and time saving routes to established places that customers (and managers) often haven't thought of. The truth is that you are not paying twice for the same thing. The asking price is the lowest amount at which the establishment will serve you. The tip amount is the flexible amount left up to you, akin to the honor system, that you believe the travel and spared inconvenience is worth. If you truly thought it was worthless (or less than $1.25, in my case), you would have driven to the place yourself or packed a lunch.

The standard for which we decide which jobs require a tip and which jobs doesn't seems completely arbitrary to me.

For other industries, why the establishments choose which employees they will pay less and hope will get tips is beyond me. But when they decide that, it isn't impossible to identify. It is pretty clear in some industries; mine, for instance. At my place of employment, we are paid less than minimum wage because of expected tip revenue -- this is also true in many restaurants. Some places expect tips but pay more than minimum wage, so it is, understandably, harder to identify. This is one reason why I think the custom is silly, and we'd all be better off without it. Unless you have a sign that says, "our prices are low because our wait staff is willing to work at rock-bottom prices; please tip them according to the amount you value the service," it is difficult to identify when to tip. This is one of the reasons I don't get bent out of shape when I get stiffed. Enough people understand and participate in the custom to make part-time employment while I go to school feasible.

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I work delivery for a chicken place so I have a little sympathy for BaseballGenius but I think you're getting a little bent out of shape for no reason. Tips are by no means obligatory, but it is something of a common practice (in America). After hearing (someone's, I forget whose) comments on Australia, I want to move there! You have to realize that your job, really, isn't that difficult and anyone who can drive could accomplish it. Any tip is appreciated. People tend to tip better in the winter when it's crazy cold out, or when it's raining, or when it's late at night simply because they realize how much it must suck at that moment to be driving around. Other than that, your gripes would be replaced by something else if you worked a different job, dealing with idiots and cheapskates are a part of the job, and life. The reason why delivery drivers look so bad has to do with the fact that we do work in the food industry which means things are spilt all the time and we are continually cleaning. At my job, drivers are in charge of delivery, getting food for the cooks, washing the dishes and basically keeping the place clean and running as smooth as possible. It's not a hard job and when it's slow we get to kick back and crack jokes all day.

When I deliver I usually try to make jokes and create a good dialogue with the customer -- we get a lot of regulars and a lot of the time when they open the door the first thing they say is, "I was hoping it was you!" When they see me, now-a-days, they'll pull out that extra dollar because I put in that extra effort just to create something nice for the both of us. There are also many regulars that I know will not tip, but I still try to make them laugh somehow and sometimes they apologize for not having any extra cash which really, is a tip on its own.

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The idea of the tip custom is that you have more flexibility in deciding how much to compensate those who serve you, as opposed to other goods and services where you wouldn't dream of paying more than the asking price.
Doesn't that mean that the employer ought to be giving the tips, and not the customer? I want a pizza, it says 15" 1 topping = $12, free delivery. That means that I don't need to consider how far my house is from the parlor, or what this weeks price of gas is, or whether the price of flour or mozzerella has gone up, or any of that other stuff. If the owner complains that he can't make ends meet given the high price of electricity, he is allowed to do one of three things: find a way to economize, raise the price of the pizza, or go out of business. It's that simple. If the guy is selling a good pizza, I'd be willing to pay an extra buck. Hell, if I could get a good New York pizza, I'd pay an extra $5 in a New York minute. Your problems with your boss are your problems, not mine. This digression about new subdivisions has not one thing to do with me; in fact, you've effectively just argued that there should be a delivery surcharge for these new 'burbs places. My place is really easy to find. So I don't have to pay the surcharge.
The truth is that you are not paying twice for the same thing. The asking price is the lowest amount at which the establishment will serve you.
And that means that I have paids for the cheese, the sausage, the box, and the delivery, and at the lowest price I can get. It is therefore already paid for. Are you thinking that there is some "socially just fair-share" price, like $20 for a 15" pizza?
If you truly thought it was worthless (or less than $1.25, in my case), you would have driven to the place yourself or packed a lunch.
No, it's worth whatever portion of the price of the pizza goes into the delivery guys wage. I'll ask the local Donatos manager how much that is, if he's willing to say. Maybe if FaSheezy starts working at the local dial-up, I might start tipping, but so far, I've given the pizza boys exactly how much added value they've given me, namely zero.

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I didn't add this before because I don't know how widespread this is. In my little city almost all fast food joints, and increasingly a number of standard restaraunts that include takeaway facilities, expressly state a separate charge for delivery, both on the postbox fliers and as a commission rate that deliverers get as specified in recruitment ads (I don't recall how much of the former becomes the latter). Customers are also free to opt for delivery or go do their own pickups. I often don't get delivery because the pizza joint I usually order from is 100m straight up the road. In my case, there ain't no delivery boy TO tip!

This practice includes the loca Pizza Hut and both Subway franchises, which leads me to think it may well be very widespread. Major chains are usually seriously out to make sure their franchisees rigidly stick to the operating manual and so such flexibility would most likely not exist without the express permission of PH's and Subway's respective head offices. Anyone care to add enlightenment to this? It may well be just a special dispensation that small cities get - discounting the exclusively industrial region in the north, Whyalla is a bare 7 miles from one end to the other, and only 3 at its widest.

JJM

Edited by John McVey

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And that means that I have paids for the cheese, the sausage, the box, and the delivery, and at the lowest price I can get. It is therefore already paid for.

But its up to you if you want to ensure good service in future deliveries to your house. If youre a constant stiffer to the same place the drivers will probably pick up on this. So if you want quick deliveries and a clean pizza, then a tip should be considered.

Do you tip at all? Say if your order costs $19.78, would you let the driver keep the entire $20 or are you one of those guys who goes out of his way to count up $0.78 just so the driver gets absolutely nothing.

Maybe if FaSheezy starts working at the local dial-up, I might start tipping,

Why would you start tipping if FaSheezy begins delivering to you?

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In my little city almost all fast food joints, and increasingly a number of standard restaraunts that include takeaway facilities, expressly state a separate charge for delivery, both on the postbox fliers and as a commission rate that deliverers get as specified in recruitment ads (I don't recall how much of the former becomes the latter).

Its called a delivery charge, and drivers get about $0.70 or $0.80 of it. In my town in Montana, companies charge upwards of $2.00 for a delivery charge(larger companies charge more), while taking around half for the company itself to offset other costs, such as the current minimum wage increase. Its a way of getting the customers to pay more without actually raising the prices of the products.

Major chains are usually seriously out to make sure their franchisees rigidly stick to the operating manual and so such flexibility would most likely not exist without the express permission of PH's and Subway's respective head offices.

I work at a franchise PH, and Im pretty sure the corporate guys set these prices.

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You have to realize that your job, really, isn't that difficult and anyone who can drive could accomplish it.

It isnt too difficult typically, but we put ourselves in dangerous situations to deliver the food, we have to pay for repairs to the car and for gas. I think these things deserve some recognition.

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David, I never said I had a dispute with my employer. In an industry where the prices are made possible because of the tip custom, the employer believes that there is a portion of the service that is best evaluated by you. I'm curious to know more about how you use the word 'obligation.' Do you have an obligation to thank a friend for a favor? Would it be unjust to accept that favor and offer them no thanks at all?

FaSheezy, delivery drivers do not all have equal skill. Some are significantly faster than others. Also, I wonder; to what types of idiots and cheapskates were you referring? If there were no obligation to tip, wouldn't it be unjust to call someone a cheapskate for not tipping?

BaseballGenius, I don't think that the danger we put ourselves in should be that much of a concern from the customer's standpoint. If I were a customer deciding how to tip, I would judge based on the risk I spared myself. It may seem like nit picking, but I don't know what kind of safety standards the delivery guy's car meets or exceeds; I know those of my car. When I drive, very rarely do I feel like I am in danger. Someone who sucks at driving (not that it is a difficult skill) necessarily values a delivery service more, and that should factor in to how they tip.

The problem with the tipping custom is that it requires active participation from customers. That begins with customers spending time and effort to identify the values they are receiving from the service. If they don't spend the time and effort, they will not know what the appropriate amount to tip is. I believe this to be the cause of stiffs and ridiculously high tips. If everyone spent the effort, I doubt the average amount we receive would change appreciably.

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But its up to you if you want to ensure good service in future deliveries to your house.
Alternatively, it's up to the proprietor to guarantee that I get good (meaning "competent") service. If they can't guarantee that, I will simply take my business elsewhere. In terms of the effect on you, if you delivered pizza in my neighborhood, after you had established your ability to screw up my order in response to me not tipping you, I would simply never order from that pizza shack again. If it were the good pizza place, I would make it a point to write a letter to the owner, in the hopes that you would get fired. If that came to pass, I would reconsider the possibility of giving my business to that parlor. But note that the central principle relevant to my patronizing the shack in question is the pizza, and not the delivery. Exceptionally bad delivery would be reason to switch to (vomit) Dominos or even Pizza Hut, if there is nothing better, ignoring the fact that no pizza is better that Pizza Hut (read that either way you want, I intended it only one way).
Do you tip at all? Say if your order costs $19.78, would you let the driver keep the entire $20 or are you one of those guys who goes out of his way to count up $0.78 just so the driver gets absolutely nothing.
Let's assume it's a cash sale, then it's simpler for me to whip out a 20. If you're curious, this is optimal tipping, and generally that's how I tip when I do, unless, as I've said, we are dealing with actual value provided by the service person. Usually, local shacks tell you the price on the phone and I have an exact-amount check ready, so rounding tips aren't a driving force in my life.
Why would you start tipping if FaSheezy begins delivering to you?
Well, to understand that, you'd have to both read my posts and her post, and if you can get it from that, I am so sorry for you. But please, if it literally if beyond your capacity to grasp cause-effect and value relationships, do let me know and I will explicitly state the reasons. Part of it is that I would be ecstactic to encounter a service person who didn't have the utterly repugnant and undeserved feeling of entitlement that you have exhibited here.

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John, did I read 'commission rate' correctly? Does this mean that a standard portion (like %15) of every sale they deliver they get to keep? If that's the situation, it doesn't seem to me like a tip would be appropriate for those stores in most situations. It also sounds like a system superior to that of the tip custom.

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David,

No one (unless I seriously misunderstand BaseballGenius) is disputing that value is causal. Justice is about giving people what they deserve. If someone creates a value for you, they deserve recognition for that value. In friendly relationships, a simple 'thanks' is the most appropriate way to recognize that value. Most delivery industries provide part of value you are receiving through low wages and a known expectation to tip. The guy whose paycheck is facilitating this deserves your participation.

Oh, and don't think that it is just the delivery guy that might mess up your order for not tipping. I would never condone or deliver 'dirty pizza,' nor would I intentionally delay a delivery. However, I have had managers that will wait to make a serial stiffer's orders until it is the last one left because they understand the custom and want to better serve those customers who participate.

Edited by FeatherFall

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Do you have an obligation to thank a friend for a favor? Would it be unjust to accept that favor and offer them no thanks at all?
That depends, but there would be some recognition, one way or the other. Maybe I'd take him out for dinner, or give him a ride to the airport when he needed it, lend him my chain saw, or say thanks. Depends. Of course, if the person delivering pizza were a personal friend, things would be different, but I was assuming that Baseballboy was having problems with anonymous strangers, not personal friends. If he can't even get his close friends to tip him, I don't think we should delve too deeply into his problems in public
No one (unless I seriously misunderstand BaseballGenius) is disputing that value is causal.
From every piece of evidence I've seen, BG is essentially claiming that you have an intrinsic obligation to pay, not because of a objective value, but because of an inconvenience on him. So I'm just pointing out that his problems are of no interest to me. He deserves nothing from me, and so far, no pizza boy has deserved anything other than common courtesy without a bribe for doing his job. All of this jibber-jabber about the injustice of the pizza industry (insert morally equivalent jibber-jabber about the injustice of the car-making business, the grocery-clerking business, the university-professoring business... the list is huge) is just rationalization for claiming that you are owed the unearned. I'm not unaccustomed to hearing such claims in the world, but on a forum devoted to the principles of Objectivism, it seems incomprehesible that we are having this discussion.
Most delivery industries provide part of value you are receiving through low wages and a known expectation to tip. The guy whose paycheck is facilitating this deserves your participation.
Can you explain to me in what way this is not fundamentally the Scandinavian socialist mentality?

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Alternatively, it's up to the proprietor to guarantee that I get good (meaning "competent") service. If they can't guarantee that, I will simply take my business elsewhere.

My point was that in general drivers dont like getting stiffed, and a select few will go so far as to make it an unpleasant situation for you. If you start ordering from a diffrent place and continue stiffing, the same thing is bound to happen again. Personally I wont do these things but others will. Thats why tips ensure good service.

Well, to understand that, you'd have to both read my posts and her post, and if you can get it from that, I am so sorry for you. But please, if it literally if beyond your capacity to grasp cause-effect and value relationships, do let me know and I will explicitly state the reasons. Part of it is that I would be ecstactic to encounter a service person who didn't have the utterly repugnant and undeserved feeling of entitlement that you have exhibited here.

I want to know how much interaction you want the driver to have with you? How much is even practically possible? The customer opens the door, the driver says hi and tells him the total, you hand over the money, the driver gives you pizza, you both say thanks. End of transaction. Or would you prefer if the driver indulged in your personal life some? Maybe asks how your kids are doing. Seriously though, what more would you want in the interaction?

And you are making a mistake in thinking that since I am expecting a tip that Im not very politte and helpful in any manner possible. I am very helpful and nice. I know thats the right way to perform the service. Also, I would be ecstatic(I'll use your word) if the customer understood the deserved tip I should get.

There are also many regulars that I know will not tip, but I still try to make them laugh somehow and sometimes they apologize for not having any extra cash which really, is a tip on its own.

Dont you think youre trying to be a little too compassionate here. This a business here, not a charity. Them pretending to be sorry for not having a tip is worthless.

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Baseballboy

Did you do that on purpose?

I'm not unaccustomed to hearing such claims in the world, but on a forum devoted to the principles of Objectivism, it seems incomprehesible that we are having this discussion.

The problem is our disagreement on exactly what is earned. Ive never said I deserve the unearned. Im sure you realize this but Im am thinking the same thing about you, that you are accepting the unearned.

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BBG/Feather:

Not quite - perhaps 'commission' was the wrong word to use. In the same sort of manner BBG describes, deliverers get X amount per item delivered, say $A2.30 per pizza (while the franchise charges $2.50 or something for delivery). From that $2.30 the drivers have to pay for their own cars, maintenance, and fuel. In the main, deliverers are engaged as contractors rather than employees. BBG cites getting past minimum wage laws, which certainly is a part as minimum wage does not apply when you're legally your own boss. I think it is as much to do with laws on taxation (this practice allows deliverers to claim a fair chunk of their cars' costs against their taxable income, to a degree greater than the actual usage for deliveries) and employment (contractors are hirable and releasable at will) as it is about general cost cutting. An element of reducing uncertainty in budgeting by passing on to others concern for daily fuel price volatility is also present.

I don't see why a % rate would be even applicable here never mind superior to tipping. Pizza prices, leaving aside that $159 per slice lobster-and-caviar creation, are within a narrow band and I don't imagine the differences would be worth the administrative cost. Nor would it make a difference to the driver as the effort (and risk) in delivering it would be identical were the pizza a jumbo custom-topping job or a standard two-person on-the-menu medium.

JJM

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But its up to you if you want to ensure good service in future deliveries to your house. If youre a constant stiffer to the same place the drivers will probably pick up on this. So if you want quick deliveries and a clean pizza, then a tip should be considered.

Is that a threat? How about YOU should ensure good service or you will get fired? If I didn't get a clean pizza, I would take legal action against the driver. I would hunt him down with a private investigator if necessary. Life can be made very difficult for such a person. Doing things to peoples food is legally considered battery and you could go to prison.

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Is that a threat? How about YOU should ensure good service or you will get fired? If I didn't get a clean pizza, I would take legal action against the driver. I would hunt him down with a private investigator if necessary. Life can be made very difficult for such a person. Doing things to peoples food is legally considered battery and you could go to prison.

I also said(in post #94) "Personally I wont do these things but others will." Try not to make false accusations about me from now on. I do ensure good service and I do treat the customers well.

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My point was that in general drivers dont like getting stiffed, and a select few will go so far as to make it an unpleasant situation for you.

I don't like having to fight drunks but it's part of my job. Getting "stiffed" seems to imply that the customer is obliged to tip when they are not. Is it safe to assume that you don't approve of when drivers "make unpleasant situations" for their customers?

When you took the job of being pizza delivery driver, were you aware that your salary was in part based on tips AND that a customer has no obligation to tip (regardless of any social expectation)?

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I also said(in post #94) "Personally I wont do these things but others will." Try not to make false accusations about me from now on. I do ensure good service and I do treat the customers well.

What accusation? Please provide proof for your false accusation that I made an accusation.

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