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Olddaddy

To tip or not ?

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I have had some great times the last few days being in Pattaya,enjoyed myself and met wonderful guys !

But as with anything you always have one negative experience with 50 positives.

Trouble with me I'm not assertive type, question is do you still tip if it's bad service ?

Last night I went to a normal type massage shop for a well needed foot massage,I don't mind who massages my feet as long as they good and caring , a ladyboy came along and that was fine to me.

I laid back to relax put my feet on the stool, then he/she started massaging and the usual questions where you from etc which I don't want to be rude so answered but really I wanted to close my eyes 

Then the question " how much you tip me?

I had no idea ,so tried to put a short laugh and say , " oh enough"

Then the same question again 15 minutes into it .

By this time she was talking loudly to another member of staff having a conversation whilst doing my feet 

I was starting to get agitated ,I felt like I was going to get angry but I  still closed my eyes to relax , I couldn't very well say to her to shut up so unfortunately I just pretended to be asleep 

After the massage I paid the  foot massage fee but only had 100 b notes so reluctantly I gave her a 100b tip.

With that she actually snatched the note out , not rudely though, just took it without a acknowledgement,sort of grabbed it out of  my hand and made a screeching type sound, like a short scream ,like a eeeeeeccch ! With her face crumbled then walked off.

So now I'm thinking I should man up I guess and learn to be assertive and not tip  if the service is not there, is that actually morally right though?

I mean in the above circumstance I still would of  tipped but only like 50b if I had that note which I didn't , unfortunately only had 100 b notes 

I don't like to take advantage of others, I feel guilty about that , so your opinions on this ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Only three times do I remember calling off a massage in Thailand.

Twice iit was due to repeated request for tip before, or immediately after, massage started.. I paid the shop the fee but did not tip and told manager why.

The third time occurred after guy agreed to 1200 but then demanded 1500 five minutes into massage. 

Best advice is to follow your instincts. If it’s going down hill early, it’s unlikely to improve with time.

All three instances were rare and all took place over 5-6 years ago, as I recall.

Any time now a  guy asks me in advance how much I pay, I assure him the best way to get a good tip is to do a good job. 

 

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1 hour ago, Olddaddy said:

 

After the massage I paid the  foot massage fee but only had 100 b notes so reluctantly I gave her a 100b tip.

.....

I don't like to take advantage of others, I feel guilty about that , so your opinions on this ?

 

after all you got massage no? if was jut tip request which was annoying not massage itself.

I never  had just  regular massage but had pedicures and usually tip at least 50% of fee itself . More if service was good or even better.

So if massage cost 150 , I'd tip at least 75 which will be 100 most likely knowing me

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 I am doing traditional massage (no sex or 'happy ending') almost every day when I am in Thailand and most of the masseurs/ masseuses are paid what agreed and not expecting tip but of course will be happy if you tip them, in my whole more than twenty years traveling to Thailand I don't recall any requests in advance or any pressure for tip but I do tend to tip between 50 to 100 Bht.  if I  would have a bad experience like the OP I won't give any tip but luckily I really don't recall  having a bad massage ever .

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My advice to Olddaddy and anyone else facing disappointing service is "mai pen rai"; take it in your stride. You are on holiday and I suspect (and hope ) that the loss of a 100bht note won't result in your going hungry. And I'd say the same if it's  1000bht wasted on an unhappy app encounter or bar off. In such circumstances, pay  and get rid of the miscreant quickly. Shrug your shoulders and say "Next time, it'll be better..." 

Perhaps there may even be lessons leaned from your choice of visitor or masseur.

If you wish to make a moral stand, choose an issue of more importance.

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3 hours ago, Olddaddy said:

So now I'm thinking I should man up I guess and learn to be assertive and not tip  if the service is not there, is that actually morally right though?

Where it is expected or deserved, tip good service.   

Do not tip bad service.   I would almost suggest there's a moral obligation to NOT tip bad service, as it means behaviour will continue unchanged and other customers will suffer.    If the business has management, also consider if a complaint is appropriate.  A massage is supposed to be relaxing and if you're being hassled for tips after 15 minutes, during an ordinary foot massage, they're trying quite hard to make it not relaxing.

Remember, there are plenty of other businesses where people are working hard, without ever getting tips.  For instance, at the nearest 7-eleven.  Some people tip their taxi driver, but they never tip their bus driver.  

There may be howls of rage from a few with American style ideas on tipping, but the whole world is not calibrated like the USA.

 

However, once the tip is paid, even if it was a mistake, it's a sank cost.   Forget about it & enjoy the rest of the day.    Just choose a different massage shop next time.

 

 

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Fair enough but a massage or an encounter isn't the same as meal in a restaurant. The tip is not an extra for an app guy; it's only payment.  If he isn't much good- and we've all met such guys-  unless you are prepared for a confrontation and capable of winning one, my advice stands.  Get rid of him quickly.

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22 minutes ago, Londoner said:

The tip is not an extra for an app guy; it's only payment.

Of course, that's true & needs to be considered.

However, the opening post is about a massage shop service, where the price of the massage includes payment of the staff.  

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In a traditional massage or foot massage shop I have always worked off the premise that the tip is commensurate with the shop fee

So 200b oil/foot/traditional massage should result in a 200b tip. Same for 300 etc.

 

As for bad service, BF says pay in coins, that's what's given to beggars and can cause a face loss for them.... That's of course if you are prepared to face the consequences of said face loss!

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On 6/21/2022 at 8:21 PM, colmx said:

In a traditional massage or foot massage shop I have always worked off the premise that the tip is commensurate with the shop fee

So 200b oil/foot/traditional massage should result in a 200b tip. Same for 300 etc.

 

 

I agree with colmx, the minimum tip should be, at least, the cost charged by the shop. Naturally if a lousy massage a tip can be reduced.  The masseur/masseuse live on their tips, not on the fee charged by the shop.

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Yes, most of us - I know there are exceptions- seem absurdly wealthy to the guys we meet. It is sometimes hard to persuade them that money worries do affect us. Not however, hunger.

Nearly all who travel to Thailand can afford  a 100bht note that can mean two days  of food to guys on the scene. I know some who have gone hungry and rely on the kindness of friends to eat. 

Accordingly, annoying though it can be , not to mention embarrassing to be taken for a fool , l refuse to make a stand and say no. Sometimes we understand very little of what's going on in the lives of the guys, not to mention the lives of their parents- something that is almost as important.

By the way, the cost of living in rural areas has rocketed in the past few months- electricity, gas and , yes, even basic food -stuffs. And it's in rural areas that much of the money we give ends-up.

 

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2 hours ago, kokopelli 2 said:

I agree with colmx, the minimum tip should be, at least, the cost charged by the shop. Naturally if a lousy massage a tip can be reduced.  The masseur/masseuse live on their tips, not on the fee charged by the shop.

My understanding is that they get paid by the shop. 

 

On 6/21/2022 at 2:21 PM, colmx said:

In a traditional massage or foot massage shop I have always worked off the premise that the tip is commensurate with the shop fee

So 200b oil/foot/traditional massage should result in a 200b tip. Same for 300 etc.

I work on tipping commensurate with the quality of massage.  

If I get a good quality massage lasting almost the full 60 or 90 minutes, a 300 tip is likely.

If the massage is poor and/or the time is reduced by 30%, I reserve the right to tip 0 or 100 baht.  

Far more likely is the scenario where I get a good quality massage and some modest extra services are offered, so there is a higher tip.

 

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If you take a masseur to your hotel room, you pay a bar fine, just as you would when you off someone from a bar. This bar fine is the same as the basic fee you pay in the massage shop. So I suspect reader is correct.

I was once brave, or foolhardy enough, to have massage on a recalcitrant shoulder in the Blind Masseur place in the JC. It was excruciating  but, having paid the fee to the manager, I didn't think twice about paying the masseur a tip. 

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In the straightforward, no extras (normally) massage shops, either staffed by ladies, or more often by a gender mixture, the staff do get a % of the cost of the massage. 

I used to go to one of the bigger ones on Second Road opposite Alcazar (now closed-up) to see a Cambodian boy who I took a shine to. Oil massages there were 300 baht, of which he got 100 baht. 

He said most farang customers would leave a personal tip after a massage, however he said that was far from the case with some other groups of visitors, some leaving perhaps 20 baht, or nothing at all, especially after foot or head massages. 

He and I gradually developed a scale of bigger tips for extras (he was straight and with a GF working in the same shop), culminating in 'full service' visits to my hotel room (sadly he is now back in Cambodia). 

But, like I said, that was for the basic - no extras - massage shops. I can understand in those gay massage shops where extras are regularly offered, even expected, that the boys survive mostly on their tips alone. Although that said, it wouldn't surprise me if many/most boys got a basic hand-out for turning up to work.  My regular boy at Scandic got 100 baht a day providing here was here by 8pm and stayed until closing - although that was pre-Covid, but I would also be surprised if such an arrangement wasn't back in place to encourage boys to turn-up?

 

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31 minutes ago, Vessey said:

In the straightforward, no extras (normally) massage shops, either staffed by ladies, or more often by a gender mixture, the staff do get a % of the cost of the massage.

That's exactly what I understand.   

It is well known that non-farang groups often tip nothing at all, so it follows that no one would work in the massage shops if they were not paid.    Bear in mind, Thailand has had full employment pre-covid, so anyone can get a job elsewhere.   So working in a massage shop has to be competitive.  

Thailand and some other Asian countries don't have a culture of tipping. 

That's neither better nor worse than the American culture of always being expected to tip, even if the service is barely fit to be described as such.   It's just different.   This is how diversity looks.

 

31 minutes ago, Vessey said:

He said most farang customers would leave a personal tip after a massage, however he said that was far from the case with some other groups of visitors, some leaving perhaps 20 baht, or nothing at all, especially after foot or head massages.

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51 minutes ago, z909 said:

That's neither better nor worse than the American culture of always being expected to tip, even if the service is barely fit to be described as such.

I’d be interested how the guy providing a very personal, hands on service might judge it.

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1 hour ago, reader said:

I’d be interested how the guy providing a very personal, hands on service might judge it.

The situation is what it is, whether he likes it or not.   If he's just providing a foot massage and his customer is from Thailand, or another nearby country where it is not common to tip, he is frequently not getting a tip.

He's getting paid whatever cut the massage shop pays out of the massage fee & nothing else. 

If he doesn't like that, he needs to change job, or make sure he's getting more massages with good tipping prospects.    

 

Incidentally, I guess the staff at the 7-Eleven and numerous other businesses would also like tips, but again their wishes don't affect the outcome.

 

 

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On 6/21/2022 at 1:54 PM, z909 said:

 There may be howls of rage from a few with American style ideas on tipping, but the whole world is not calibrated like the USA.

Americans are generous tippers compared to many other countries, basically because service people (restaurants) do not pay their staff very much and the servers depend on tips to live.  And some Americans are overly generous by tipping on top of tax! When in a country like Thailand where people live on very little money, Americans are generous in their tipping habits.  But it all depends on the individual, wherein, one person may tip 20 Baht and another will tip 100 Baht for the very same service

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10 minutes ago, z909 said:

Incidentally, I guess the staff at the 7-Eleven and numerous other businesses would also like tips, but again their wishes don't affect the outcome.

7-Eleven workers don’t meet you in a small room and place their hands on your naked body so perhaps masseurs might be worthy of greater consideration.

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20 minutes ago, reader said:

7-Eleven workers don’t meet you in a small room and place their hands on your naked body so perhaps masseurs might be worthy of greater consideration.

 

The type of massage I mentioned in that post was a clearly foot massage.     I've never seen people naked in the foot massage area.
 

For what it's worth, I never have foot massages and I always tip any other type of massage, unless it was terrible and/or under time by more than 25%.  

But the point  I'm making is that in a regular "professional" massage shop, particularly one with a high proportion of Thai customers, no one would work there unless the shop paid them a cut of the massage fee. 

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On 6/21/2022 at 10:05 AM, Olddaddy said:

your opinions on this ?

I know that no matter where you go, whether for a massage, a restaurant, a taxi, or whatever, once in a while you're going to get miserable service.  I accept that as part of being here.

Based on your experience, that lady-boy didn't deserve a tip at all.  If life was always fair, it should have been her tipping you for putting up with it.  If I had any 50 baht notes, that would have been the tip.  Then again, 100 baht isn't going to break the bank or ruin anyone's holiday.

I would just give the fucking 100 baht, mainly to avoid any problems, but I would never go back to that particular massage shop.  A lousy experience, yes, but I would just move on and forget about it.

 

"Oh, well these things happen."

-  Nancy Marchand (Mrs. Christie), 'The Hospital'

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