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The golf club added $3 optional tip without asking. Is this becoming normal?


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Played at a new course today. The green fee was supposed to be $35. The CC terminal said total charge was $40.xx (not itemized). Didn't think much of it and just swiped the card. Later, the itemized receipt showed they added $3 optional tip. They never asked me whether to include or decline it. Is this a new normal practice? Would you decline the tip?

 

Earlier, another course added $3 fee for hole in one challenge. Seems courses are getting creative with increasing green fees. 

Edited by acegolfer
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This is not normal, at least in my book. Feels pretty egregious and off putting, especially if it was an "optional" tip secretively added by the cashier that you never agreed to. 

 

Not as bad, but this reminds me of the various charges more progressive restaurants add to pass costs along to the consumer (e.g., staff healthcare fee) rather than paying the staff themselves.  

 

Feels like businesses in general are feeling a lot of pain with raising costs and labor so they're getting creative, so consumers will continue to feel the pain. 

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Sounds like a trick they picked up from chain hotels: The hotels try to slip in WiFi fee, telephone fee (if you call more than front deck, resort fee (fun stuff you may not have time for), extra person fee, spa fee, gym fee.

 

As for that golf course: Does the tip actually go to the $12 an hour workers, or does it just go into the general till?

 

And, remember the airlines. In the previous century you usually got two free checked bags, which was plenty unless you were heading to Switzerland for January and February. 

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26 minutes ago, stevopagolf said:

Maybe it was a credit card usage fee?  I am seeing this all over, surcharge for credit cards as the CC companies increase their rates..  They often call it a service fee.

 

Looks like good old cash is making a comeback.


That's a possibility which would certainly make more sense. I know the CC companies changed their policies (might have been a change in law, I can't recall) semi-recently which allowed merchants to charge for using a CC.

However, not posting charges is shady practices.

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I always question the price if it is more than the posted price to play. If it is something I don't like you only get me once because I won't come back.

 

My pet peeves:

Charging the same price to walk or ride or giving you $5 off to walk when the cart fee is clearing posted and is a lot more than $5. I feel a little ripped when I walk.

Charging you more because the posted prices don't include taxes. This isn't a deal breaker for me but why not post the total price so you know the exact price you will be paying. I've questioned this before and was told the course doesn't get any of that money so they only post their course fees. 

I've noticed more courses are charging a fee for credit cards. I always pay cash so that doesn't bother me but it does give me the appearance of the course as being cheap. It's probably a good thing though because cash payers have been subsidizing credit cards for yrs. I still prefer give a discount for cash method.

I have never cared to tip for anything but I get it and I tip well if the service is good. If the service is bad I hate to tip anything but I still do. I do find it funny more and more services have tip jars set out or as the OP has mentioned they have included a tip in the bill. It's getting so I don't know what to tip for anymore. 

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18 hours ago, acegolfer said:

Played at a new course today. The green fee was supposed to be $35. The CC terminal said total charge was $40.xx (not itemized). Didn't think much of it and just swiped the card. Later, the itemized receipt showed they added $3 optional tip. They never asked me whether to include or decline it. Is this a new normal practice? Would you decline the tip?

 

Earlier, another course added $3 fee for hole in one challenge. Seems courses are getting creative with increasing green fees. 

Did you ask them?

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No. Not at all. We have a nice course in a small city in Saskatchewan, Canada. Everybody tips often especially for the cart bar. Certainly haven’t heard this for a green fee of $35. 
Have a larger City course that’s gone paperless. That flip over was interesting. 😉

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21 hours ago, acegolfer said:

Played at a new course today. The green fee was supposed to be $35. The CC terminal said total charge was $40.xx (not itemized). Didn't think much of it and just swiped the card. Later, the itemized receipt showed they added $3 optional tip. They never asked me whether to include or decline it. Is this a new normal practice? Would you decline the tip?

 

Earlier, another course added $3 fee for hole in one challenge. Seems courses are getting creative with increasing green fees. 

 

You could dispute the $3 with your credit card company.  I understand the $3 doesn't mean much.  The course getting on the card companies radar does mean something especially if others have reported the same charge that wasn't agreed to.

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Pretty normal for restaurants at a golf course , or at least not "abnormal"

 

Never seen this for a greens fee.

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Alot of the credit card kiosk swiper things will pop a menu automatically where you can select 15-18-20% tip amounts.  You have to click other and do 0.00 for no tip.

 

I have seen this at sports arenas here lately.  They say the software for the credit card deal is what does it.

 

I'm not against tipping when someone goes above and beyond to provide additional or outstanding service.  I do not believe in tips as a matter of course however. 

 

The sports arena one hit home the other day when I purchased a fountain drink that I had to dispense myself.  The person performing the transaction only handed me a cup and lid.  I'm not tipping for that.

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I used to play in a foursome with the same tee time every week.  The course agreed they would just book it for us all season.  One day, one of the members noticed we were being charged $5 more than posted rate and asked.  We were told we were a league, so we paid more for the privilege.  Smallest league ever.

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Call the course and let them know this was an unauthorized charge.  Give the GM a day to respond.  Check the web site to see if there is mention of the required ‘tip’.  If the GM does not resolve dispute the charge.  I agree that $3 is not that much but if the course is booking 4somes with 6 groups an hour for a 10 hour day it’s almost $600 a day.

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On 7/1/2022 at 10:24 PM, ChipNRun said:

 

And, remember the airlines. In the previous century you usually got two free checked bags, which was plenty unless you were heading to Switzerland for January and February. 

 

The worst part was they convinced people they were "unbundling" charges.  No, they were just finding ways to charge extra  and satisfy wall street analysts.  

 

It might come down to what type of course and what type of customer they are trying to attract.  There are places where they are pricing to cater to customers who will pay a higher price, but don't nickel and dime(ie, don't be charging for range balls, etc. when you have charged a high green fee,)  There are other places that are looking for the coupon clipping Saturday night stay over people(pr they believe that's all they can draw.)  Nothing surprises me about the latter.   

 

But yeah I'd be asking wtf real fast if I saw that kind of thing.

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4 hours ago, golfortennis said:

here are places where they are pricing to cater to customers who will pay a higher price, but don't nickel and dime(ie, don't be charging for range balls, etc. when you have charged a high green fee,) 

 

Was in Quad Cities last October, and got to play Deere Run GC, home of the John Deere Classic - the 2022 version wrapped up this weekend with J.T. Poston winning.

 

Deere Run is a TPC course, but is also a public course. The course had an October "renovation" special: $119 for range balls, unlimited golf and lunch with drink. Several holes on the back nine were having bunkers redone, so it was front nine only. Most of us played it twice.

 

Well worth the money, and the starter, 19th hole, pro shop and driving range staff were really top notch. If you're in the Quad cities area, call DR and see if you can work in 18 holes.

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Driver:  Tour Edge EXS 10.5°, set 9.5°; weights neutral   ||  FWs:  Calla Rogue 4W + 7W

Hybrid:  Calla Big Bertha OS 4H at 22°  ||  Irons:  Calla Mavrik MAX 5i-PW

Wedges*:  Calla MD3: 48°... MD4: 54°, 58° ||  PutterΨSlotline Inertial SL-583F w/ SuperStroke 2.MidSlim + 50 gr.

Ball: 1. Srixon Q-Star Tour / 2. Calla SuperHot (Orange preferred)  ||  Bag: Sun Mountain Three 5 stand bag

     * MD4 54°/10 S-Grind replaced MD3 54°/12 W-Grind.

     Ψ  Backup: Ping Sigma G Tyne (face-balanced) + Evnroll Gravity Grip

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Did they tell you it was a tip?  I've played golf for over 50 years and never gave a tip in the pro shop on my greens fees.  I've given tips to cart boys that show up at my car and load the bags on the cart but that's it.  Sometimes there is an attendant by the 18th green that cleans off clubs and I tip them.  Thats about it other than caddies at upscale courses. What would happen if you paid cash?  My guess is the extra was for using a credit card.  I've mostly seen this at gas stations but there is one low scale (and low charge) course that charges a couple extra dollars if using a credit card.  

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If I can play 18 holes for $40 I don't care what they want to call each of those dollars. Take my money. 

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