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Thread: Pelican Nest - BEWARE of Deceptive Service Charge Practices

  1. #21
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    agree 100%, to each his own.

  2. #22
    Senior Member mmattalo's Avatar
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    I'm not sure I get your point. The thread is about a misleading tipping practice. If you are commenting on my reference about us visiting often enough (and not mentioning owning property here) to consider ourselves "locals", then I take offence to the sarcasm if it is intended. My comment is as much a tribute to the friendliness of the Aruban people who open their arms and make everyone feel "at home" here.

  3. #23
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    and this is a prime example of why it is important to stay on topic.

    from this post forward, the topic is about perceived deceptive tipping practice at the "pelican restaurant/bar"

    it is not about europe, nyc, canada,
    it is also not about how often one visits aruba, lives on aruba or where one lives.
    some posts can be perceived as boasting and snarky.

    that is why i am asking that all posters on this thread, take a look at your posts and then see if you are on track or topic. if you want YOUR post deleted, HIT the RED REPORT after your post and tell us. lisa or i will delete it. or if you want, go back to your post, hit EDIT and edit out what you want edited out and hit save.

    i am one of the biggest off topic violators.....sometimes these threads take a whole new life of their own.

    i ask that we refrain from any unpleasantness and get to the topic at hand
    and we know the topic on this thread.

  4. #24
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  5. #25
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    While I agree it's somewhat misleading, almost every place on the island does it as normal practice. Not many though will mark as "tip not included". As I have read and been told, the "service charge" is divided among the wait staff, cook, etc. I too normally tip 20+ %, so I will usually add about 5% to the bottom line.

    I did however feel that the La Trattoria was deliberately misleading. They did say something in fine print on the bottom of their menu's that the "service charge" would appear as "Tax" on the invoice. So if you checked the invoice, it would not say service charge anywhere. So most people would add 15% to 20% on top of this. I would imagine they will tell you something like that's the only way they can do it with their registers/software, but to me looks like a deliberate step to deceive their customers.

    At least that's the way is was a couple of years ago ... and we haven't been back since.

  6. #26
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    and to those that are upset with my editing and deletions........
    i cannot apologize for following the rules.

    i will however apologize for letting the thread take off in a state of "snarkiness" which i should have take care of yesterday.

    the deletions and edits stand.

  7. #27
    Senior Member corona's Avatar
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    It seems like one of the problems with the service charge/tipping situation is that there's not an uniform policy. I did a little digging and found that some restaurant owners claim that they pay the normal minimum wage to their waitstaff while others follow the US standard of paying less than min wage with tips making up the difference. Some owners claim that the service charge is divided among the people who work behind the scenes (cooks for example) with a portion going to pay for the staff's medical insurance. I also read that the service charge was implemented in some restaurants because of the arguments among the staff that the tips were not always fairly being shared. There are also tax implications for the owners when they charge a service charge.


    I'd be pretty unhappy if I was blind sided with a 15% service charge that's not spelled out on the menu, especially if they try to pull the ruse that it's not a tip. I can't in good conscience not add 5% for the waitstaff at that point (and extra $5 on a $100 isn't going to make any difference to me financially, and the person serving me deserves something, in my opinion), but I'm not going to be bullied (at least that's how it looks to me) into paying 15% plus an extra 20% (my general tip for good service) because I'm sympathetic. I also will avoid restaurants that do this like the plague. It sounds like an unfair practice and a sneaky way to increase their prices by 15%.
    No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem
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    Loving Aruba Since Honeymoon 1984

  8. #28
    Senior Member mmattalo's Avatar
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    Thanks all for your comments on this thread. If a service charge added is clearly outlined on the menu or on the bill and even a "suggestion" that one could feel free to add a tip for extraordinary service, that would be fine. I just found it somewhat devious that a stamp on the bill would say one thing, but if one were not cautious, they would get stung with the double-dip-tip :-)

    In fairness, I did email the folks at Pelican to both express my disappointment with their practice and point them to this thread, but no one ever got back to me.

    I hope everyone is enjoying their time on the happy island.

    Michael

  9. #29
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmattalo View Post
    In fairness, I did email the folks at Pelican to both express my disappointment with their practice and point them to this thread, but no one ever got back to me.
    The attitude of any business, anywhere, speaks volumes.

    If they do not take the time to acknowledge your comments, whether good or bad, what does this say about their integrity in the first place?

    Years back we had a distasteful experience at a restaurant on the island which did not accept AMEX. The waitress threw the credit card at my husband. We faithfully visited the restaurant twice every visit to the island. We loved the food and the atmosphere and I recommended it to anyone who would listen. No more. They lost us as customers and I no longer mention them.

    Before that, there had been another restaurant which had refused to call a taxi for us after our meal. It was pouring rain. We vowed to never go back and they went out of business a short time later.

  10. #30
    Senior Member arubabob's Avatar
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    We have been told by several locals that the service charge in most cases is divided up for the owner and employees. In this regard it is not a "tip" for your waitperson, it is a fee that goes to the restaurant. We have also been told by several locals that some owners dont "share" the same as others. The bottom line is that your server does not get the whole service charge and in some places, none of it. In those instances you are not tipping your server, just the owner. It would be nice to know which ones are which. A server at Matthews told us the service charge is split pretty equally among the staff.
    We usually tip about 20% as well. What we have been doing on Aruba is paying the bill with a credit card and leaving any additional tip in cash. That way the waitperson gets that at least. Some places do not add a ser charge and we still leave the tip in cash.
    We have eaten many meals at the Pelicans nest and have not been dissapointed in the food there. I usually get the grilled grouper and my wife gets the Mahi. They are quite different. I would think it was simply an error if you got grouper instead of Mahi. Like someone said, grouper is more exspensive.
    Last edited by arubabob; 01-19-2012 at 07:35 PM.

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