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How to Tip in Difficult Situations

12 Confusing Tipping Situations, Solved!

Everyone has a strong opinion on the proper way to tip — but is there one right answer for every confusing tipping situation? We polled readers to find out, and here's what they had to say.

You should still tip at a restaurant with bad service. Even if you received poor service, 54 percent of readers believe you should still leave something for the waiter. Only 17 percent wouldn't leave a tip, while 29 percent tip depending on the situation.

You don't need to tip your acupuncturist. Only 24 percent of people tip their acupuncturist all the time or occasionally.

You don't need to tip in countries where tipping isn't part of the culture. If you travel to countries where tipping is not practiced, you don't have to leave gratuity — 70 percent of people don't tip when the culture doesn't require it. It could be that the service charge has already been factored in. 

You don't tip in self-serve restaurants. If you're serving yourself, leaving a tip for service might seem unnecessary. It seems that the majority of people agree with that sentiment: 79 percent of people polled don't tip in self-serve restaurants. 

Read on for more.

You can choose to tip or not tip attendants in full-service gas stations. There seems to be a split in opinions in this situation. About 50 percent say that you don't need to tip, while 39 percent say you need to, and 11 percent occasionally tip. 

You don't need to tip roadside assistance. Most of the people who were polled — 73 percent — say they don't tip roadside assistance. 

You don't need to tip on cruises where gratuity is included. If you're already paying a service charge, you don't need to tip on cruises. About 73 percent of people don't tip at all, but 19 percent of people do occasionally, while seven percent tip regardless of the included gratuity. 

You don't need to tip the mail carrier. An overwhelming amount of people — 91 percent — don't tip their mail carrier. 

You should tip housekeeping. Coming back to a fresh room and bed deserves some kudos. Forty-two percent of people tip housekeeping, while 35 percent of people don't leave any tips, and 23 percent leave tips behind occasionally. 

You don't have to tip the barista. Forty-five percent of people don't tip their friendly barista, while 36 percent tip occasionally, and 18 percent do all the time. 

You don't have to tip whenever you see a tip jar. Leaving a tip in the tip jar is up to you. Almost half of the people polled don't leave tips because they see a tip jar, while 46 percent of people do occasionally drop cash in the jar.

You don't have to tip when picking up takeout. No one's delivering the food or serving it to you in the restaurant, so it's not necessary to tip when you're picking up food to go. 

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