Customer Warns That Tipping Screens Are Calculating The Wrong Amount & Charging Us More — ’20% Of Your Bill Is $8, They Charged $30!'

Let this be your warning to double-check your total when using a tablet tipping screen.

Tipping screen Sadi-Santos / Shutterstock

The debate surrounding tipping culture is truly neverending. One woman recently sparked a conversation about the fancy tablet touch screens and how some establishments are using them to get customers to unknowingly tip big.

In a TikTok video, a woman named Nova Sachi encouraged customers to calculate their intended tips for servers on their phones instead of relying on tablets because tablets might not be as accurate as we may think.


She warned that tipping screens are calculating the wrong amount and charging us more.

In Sachi's 9-second clip, she showed the tablet that servers often use at restaurants to ring up customers, which includes the obligatory tipping options, ranging from 18% to 25%. The screen displayed Sachi's total amount for the meal at an unnamed restaurant — $40.66.

However, as she clicked through all of the tipping options, she noticed that the tip amount was way higher than it should've been. 


Make sure when using devices, these tips match! Because AINT NO WAY 2+2 is not 5 😂🤣😀 pay attention

♬ original sound - Nova Sachi

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For 18%, the tablet claimed she would owe $27.07, 20% was $30.08, 22% was $33.09, and 25% was $37.60. In reality, based on Sachi's overall bill, a 20% tip would have only been $8.

"Y'all, check your places. I think somebody touched on this not too long ago, but y'all not about to get us," Sachi insisted. 

She isn't alone in believing that tipping culture has gotten out of control, and a June 2023 survey by Bankrate found that roughly two in three (66%) U.S. adults have a negative view of tipping.

In the survey, Americans said they believe businesses should pay employees better rather than relying so much on tips (41%) and feel that tipping culture has gotten out of control (30%). Thirty-two percent said they are particularly annoyed about pre-entered tip screens (32%).


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"Inflation and general economic unease seem to be making Americans stingier with their tipping habits, yet we’re confronted with more invitations to tip than ever," Bankrate Senior Industry Analyst Ted Rossman said. 

"It’s a fascinating issue with few clear answers. There is one apparent certainty, though: Tipping doesn’t seem likely to leave American society anytime soon."


When it comes to tipping screens, some customers feel they're being prompted to tip more than in the past.

According to the New York Times, payment technologies allow merchants to display a set of default tipping amounts — for example, buttons for 15%, 20%, and 30%, along with the "no tip" or "custom tip" button. That setup makes it simplest for people to choose a generous tip rather than a smaller one or no tip at all. 

Similarly, a study by Purdue and Temple University researchers found that, overall, a tipping screen was effective in "elevating tipping amounts" from customers who otherwise wouldn’t think to leave a gratuity. 

But are they increasing the tip amounts on these touch screens? Many people seem to think so, and while there isn't any concrete evidence, establishments may be able to plug in their own amounts onto those tablets.


Of course, in any instance, if you're going to a restaurant, you should already be expecting to tip at least 20%. If it helps, take out the calculator on your phone, or if you're just a genius at math, do the calculations in your head to make sure that you're not overtipping or being misled by the preset options. It's always encouraged to double-check and make sure that your gratuity aligns with the service you received and the total bill. 

RELATED: Server Laughs At 'Difficult' Customer Who Tried To Not Tip — 'I Got $170 Out Of Her'

Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.