Advertisement
spending

Should I Tip if the Service is Lousy?

Rude manner, botched orders, slow service, bad food -- find out when it's okay to stiff your server. Plus, should you pay your dentist in gifts instead of cash?

Is it okay to leave a restaurant server a stingy tip for bad service?

Yes, indeed, if the bad service is really the server's fault -- rudeness, botched orders, a bored manner. But don't penalize a server for things beyond his or her control, such as a short-handed kitchen, not enough servers or bad food. And always bring poor service and other problems to the attention of the maitre d'.

Sticking it to the little guys

I work in purchasing at a very large, highly profitable firm that often ranks in surveys as one of America's most admired companies. Several times a year, orders come down from the chief financial officer to delay payment to our vendors and also rebuff their late-payment fees. This pushes our expenses forward to improve the bottom line of the previous quarter and meet Wall Street's expectations.

Advertisement - Article continues below

I am uncomfortable with this. Many of our vendors are small, struggling firms that are dependent on our large orders. We're causing them cash-flow problems. What should I do?

Your company's bullying of its small vendors is highly unethical. I hope you tell your suppliers that you don't agree with what you are being told to do. Your company probably has formal procedures for raising ethical concerns, so use them. You will be taking a risk as a whistleblower, but this issue needs to be addressed at the highest level. Good luck!

Barter for dental work?

My dentist suggested that instead of paying for some work he did, I could make a gift of a flat-screen TV of the same value. He said this bartering is perfectly legal. I'm skeptical.

You should be. It sounds as if your dentist is trying to evade income taxes. Courteously tell him this isn't proper and ask for a normal bill.

Have a money-and-ethics question you'd like answered in this column? write to editor in chief Knight Kiplinger at ethics@kiplinger.com.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

How To Buy a Roth IRA When You Make Too Much To Qualify For One
Roth IRAs

How To Buy a Roth IRA When You Make Too Much To Qualify For One

With their tax-free growth and tax-free withdrawals, Roth IRAs are a great deal — if you qualify. If you don’t, well, there’s still a way to get into …
September 23, 2020
Social Security Recipients, Veterans Must Act Now to Get Extra $500 Stimulus Check
Coronavirus and Your Money

Social Security Recipients, Veterans Must Act Now to Get Extra $500 Stimulus Check

The deadline for seniors and veterans to request an additional $500 stimulus check for a dependent child is approaching fast. See how you can claim yo…
September 25, 2020
High-Tech Aids for Aging in Place
Caregiving

High-Tech Aids for Aging in Place

Apple Watch and other technology provides fast feedback, comfort for older users, and a powerful assist for caregivers.
September 23, 2020

Recommended

When Is Amazon Prime Day 2020?
spending

When Is Amazon Prime Day 2020?

Circumstances beyond its control have forced Amazon to move its annual Christmas-in-July Amazon Prime Day blowout sale in 2020 to ... later. Is Oct. …
September 22, 2020
18 Things You Can't Return to Amazon
Smart Buying

18 Things You Can't Return to Amazon

Before tossing these items into your virtual shopping cart, be sure to read Amazon's return policy first.
September 17, 2020
10 Things You'll Spend More on in Retirement
retirement

10 Things You'll Spend More on in Retirement

From reading materials to debt, the demands on your savings during your golden years might surprise you.
September 16, 2020
10 Things You'll Spend Less on in Retirement
retirement

10 Things You'll Spend Less on in Retirement

We spend a lot of time worrying about running out of cash in retirement. But you might be surprised to see some of the things you'll find yourself spe…
September 16, 2020