Author Topic: Unethical ways to save money  (Read 44147 times)

sheepstache

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #50 on: January 22, 2013, 08:24:39 PM »
There are people who buy cars in NC (3% sales tax) and pay NC insurance rates (which are not cheap but reasonable) and NC plate fees (only $30 per plate) and NC property taxes (can be cheap in a rural county) but really live in the the northeast where automobile ownership costs are much higher.

I've read this has become so common, that some of other states have resorted to asking their residents to "snitch" on NC plated cars that are seen remaining in the neighborhood for too long.

The schools are in some parts of CT are much better than those just across the state line in NY.  Some parents would register their kids in the CT schools even though they didn't own property or reside in the district.  Other parents became suspicious when they saw cars with NY license plates dropping kids off and there are now guards checking the cars and a much more stringent procedure to prove residency before your kids can be enrolled. 

There's a difference in being cheap to save money vs. giving your kids a leg up in the world and in fact I sympathize with these people who, while gaming the system, have limited options in the current school funding system and certainly can't afford to buy a home in greenwich.  But your post reminded me of it.

TomTX

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #51 on: January 23, 2013, 07:32:11 AM »
I think the problem most people have with jailbreaking is that a lot of people jailbreak their phones to go around the app store and download their apps without paying for them. I know that this is possible both on Android and iPhones and I know a lot of my friends who do this to get around 99 apps which I find ridiculous.

If you're jailbreaking your phone to install custom things on it or access stuff that's otherwise locked down to you as a user, fine but if your only purpose is to not pay 99 for apps then you're being kind of an asshole.

I have NO problem with jailbreaking, as long as the user pays the agreed-upon amount of their contract. You are paying for the phone, it is yours.

Cell companies (especially ATT) do their best to cripple and generally fuck up the software/firmware on the phones. Screw them. I don't need 8 different ATT numbers hard-locked into my phonebook, nor un-removable Carrier IQ snooping on me all the time. Fuck off, ATT.

TomTX

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #52 on: January 23, 2013, 07:38:33 AM »
I personally don't find anything unethical about jailbreaking itself-- It's my device and within reason, I get to do what I want with it.

That said, as an self-employed, independent app developer, a small but substantial amount of my income monthly comes from my app sales.  Even a casual search of my product + the .ipa extension yields numerous places to download it for free.  What frustrates me is when people see piracy of my work (or anyone else's) as perfectly acceptable.  When people say "it's not theft, it's copyright infringement," I get frustrated because it sure *feels* like stealing when my check is smaller as a direct result of piracy.  Thankfully I have a full time job to take care of my regular expenses, but I put countless hundreds of hours into app development and deserve the returns from my work.  Thankfully there are still a reasonable number of people willing to pay for the app, but I wonder sometimes what my losses are from piracy-- I have no real way of knowing.

I'm sure there are probably different considerations between a software monopoly and a single independent developer, but that's my perspective as the latter.

I do think that artists/creators should be fairly compensated for a reasonable amount of time.

A chunk of the current copyright infringement is backlash against the absolutely insane length of modern copyright (death + 70 years) - originally copyright in the USA was a mere 14 years, renewable for another 14 if the author was still alive. Copyright was extended, but still remained reasonable until 1976.

Just try to use the (publicly spoken!) words of Winston Churchill or MLK (jr) - their greedy families will swarm and heap woe upon your head.

Heck, look at Disney - their empire is built upon "stealing" stories from others, yet they are some of the biggest proponents of the perpetually-extending copyright.

So yes - you should be paid for your work. For a reasonable timeframe.

TomTX

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #53 on: January 23, 2013, 07:43:22 AM »
Then it's a good thing bikes are so much lighter than cars.

Yep. Bikes do effectively 0 damage/wear to roads (absent "grinding" or other aggressive activities) - damage to the road is roughly proportional to the square of the weight. Standard cars are pretty much irrelevant too. Trucks (especially overweight trucks) are the big killers.

On the other hand - bikes and cars still contribute to congestion.

Khao

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #54 on: January 23, 2013, 08:14:26 AM »
3)  taking more than your fair share

I just remembered something ridiculous.

A few months ago at work we got a brand new cafeteria with real cooks and nice meals everyday that are super cheap (2 to 6$ per meal for delicious stuff, restaurant quality)

At first, they just had a basket with bread on a counter just before paying and basically bread was free with your meal. It seems like some people were abusing bread because after 2-3 weeks they moved the basket behind the glass and now we have to ask one of the cafeteria workers to give us a piece of bread. So now we have one guy serving the soup, another serving pastas, another one for whatever other dish they serve that day and one extra dude just for the tiny pieces of bread. From 11am to 1pm he just stands there and give bread. Tiny pieces of bread. Just because people were abusing it.

sheepstache

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #55 on: January 23, 2013, 08:23:40 AM »
3)  taking more than your fair share

I just remembered something ridiculous.

A few months ago at work we got a brand new cafeteria with real cooks and nice meals everyday that are super cheap (2 to 6$ per meal for delicious stuff, restaurant quality)

At first, they just had a basket with bread on a counter just before paying and basically bread was free with your meal. It seems like some people were abusing bread because after 2-3 weeks they moved the basket behind the glass and now we have to ask one of the cafeteria workers to give us a piece of bread. So now we have one guy serving the soup, another serving pastas, another one for whatever other dish they serve that day and one extra dude just for the tiny pieces of bread. From 11am to 1pm he just stands there and give bread. Tiny pieces of bread. Just because people were abusing it.

That's funny!  I wonder though if it's just management being penny wise / pound foolish.  Some people get a real bug up their butt if something seems unfair.  I doubt this guy's wages are less than the cost of the bread but I can see someone insisting on stopping the bread thieves on pure moral principle.  Or it could have been a hypochondria/liability thing where a communal bread basket was deemed unhygienic. 

Apparently I am more cynical and suspicious when it comes to peoples' efforts to do good than I am about greed.

Matte

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #56 on: January 23, 2013, 09:11:27 AM »
Plus one on the saving money at places that are predatory towards employees, offshore sweatshop stuff, Walmart, multimillion dollar corporations who's workers are subsidized by state programs.

One way I am guilty of several times over is false student discounts.  Phone, Internet, ect... Don't have any guilt because I still pay more for less then in the USA. 

Buying stuff on Craigslist from people at a fraction of its value without them knowing, often for resale. 


nofool

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #57 on: January 23, 2013, 09:45:12 AM »

1)  "borrowing" things/money from people and then conveniently "forget" about it

Off topic, but one of my finance professors liked giving life lessons to his classes. One of his lessons was that letting people borrow $20 is an easy way to see who's trustworthy and who's not - particularly useful in business.

wakkowarner

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #58 on: January 23, 2013, 11:49:59 AM »
Using public roads without paying the tax on gas that pays for those roads (either electric vehicle or bike).


I just assumed this was tongue in cheek?
At least you understood that!  What other forum would that joke not be lost on (well, besides perhaps a forum dedicated to bike riding)?

mindaugas

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #59 on: January 23, 2013, 12:09:27 PM »
There's a free program called Calibre which allows you to download news sources for free, among other features. It downloads every web page of a source's freely available pages, say the NY times or the Economist and then packages it up in Ebook form. It looks absolutely identical to the Ebook form that they'll charge $10/month for! Falls nicely into the grey area ethically.

Wow, I didn't know calibre did that. must reinstall.

Stealing from the internet. What about TV shows though. If I can get it free OTA and record it on a PC, is it still wrong to download it? Would this also apply to movies that run OTA? I don't mean cable, I mean local stations I can get for free by purchasing an antenna. Which is what I use. However, the networks (including PBS) sell these series on DVD.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 12:16:30 PM by mindaugas »

Jack

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #60 on: January 23, 2013, 01:53:03 PM »
What about TV shows though. If I can get it free OTA and record it on a PC, is it still wrong to download it? Would this also apply to movies that run OTA? I don't mean cable, I mean local stations I can get for free by purchasing an antenna. Which is what I use. However, the networks (including PBS) sell these series on DVD.

Microsoft apparently thinks so, since Windows Media Center adds DRM to recordings from OTA sources. I disagree, however.

wakkowarner

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #61 on: January 23, 2013, 01:54:29 PM »
Stealing from the internet. What about TV shows though. If I can get it free OTA and record it on a PC, is it still wrong to download it? Would this also apply to movies that run OTA? I don't mean cable, I mean local stations I can get for free by purchasing an antenna. Which is what I use. However, the networks (including PBS) sell these series on DVD.

Related to this I wonder about sports streaming.  I'm a recent cord-cutter, so last season I was able to watch the Cardinals through U-verse.  I would start to record the game (would sometimes start before I got home) and then was able to fast forward through commercials till I caught up.  I now use an antenna + Netflix.  I've looked into adding the MLB app to my Roku for the upcoming season, however the blackout BS makes me think that would be useless (don't want to start watching 90 minutes after the game is over for my home team:
Quote
http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/subscriptions/index.jspAll live games on MLB.TV and available through MLB.com At Bat are subject to local blackouts. Such live games will be blacked out in each applicable Club's home television territory, regardless of whether that Club is playing at home or away. If a game is blacked out in an area, it is not available for live game viewing. If you are an MLB.TV subscriber and not within either Club's home television territory, the applicable game will be available live and as an archived game as soon as possible after the conclusion of the game. If you are an MLB.TV subscriber within either Club's home television territory or an MLB.TV subscriber in any territory, the applicable game will be available as an archived game approximately 90 minutes after the conclusion of the game.

So to get around it I would need to spoof my IP, or unethically stream online (which it still shows the commercials, so am I really bypassing anything)?  Unless of course they do actually broadcast it locally, then I just have to miss the parts I don't get home in time for (or get a dvr).

mindaugas

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #62 on: January 23, 2013, 01:58:43 PM »
Yeah, I'm wondering how I'm going to get cycling races this season. I can buy the TdF which I did last year. For anything else I may try the free live streaming and find some way to record it ... Sometimes they show up on those pirate sites.

spider1204

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #63 on: January 23, 2013, 02:04:42 PM »
Ya, I think if you're streaming broadcast television, and thus have to watch all the commercials anyway there is nothing to even debate.  The only people you're hurting are the antenna manufacturer's I guess, but feel like that's more of just choosing an alternative product than stealing.

Jack

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #64 on: January 23, 2013, 02:42:29 PM »
Ya, I think if you're streaming broadcast television, and thus have to watch all the commercials anyway there is nothing to even debate.  The only people you're hurting are the antenna manufacturer's I guess, but feel like that's more of just choosing an alternative product than stealing.

I think the main issue is streaming something that had been broadcast in your area vs. streaming something that had been broadcast somewhere else. The most concrete example of this would be a UK resident  using iPlayer vs. an American using iPlayer via a proxy.

dragoncar

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #65 on: January 23, 2013, 03:08:48 PM »

3)  taking more than your fair share

Go out to eat with a large group.  Underpay.  Pretend you paid more.

mindaugas

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #66 on: January 23, 2013, 06:59:16 PM »
Going to a brick and mortar store to check something out knowing u r buying it online. Especially if u use sales persons time.

prosaic

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #67 on: January 23, 2013, 07:26:35 PM »
I'm an author who makes a comfortable side income (soon, I hope, my main income if I can leave the day job) and while piracy is what it is, there are two ways you can get free books that no one here has mentioned:

1. Write the author a fan letter! Seriously! I send free books (mobi, epub, pdf -- whatever) when a fan writes me. My ego loves it,a dn readers really love it! Plus, I ask them if they'll join my email list and it's win-win, because I often give away special freebies and this often converts folks into buyers (but fans don't have to buy!).

2. Join a lending group, like the reader boards at Kindleboards.com. Most Kindle and Nook eBooks are lending enabled, which means someone who bought the book can lend it, free, for 2 weeks to another Kindle account owner. Legal, ethical, and you can access more books than you can via pirate sites, typically, because they're available earlier.

smalllife

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #68 on: January 23, 2013, 07:29:31 PM »
Invest all possible income, don't pay taxes, and wait for the appropriate government agencies to garnish your paycheck instead (allowing you to earn interest/possible capital gains before they garnish). 

Take the freebies at hotels (shampoos, conditioners, soap, etc.), thereby encouraging and contributing to the ecological, ethical, and financial abuse of poor countries and their inhabitants. 

Use your workplace bathroom or a public facility wherever possible to save on water costs.

Not reporting cash income at tax time.

Create a church/religious organization so you don't have to pay property taxes or abide by most federal or state regulations - child care laws, background checks, etc.

Cancel your trash service and use a neighbor's without their permission.

Go from vet to vet taking advantage of their discounted "first visit" rates.

Conveniently never offer to buy the next round.

I feel bad for being able to think of so many, even though I am guilty of few things in this thread.

unitsinc

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #69 on: January 23, 2013, 07:36:18 PM »

Take the freebies at hotels (shampoos, conditioners, soap, etc.), thereby encouraging and contributing to the ecological, ethical, and financial abuse of poor countries and their inhabitants. 


I've never quite gotten this one. I pay for the soap and conditions and toilet paper. What is wrong with keeping what you paid for?

That seems like going to a restaurant, eating some of your food, and not taking the rest home.

And the first thing you mentioned seems beyond scummy.

spider1204

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #70 on: January 23, 2013, 08:01:48 PM »
Quote
Quote
Take the freebies at hotels (shampoos, conditioners, soap, etc.), thereby encouraging and contributing to the ecological, ethical, and financial abuse of poor countries and their inhabitants.
I've never quite gotten this one. I pay for the soap and conditions and toilet paper. What is wrong with keeping what you paid for?

That seems like going to a restaurant, eating some of your food, and not taking the rest home.

And the first thing you mentioned seems beyond scummy.

This seems to be a recurring theme for a lot of my ethical dilemmas, I don't feel any moral obligation to the company since I've already paid for the items.  However, I do feel a moral obligation not to cause less efficient packaging methods to be used for environmental reasons.

dragoncar

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #71 on: January 23, 2013, 08:25:59 PM »
Go negative balance on your free/low cost transit card then toss it.

destron

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #72 on: January 23, 2013, 08:29:29 PM »
Then it's a good thing bikes are so much lighter than cars.

Yep. Bikes do effectively 0 damage/wear to roads (absent "grinding" or other aggressive activities) - damage to the road is roughly proportional to the square of the weight. Standard cars are pretty much irrelevant too. Trucks (especially overweight trucks) are the big killers.

On the other hand - bikes and cars still contribute to congestion.

I have read that damage to the road is a function of the weight to the fourth power. I would look up a source, but I am not on a good Internet connection.

arebelspy

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #73 on: January 23, 2013, 08:41:13 PM »
Wikipedia says 4th power of axle weight:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_axle_weight_rating

That means bikes do even less, proportionally, compared to large trucks and such.

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Nudelkopf

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #74 on: January 23, 2013, 08:48:52 PM »
Cancel your trash service and use a neighbor's without their permission.
Our landlady has done this (we live under her business), and now we share a bin with her business. And it's always full! Gah.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 10:54:29 PM by Nudelkopf »

TomTX

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #75 on: January 23, 2013, 09:30:45 PM »
Wikipedia says 4th power of axle weight:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_axle_weight_rating

That means bikes do even less, proportionally, compared to large trucks and such.

I'll buy that answer - was working from memory, and I don't do those calculations :)


....of course, that's one sure way of getting a good answer to a question on the internet. Post a nearly-right or mostly right answer. There is ALWAYS someone who will correct you.

Unethical? :D

arebelspy

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #76 on: January 23, 2013, 09:43:16 PM »
Oh, I wasn't trying to correct you.. I had no idea myself.  I was just trying to help destron get his answer, since he was on a bad connection.  :)

(Pretending to be on a bad connection to have others cite your sources for you.. unethical? ;)  )
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wakkowarner

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #77 on: January 23, 2013, 10:06:32 PM »
Going out on a date with someone you don't like just to get a free meal/entertainment.

happy

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #78 on: January 23, 2013, 10:54:53 PM »
20 years ago I was scandalised by a poor struggling artist friend who shared with me his secret called "red pen discount", which explained why he could afford designer jeans and shirts.  Take a red pen into a large department store having a major sale.  Peruse the sale items. Select your desired item of quality non-sale clothing and go try it on. Whilst in changing room mark down the item in a manner consistent with the items on sale. Choose a young inexperienced salesperson and buy item, whilst hoping like hell they don't really know whats in the sale and what isn't.

Obviously unethical and illegal.

What do we all think about taking home all those little soaps/toiletries/tea/biscuits provided gratis in a hotel room? Part of the room tariff and yours to take? or unethical if you haven't consumed/used whilst staying?

Khao

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #79 on: January 24, 2013, 05:04:51 AM »
What do we all think about taking home all those little soaps/toiletries/tea/biscuits provided gratis in a hotel room? Part of the room tariff and yours to take? or unethical if you haven't consumed/used whilst staying?

Totally ethical and good for the environment. I'm pretty sure any room service will throw away anything that you haven't finished so why not bring it home and finish it there, then rince the bottle and put it in the recycle bin. As for bringing home the stuff you didn't use, I'm not sure, depends if they just throw everything away and replace them all the time.

GuitarStv

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #80 on: January 24, 2013, 06:44:30 AM »
1) Pirating - This was a big one.  My friend pirates all types of media such as movies, ebooks, music, magazine subscriptions, software, even phone apps!  This allowed him to cut out cable and stop spending money on amazon and itunes.  Also he claims he now reads a lot more since his books are free.

A buddy of mine checks that what he wants to read, watch, or listen to is available in the library.  If it is, he'll sometimes pirate it rather than go to the library to check it out.  I could never figure out if that's really unethical or not . . . I mean, he's not depriving the artist/studio of money they would have made.

Khao

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #81 on: January 24, 2013, 06:55:22 AM »
A buddy of mine checks that what he wants to read, watch, or listen to is available in the library.  If it is, he'll sometimes pirate it rather than go to the library to check it out.  I could never figure out if that's really unethical or not . . . I mean, he's not depriving the artist/studio of money they would have made.

He's depriving the library? I'm sure most library gets cash from 2 things : actual membership costs (if there are any) and from the city based on statistics ex: if there are two libraries in the same city, the one with the most readers/books borrowed will get more funding from the city. I may be wrong but it seems logical this way

Undecided

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #82 on: January 24, 2013, 09:35:00 AM »
Yeah, I'm wondering how I'm going to get cycling races this season. I can buy the TdF which I did last year. For anything else I may try the free live streaming and find some way to record it ... Sometimes they show up on those pirate sites.

[off topic]
Check out cyclingfans.com. Also cycling.tv (but know that their inconsistency in delivering as promised made me drop them after paying for a couple of years). The web site for Universal Sports (or whatever it is now) has had subscription packages for the Giro and the classics (at least in the spring) in the past. Similar to what some Canadians have argued, I'm not convinced it's unethical to use the Sporza or RAI feed on cyclingfans.com if the race promoter has no distribution channel in your market.

[back on topic]
Failing to treat barter income appropriately for taxes.

mindaugas

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #83 on: January 24, 2013, 09:44:58 AM »
[off topic]
Check out cyclingfans.com. Also cycling.tv (but know that their inconsistency in delivering as promised made me drop them after paying for a couple of years). The web site for Universal Sports (or whatever it is now) has had subscription packages for the Giro and the classics (at least in the spring) in the past. Similar to what some Canadians have argued, I'm not convinced it's unethical to use the Sporza or RAI feed on cyclingfans.com if the race promoter has no distribution channel in your market.
Thanks, I do have both of those bookmarked and in fact watching highlights of tour down under. I couldn't subscribe to universal since it required a cable package, at least last year.

Sylly

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #84 on: January 24, 2013, 09:48:19 AM »
Stiffing your waiter (or any other service people) out of 'standard' tip.

This is one I've personally wondered about, especially with the seemingly broadening category of who should be tipped. This may not apply for many outside the US, but in the US, where tipping a certain amount/% is expected, is it unethical or simply cheap to not do so?

ShavenLlama

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #85 on: January 24, 2013, 09:55:36 AM »
In some areas, service people who receive tips can be paid less than the minimum wage as it is expected that a tip will bring them up over the minimum. Maybe I'm stating it wrong, but hopefully you understand what I mean.

http://www.dol.gov/whd/state/tipped.htm#California

So yes, it would be a hardship on the server, and therefore unethical, to undertip.

cbr shadow

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #86 on: January 24, 2013, 10:01:38 AM »
Stiffing your waiter (or any other service people) out of 'standard' tip.

This is one I've personally wondered about, especially with the seemingly broadening category of who should be tipped. This may not apply for many outside the US, but in the US, where tipping a certain amount/% is expected, is it unethical or simply cheap to not do so?

Tips here are generally based on server performance (that's how I tip anyway) with 15-20% of the bill as a baseline.  If someone does exceptionally well they will get a bit higher, if they're rude or just very unpleasant then they'll get less from me.
I have friends that tip 20% no matter what and they think I'm a cheapo for tipping based on the quality of service.  To me the whole point of tipping is to incentivize the server to do well, be polite, etc.
As a waiter in college I was stiffed several times when I didn't think I deserved it, but most of the time it was a group of young kids that either didn't know, or didn't want to spare any extra money.  On the other hand I did once get a $150 tip from a group of guy who I thought were thugs.

Sylly

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #87 on: January 24, 2013, 10:38:32 AM »
In some areas, service people who receive tips can be paid less than the minimum wage as it is expected that a tip will bring them up over the minimum. Maybe I'm stating it wrong, but hopefully you understand what I mean.

http://www.dol.gov/whd/state/tipped.htm#California

So yes, it would be a hardship on the server, and therefore unethical, to undertip.

I'm aware of that. My understanding is also that if the wage + tips is less than minimum wage, the employer has to pay the difference. Having never worked in the service industry (nor would anyone would want me to, given my lack of people skills), I have no idea how well employers follow this.

http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs15.htm

Regardless of that, there are a handful of states where the min. wage does not differ between tipped and non-tipped employees.
For these states, and assuming employers actually do pay the difference when tips are lacking, it then becomes a question of whether one thinks service personnel earning minimum wage is ethical or not.

dragoncar

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #88 on: January 24, 2013, 10:40:01 AM »
A buddy of mine checks that what he wants to read, watch, or listen to is available in the library.  If it is, he'll sometimes pirate it rather than go to the library to check it out.  I could never figure out if that's really unethical or not . . . I mean, he's not depriving the artist/studio of money they would have made.

He's depriving the library? I'm sure most library gets cash from 2 things : actual membership costs (if there are any) and from the city based on statistics ex: if there are two libraries in the same city, the one with the most readers/books borrowed will get more funding from the city. I may be wrong but it seems logical this way

And depriving the artist on some level.  If the media is good, and many people want to check it out, the waiting list will grow and the library may buy another.  The book may also be a pilot at one library that, if successful, will be purchased for other libraries.

norvilion

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #89 on: January 24, 2013, 11:24:18 AM »
I'm aware of that. My understanding is also that if the wage + tips is less than minimum wage, the employer has to pay the difference. Having never worked in the service industry (nor would anyone would want me to, given my lack of people skills), I have no idea how well employers follow this.

Back when I worked as a waiter there was a general understanding that if you brought in less tips than minimum wage it would not go well for your employability there. Granted this was to keep people from reporting less tips than they brought in (tax evasion) and that happened anyways but the reimbursement rule is not always the safest to lean on.

grantmeaname

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #90 on: January 24, 2013, 11:26:41 AM »
In some areas, service people who receive tips can be paid less than the minimum wage as it is expected that a tip will bring them up over the minimum. Maybe I'm stating it wrong, but hopefully you understand what I mean.

http://www.dol.gov/whd/state/tipped.htm#California

So yes, it would be a hardship on the server, and therefore unethical, to undertip.
Nope, California is in that place on the list because Californians who are servers and those who are in non-tipped positions make the same minimum wage. In most states (the second category), tipped employees make less but must be "topped up" by their employer if their wage including tips is less than the state minimum wage. Even then, that would be very difficult- even at slow nights at my budget restaurant, everyone cleared $10 an hour, to say nothing of the $7.30 that was the minimum wage. Norv's rule is pretty safe, too, but if you're making more than 50% less tips than your peers it's a safe bet that that's not the only reason your job is not safe.

Regarding how ethical it is: you get shit service, you leave a shit tip. No ethical issues there. You get good service, and you tip cheap: you're just an ass. If you can afford to eat out at a place where someone's on their feet all night bringing you food and drink, you can afford to tip the same amount everyone else does.

Jack

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #91 on: January 24, 2013, 11:36:32 AM »
Regarding tips, the part I find difficult is what to do with all these "fast casual" places where you stand in line to order, but somebody buses your table for you (and may or may not bring out your food or refill your drink, depending on the place). How much (if any) are you "supposed to" tip there?

unitsinc

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #92 on: January 24, 2013, 12:15:17 PM »
Regarding tips, the part I find difficult is what to do with all these "fast casual" places where you stand in line to order, but somebody buses your table for you (and may or may not bring out your food or refill your drink, depending on the place). How much (if any) are you "supposed to" tip there?

I'm almost positive that they all get paid normal wages and do not require tips to make a normal living. I usually tip normally just because if I'm eating out, I can afford the extra 2 dollars, but I don't think you're really hurting someone by not tipping, or tipping smaller there.

I do think buffets are different. You still have a waiter(someone who typically makes less than min wage) but all they do is pour my water. I feel like that isn't worth 15-25% but I know that they depend on tips, so I feel obligated.

Sylly

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #93 on: January 24, 2013, 01:13:33 PM »
Regarding how ethical it is: you get shit service, you leave a shit tip. No ethical issues there. You get good service, and you tip cheap: you're just an ass. If you can afford to eat out at a place where someone's on their feet all night bringing you food and drink, you can afford to tip the same amount everyone else does.

I'm generally of this same opinion. What still throws me off is service people where the service *is* what you're getting. Hair stylist for example (I'll take the face punch, but my SO is *not* cutting my hair). So do you tip on top of the cost of service? Over the years, it seems like the list of people whom you should tip keeps on growing. A part of me often wishes the cost of things would include basic level of service, and tips would become something extra instead of expected, as it is in many places outside the US. Unfortunately the trend seems to be that those other places are moving more and more toward western views on tipping.

I_am_DLR

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #94 on: January 24, 2013, 04:19:18 PM »
A part of me often wishes the cost of things would include basic level of service, and tips would become something extra instead of expected, as it is in many places outside the US. Unfortunately the trend seems to be that those other places are moving more and more toward western views on tipping.

This is my philosophy as well. I generally only tip at restaurants.

"Ethics" aren't even involved as far as I'm concerned. If I'm paying you for a service, and you provide me with a shitty service, you're going to get shitty pay. I have no qualms with leaving no tip at all if the service was garbage. i.e. they took forever to get our drink order, then took forever to get us our drink, and had someone else bring the food to us, never show up with refills, or to ask if the order is satisfactory, etc. If you don't do your job, then you don't get paid for it.

At the same time, it's not uncommon for me to leave a 100% tip at a diner or other cheap establishment(entree under $10 or so) if the waiter was prompt and personable without intruding into the conversation at the table, etc.

The whole percentage thing is a load of malarky. I think people would work much harder, and enjoy what they're doing more if that standard were just magic-ed away.

norvilion

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #95 on: January 25, 2013, 07:47:15 AM »
I have no qualms with leaving no tip at all if the service was garbage. i.e. they took forever to get our drink order, then took forever to get us our drink, and had someone else bring the food to us, never show up with refills, or to ask if the order is satisfactory, etc.

I'll agree with most of those as a sign of bad service, however oftentimes the store policy is that if you see an order ready at the kitchen window and you aren't actively getting drinks you are required to take it out regardless of whose table it actually is (a number of people got in trouble for ignoring trays that had been there a bit longer in favor of getting the food out for their own table immediately)

I_am_DLR

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #96 on: January 25, 2013, 09:33:29 AM »
I'm aware of that policy implemented by some restaurants. I suppose I had a clearer(more clear?) picture in my head than what I wrote down. What I was getting at when I don't even see the server from the time I place my order til the time I get the check.

iamsoners

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #97 on: January 25, 2013, 12:35:40 PM »
Ok, here's one I'm questionable about the ethics on.

Signing up for Netflix or eMusic or some similar service that offers a month free to begin with before initiating recurring payments.  I've been known to take the free month and cancel at the end of it.  ...And then use a different credit card next time I want a free month.

I figure, if they wanted to crack down they could since I use the same billing address for my credit card.  They probably get so much money from people that only intend on using a month and then never cancel.  I even forget to cancel sometimes and they get some $$ out of me.

dragoncar

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #98 on: January 25, 2013, 02:22:10 PM »
Ok, here's one I'm questionable about the ethics on.

Signing up for Netflix or eMusic or some similar service that offers a month free to begin with before initiating recurring payments.  I've been known to take the free month and cancel at the end of it.  ...And then use a different credit card next time I want a free month.

I figure, if they wanted to crack down they could since I use the same billing address for my credit card.  They probably get so much money from people that only intend on using a month and then never cancel.  I even forget to cancel sometimes and they get some $$ out of me.

Or just sharing netflix, since they allow multiple devices

destron

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #99 on: January 25, 2013, 03:18:21 PM »
Oh, I wasn't trying to correct you.. I had no idea myself.  I was just trying to help destron get his answer, since he was on a bad connection.  :)

(Pretending to be on a bad connection to have others cite your sources for you.. unethical? ;)  )

That would definitely be the most unethical item in this list. ;)

I think my connection qualifies, though. Internet access has been poor and hard to come by while traveling in India.