Chipotle sparks backlash after app blocks customers from tipping more than 50 per cent: ‘This is insane’

Company says feature is in place to avoid human error and fraud

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Thursday 01 July 2021 16:34 BST
Chipotle feature that blocks customers from tipping more than 50 per cent sparks anger
Chipotle feature that blocks customers from tipping more than 50 per cent sparks anger (Getty Images)
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Chipotle is facing criticism after a customer tried to leave a generous tip for the delivery driver when ordering through the app only to find the company had placed a cap on the tip amount.

The fast-food company’s limit on the amount a customer can tip was discovered by a Reddit user recently, who shared a screenshot of the notification that popped up after they attempted to leave a $5.45 tip on an order totalling $10.90.

According to the screenshot, the app reportedly does not allow customers to leave tips that are more than 50 per cent of their order total, with the notification reading: “Whoa, whoa, whoa. That is mighty generous of you, but tips can’t be more than 50 per cent of your food’s total.”

The customer shared the screenshot on Reddit’s Mildly Infuriating subreddit on Wednesday, where they said that they had only been trying to “help the driver”.

Since it was posted a day ago, the screenshot has been upvoted more than 100,000 times, with many Reddit users infuriated by the app’s feature.

“As a delivery driver, this is a little more than mildly infuriating. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve received a 50 per cent-plus tip and each time it absolutely made my week. I still remember the faces and addresses of anyone that’s given me a tip like that, people have no idea how good it feels to be acknowledged for your hard work. I really hope to run into one of those lovely people to show my gratitude back,” one person commented.

Another person who saw the screenshot on Twitter said: “What the actual f*** is the point of capping tips this is insane.”

Others suggested that the app should ask users to confirm an amount if it appears to be a lot of money in relation to the order, rather than just putting a cap on the gratuity amount.

“Seems like a ‘whoa that’s really generous but did you really mean to tip $x?’ would handle this, rather than flat out preventing it,” someone else pointed out, while another wrote: “Maybe it prevents accidentally doing the wrong amount but in that case it should ask you ‘are you sure?’ instead of not letting you. Kinda messed up.”

However, others hypothesised that the feature is in place to prevent money laundering, while Reddit users also suggested that Chipotle, and other apps, may have the feature to protect against fraud charges.

In a statement to The Independent, Laurie Schalow, Chipotle’s chief corporate affairs officer, confirmed that the feature was in place to prevent human error and fraud.

“Similar to many retailers, the Chipotle app includes safeguards around tipping to avoid human error, as well as fraud, to ensure its guests provide their intended dollar amount. All tips through the app go to the delivery driver,” she said.

As for how to bypass the built-in feature, the customer who posted the screenshot to Reddit told the DailyDot that they tipped the delivery driver with cash instead.

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