I'm not against encouraging a tipping culture here if it goes hand in hand with encouraging a customer service culture as well.
But it doesn't. That's what I hate about US tipping culture. You have to tip there, because people rely on tips for their livelihoods, but all it encourages is a kind of craven subservience and fake friendliness that I find cringeworthy.
I'd happily pay a tip to have someone with some desire to do their job help me, even better if they poses a tiny bit of competence.
But if you pay them for the job they're doing, why should you have to pay extra for them to do the job well?
The best customer service you'll find anywhere in the world is in Japan, where they absolutely refuse to accept tips--they consider the idea that they need to be bribed to do their jobs deeply insulting. No matter what the job they take pride in doing it. When I lived in Osaka, there was a construction project down the street from my flat. They were using several large electrical cords that went from the building to the street, over the sidewalk. One of the workers' job was to stand next to those cords and warn everyone walking by to be careful and not trip over them. That was his whole job, and he did it with cheerful good humour because it was his job
, and for no other reason.
I digress a bit, but my point is that tipping is no guarantee of quality service, but it is a guarantee of poorly paid, stressed service workers who feel they need to debase themselves just to make a living. I'd rather pay more for my food, haircut, taxi, whatever, and have the people who serve me paid decent wages that allow them self-respect.