What is a good company policy on receiving holiday gifts and tips from customers?


December 26, 2022

Photo: Prostock-Studio/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Photo: Prostock-Studio/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

We asked Pest Management Professional’s columnists and editorial advisory board members share how they handle receive gifts and tips from customers. Here are some of the experts’ responses from our December 2022 print edition.

Please take a minute to answer our latest one-question poll on this topic and let us know how you handle it: Reader poll: What is a good company policy on receiving holiday gifts and tips from customers?

PMP’s Editorial Advisory Board and Regular Contributors

Jerry Schappert, ACE: “Our policy is if they appreciate us, they are generous. We have no issues with our technicians getting gifts or tips. My most unusual tip was a Green Bay Packers jean jacket. They are my favorite team, and it’s a really cool jacket!”

Dennis Jenkins: “Our policy has always been to politely refuse the gift, but if the customer is insistent, to graciously accept it. We also let our customers know that we collect toys for underprivileged children to be donated at a local food bank. They also let customers know that they get a ticket for a chance for cash prizes for each gift they collect. This allows us to do something nice for children in need and allows customers to show appreciation.”

We have been doing this for over 20 years. It was really challenging during the pandemic, but our folks came through and we delivered over 2,000 toys to Christian Community Action (a local community service for folks in need). We also partner with over 150 charitable organizations by donating pest control services and a few by partnering at a deeper level. The program is called Anteater Advocates, and my wife Jennifer runs it as the Anteater Advocate Coordinator. We track the value of the services we donate and the annual value is just over $360K.”

Michael Broder: “We do not have restrictions on employees accepting gifts. It is so hard to come up with meaningful gifts to give our customers, so one great move we’ve begun is making charitable donations in our customers’ names. This has been a win-win for everyone.”

Doug Foster: “We don’t have a written guideline on tips or gifts, but I’m delighted when any member of our team is rewarded by our customers and clients. I feel that anything that’s not illegal is acceptable.”

“We have been given some cool gifts over the years — tickets, liquor, candy, baked goods — but the sweetest and most memorable are from an older lady who has handmade Christmas ornaments for every one of our staff for the past nine years. Her face lights up each year when she brings them in!”

Paul Hardy: “The issue is the possibility of incurring taxes on gifts. Check with your financial team about tax regulations in your market. As for my most unusual tip? One year, we were given a dog!”

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