Monday, June 14, 2010

Starbucks Sets Wi-Fi Free

Right now, if you want to access the Internet in a Starbucks using their Wi-Fi connection you have to be a part of their rewards program to get it free.

That will change come this July when the coffee chain follows the lead of McDonalds and opens up their Wi-Fi network to everyone for free. According to this story by Claire Cain Miller in The New York Times, “as of July 1st its stores in the United States would offer free Wi-Fi, via AT&T, that anyone can reach with a single click. In case customers run out of distractions on the Web, Starbucks is giving them even more reason to sit and browse, by offering a variety of digital content through a partnership with Yahoo.”

“Starbucks is making the change just as many coffeehouses are experimenting with ways to cut off squatters who browse and do not spend. Some post signs asking people to continue buying food and drinks if they stay, while the more aggressive ones cover their power outlets with tape so people cannot charge their laptops.”

3 comments:

Sarah said...

My mom works for Panera out in California and they actually flip their wifi off at lunch time (12-2 pm). People who buy lunch weren't able to sit down because of the folks who buy, say, a cup of coffee at 9 am and refill it for hours on end while on their laptops.

They get a lot of complaints about this policy, but some of these folks also roll in these crazy big portable file cabinets and try to split electrical outlets by running power strips and extension cords all over the place.

HoCoRising said...

They could always go the route of Double T diner and charge $3 per seat.

Bob O said...

Once you set it up, wifi is virtually free. Starbucks will make out like bandits on this move.

Also, if you want free wifi anywhere, there are other solutions for any location. Just do some web searches and get the right apps. All legal and easy.