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May 09, 2007

Starbucks Spokesman Defends Gouging For Internet Access

The hate part of my love/hate relationship with Starbucks is caused by their over priced internet access. I'm half jokingly calling it gouging because what Starbucks broadband partner, T-Mobile, charges is obscene.

Most independent coffee shops give WiFi away for free and it's too not difficult to find an open free WiFi in most areas. So why does Starbucks and T-Mobile charge so much for it?

A Starbucks spokesman told Advertising Age:

Some establishments may choose to provide free wireless access, but we believe the T-Mobile HotSpot service provides a much more rewarding experience by offering internet access in the comfort of Starbucks coffeehouses in far more locations.

I love how PR people are able to shit out their mouths. How is T-Mobile's broadband service any better than any other Wi-Fi? An open network is an open network. One doesn't offer any more security than the other. Is the broadband faster at Starbucks than others? Not in my experience. Often it's slower. So how is it rewarding to anyone but Starbucks and T-Mobile?

If I ran Starbucks I would drop the T-Mobile partnership and provide a Wi-Fi WPA key on the receipt that's good for 90 minutes with any purchase over $2.50. That way they wouldn't have the problem with people hanging out all day without buying anything just to use the Wi-Fi and it's also certain to increase sales.

[Advertising Age via Starbucks spokesman defends charging for Internet access]


I love Starbucks, but for work, it'll be Panera Bread for me (they're expanding in my area now). Free Internet, real tables, and freshly made food.

Starbucks has been messing this up for some time.

Posted by: Angel at May 9, 2007 01:50 PM

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