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08 August 2011

Starbucks WiFi Ending?

It has been only just over a year since Starbucks announced that all stores would have free WiFi, and now it seems they are regretting the decision. In a true American fashion of getting something for nothing, there have been droves of people who come into the stores and soak up the free WiFi without spending any or much money. Rather than treat the company as a business, people have been using the stores as their own personal offices or living rooms.

So now Starbucks faces the dilemma of how to reduce the amount of time people are sitting and not buying, weighing options from limiting the time to a few hours to putting covers over the electrical outlets to limit the use to only as long as your battery lasts.

Personally, I am very curious how this will work out. I know when I was a barista, it was frustrating to have someone sit there all day and conduct their business from the seating area. Even though they were in a public place, often the people camped out would try to take over the entire seating area for their own, meeting clients and expecting the other patrons to be quiet and respect their needs only. While I can fully understand the need for some people to use public WiFi due to pricing or availability at home, that does not mean Starbucks or any company there should be expected to accept people who sit for half the day in their stores without the patrons paying back into their profits.


Steve said...

I'm totally for covering up all the outlets... So many people at my bux with laptops feel that they are somehow more entitled to seats next to outlets.... so much so that they frequently ask people to move seats.