Thursday, June 17, 2010

Some things just Want to Be Free... and WiFi is One of Them!

I'm a self confessed coffee hound. Well, I'm sort of a self confessed caffeine hound, but that's another post. The strange thing is that when I'm at home, I'm a traditional grind the beans and drink it black kind of guy. However, put me in a Starbucks and I'm a triple vinte hazlenut soy latte kind of guy; strange huh? Don't answer that.

I've got to hand it to Starbucks, they've become the McDonald's of the coffee world. It always tastes the same, you know how to order, and they are everywhere. There's also the environment. They've done a great job of creating an atmosphere that is relaxing and encourages you to stay for that second unneeded cup of joe or to purchase a travel mug for about twice what you could buy it for anywhere else. The idea of course, is to get the customer to linger. Lingering customers in those environments spend more and tend to return more.

That's why I could never understand why they partnered with AT& T and tried to charage you for wireless Internet access. I mean, seriously, I'm paying more than $5 for a cup of coffee and you need me to pay for Wifi? Now not everyone had to pay. AT&T customers could get a couple of hours free, but you would see me writing an article and accessing the net using my Sprint Mobile Broadband. It just seemed like a crazy business strategy.

Well starting July 1, that's all about to change. That's when Starbucks (like McDonald's) is going away from charging for wireless and making it free. Now that's good customer service!

There's more to it, but if you want all the details, there is a really good article on it here at

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