More On WiFi In Coffee Shops
Another article on WiFi being offered in coffee shops, but this one brings up some of the issues that others haven’t covered as well. It doesn’t really focus on the “fee” vs. “free” question, but does show that many coffee shops have found that offering WiFi helps build a loyal following. There are some people who clearly pick their coffee shop based on whether or not they have WiFi. However, there are technical issues, and one coffee shop disconnected their WiFi after they found their employees were spending too much time messing around with routers than serving coffee (though, in shutting it off, they lost customers to other coffee shops). Meanwhile, another issue is dealing with “squatters” who use the WiFi from outside, and never come in to buy anything. One shop owner actively goes out and confronts those people – who seem to be understanding at this point. Of course, these are both issues (freeloading and tech support) that are only going to become more important as more people start using WiFi. Places offering WiFi are going to need to think carefully about what their policies are on these sorts of things and make sure they’re clearly stated. Otherwise, it’s going to lead to problems.