Starbucks Managers Begging To Free Up The WiFi

from the please,-please,-please... dept

It doesn't take an economic genius to figure out that charging for WiFi is a dead end model when the competition is giving it away for free. While many of the restaurants and cafes offering free WiFi are singing its praises as it brings in more customers -- especially during the off hours -- T-Mobile is stubbornly sticking to their high priced plans. It appears, however, that their major retail partner, Starbucks, may be pushing back. Apparently, some Starbucks managers are begging upper management to let them free up the WiFi, because they know they're losing business to others. However, with T-Mobile's pricing setup, they don't even have the choice. This is just part of the reason that Wayport's pricing shift earlier this year was such a big deal. The way Wayport now prices, the venues get to choose for themselves how to price WiFi for customers. T-Mobile doesn't let them do that at all. Eventually, however, T-Mobile will have to come to its senses and realize they, too, need to update their pricing model.
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  1. identicon
    Jack, 21 Nov 2004 @ 11:17pm

    Re: I disagree

    Yeah, I agree. WiFi should be free, but places like Starbucks alreay have people just sitting in there for HOURS just nursing their cupa joe, or you got two friends who grab the two comfy chairs and spend the whole day there. Adding people with laptops who are only there for the free WiFi would only make this problem worse. Not that I care since I don't visit Starbucks much (it's hard to get a hot chocolate without them making it into something that looks like it came from Dairy Queen -- yeah, a little whip cream on top is great, but what the hell are you doing pouring that chocolate syrup over the whipped cream for?), but I can see how Starbucks would be all like "We need more people coming in, buying coffee, giving us money, and leaving -- less people coming in, buying coffee, giving us money, and then just loitering for 3 hours."

    As a note, whenever I go to a coffee shop with free WiFi I always make a point to buy a lot more than I normally would. Usually I just buy a cocoa, but with the free WiFi places I'll get a sandwich and maybe something else as well. Free WiFi=more sales.

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