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G4R2
Feb 11, 2008, 10:22 AM
While not exclusively iPhone news by any means this report should be of interest to iPhone users. Evidently ATT is attempting to oust T-Mobile from the Starbucks wireless space according to this report on Gizmodo:

http://gizmodo.com/354961/att-bringing-free-wi+fi-to-starbucks-finally

It's good to finally see some wi-fi hotspot competition that directly benefits wireless users by lowering, or in this case eradicating, usage charges. It's also going to be of great benefit to wi-fi enabled internet devices like the iPhone and Touch.

[ed note: only "free" for certain customers: Starbucks card holders and AT&T broadband customers]



drb6
Feb 11, 2008, 10:28 AM
Great news. More free internet the better. Especially for those of us around NYC where Starbucks is as ever present as air.

Stampyhead
Feb 11, 2008, 10:32 AM
Yeah, totally. T-mobile's prices are not competitive. They charge $6.00 for an hour, whereas at an AT&T hotspot I paid $4.50 for two hours.

EDIT: Looks like now it's $3.99 for two hours. Even better.

aristobrat
Feb 11, 2008, 10:36 AM
FWIW, T-Mobile users look unaffected:

http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/djf500/200802110954DOWJONESDJONLINE000309_FORTUNE5.htm
In addition, Starbucks, a Seattle coffee company, said T-Mobile customers will be able to use the Wi-Fi services at no additional costs through an agreement between AT&T and T-Mobile, a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG (DT).

Great news. More free internet the better.
Agreed, although it's not going to be free for most folks. Looks like you'll have to have a Starbucks gift card, or subscribe to AT&T broadband at your house before you get to use it for free.

gkarris
Feb 11, 2008, 10:43 AM
^^^ So is that true? My reason for getting T-Mobile Total Internet is for my iPhone as well as WiFi at Starbucks and Borders.

If Starbucks switches to AT&T and decides to not let T-Mobile users on, then looks like I'm cancelling my Edge service....

MacRumors
Feb 11, 2008, 10:49 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

Starbucks announced (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/6420ap_wa_starbucks_att.html) that they are partnering with AT&T to provide wireless access to their 7000 stores nationwide. Starbucks had previously partnered with T-Mobile to provide pay Wifi access at their stores.

The new service extends AT&T's free wireless to their AT&T broadband customers and also provides 2 hours of free wireless/day to Starbucks purchase card customers. Beyond this, AT&T offers service at $3.99 for a two-hour session, or $19.99 for monthly access.


Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2008/02/11/atandt-now-providing-wifi-access-at-starbucks/)

PlaceofDis
Feb 11, 2008, 10:55 AM
sweet! i get this included with my broadband service through them then. :D

not that i go to starbucks very often, but knowing i won't have to pay for the internet there, i probably will be more inclined to when i need to get more focused.

GeekLawyer
Feb 11, 2008, 10:55 AM
This is, or will be, great news for iPhone users. :)

cuestakid
Feb 11, 2008, 10:57 AM
my first thoughts-

theres only 7000 starbucks?

Some_Big_Spoon
Feb 11, 2008, 11:00 AM
Anyone want to bet me $20 that you'll be able to roll Starbucks access into your iPhone bill?

averyash
Feb 11, 2008, 11:02 AM
"AT&T also is giving Starbucks' more than 100,000 U.S. employees free wireless accounts and said it will soon extend the Wi-Fi at Starbucks to its wireless phone customers. The company announced no details or time frame for the expansion."

Anyone have any more details on this? That seems EXTREMELY pricey. I'm thinking it's a typo or comes with some serious caveats.

QCassidy352
Feb 11, 2008, 11:03 AM
my first thoughts-

theres only 7000 starbucks?

I thought that too. I'm pretty sure there are nearly that many in DC alone! :p

britabroad
Feb 11, 2008, 11:13 AM
Shame it doesn't work the same way as in the UK: there, all iPhone users get free wi-fi access in over 7500 locations via a deal with their carrier, O2. I see from the press release that that looks like a possible long-term plan for AT&T's iPhone users, but when?

ruckus
Feb 11, 2008, 11:13 AM
I don't know about anyone else, but I absolutely refuse to pay for internet access in public. I am currently living in Oklahoma, and even out here, there are tons of places I can go that offer free wireless internet.

Paid internet access is dead in my opinion. Its just too much of a hassle.

Westside guy
Feb 11, 2008, 11:15 AM
The new service extends AT&T's free wireless to their AT&T broadband customers and also provides 2 hours of free wireless/day to Starbucks purchase card customers.

So what's a "Starbucks purchase card"? And if you have to buy it, how is this "free wireless"? :confused:

eastcoastsurfer
Feb 11, 2008, 11:16 AM
"AT&T also is giving Starbucks' more than 100,000 U.S. employees free wireless accounts and said it will soon extend the Wi-Fi at Starbucks to its wireless phone customers. The company announced no details or time frame for the expansion."

Anyone have any more details on this? That seems EXTREMELY pricey. I'm thinking it's a typo or comes with some serious caveats.

What's pricey? Giving employees free access to the wifi network at their job? Should I start paying for internet where I work too? ROFL. No thanks Starbucks or ATT. I'll keep going to local cafes that have free wireless for their customers.

gkarris
Feb 11, 2008, 11:19 AM
So what's a "Starbucks purchase card"? And if you have to buy it, how is this "free wireless"? :confused:

I think they're talking about that Starbucks VISA card...

bigmc6000
Feb 11, 2008, 11:19 AM
I don't know about anyone else, but I absolutely refuse to pay for internet access in public. I am currently living in Oklahoma, and even out here, there are tons of places I can go that offer free wireless internet.

Paid internet access is dead in my opinion. Its just too much of a hassle.

I wish paid access was dead but as long as there are airports using T-Mobile it will live on. Talk about a monopoly. I'd bet if the starbucks in the airport offered free wi-fi people would just sit there drinking coffee and eating their food the entire time they had to wait. Actually, that's a brilliant idea!! I know starbucks employee's probably don't read this site but you need to take that to your manager or something - those airport starbucks would make a TON of money.

nagromme
Feb 11, 2008, 11:20 AM
Do iPod Touch users currently get free access at AT&T hotspots? I assume it's only iPhone customers?

(Unless you are an AT&T broadband customer at home--I know hotspots are free then.)

halhiker
Feb 11, 2008, 11:22 AM
It seems it would make more sense to give free Wi-Fi to iPhone customers than to broadband customers. It'd help promote iPhone sales and ATT makes $60 per month on those sales and only about $10-$30 for home broadband.

nagromme
Feb 11, 2008, 11:22 AM
It seems it would make more sense to give free Wi-Fi to iPhone customers than to broadband customers. It'd help promote iPhone sales and ATT makes $60 per month on those sales and only about $10-$30 for home broadband.

It seems like AT&T is offering it free to BOTH groups--and to those who buy coffee. (Even my local non-chain coffee places want you to buy something and not just mooch the WiFi and take up space.)

I don't know what AT&T's actual profit margins are on DSL vs. mobile phones, but both are big markets for them.

So what's a "Starbucks purchase card"? And if you have to buy it, how is this "free wireless"? :confused:

The purchase in question would be coffee :)

Currently, with T-Mobile, you buy your coffee AND pay $6 per hour ($6 minimum) for WiFi :eek:

dave491
Feb 11, 2008, 11:24 AM
I couldn't agree more. I don't understand why Starbucks is such a dinosaur in this arena. I don't go to Starbucks because their coffee is horrible, so it doesn't really affect me a whole lot, but it's just weird that they charge for wifi. They're the only ones that I know of in these parts (Columbus, OH) that do.

Dave S.


I don't know about anyone else, but I absolutely refuse to pay for internet access in public. I am currently living in Oklahoma, and even out here, there are tons of places I can go that offer free wireless internet.

Paid internet access is dead in my opinion. Its just too much of a hassle.

tothelimit
Feb 11, 2008, 11:27 AM
Do iPod Touch users currently get free access at AT&T hotspots? I assume it's only iPhone customers?

(Unless you are an AT&T broadband customer at home--I know hotspots are free then.)

since the iPod touch is not service based in any way - I think its users will always have to pay for access.

iPhone users do not CURRENTLY get free access...

from the thread:
"Of interest, AT&T stated that it "will soon extend the benefits of Wi-Fi at Starbucks to its wireless customers"."

nagromme
Feb 11, 2008, 11:31 AM
iPhone users do not CURRENTLY get free access...

Not at Starbucks, but I was asking about current AT&T hotspots. Free for iPhones at present?

Dizzy11523
Feb 11, 2008, 11:38 AM
2 hours is enough for me! There's only so much "starbucks culture" I can take.

superfula
Feb 11, 2008, 11:38 AM
Not at Starbucks, but I was asking about current AT&T hotspots. Free for iPhones at present?

No.

Starbucks purchase card
https://www.starbucks.com/card/default.asp?cookie%5Ftest=1&fav%5Ftest=1

It's really just a gift card. A lot of people I know use them to budget their addiction. They'll add $30 to the card at the beginning of the month. When the $30 is gone, no more Bux for them the rest of the month.

Unspeaked
Feb 11, 2008, 11:38 AM
The purchase in question would be coffee :)

Currently, with T-Mobile, you buy your coffee AND pay $6 per hour ($6 minimum) for WiFi :eek:

Are you sure about this? Because it doesn't read that way to me...

joemama
Feb 11, 2008, 11:39 AM
Do people really hang out at Starbucks that long to peruse the Internet?

Get your coffee and go, people. If I'm "hanging" at a coffee shop, it's because I'm there with someone, and I'm socializing with them. Not putt-sing around the web.

Am I missing something here?

aristobrat
Feb 11, 2008, 11:40 AM
theres only 7000 starbucks
Not every location offers WiFi. :)

Currently, with T-Mobile, you buy your coffee AND pay $6 per hour ($6 minimum) for WiFi :eek:
Only if you chose to pay by the hour. Both T-Mobile and AT&T have monthly plans that allows unlimited access at Starbucks and other HotSpot locations.

So what's a "Starbucks purchase card"? And if you have to buy it, how is this "free wireless"? :confused:
It's a gift card. The card is free. You "load it" with money that you can later use to pay for your Starbucks coffee.

tothelimit
Feb 11, 2008, 11:41 AM
Not at Starbucks, but I was asking about current AT&T hotspots. Free for iPhones at present?

ohh...
I'm pretty certain they are not free for iPhone users. The Barnes & Noble near my house is an AT&T hotspot and I can't access it for free from my iPhone - it prompts for a username/pw or asks me to purchase time.

sorry for the misunderstanding ;)

Robbadore64
Feb 11, 2008, 11:42 AM
I couldn't agree more. I don't understand why Starbucks is such a dinosaur in this arena. I don't go to Starbucks because their coffee is horrible, so it doesn't really affect me a whole lot, but it's just weird that they charge for wifi. They're the only ones that I know of in these parts (Columbus, OH) that do.

Dave S.

Ditto. I haven't been to one in years and am glad I haven't recently expecting free wifi. I think this is laughable when we have so many free places these days. Oh well, guess I'm not classy enough to afford coffee AND internet at the same time. Seriously, I think even the Kystals down my street has free wifi now.

clayj
Feb 11, 2008, 11:42 AM
Can someone define "Starbucks Card holders"? Does that mean I just have to get a Starbucks card and load a few bucks on it? Or is this referring to the Starbucks credit card (Duetto, I think?)? I'd love to have free WiFi at Starbucks on my iPhone... it would definitely be an inducement to visit there more often, because EDGE is sloooooooow.

chrisgeleven
Feb 11, 2008, 11:43 AM
Kinda interesting, if AT&T is going to offer free wifi for iPhone users at Starbucks, that would seem to suggest that AT&T will give free wifi to iPhone users at its other hotspots.

Some_Big_Spoon
Feb 11, 2008, 11:43 AM
Nope. I don't think it will ever be "free", but you'll probably see it rolled into some sort of plan.

Not at Starbucks, but I was asking about current AT&T hotspots. Free for iPhones at present?

tuneman07
Feb 11, 2008, 11:43 AM
I could have sworn Starbucks already offered free WiFi- the one at the bookstore near my house does, as does another one a little farther away. McDonalds and Panera also offer free WiFi so I don't see why Starbucks can't. I assumed they already did.

BrownManUPS
Feb 11, 2008, 11:44 AM
Yesssss this is amazing. I love the fact that AT&T broadband customers get free access. That is a great perk.

joefinan
Feb 11, 2008, 11:45 AM
Starbucks have 7000 stores in the US??????

Is coffee really that fantastic?!

Unspeaked
Feb 11, 2008, 11:46 AM
I could have sworn Starbucks already offered free WiFi- the one at the bookstore near my house does, as does another one a little farther away. McDonalds and Panera also offer free WiFi so I don't see why Starbucks can't. I assumed they already did.

If you're getting free wifi at Starbucks, you're either picking it up from somewhere else or paying for the T-Mobile hotspot access without realizing it...

tothelimit
Feb 11, 2008, 11:49 AM
Starbucks have 7000 stores in the US??????

Is coffee really that fantastic?!

Yeah - I just reread that number ... 7000 stores is pretty crazy.

I'm a tea drinker though. :rolleyes:

xenotaku
Feb 11, 2008, 11:52 AM
I might finally have a reason to buy an overpriced bad tasting coffee...Or at least a reason to sit in a store where other people are buying overpriced bad tasting coffee while I'm getting on the Net for free :)

aristobrat
Feb 11, 2008, 11:52 AM
Ditto. I haven't been to one in years and am glad I haven't recently expecting free wifi. I think this is laughable when we have so many free places these days. Oh well, guess I'm not classy enough to afford coffee AND internet at the same time. Seriously, I think even the Kystals down my street has free wifi now.
If you could pop into one of the many "I just bought an iPod Touch and can't find any free WiFi access around my area" threads and help those people out, they'd really appreciate it.

Apparently "free WiFi" isn't easy to find in most areas. :confused:

PlaceofDis
Feb 11, 2008, 11:53 AM
Yeah - I just reread that number ... 7000 stores is pretty crazy.

I'm a tea drinker though. :rolleyes:

they sell tea too. :p although not the best imo.

Le Big Mac
Feb 11, 2008, 11:55 AM
No.

Starbucks purchase card
https://www.starbucks.com/card/default.asp?cookie%5Ftest=1&fav%5Ftest=1

It's really just a gift card. A lot of people I know use them to budget their addiction. They'll add $30 to the card at the beginning of the month. When the $30 is gone, no more Bux for them the rest of the month.


So is there any reason why I couldn't buy a $10 gift card, use that for a login, and then never use the card? (Or use it extremely sporadically)? Not that I'd want to hang at a starbucks without drinking anything, but in downtown DC that might as well be wifi everywhere.

koobcamuk
Feb 11, 2008, 11:55 AM
I don't think this is front page material.
:)

happydude
Feb 11, 2008, 11:58 AM
fantastic news!!! only 3 more days to go for me!!!:apple::apple::apple::apple::apple::apple::apple::apple::apple::apple::apple::apple::apple::D

tothelimit
Feb 11, 2008, 11:59 AM
they sell tea too. :p although not the best imo.

yeah - their tea is not very good at all.

I much prefer Teavana.

Unspeaked
Feb 11, 2008, 11:59 AM
they sell tea too. :p although not the best imo.

So it matches their coffee, then?

:p


So is there any reason why I couldn't buy a $10 gift card, use that for a login, and then never use the card? (Or use it extremely sporadically)? Not that I'd want to hang at a starbucks without drinking anything, but in downtown DC that might as well be wifi everywhere.

I still don't think people are reading this correctly. I doubt it's a gift card they're referring to.

At the very least, as someone up-thread speculated, it's the Starbucks VISA card.

BigMacIain
Feb 11, 2008, 11:59 AM
...that Starbucks stopped charging for wifi usage. That would be like them charging for cream and sugar.

riverfreak
Feb 11, 2008, 12:00 PM
Starbucks has something like 8000 stores worldwide, most of which are in the U.S. They had plans to expand to up to 40,000 stores worldwide but have scaled that back because of lackluster sales.

It might not seem like it, but Starbucks is dying. It's lost its soul. Their espresso drinks aren't even made by hand anymore. They need to do something, and free wireless is just the tip of the iceberg.

I know in other parts of the world, free wireless is not the norm. Just try finding a free wifi spot in Germany for example, it's nearly impossible. T-Mobile has a complete stranglehold on that place. I don't understand why independent cafes, coffee shops and bars there don't offer free access, but that's another thread.

In most cities and towns across the U.S., free access is the rule not the exception. Starbucks needs to embrace this or continue to decline in market relevance. I hope their move to AT&T signals a step in the right direction.

PlaceofDis
Feb 11, 2008, 12:02 PM
yeah - their tea is not very good at all.

I much prefer Teavana.

Teavana isn't bad. Republic of Tea is my fav though. and mighty leaf is up there too.

So it matches their coffee, then?

:p

pretty much, but i don't drink their coffee either.

i'm more of an espresso person, and while theirs isn't the best either its 'good enough' when i'm in a rush.

tjcampbell
Feb 11, 2008, 12:07 PM
Sounds good.

Here in the UK we get free WiFi via The Cloud which has thousands of hot spots. Pretty much every pub in London has it so the iPhone is always fast and free. This is why don't understand the whole rush for 3G.

aristobrat
Feb 11, 2008, 12:07 PM
I still don't think people are reading this correctly. I doubt it's a gift card they're referring to.
FWIW, the Starbucks card is a gift card.

https://www.starbucks.com/card/

drb6
Feb 11, 2008, 12:08 PM
Funnily enough, when I was in the 'burbs of Massachusetts, we had more free wi-fi access around than I do being in NYC. There used to be panera, b&n and others where I could just hang out with my laptop for hours.

In the city, thats very rare. I've seen a burger king or mcdonalds here and there that have free wifi but who wants to be that close to bad cholesterol for internet? Not worth it.

Or maybe I just haven't figured out the spots in NYC.

catachip
Feb 11, 2008, 12:09 PM
Anyone want to bet me $20 that you'll be able to roll Starbucks access into your iPhone bill?

As mentioned in the article, iPhone customers (i.e., AT&T wireless customers) will get the Starbucks access for free, so, probably no a good bet.

bigjohn
Feb 11, 2008, 12:13 PM
Now if I could only stand drinking coffee

nemaslov
Feb 11, 2008, 12:13 PM
The best cafe with the best coffee in San Francisco is Ritual Roasters on Valencia Street-not a chain. It is Laptop central but they finally had to cover up their plug outlets since their power bill jumped to almost 4 or 5K per month due to laptops sucking their energy. !!! They don't mind you hanging but bring a spare battery (unless you have that silly Mac Air laptop).

cloudnine
Feb 11, 2008, 12:19 PM
I don't know about anyone else, but I absolutely refuse to pay for internet access in public. I am currently living in Oklahoma, and even out here, there are tons of places I can go that offer free wireless internet.

Paid internet access is dead in my opinion. Its just too much of a hassle.

While as a consumer, I can totally sympathize with you... it sucks to have to go into a coffee shop with the hopes of getting work done or simply playing around on the internet for a while and getting charged for even an hour of internet access... if you think about it from the shop's point of view, they're there to get business... to make a profit. If everyone gave away free wifi, people would come in and sit there all day, potentially keeping new customers out of the store, who would have also wanted to sit down for a few minutes to check their email... but they're "forced" to try to find a different shop.

I actually just read this article last night (mind you, it's almost a year old), since I was thinking about buying a wireless at&t modem yesterday, but wanted to see if there were any good coffee shops in the area that had free wifi first... it's a great read, and explains the decision of a lot of coffee shops here in the bay area to either not have wifi available at all, or in some cases, to take it away:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/03/11/MNGKKOCBA645.DTL

I realize that as an american consumer, it's easy to get caught up in the whole "me, me, me" point of view, but you should also take a minute and ask yourself *why* they're charging. You are "in their home", by the way ;)

Eduardo1971
Feb 11, 2008, 12:20 PM
I don't know about anyone else, but I absolutely refuse to pay for internet access in public. I am currently living in Oklahoma, and even out here, there are tons of places I can go that offer free wireless internet.

Paid internet access is dead in my opinion. Its just too much of a hassle.

So, you also refuse to pay for other utilities?:rolleyes:

Orng
Feb 11, 2008, 12:22 PM
So is there any reason why I couldn't buy a $10 gift card, use that for a login, and then never use the card?

Do they even sell a $10 gift card? You can't even buy anything with that, that's like getting a 50-cent gift card at a normal coffee store. :)

I'm just kidding, I know that Fourbucks coffee is not more than $10. It's $4.

So take the real value of coffee and coffee-related beverages, add in a reasonable mark-up, and your free WiFi access really costs you $3.50 .

But at least the smiles are free! :):):):) doesn't make up for the bitter swill they call coffee though

aristobrat
Feb 11, 2008, 12:24 PM
Paid internet access is dead in my opinion. Its just too much of a hassle.
For people that frequently travel, knowing that they can walk into virtually any Starbucks, FedEx/Kinkos, or Barnes and Nobles and get on the Internet via WiFi is worth paying for.

At least that's what my coworkers that spend a lot of time traveling say.

nemaslov
Feb 11, 2008, 12:28 PM
In my perfect world, we should only have to pay ONCE for internet use. Whatever company you are hooked up with and subscribe to, you should be able to sign on anywhere. Is this even possible? Otherwise you are paying double triple and so on.

Eduardo1971
Feb 11, 2008, 12:29 PM
Do people really hang out at Starbucks that long to peruse the Internet?

Get your coffee and go, people. If I'm "hanging" at a coffee shop, it's because I'm there with someone, and I'm socializing with them. Not putt-sing around the web.

Am I missing something here?

You obviously don't live in Los Angeles.:D It seems like every single television/movie writer does all their 'work' at a coffee shop.

ruckus
Feb 11, 2008, 12:30 PM
So, you also refuse to pay for other utilities?:rolleyes:

No, just internet access in public, as stated.

aristobrat
Feb 11, 2008, 12:31 PM
In my perfect world, we should only have to pay ONCE for internet use. Whatever company you are hooked up with and subscribe to, you should be able to sign on anywhere. Is this even possible? Otherwise you are paying double triple and so on.
Then sign up for AT&T broadband at home. Then you can use their WiFi services (like the Starbucks one) for free. :)

GQB
Feb 11, 2008, 12:33 PM
No.

Starbucks purchase card
https://www.starbucks.com/card/default.asp?cookie%5Ftest=1&fav%5Ftest=1

It's really just a gift card. A lot of people I know use them to budget their addiction. They'll add $30 to the card at the beginning of the month. When the $30 is gone, no more Bux for them the rest of the month.

OK... I really don't get this.

"Starbucks said Monday it will give customers that use its Starbucks purchase card two hours of free wireless access per day. After that, it will cost $3.99 for a two-hour session. Monthly memberships will cost $19.99 and include access to any of AT&T's 70,000 hot spots worldwide."

Anyone have a simple breakdown of what this means?
So if I want free 2 hrs/day access I just get a prepaid coffee card and maybe/maybe not use it for coffee?
Then it says free access to AT&T broadband subscribers? Why not just get the coffee card?
I'm clearly missing something here.

eastcoastsurfer
Feb 11, 2008, 12:34 PM
Do people really hang out at Starbucks that long to peruse the Internet?

Get your coffee and go, people. If I'm "hanging" at a coffee shop, it's because I'm there with someone, and I'm socializing with them. Not putt-sing around the web.

Am I missing something here?

Not starbucks, but I use a local coffee shop as my 'office' on days I don't want to work from home. It's quiet, free internet, and coffee on tap :) In fact there are a few other people I see in there regularly who do the same thing.

You're right about Starbucks though. No way I could spend more than 5 minutes in that place. I don't like the culture, the people who work there bug me and the 'let me see how many words I can have in my coffee order' people bug me too.

nemaslov
Feb 11, 2008, 12:34 PM
Then sign up for AT&T broadband at home. Then you can use their WiFi services (like the Starbucks one) for free. :)

I do. Actually I am self employed and pay for ATT broadband at my house AND at my studio, but up until this story, I've had to pay out in the world again, unless it was a free web cafe. So how soon will this take affect?

ruckus
Feb 11, 2008, 12:38 PM
I realize that as an american consumer, it's easy to get caught up in the whole "me, me, me" point of view, but you should also take a minute and ask yourself *why* they're charging. You are "in their home", by the way ;)

I see your point, but I disagree somewhat. The fact that I have to pay for internet at starbucks means I won't be heading there when I want to go out, get a coffee, and do some work. The local coffee shop, however, sees my business because they offer free internet. As mentioned above, Panera bread also has free internet. McAlisters deli, and tons of other places successfully apply the free internet model and it works very well.

This may be more of a problem in the city and I can understand that; I lived in the center of Boston for awhile and that starbucks was always packed, and a free table was almost never available.

So I guess it is about me. I want what I want. I'm just glad there are other establishments out there that can satisfy my demanding needs :D

Unspeaked
Feb 11, 2008, 12:40 PM
FWIW, the Starbucks card is a gift card.

https://www.starbucks.com/card/

OK... I really don't get this.

"Starbucks said Monday it will give customers that use its Starbucks purchase card two hours of free wireless access per day. After that, it will cost $3.99 for a two-hour session. Monthly memberships will cost $19.99 and include access to any of AT&T's 70,000 hot spots worldwide."

Anyone have a simple breakdown of what this means?
So if I want free 2 hrs/day access I just get a prepaid coffee card and maybe/maybe not use it for coffee?
Then it says free access to AT&T broadband subscribers? Why not just get the coffee card?
I'm clearly missing something here.

Exactly.

Why even charge for it if it's something you can get free with a free card?

Either sign up for a couple of free rechargeable gift cards with a zero balance, or if there's a minimum, a $1 balance, and you get 4 free hours of internet.

That sort of defeats the purpose of A) giving it as a bonus to broadband and wireless subscribers and B) charging anything for it in the first place.

aristobrat
Feb 11, 2008, 12:41 PM
So if I want free 2 hrs/day access I just get a prepaid coffee card and maybe/maybe not use it for coffee?
Then it says free access to AT&T broadband subscribers? Why not just get the coffee card?
AT&T's not required its broadband/WiFi subscribers to do anything like that before at other places it offers its service (McDonald's, Barnes & Noble, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, etc), so my guess is that they're just being consistent with Starbucks.

eastcoastsurfer
Feb 11, 2008, 12:45 PM
While as a consumer, I can totally sympathize with you... it sucks to have to go into a coffee shop with the hopes of getting work done or simply playing around on the internet for a while and getting charged for even an hour of internet access... if you think about it from the shop's point of view, they're there to get business... to make a profit. If everyone gave away free wifi, people would come in and sit there all day, potentially keeping new customers out of the store, who would have also wanted to sit down for a few minutes to check their email... but they're "forced" to try to find a different shop.

I actually just read this article last night (mind you, it's almost a year old), since I was thinking about buying a wireless at&t modem yesterday, but wanted to see if there were any good coffee shops in the area that had free wifi first... it's a great read, and explains the decision of a lot of coffee shops here in the bay area to either not have wifi available at all, or in some cases, to take it away:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/03/11/MNGKKOCBA645.DTL

I realize that as an american consumer, it's easy to get caught up in the whole "me, me, me" point of view, but you should also take a minute and ask yourself *why* they're charging. You are "in their home", by the way ;)

The article is interesting, but I think it discounts that a lot of the coffee shop business has been driven by people doing more than coming in and grabbing coffee and leaving. In the morning I'm sure there is a lot of churn, but what about all day long business? I think it's likely most coffee shops wifi will move towards the buy a cup get 2 hours of wifi scenario. Which is one that I think works for both the business owner and consumer.

slffl
Feb 11, 2008, 12:48 PM
Do people really hang out at Starbucks that long to peruse the Internet?

Get your coffee and go, people. If I'm "hanging" at a coffee shop, it's because I'm there with someone, and I'm socializing with them. Not putt-sing around the web.

Am I missing something here?

I'm guessing people like to get out of their office/home and not be shut-ins. Just a guess.

aristobrat
Feb 11, 2008, 12:48 PM
Why even charge for it if it's something you can get free with a free card?
Because if they *required* people get a Starbucks card for any free wifi, people (especially in this forum) would flip out. :D

Besides, AT&T's simply adding their existing WiFi service (that they offer at other locations) to Starbucks. If you can buy time at McDonald's, it would be inconsistant to not be able to buy time at a Starbucks for the same service.

edoates
Feb 11, 2008, 12:48 PM
Starbucks have 7000 stores in the US??????

Is coffee really that fantastic?!

Their coffee is predictable. Whichever one you go to, the coffee, latte, etc. will taste the same. Many other coffee places have better coffee (SBC, Pete's, etc.), but they are not everywhere. And it seems that every time I try a local coffee specialty store, the coffee ranges from pretty good to rancid. Starbucks banks on predictable, though not excellent coffee drinks, clean stores and ubiquity.

Now if they would just offer free WIFI everywhere. I refuse to pay for WiFi.

Eddie O

louden
Feb 11, 2008, 12:49 PM
On one hand you have Starbucks - which with TMobile has already invested in the infrastructure to get these places wired.

The investment is already made - and I'm sure wireless access is underused in Starbucks - mostly becuase you have to pay! - That's why I avoid it. Now, if they give away something they've already paid for, the only thing that can come out of it is more people paying more for those fat margined scones, cookies and croisants....

Sure they give up some small amount of revenue from people actually paying five bucks a day to use wifi at Starbucks. I'm sure it's immaterial to the company.

They do have more comfortable furniture in Starbucks. Maybe I'll hang out there more often...

slffl
Feb 11, 2008, 12:50 PM
Not starbucks, but I use a local coffee shop as my 'office' on days I don't want to work from home. It's quiet, free internet, and coffee on tap :) In fact there are a few other people I see in there regularly who do the same thing.

You're right about Starbucks though. No way I could spend more than 5 minutes in that place. I don't like the culture, the people who work there bug me and the 'let me see how many words I can have in my coffee order' people bug me too.

You know what bugs me, people who think that starbucks has a culture and that ordering a drink you like that happens to be longer than 'black' is something looked down upon. It's too bad everyone can't be as cool as you dude.

_bnkr612
Feb 11, 2008, 12:51 PM
Still charging customers for wireless...

I am glad the Chicago area has some free wireless cafes available, with better coffees and teas too.

Argo Tea (http://argotea.com/)

Cheers.

edoates
Feb 11, 2008, 12:52 PM
So, you also refuse to pay for other utilities?:rolleyes:

I don't expect an extra charge for the lights and heat in Starbucks, so, no, I don't pay for those utilities either. It is bundled into the price of their other services and products.

Eddie O

cloudnine
Feb 11, 2008, 12:53 PM
The article is interesting, but I think it discounts that a lot of the coffee shop business has been driven by people doing more than coming in and grabbing coffee and leaving. In the morning I'm sure there is a lot of churn, but what about all day long business? I think it's likely most coffee shops wifi will move towards the buy a cup get 2 hours of wifi scenario. Which is one that I think works for both the business owner and consumer.

Definitely! I totally agree with that... not only in logic, but in ethic. Whenever I go into a coffee shop for their wifi, I always buy a cup of coffee first (obviously), but I also make sure to buy another cup or a snack or something every, say, hour or so. I think it basically comes down to common courtesy, something that a lot of people don't have, unfortunately. I think it's sad that people feel as though they're "entitled" to walk into any establishment, leech off their wifi, and not buy a thing. That's not what a shop is for, coffee or otherwise.

EagerDragon
Feb 11, 2008, 12:55 PM
my first thoughts-

theres only 7000 starbucks?

Soon Apple will be selling Macs and iPods at Stratbucks. That will give them 7000 new locations.

AJsAWiz
Feb 11, 2008, 12:58 PM
I don't expect an extra charge for the lights and heat in Starbucks, so, no, I don't pay for those utilities either. It is bundled into the price of their other services and products.

Eddie O

I'd tend to agree with you. The local coffee shop (just steps from where I live) offers free Wi Fi. One of many reasons I think people frequent the shop.

drummingcraig
Feb 11, 2008, 12:59 PM
I wish paid access was dead but as long as there are airports using T-Mobile it will live on. Talk about a monopoly. I'd bet if the starbucks in the airport offered free wi-fi people would just sit there drinking coffee and eating their food the entire time they had to wait. Actually, that's a brilliant idea!! I know starbucks employee's probably don't read this site but you need to take that to your manager or something - those airport starbucks would make a TON of money.

As if they don't already??? ;)

More often then not airports grant contracts on wifi for entire terminals or the whole airport so it might be tough for Starbucks to offer this.

nemaslov
Feb 11, 2008, 01:01 PM
I don't expect an extra charge for the lights and heat in Starbucks, so, no, I don't pay for those utilities either. It is bundled into the price of their other services and products.

Eddie O

Yeah true but wireless internet in theory keeps you there longer taking up a chair that another paying customer would use. I do get it.

drummingcraig
Feb 11, 2008, 01:03 PM
Soon Apple will be selling Macs and iPods at Stratbucks. That will give them 7000 new locations.

"Stratbucks"....can I have a Venti non-fat Fender please? :D

Perhaps Apple stores will soon have a Barista working behind the Genius Bar...:p

Craig

cornercuttin
Feb 11, 2008, 01:05 PM
i do not like the idea of paying actual money for wifi out in public (i will use slow EDGE service before i ever pay for wifi), but i do like the idea of businesses giving you wifi if you buy their products.

now they just need a "buy 6 get one free" thing like Subway used to do...

nagromme
Feb 11, 2008, 01:09 PM
ohh...
I'm pretty certain they are not free for iPhone users. The Barnes & Noble near my house is an AT&T hotspot and I can't access it for free from my iPhone - it prompts for a username/pw or asks me to purchase time.

I see. Good to know. Guess I'm lucky* that I get AT&T DSL!

* Lucky in that a Starbucks is nearby and will be giving me free WiFi in future. NOT lucky that it's a Starbucks. I'd go to just about any other coffee shop or hotspot first! :o

i do not like the idea of paying actual money for wifi out in public (i will use slow EDGE service before i ever pay for wifi), but i do like the idea of businesses giving you wifi if you buy their products.

now they just need a "buy 6 get one free" thing like Subway used to do...

My LOCAL coffee "chain" (sadly farther for me than Starbucks) gives you 2 hours free WiFi... then you must buy something--anything--to get a code that gives you another 2 hours. Repeat as needed. Quite generous.

sicembears
Feb 11, 2008, 01:14 PM
Starbucks purchase card is a gift card.

http://www.starbucks.com/card/buyacard_style.asp

FreeState
Feb 11, 2008, 01:25 PM
...No way I could spend more than 5 minutes in that place. I don't like the culture, the people who work there bug me and the 'let me see how many words I can have in my coffee order' people bug me too.

Interesting.

At the Starbucks I go to 1/2 the employees also work at the Apple store.

They know my order - I never even have to ask - they have it ready for me, plain old black coffee, when I walk in the door (they know my car). If I wanted to I could literally not say a word and get my coffee. That and the employees are some of the nicest people I have ever met - I guess it depends on your attitude and the individual Starbucks store.

lazyrighteye
Feb 11, 2008, 01:27 PM
Not at Starbucks, but I was asking about current AT&T hotspots. Free for iPhones at present?

Correct me if I am wrong, but I was under the impressions that AT&T hotspots were only free to iPhone users that also had AT&T broadband at home.

Westside guy
Feb 11, 2008, 01:28 PM
Yeah - I just reread that number ... 7000 stores is pretty crazy.

I'm a tea drinker though. :rolleyes:

Starbucks actually started out as a tea shop - down around Pike Place Market in Seattle IIRC.

I really like their actual coffee - it's obviously a matter of taste, though. Plus the beans have taken a back seat to the espresso drink trade. But I used to think it was really cool... back when you'd walk in and there'd be these huge plexiglass stacks full of dozens of different whole-bean coffees, and they'd scoop them out "to order" when you made a purchase. Back then the espresso stand was a tiny spot in the back of the store... :p

G4R2
Feb 11, 2008, 01:35 PM
What may be interesting is how this folds in to the complimentary rumor of a Starbucks ordering application, as prototyped here-

http://www.genoco.com/link/interactive_quickOrder.html

The combination of the wifi and the application would generate business for the Starbucks card and serve as a model for other such partnerships.

eastcoastsurfer
Feb 11, 2008, 01:46 PM
You know what bugs me, people who think that starbucks has a culture and that ordering a drink you like that happens to be longer than 'black' is something looked down upon. It's too bad everyone can't be as cool as you dude.

Do you know anyone who works there? They absolutely do have a culture of people who sell and buy $4 cups of coffee. And yes, I know people who work there and used to work there and every conversation ends up being Starbucks this and Starbucks that. It's a coffee shop!

As far as coffee is concerned, what's wrong with the basic types? Coffee, espressos (cappicinios/lattes)? Is a 2 pump, low fat, chai mochiato carmel latte even coffee anymore? lol

scrambledwonder
Feb 11, 2008, 01:51 PM
Do people really hang out at Starbucks that long to peruse the Internet?

Get your coffee and go, people. If I'm "hanging" at a coffee shop, it's because I'm there with someone, and I'm socializing with them. Not putt-sing around the web.

Am I missing something here?

Well, I work at home, and sometimes I head out to a coffee shop for a change of scenery. Having Internet access is key, because I still need to be available via IM and email.

But I never go to Starbucks to work. I head to local independent shops that offer free wi-fi access to customers. And you know what? I always drop an extra buck or two into the tip jar because of that. Just to say thanks for being generous with information and electricity. And I'll probably buy more drinks and goodies too. Most of the other people in the shops I go to do the same. Free wi-fi just makes good business sense, it keeps customers in the shop (which makes it look inviting and successful) and draws new customers in. But really, Starbucks doesn't need more customers, so it can get away with charging for wi-fi.

nanolover
Feb 11, 2008, 01:54 PM
...that Starbucks stopped charging for wifi usage. That would be like them charging for cream and sugar.

WIRED predicted this a few years ago...wifi is nothing more than a condiment. hopefully, as demand for wifi increases, we will move in this direction.

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.09/start.html?pg=4

eastcoastsurfer
Feb 11, 2008, 01:56 PM
Interesting.

At the Starbucks I go to 1/2 the employees also work at the Apple store.

They know my order - I never even have to ask - they have it ready for me when I walk in the door (they know my car). If I wanted to I could literally not say a word and get my coffee. That and the employees are some of the nicest people I have ever met - I guess it depends on your attitude and the individual Starbucks store.

2 brands which inspire a religious following, so that's no surprise. And I agree that the people are nice. I know this girl who *used* to work at Starbucks and was offered a great deal on a house a couple years ago. She wouldn't buy it because it wasn't close enough to a Starbucks. At first I thought that was a one off situation, but I've since met other people who work there and they are more religious about it than a lot of the fundamentalist church people I know.

Krevnik
Feb 11, 2008, 02:02 PM
Starbucks have 7000 stores in the US??????

Is coffee really that fantastic?!

I dunno, but it seems like Starbucks is a franchise that encourages stores to compete amongst themselves for sales. I have seen a street corner with 2 starbucks kitty-corner from each other. You could see both sets of customers at once.

ProstheticHead
Feb 11, 2008, 02:04 PM
I know this is a step in the right direction for Starbucks, however, it is still not enough. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we've got free wifi in every coffee shop you stop into, no strings attached. No hourly fees, no subscriptions, just ask for the password at the counter and you're online. Until Starbucks quits beating around the bush and just offers free wifi with no conditions, they're not going to see that great of an improvement in customer flow.

pacohaas
Feb 11, 2008, 02:05 PM
What's to stop me from sharing my AT&T login info with all my friends who go to starbucks so they can have free Wifi while they're getting coffee? I mean, a whole family is likely using the DSL internet services at home, so they should all be entitled to Wifi as well, right? Is there some sort of max Starbucks connections per AT&T account?

Shap
Feb 11, 2008, 02:17 PM
You know what bugs me, people who think that starbucks has a culture and that ordering a drink you like that happens to be longer than 'black' is something looked down upon. It's too bad everyone can't be as cool as you dude.

Must agree with you...

Me personally I'll take a grande iced carmel macciato, non fat, stirred. oh 17 ice cubes too please. It does have a culture feel to it and i'm not sure how you couldn't like it. Its inviting and friendly.

People always love to bash the top companies. What could you not like about the people there? The fact that their friendly? Must be from new york :D

Anyway, I actually wrote them a couple weeks ago letting them know how rediculus it is that they expect us to pay an additional $20 a month for tmobile wifi. My phone bill is enough. You got your custom itunes at starbucks geared towards the iPhone, yet they use tmobile? Just doesn't make sense to me. Glad to hear they are changing it and it should be free, starbucks makes money off songs purchased there anyways.

--Bender--
Feb 11, 2008, 02:21 PM
I think WiFi access wold be great in virtually any place you may spend more than an hour in as long as you buy something from the establishment. I know that was mentioned earlier. As an iPhone guy anywhere there's access to free WiFi means there's a chance I'll buy something or at least check and view my email at faster rate. Buying a gift card for a frequent-flyer like me is a no-brainer now that access is involved. I just can't see being in a 'Bucks for over 2 hrs - just give me my double shot of espresso and fast email access and I'm out. Maybe I'll grab a new release from iTunes for the day's soundtrack...

I agree with Shap, Starbucks makes plenty on the coffee and the iTunes scenario already.

superfula
Feb 11, 2008, 02:22 PM
Exactly.

Why even charge for it if it's something you can get free with a free card?

Either sign up for a couple of free rechargeable gift cards with a zero balance, or if there's a minimum, a $1 balance, and you get 4 free hours of internet.

That sort of defeats the purpose of A) giving it as a bonus to broadband and wireless subscribers and B) charging anything for it in the first place.

Reading comprehension is key
'it will give customers that use its Starbucks purchase card'

The key words are 'customers' and 'use'. If you just load a buck onto a gift card, neither words apply. If you use the gift card to purchase a drink, you get two free hours. Just having the card doesn't get you anything but a thicker wallet :)

chicagostars
Feb 11, 2008, 02:23 PM
I don't know about anyone else, but I absolutely refuse to pay for internet access in public. I am currently living in Oklahoma, and even out here, there are tons of places I can go that offer free wireless internet.

Paid internet access is dead in my opinion. Its just too much of a hassle.

Paying for public internet access can be a hassle (the sign on process, etc.), but many places that offer 'free' internet access do so as a way to get people in and hopefully make other purchases. Now, many ask that people purchase a certain amount of food and beverage because some people who frown upon paying for internet service at a coffee shop will go in and hog a table for hours, feeling that there is no problem because they bought a $1 cup of coffee.

Remember that many places offering free internet access are independently owned and let's be fair with our purchases when using them for internet access. Most don't have deals with AT&T, T-Mobile or any other telecom company.

Rojo
Feb 11, 2008, 02:28 PM
There’s a LOT of confusion in this thread about cards and access time and so forth.
I think it’s just NOT clear enough from the little info that was given, and so we should probably wait until there’s more concise details.

Regardless, I spend WAAAAAY too much time in Starbucks feeding my soy chai addiction, that ANY plan to bring wireless to The ‘Bucks will be beneficial to me and my iPhone. Obviously I’d love to have it free, but even if I have to pay a small monthly fee (as long as it’s not what T-Mobile was charging), I wouldn’t mind. It would totally be worth it.

As for Starbucks itself, there seems to be either LOVERS or HATERS out there – with very few in-between. Just be aware that not all Starbucks are the same (as much as they might want you to believe that they are). Even here in NYC, there are varying qualities to each of the Starbucks. And like someone else here said, Starbucks is like air here in NYC. (And for the person who said “must be from New York” – you’ve not only got the wrong impression of NYers, but we also love our “’Bucks” way too much to have problems with it).

The one near my work in midtown, for example, is always crazy busy – with so many people going in and out at all times. The staff there is moderately friendly-ish, but their interaction is very curt – they want you in and out of there as soon as possible. There are tables and seats, but no one ever stays that long.

The Starbucks near my home is another story, however. People end up staying there for AGES. I’ve seen people spend most of their day in there, either working, surfing the net on their laptops, or chatting with buddies. The staff is SUPER-friendly there, and the atmosphere is much more laid-back.

So while you might hate the Starbucks you frequent, it doesn’t necessarily mean every Starbucks is like that. Heck, not even the DRINKS are the same at every one. While they are more consistent than the service or atmosphere, they also vary wildly depending on which barrista is making them. I have my favorite barristas who do certain drinks well, and I’ll sometimes change my drink depending on who’s making them.

irun5k
Feb 11, 2008, 02:43 PM
charged for even an hour of internet access... if you think about it from the shop's point of view, they're there to get business... to make a profit. If everyone gave away free wifi, people would come in and sit there all day, potentially keeping new customers out of the

Presumably, shops can work up a scheme where you get 1 hr WiFi with every purchase or something like that. The password could be printed on the receipt and the system could be knowledgeable of the time that the code was printed so it would have to be redeemed with 15 minutes of printing. This would keep the dumpster divers away.

aristobrat
Feb 11, 2008, 02:55 PM
What's to stop me from sharing my AT&T login info with all my friends who go to starbucks so they can have free Wifi while they're getting coffee?
T-Mobile prevents this by only allowing your account to be used from one computer at a time.

If another computer tried to logon to their HotSpot using your account, and there's already another computer logged in using your account, the second computer can't logon.

Virgil-TB2
Feb 11, 2008, 03:16 PM
So what's a "Starbucks purchase card"? And if you have to buy it, how is this "free wireless"? :confused:Yeah, and people are also forgetting this is only in the USA, and it's pretty backwards compared to other countries WiFi access.

In my neighborhood in Canada, Starbucks still has no WiFi at all and I don't know any that do. On the other hand, there are five or six hippie-dippie coffee shops within walking distance, that have completely free, open wireless, no password no advertising, no web log-in etc. Needless to say these places are packed with laptop toting young folks whereas Starbucks is virtually empty half the time.

Starbucks in my neighborhood is the express venue for old farts who like to smoke their ciggies, and secretaries trying to hook whatever passes by in a suit. All the cool potential iPhone customers are at the other places.

No way I would pay a dime, not even sign up for a coffee card just to get wireless at Starbucks.

7on
Feb 11, 2008, 03:17 PM
Yeah - I just reread that number ... 7000 stores is pretty crazy.

I'm a tea drinker though. :rolleyes:

Starbucks sells tea. They have this real nice Green Tea Frappacino I like :D Damn, now I want starbucks :mad:

Virgil-TB2
Feb 11, 2008, 03:20 PM
Definitely! I totally agree with that... not only in logic, but in ethic. Whenever I go into a coffee shop for their wifi, I always buy a cup of coffee first (obviously), but I also make sure to buy another cup or a snack or something every, say, hour or so. I think it basically comes down to common courtesy, something that a lot of people don't have, unfortunately. I think it's sad that people feel as though they're "entitled" to walk into any establishment, leech off their wifi, and not buy a thing. That's not what a shop is for, coffee or otherwise.I think you are right about it being common courtesy, but the solution to these problems are also as old as the hills. All a coffee shop has to do is kick out the freeloaders that don't buy things. It's not really a problem unless you are in a tiny coffee shop i a downtown core area anyway. Also this is only a problem at the moment. As wifi becomes more and more ubiquitous, this too will vanish as an "issue" at all.

maestrokev
Feb 11, 2008, 03:24 PM
Yeah, and people are also forgetting this is only in the USA, and it's pretty backwards compared to other countries WiFi access.


Well I think this has a lot to do with lack of AT&T presence. You'd think Vancouver would have the same WiFi deal since it has the most Starbucks of any city, 238 in Greater Vancouver (http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/business/story.html?id=edca6777-e8d9-47db-bdff-80bfdf2a8036&p=1) and 87 for just the city part (population 600,000)

Digital Skunk
Feb 11, 2008, 04:41 PM
Yeah, totally. T-mobile's prices are not competitive. They charge $6.00 for an hour, whereas at an AT&T hotspot I paid $4.50 for two hours.

EDIT: Looks like now it's $3.99 for two hours. Even better.

Nothing beats free. AT&T can suck it. (as in my free router and the plethora of free hotspots around the Baltimore City populated/college/university areas) There is no way I am going to pay my cell company for unlimited broadband access, then pay T-Mobile or AT&T even more money just to access the wireless from a Starbucks after paying $7 for my small cup of burnt coffee.

I can just go to my local college, university, HBCU to get free wifi and good inexpensive coffee.

p.s. Christmas blend is a great cup of joe though... so I would go to starbucks for that.

Unspeaked
Feb 11, 2008, 04:44 PM
I know this is a step in the right direction for Starbucks, however, it is still not enough. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we've got free wifi in every coffee shop you stop into, no strings attached. No hourly fees, no subscriptions, just ask for the password at the counter and you're online. Until Starbucks quits beating around the bush and just offers free wifi with no conditions, they're not going to see that great of an improvement in customer flow.

Well, it's not just the Pacific Northwest that's full of coffee shops offering free wifi, but almost anywhere I've been in the US, the free wifi is there only to appease the customer who've come in because the Starbucks next door has run out of seats!



Reading comprehension is key
'it will give customers that use its Starbucks purchase card'

The key words are 'customers' and 'use'. If you just load a buck onto a gift card, neither words apply. If you use the gift card to purchase a drink, you get two free hours. Just having the card doesn't get you anything but a thicker wallet :)

That's a good point, but I think a lot of this will be tied into how they choose to restrict access.



There’s a LOT of confusion in this thread about cards and access time and so forth.
I think it’s just NOT clear enough from the little info that was given, and so we should probably wait until there’s more concise details.

Yes, this.



T-Mobile prevents this by only allowing your account to be used from one computer at a time.

If another computer tried to logon to their HotSpot using your account, and there's already another computer logged in using your account, the second computer can't logon.

As the person you're replying to stated, this isn't like a T-Mobile hotspot account that's bought on an individual basis, entire families use AT&T broadband accounts, so it can't be a 1-login limit...

guerro
Feb 11, 2008, 04:49 PM
my first thoughts-

theres only 7000 starbucks?

This number refers to company owned stores within the United States. Which is where they will be offering the wifi service. Licensed concept stores and stores outside the U.S. are not included.

elistan
Feb 11, 2008, 05:00 PM
As the person you're replying to stated, this isn't like a T-Mobile hotspot account that's bought on an individual basis, entire families use AT&T broadband accounts, so it can't be a 1-login limit...

With AT&T broadbad, you have a main account that is the administrator for the connection. That's the one by which the DSL router logs on. It's possible, but foolish IMO, for a family to use that one account for all their email, so they likely have multiple sub-accounts created. I have AT&T DSL but I honestly cannot remember if I use my main admin account to access the wifi connection, or if one of my sub-accounts works. I'll have to test that next opportunity I get.

If a sub-account works, you can indeed create these for your friends and share them, if you trust them to not send emails or browse websites that'll get you a visit from the secret service. :)

MazingerZ
Feb 11, 2008, 05:42 PM
This is great news for AT&T Dsl home customers! Now you can have free (or 2.99 a month) wifi access in Starbucks location!

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080211-starbucks-forget-t-mobile-get-free-wifi-with-att.html

This is perfect for my setup with my MBA!

aristobrat
Feb 11, 2008, 06:18 PM
For what it's worth, it looks like its one account per family (for WiFi access).

I get free AT&T Wi-Fi Basic with AT&T High Speed Internet Pro or Elite, FastAccess® DSL Xtreme, Xtreme 6.0, and U-verse. How do I login?

Use your primary DSL or U-Verse username and password on the hotspot's webpage.
http://www.att.com/gen/general?pid=6487

breath of apple
Feb 11, 2008, 06:35 PM
Excellent news for AT & T and Apple. Having an alternative to tmobile at Starbucks will be very welcome! :)

winterspan
Feb 11, 2008, 07:55 PM
Are you sure about this? Because it doesn't read that way to me...

Yes, currently at starbucks Tmobile hotspots you have to pay per block of time for Wifi even with a purchase. That's unlike nearly all the other Coffee houses in all of the areas I've lived in the last few years (Hollywood, Pasadena, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, Boise, Coeur d' alene ID). They offer free Wifi for customers.. but in most cases it's like an honor system as they don't password the Wifi and then give out passes with purchases receipts, although some do exactly that..

winterspan
Feb 11, 2008, 08:10 PM
Do people really hang out at Starbucks that long to peruse the Internet?

Get your coffee and go, people. If I'm "hanging" at a coffee shop, it's because I'm there with someone, and I'm socializing with them. Not putt-sing around the web.

Am I missing something here?

1) "Get your coffee and go people" Ever noticed all the tables at Starbucks? Or the ceramic coffee mugs?

2) Have you been in college in the last 20 years? There are starbucks within a 1/2 mile from just about every school campus in the country.

mcvaughan
Feb 11, 2008, 08:34 PM
Good news for me since I'm in that store every darn day. :D

CJRhoades
Feb 11, 2008, 08:39 PM
Awww... I was hoping for free starbucks wifi:( I guess this is better than what they had:)

cedar
Feb 11, 2008, 08:43 PM
I can't see why they don't have free wireless for anybody, especially based on what they charge for a cup of coffee. I go to a competitor here, Jittery Joe's, who has free access.

compuguy1088
Feb 11, 2008, 09:04 PM
1) "Get your coffee and go people" Ever noticed all the tables at Starbucks? Or the ceramic coffee mugs?

2) Have you been in college in the last 20 years? There are starbucks within a 1/2 mile from just about every school campus in the country.

I don't recall there being a starbucks near my campus.

MazingerZ
Feb 11, 2008, 09:08 PM
I think you will get 2 free hours per visit. Also, T-Mobile isn't going away. They just won't be the exclusive provider.

dahcheet
Feb 11, 2008, 09:19 PM
I think you will get 2 free hours per visit. Also, T-Mobile isn't going away. They just won't be the exclusive provider.

So, I've seen this online everywhere and still don't quite follow how it's going to work with "Starbucks Card Holders". I get that you can use any pre-paid card to get 2 hours each day, but can you reuse the same card to get 2 hours everyday FOREVER? i.e. if I go out to Starbucks tomorrow and buy a gift card for whatever amount, can I keep that card on me to use everyday to get 2 hours? What if I use up the amount or part of it? From what I'm reading most people translate the news that if they have a prepaid card with money on it they can use it forever to get 2 hours a day. I hope it's true.

I know, this is a Mac forum and not a Starbucks or ATT forum, but I'm hoping someone here has read something else somewhere else and/or knows something more than me.

ahaxton
Feb 11, 2008, 09:24 PM
Those of us with MBA's and iPhones are getting some great stuff!
Can't wait till we get this with our iPhone plans which we can share with our MBA's

I think the reason why there's not free wifi in places like Starbucks. Some people will sit in there for hours and buy coffee and foods all day long because they blog for a living or what not. Helps keep a good wifi connection which in turn keeps the customers.

cedar
Feb 11, 2008, 09:25 PM
So, I've seen this online everywhere and still don't quite follow how it's going to work with "Starbucks Card Holders". I get that you can use any pre-paid card to get 2 hours each day, but can you reuse the same card to get 2 hours everyday FOREVER? i.e. if I go out to Starbucks tomorrow and buy a gift card for whatever amount, can I keep that card on me to use everyday to get 2 hours? What if I use up the amount or part of it? From what I'm reading most people translate the news that if they have a prepaid card with money on it they can use it forever to get 2 hours a day. I hope it's true.

I know, this is a Mac forum and not a Starbucks or ATT forum, but I'm hoping someone here has read something else somewhere else and/or knows something more than me.

I know I'm technically challenged, but how will Starbucks know if you are an ATT broadband customer?

MazingerZ
Feb 11, 2008, 09:30 PM
I know I'm technically challenged, but how will Starbucks know if you are an ATT broadband customer?

You choose the AT&T wifi signal via airport. Browse a web page and you will be prompted with a login page. Type your AT&T email account name and password.

dahcheet
Feb 11, 2008, 09:31 PM
I know I'm technically challenged, but how will Starbucks know if you are an ATT broadband customer?

That I don't see being a problem. Much like the T-Mobile Hot Spots, when you go to use the WiFi a log-in screen will come up where you can either enter in the Starbucks Card info, buy the time to use the WiFi or log into your ATT broadband account. These systems have already been in use for quite a while.

JDR
Feb 11, 2008, 09:39 PM
I can't see why they don't have free wireless for anybody, especially based on what they charge for a cup of coffee. I go to a competitor here, Jittery Joe's, who has free access.

I agree. I met with someone at Starbucks with my laptop a few days ago to work on a project online, and was shocked to see that one, they charged for internet access (guess I should've researched first) and two, they charged $9.99 USD for a day pass (with T-Mobile hotspot)......well I guess that's how they make all their money...

ahaxton
Feb 11, 2008, 09:44 PM
It is about time though Starbucks dropped Tmobile for something more worthwhile like AT&T especially with the whole ordering from iPhone plans and Starbucks iTunes store

butterfly0fdoom
Feb 11, 2008, 10:39 PM
You realize it's AT&T and T-mobile that charge the exorbitant rates, and not Starbucks, right?

dahcheet
Feb 11, 2008, 10:42 PM
It is about time though Starbucks dropped Tmobile for something more worthwhile like AT&T especially with the whole ordering from iPhone plans and Starbucks iTunes store

I'm glad they're at least getting to better pricing and decent free amount of time with a Starbucks Card. If/when I'm there, I hardly ever spend more than an hour or two at Starbucks at one time so this is perfect for me. Plus, if I do decide to spend more time I might just pick up another card and see if I can get 4 hours a day with two cards. Sure as hell beats paying for it and I can use the card for more coffee. Yum!

butterfly0fdoom
Feb 11, 2008, 10:57 PM
I don't recall there being a starbucks near my campus.

That's why he said "just about".

Flyer0815
Feb 11, 2008, 11:02 PM
p.s. Christmas blend is a great cup of joe though... so I would go to starbucks for that.

Love the Christmas Blend... one of the reasons why I frequent Starbucks around the holidays... Free wifi would be an added bonus.

John.B
Feb 12, 2008, 12:46 AM
So, I've seen this online everywhere and still don't quite follow how it's going to work with "Starbucks Card Holders". I get that you can use any pre-paid card to get 2 hours each day, but can you reuse the same card to get 2 hours everyday FOREVER? i.e. if I go out to Starbucks tomorrow and buy a gift card for whatever amount, can I keep that card on me to use everyday to get 2 hours? What if I use up the amount or part of it? From what I'm reading most people translate the news that if they have a prepaid card with money on it they can use it forever to get 2 hours a day. I hope it's true.
Last fall/winter Sbucks was selling the iTunes Plus Two gift cards. When you went to sbucks online and registered the card (https://www.starbucks.com/customer/login.asp) (up to three cards) you would get an code you could redeem for two free iTunes downloads. (You can also cancel a registered gift card if lost which I actually had to use once :blush:, and the online balance is immediately updated.)

My guess is that you'll use a similar page to link your AT&T wifi account to an Sbucks card (or cards, up to three). After a purchase that day on that card you'll be able to activate your two hours from the standard AT&T wifi login screen.

gwangung
Feb 12, 2008, 01:13 AM
I don't recall there being a starbucks near my campus.

Probably not for lack of trying, though...

Foxglove9
Feb 12, 2008, 05:43 AM
I could have sworn Starbucks already offered free WiFi- the one at the bookstore near my house does, as does another one a little farther away. McDonalds and Panera also offer free WiFi so I don't see why Starbucks can't. I assumed they already did.

This is somewhat good news for me. Since I don't have any internet access at work I would love somewhere to check my email and other things on my lunch break and there are very few places outside the NYC area (unless I am missing something) that offer free Wi-Fi. Starbucks is very close, but their wifi fees were way too much.

gkarris
Feb 12, 2008, 06:33 AM
You know, around Chicago, Caribou started with AT&T Wireless for Wifi access (they very soon switched to some other service that gave it for free).

But, at the time, AT&T DSL users can add access to AT&T Hotspots for an extra $1.99/month on their bill. I never bothered to cancel it.

I was just reading the article at AT&T and it says that unlimited access at Starbucks will be available to AT&T Broadband subscribers.... :D

dahcheet
Feb 12, 2008, 09:16 AM
Last fall/winter Sbucks was selling the iTunes Plus Two gift cards. When you went to sbucks online and registered the card (https://www.starbucks.com/customer/login.asp) (up to three cards) you would get an code you could redeem for two free iTunes downloads. (You can also cancel a registered gift card if lost which I actually had to use once :blush:, and the online balance is immediately updated.)

My guess is that you'll use a similar page to link your AT&T wifi account to an Sbucks card (or cards, up to three). After a purchase that day on that card you'll be able to activate your two hours from the standard AT&T wifi login screen.

Well, I'm not an AT&T WiFi customer so I'm not worried about that. Plus I'm pretty sure they'll just have an AT&T login screen for current AT&T customers to use so they don't have to buy a Starbucks Card.

I'm trying to figure out what the duration of the free two hours each day with a Starbucks Card will be. Whether or not it will be active as long as there is money on the card/you have a code from a card/if it expires/all that jazz. I'm looking for details and it doesn't look like those have been released yet.

Either way it's a step in a better direction by Starbucks to get WiFi out to its customers.

ctt1wbw
Feb 12, 2008, 12:00 PM
As soon as Starbuck's switches over to CoffeeMate creamer, I'm in like Flynt. I can't stand liquid creamer, makes me sick. But I would still most likely try out the service there.

And what exactly is a Starbuck's card? I haven't been in a store in almost a year... :eek:

gowanis
Feb 12, 2008, 12:14 PM
Nothing beats free. AT&T can suck it.

i agree. wi-fi for my iPod touch is sorta worthless to me. i need it when i'm on the train to work and i don't frequent Starbucks very often. so, I carry my touch and my Treo (Verizon). However, if Starbucks offered free wi-fi to customers, maybe I would stop in for coffee more often.

cedar
Feb 12, 2008, 12:40 PM
You choose the AT&T wifi signal via airport. Browse a web page and you will be prompted with a login page. Type your AT&T email account name and password.

Brilliant. I've always been too cheap to pay at Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, et al.

Sandy Santra
Feb 12, 2008, 12:44 PM
As far as I can tell, it does one no good to own an iPhone with an AT&T account. This deal seems to only be for AT&T broadband customers.

The lack of consistent, available Wi-FI access--free or not--in the U.S. is starting to drive me crazy. Being an iPhone AT&T customer doesn't help, being Boingo subscriber doesn't help that much--they're not everywhere, by any stretch...

I'd like to get the 881 USB 3G modem AT&T service. Seems like that would provide Internet access more easily and consistently.

John.B
Feb 12, 2008, 12:46 PM
As soon as Starbuck's switches over to CoffeeMate creamer, I'm in like Flynt. I can't stand liquid creamer, makes me sick. But I would still most likely try out the service there. Coffeemate! :LOL:

BTW, they have soy milk for people who are lactose intolerant (I do Sbucks runs for a friend who has that problem).

And what exactly is a Starbuck's card? I haven't been in a store in almost a year... :eek:
Its just a prepaid debit card or gift card.

dtotheg
Feb 12, 2008, 01:29 PM
I spoke with someone who worked on this project and I understand that the two free hours a day may only require two "transactions" per month on the starbucks card. I like it a lot. Buy two cups a month (or 1, plus deposit onto the card), and you get two free hours a day at any store anytime.

I was also told iPhones get free access AND there are some Apple affinity things still coming (like iTunes caching servers at every store and free feature songs daily and more stuff I can't remember).

bluechipBMW
Feb 12, 2008, 09:35 PM
dumb question? i thought starbucks had wifi for anyone who was in their store. am i wrong? i didnt think one had to pay for it. or is this something starbucks planning on charging people?

so when i get my ipod touch i wont be able to just go into any starbucks and connect to their wifi?

aristobrat
Feb 12, 2008, 09:38 PM
All of the Starbucks that I've been to that had WiFi used T-Mobile's HotSpot service for the WiFi (which is not free).

bluechipBMW
Feb 12, 2008, 09:42 PM
where do they offer free wifi? now...i am starting to have second thoughts about getting the ipod touch.

aristobrat
Feb 12, 2008, 09:45 PM
Panera has free WiFi, and apparently so do most independent coffee shops.

yoshi1277
Feb 12, 2008, 10:49 PM
Ordinarily I just read stuff here on the forums, but I registered today because I feel like there shouldn't be so much confusion about all this. It seems pretty simple to me. For an example:

I get a cup of coffee a day for $1.75 (including tax)
Figure there is probably a few days a month I don't get coffee, so lets say it's 28 days a month. 28 cups X 1.75 a cup = $49.00
So, once a month I load $50 on a card at one of their many, many stores.
I register the card on line because, if I were to ever lose the thing, they would replace it for free.
Now, since I registered my card, I am entitled to 2 hours of free internet service a day. Which is a lot better than the $6/hr, $10/day, $40/month T-Mobile was charging for their service.
At the end of the month, I reload $50 on the same card I have registered so I don't have to worry about registering a new card.

Alternatively, you could always have sbux load $50 automatically each month via credit card (preferably something that gives you miles or points or whatever).

As for everyone who is complaining about getting the card, weren't you going to spend the money at Starbucks anyway?

I think that's it...

Anyway, back to reading.

Aries326
Feb 13, 2008, 07:25 PM
The Barnes & Noble I go to has a Delta Sonic across the street. Delta Sonic has free wifi. I study at the Starbucks cafe inside BN and I just grab the signal from Delta Sonic. :)

Tara Davis
Feb 14, 2008, 10:15 AM
Screw Starbucks.

Here in Minnesota, Dunn Brothers Coffee, Panera, and dozens of little "mom&pop "coffee shops offer unrestricted free Wi-Fi access.

Also, the coffee at Starbucks is lousy and overpriced.

McGiord
Feb 14, 2008, 10:49 AM
The Barnes & Noble I go to has a Delta Sonic across the street. Delta Sonic has free wifi. I study at the Starbucks cafe inside BN and I just grab the signal from Delta Sonic. :)

Be careful with that, google around and you will find a news about a guy who use to park in the parking lot outside a store that has the free wi-fi service to their customers, the store press some charges against him and he was arrested, this was in the US but I don't remember the city/state.

He used to do that frequently on a daily basis.
________
N360 (http://www.honda-wiki.org/wiki/Honda_N360)

Foxglove9
Feb 14, 2008, 11:57 AM
Be careful with that, google around and you will find a news about a guy who use to park in the parking lot outside a store that has the free wi-fi service to their customers, the store press some charges against him and he was arrested, this was in the US but I don't remember the city/state.

He used to do that frequently on a daily basis.

How could they catch someone doing that, I don't understand? Hmmm.. Will have to check that out.

My biggest problem seems like everyone around here is smart and all the open Wifi networks I find are locked and passworded. Unless I'm the stupid one because I don't know how to crack the code.:D

dtotheg
Feb 14, 2008, 12:14 PM
I worry about free wifi for the future. CALEA is hinting at enforcing their restrictions on end-user trace-ability for all public hotspots. This will impose greater burdens on the provider and make it less likely to stay completely free. (it may also push those hotspots into using routable addresses instead of rfc1918, which may quickly gobble up the rest of the IPV4 space)

Mr Maui
Feb 15, 2008, 01:34 PM
Coincidence? You decide for yourself. An article on aol.com yesterday stated that ALL Starbucks locations will c'ose for three hours on 2-26-08 for "training". Article stated it was for coffeemaking training, but I would think that could be done on an individual store basis versus closing 700+ stores simultaneously. AND ... It's being done on the same day as an Apple special event. Perhaps just a coincidence. Perhaps not. I will try to post link to article later.

petersont
Feb 15, 2008, 03:13 PM
It is about time though Starbucks dropped Tmobile for something more worthwhile like AT&T especially with the whole ordering from iPhone plans and Starbucks iTunes store

why do suppose AT&T is more worthwhile than T Mobile? They are widely regarded as the achilles heel of an otherwise superior iphone experience...

numediaman
Feb 16, 2008, 12:41 AM
Good news. I never found anything wrong with T-Mobile except that it is expensive. As a result, I now go into Panera Bread or some other place that offers good coffee, food and free wi-fi. In the end, the marketing folk at Starbucks had to realize that they were losing customers to places that offered free wi-fi. This arrangement seems smart since it is essentially free to card holders -- and getting people to use the cards guarantees repeat business.

On another note, I was in London recently and stopped into a Starbucks and couldn't believe how bad the coffee was -- like someone's idea of watered down U.S. coffee. I was forced to go to a French patisserie -- great press coffee and fantastic baked goods. If I lived in the UK I'd never go into a Starbucks but I see they are growing there with good locations such as in train stations, etc.

JoshLV
Feb 16, 2008, 02:45 AM
Noob question here: Is the Wifi free? If I go into a Starbucks or Seattles Best, can I hop on the net without signing up to anything?

callmemike20
Feb 16, 2008, 03:09 PM
Noob question here: Is the Wifi free? If I go into a Starbucks or Seattles Best, can I hop on the net without signing up to anything?

I believe you must be an ATT Internet member or have a starbucks card. So, since I have ATT, will it ask me for my username and password when i try to connect?

bluechipBMW
Feb 19, 2008, 10:06 AM
Ok..sorry for the dumb question.

So how does it work if you are a holder of the starbucks card (the VISA). Do you have to purchase something to get the 2 free hours? Or can you just be a holder of the card...and then would Starbucks prompt you to login?

:confused:

TouchPodium.com
Feb 19, 2008, 11:31 AM
The next step is to implement Starbucks QuickOrder seen here (http://touchpodium.com/2008/02/17/starbucks-quickorder-get-your-coffee-fix-fast/)

Then, I'll be happy. :)

lewisozz
Feb 20, 2008, 03:48 AM
Shame it doesn't work the same way as in the UK: there, all iPhone users get free wi-fi access in over 7500 locations via a deal with their carrier, O2. I see from the press release that that looks like a possible long-term plan for AT&T's iPhone users, but when?

How come they don't do the starbucks WIFI or even buy music in starbucks in the UK. The Cloud how gives us 7000 WIFI hotspots are in Little chef and public toilets !!!!! Who the hell would want to surf the internet in the toilet !!!!! I WISH I LIVED IN THE USA !!!!

princemarko
Mar 6, 2008, 11:15 AM
Yeah, totally. T-mobile's prices are not competitive. They charge $6.00 for an hour, whereas at an AT&T hotspot I paid $4.50 for two hours.

EDIT: Looks like now it's $3.99 for two hours. Even better.

T-Mobile lets you on their wifi FREE if you have a data plan, AT&T doesn't. If you are an iphone user, you are crap out of luck for free wifi at starbucks. I'll stick with my free T-Mobile wifi over AT&T's subscription.

superfula
Mar 6, 2008, 01:33 PM
T-Mobile lets you on their wifi FREE if you have a data plan, AT&T doesn't. If you are an iphone user, you are crap out of luck for free wifi at starbucks. I'll stick with my free T-Mobile wifi over AT&T's subscription.

One, T-Mobile has horrid coverage here and in many places, so that isn't a plus for many people.

I get free internet for two hours of every day just by having a Starbucks card. It doesn't matter if I'm on an iPhone, Mac, or Windows. I'd rather do that and have a decent mobile carrier than deal with t-mobiles terrible coverage.

bluechipBMW
Mar 7, 2008, 07:16 AM
One, T-Mobile has horrid coverage here and in many places, so that isn't a plus for many people.

I get free internet for two hours of every day just by having a Starbucks card. It doesn't matter if I'm on an iPhone, Mac, or Windows. I'd rather do that and have a decent mobile carrier than deal with t-mobiles terrible coverage.

Ok..I have a dumb question. How do you access your free wifi by having a starbucks card? Everytime I go into a starbucks the only wifi it has is the tmobile hot spot which asks for an user id and password.

Is their any limiation with the starbucks card? for example do you have to purchase something in order to get the 2 free hours?

dtotheg
Mar 7, 2008, 08:52 AM
T-Mobile lets you on their wifi FREE if you have a data plan, AT&T doesn't. If you are an iphone user, you are crap out of luck for free wifi at starbucks. I'll stick with my free T-Mobile wifi over AT&T's subscription.

iPhone users automatically get free wifi

dtotheg
Mar 7, 2008, 08:54 AM
Ok..I have a dumb question. How do you access your free wifi by having a starbucks card? Everytime I go into a starbucks the only wifi it has is the tmobile hot spot which asks for an user id and password.

Is their any limiation with the starbucks card? for example do you have to purchase something in order to get the 2 free hours?

None of this has rolled out yet. Deployment starts soon.