Just in case you forgot, Starbucks is starting to offer free WiFi today. No password is required and it only takes two clicks to connect to the service. I anticipate that this will cause business to substantially increase at Starbucks and will cause more problems for the mom-and-pop coffee shops. Kind of reminds me of the “Underpants Gnomes” episode of South Park when a “Harbucks” opens up to the dismay of Tweek’s parents, who own a mom-and-pop coffee shop. Mr. Tweek said it best: “Sometimes a hot cup of French Roast Amaretto is just what a man needs to get him through the day. That smooth aroma and mild taste is what make Tweek coffee? uh very special. Special, like an Arizona sunrise or a juniper wet with dew. A light rain in the middle of a dusty afternoon or a hug from your dear old aunt.”
Full press release below.
Starbucks Turns on Free Wi-Fi for Customers July 1st
Free Wi-Fi with One-click for all Company-Operated Starbucks in U.S. and Canada
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) will turn on free Wi-Fi with one click on July 1 at U.S. and Canadian company-operated stores as a part of its ongoing commitment to enhancing the customer experience. Customers with Wi-Fi-enabled laptops, tablets and mobile phones will have unlimited Internet access to surf the Web, connect with social networks, search for jobs or work at their neighborhood Starbucks. Most recently, the free Wi-Fi benefit was limited to two hours a day and only available to members of the My Starbucks Rewards program. The new, unlimited Wi-Fi offering features a one-click entry point, so a username or password will not be required.
“Our customers were asking for a simplified Wi-Fi offering, and free Wi-Fi has been a top request on MyStarbucksIdea.com. We’re excited to turn this feedback into action and believe our customers will be delighted with the enhanced experience they’ll find in Starbucks stores”
“Our customers were asking for a simplified Wi-Fi offering, and free Wi-Fi has been a top request on MyStarbucksIdea.com. We’re excited to turn this feedback into action and believe our customers will be delighted with the enhanced experience they’ll find in Starbucks stores,” said Howard Schultz, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Starbucks.
Starbucks will continue to work with AT&T in the U.S. as its Wi-Fi provider, a relationship that’s been in place since 2008. Close to 6800 Starbucks locations are part of AT&T’s U.S. Wi-Fi network, the nation’s largest. In Canada, more than 750 company-operated stores will now have free Wi-Fi. Bell is the Wi-Fi provider in Canada and has worked with Starbucks since 2005.
As Schultz noted at the WIRED Business Conference on June 14th, the addition of one click, free Wi-Fi to the Starbucks customer experience is just the beginning. Later this fall, Starbucks plans to introduce the Starbucks Digital Network, in partnership with Yahoo!. This new online experience, currently planned for U.S. company-operated stores, will offer customers free, unrestricted access to a collection of paid sites and services, exclusive content and previews, free downloads and local community news.
“Bringing one click, free Wi-Fi to Starbucks opens up new opportunities for our customers and gives us the backdrop to continue to bring innovation to their in-store experience. We’re finding new ways to bridge the third place coffeehouse environment with the digital space, and look forward to sharing that with our customers,” said Stephen Gillett, Starbucks executive vice president, chief information officer and general manager of Digital Ventures.
About Starbucks Coffee Company
Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting the highest quality arabica coffee in the world. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at starbucks.com.
About AT&T Wi-Fi Access
Access includes non-municipal company-owned and -operated hotspots. Wi-Fi-enabled device required. Other restrictions apply. See www.attwifi.com for additional services, details and locations.