Last month I went on a mini rant over Starbucks and the company’s failure to provide free (and hitch-free) wireless Internet access. Looking back at my post, I was really struggling to make sense of the whole AT&T-Starbucks deal that allowed AT&T users free wi-fi — in some stores. A couple of you assured me that Starbucks was in fact offering free wi-fi to AT&T customers (The ‘AT&T customers’ part is a hitch, by the way) … but only if you are a card-with-a-$5-balance carrying Starbucks customer (hitch). Last Tuesday Starbucks made it official, rolling out the whole AT&T-Starbucks wi fi plan. (A spokesman said the lack of free wi fi was one of their biggest customer complaints). But by that time I’d said forgettaboutit, because all that hassle gives me a headache — I’ll go to White Rock Coffee instead.
Now it looks like Starbucks’ lame attempt at free wi fi could mean a big headache for them. Seems T-Mobile, Starbucks’ former wireless carrier, is suing the coffee empire over a "violation of a four-month-old contract aimed at ensuring a smooth transition from T-Mobile to AT&T in Starbucks stores," according to the lawsuit filed last Thursday.
Most Starbucks stores are still using T-Mobile’s access lines, according to the suit, and Starbucks had agreed to roll out the AT&T deal over a period of time — not in one fell swoop.
I’ve already admitted defeat in boycotting Starbucks — I sadly cannot give up the coffee (come on, they’re on every corner!) but when I go, I think I’ll leave the laptop at home.
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