Several months ago I was very early for an appointment at a local Starbucks. I thought that it would be a great opportunity to catch up on some online research and emailing. After getting my drink and settling in, I was surprised to find that the Wi-Fi at Starbucks was no longer a free access hotspot. Instead, I had to have an account with one of the mobile phone carriers!
I was floored by the absurdity of a coffee shop without access to the internet…..and then promptly forgot about it when I realized it was a good opportunity to just relax and read a magazine or a newspaper.
A recent article on Richmond.com brought the memory back, and I thought I would share it here with you: 'Eat Beat: Wi-Fi Hotspots'. In the article, there is a partial list of locally-owned establishments that offer free internet access to their customers. The comments below the article help fill in some of the gaps in the list.
The point is that I'm glad that Starbucks is making such a blatantly selfish move that is undoubtedly driving traffic to their locally-owned competitors. I'm still floored by the mistake, but I'm happy that it gives us one more reason to seek out small businesses that truly do understand what we need.