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View Full Version : WiFi Pay Per Sip Pricing Drops


Ed Hansberry
03-03-2003, 11:30 PM
<a href="http://news.com.com/2100-1039-990487.html?tag=fd_top">http://news.com.com/2100-1039-990487.html?tag=fd_top</a><br /><br />Starbucks and T-Mobile put WiFi hotspots into Starbucks stores last year, but pricing was nuts. Well, it is a little better, but not much.<br /><br />"Starting March 1, unlimited access to the wireless networks will cost $30 a month, down from $40. T-Mobile will also slash the price of a "day use pass" to $6, which allows access for 24 hours inside any of about 1,200 wireless Starbucks."<br /><br />$30 per month? They are still nuts. I pay $49 for my DSL at home, and I live there. Starbucks is about the only place in Tennessee where I can get decent coffee and even then, I probably spend less than two hours inside of one per month. $6/day? Who spends all day in a Starbucks? I'm paying $4 for a cup of coffee. Gimme 15 minutes of free bandwidth for Pete's sake.

bdeli
03-03-2003, 11:39 PM
There is a thread which started last week going on here:
http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=9405

Ed Hansberry
03-03-2003, 11:42 PM
There is a thread which started last week going on here:
http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=9405

Cool. I didn't see it posted to the [email protected] alias. :(

bdegroodt
03-03-2003, 11:46 PM
Sorry Ed. I thought I posted it to the alias. Ummm...Your post was better than mine- That make it all better? :D

fmcpherson
03-03-2003, 11:56 PM
I think there is some confusion over T-mobile's plans, because T-Mobile's web site makes no mention of a $6/24 hr plan. Check:
http://www.t-mobile.com/hotspot/services_plans.htm

The closest thing listed on the plan is a 10 cent per minute pay per use, that has a one hour minimum so that the lowest price you can pay for the service is $6. That, however, is for 1 hour of use, not 24 hours.

bdegroodt
03-04-2003, 12:00 AM
I think there is some confusion over T-mobile's plans, because T-Mobile's web site makes no mention of a $6/24 hr plan. Check:
http://www.t-mobile.com/hotspot/services_plans.htm

The closest thing listed on the plan is a 10 cent per minute pay per use, that has a one hour minimum so that the lowest price you can pay for the service is $6. That, however, is for 1 hour of use, not 24 hours.

If they were smart they'd just go ahead and offer it up as an all day pass. What are the odds that many would use it past a cup of coffee or 2 anyway? It has more marketing bang for the buck if they just go ahead and call it an all day pass. They'll learn sooner or later.

crispeto
03-04-2003, 12:07 AM
They are crazy if they think I'm going to spend $30 per month on wifi. I only pay $35 for my broadband cable in my home. Our local JavaCrew has wifi for free! Sip my coffee and surf.

rap2792
03-04-2003, 12:12 AM
http://news.com.com/2100-1039-990487.html?tag=fd_top

...$30 per month? They are still nuts. I pay $49 for my DSL at home, and I live there. Starbucks is about the only place in Tennessee where I can get decent coffee and even then, I probably spend less than two hours inside of one per month. $6/day? Who spends all day in a Starbucks? I'm paying $4 for a cup of coffee. Gimme 15 minutes of free bandwidth for Pete's sake.

There is a market of traveling business people where $30 a month is not outrageous at all. A good comparison is most major hotels charge $10 a day for high speed access and I will gladly pay (or bill my company) to get some work done. Should my hotel not have access, I use the ubiquitious Starbucks and T-mobile to get high speed. More and more you see people having meetings or salespeople conducting business in Starbucks. There is a market, but I have no idea how large it is...

In a throw back to older "drive-in" days, occassionaly I'll pull up next to a Starbucks for hi speed access and a little privacy to conduct phone calls when on the road...

bbarker
03-04-2003, 12:16 AM
WiFi Pay Per Sip Pricing Drops
When I read that I thought "sip" was a wireless metering acronym I hadn't heard. Took me a minute.

Ed Hansberry
03-04-2003, 12:17 AM
Sorry Ed. I thought I posted it to the alias. Ummm...Your post was better than mine- That make it all better? :D
No prob. I'll let you in on a dirty secret. I don't read the forum threads. If it isn't on the front page (and I don't have time to read all of those either) or doesn't catch my eye in the "Last 10 posted" billboard on the right, I don't see it.

ploeg
03-04-2003, 12:22 AM
Maybe in the long term it would make sense for Starbucks to develop this business, but short term it's likely that Starbucks makes bunches more off coffee sales than off Wi-Fi access. And there's a limit to the number of $4 coffees that somebody's going to buy at one sitting. If you want to sell a lot of coffee, you keep the old customers leaving so that there's room for the new customers.

anthonymoody
03-04-2003, 12:25 AM
Unemployed people in NYC will pay for this...they hang out in SBux with their laptops all frickin day.

TM

67stang
03-04-2003, 12:53 AM
I just setup my father-in-law's Subway Sandwich franchise in Modesto, CA with wifi. It is offered FREE to customers. Come in, eat a sub and surf for an hour. The whole objective is bring in more customers to increase sales.

Offering wifi as a product in and of itself is stupid... why should i go to a coffee shop and pay for coffee AND wifi?!

Jonathan1
03-04-2003, 01:00 AM
They should do some sort of credit for a cup of coffee. So for every 5 cups you get 15 minutes.

lonesniper
03-04-2003, 01:17 AM
The UK maybe more expensive for most things, but T-Mobile Starbucks HotSpot are free at the moment in the UK. There are only about 5 wireless stores doing a trial, that is why it is free.

But free is free and great with a wonderful cup of coffee. I just hope it stays that way.

StarkAZ75
03-04-2003, 01:50 AM
Most of the hotspots here in Phoenix seem to be for pay. As I would expect, however, the only hot spots I see people using are the free ones. Business people don't need to use them because they probably have some other connection to the internet. College students are the only types I can think of who would hang out all day at a coffee shop and use the net, but they're not going to pay for it. Personally, I hate Starbucks coffee. Its as bitter as the untrained baristas they have working there. So, free wireless would be an incentive to get me to go there, while making me pay for it is just going to make me go to a better coffee shop which offers free wireless.

hulksmash
03-04-2003, 01:53 AM
I just setup my father-in-law's Subway Sandwich franchise in Modesto, CA with wifi. It is offered FREE to customers. Come in, eat a sub and surf for an hour. The whole objective is bring in more customers to increase sales.

Offering wifi as a product in and of itself is stupid... why should i go to a coffee shop and pay for coffee AND wifi?!

I agree, that wifi should be used as an incentive, and not as a commodity itself. However, if it is, there should be some concessions given to those who are paying customers to starbucks. Otherwise, they shouldn't complain if I organize a type of protest where nationally we all go in and pay $6 with bags of Krispy Kreme donuts, Krispy Kreme Coffee cups and carrying my notebook in a Mc Donalds brown paper sack. :lol: :wink: :rofl: :twisted: (After paying our $6 we are still paying customers of Starbucks right?)

ploeg
03-04-2003, 02:02 AM
They should do some sort of credit for a cup of coffee. So for every 5 cups you get 15 minutes.

With 5 cups of coffee under my belt I'd spend half of my 15 minutes processing it.

Credit-for-cups would be fair, but could they make it easy to administer? It would have to be absolutely nothing to administer if you were to get the people behind the counter involved. And I'm not talking about brainpower either: their main job is to crank out the joe, and they can't take off a couple of minutes to intervene with T-Mobile.

jeasher
03-04-2003, 02:40 AM
I don't really like Starbucks very much, but I'm about to move across the street from one and it has an unobstructed view from my place. One of the things I am looking forward to most is going to their and surfing the web off of MY hot-spot. It's interesting, because I am now actually LOOKING FORWARD to going, where as before, I wouldn't have a reason to go. The reason now is surfing the web in a comfortable environment and enjoying bitter coffee at inflated prices. Does this make sense? I'm not sure, but knowing I am screwing them out of revenue makes me happy. But I'm buying their coffee...ARGH!

Kirkaiya
03-04-2003, 03:06 AM
Okay, so maybe I'm the crazy one... but...

I use the T-Mobile Hotspot in my local Starbucks pretty often now. I didn't sign up for the monthly plan, so I pay the $2.99 for 15 minutes, and then 25 cents/minute (although I'm GLAD they're lowering the rates).

I'm a freelance web-application-developer, and since I charge my clients rather a lot more per hour than the $15/hour that .25/minute works out to be, I don't mind that much.

I work from Starbucks mainly because at home, there's a dog, a couch, a TV, my wife, and a fridge full-o-food, which makes getting anything done tough.. So when I'm there, I don't just stay connected the whole time. I finish a piece-o-code, do a build, then connect for 1/2 hour or so, to upload my files, test the production version, IM/email clients, check email, and then log back out.

I'm on maybe a total of 1 hour for a 4 hour stint there, and hey, the employees all know me, and give me free drinks pretty often (which is like, getting $4 off).

Also, a couple of times I was there, I had a client call me to ask me to make a change to something, or there was some "catastrophe" like a site down, or a database problem, whatever, and I've made it clear that i can either drive home, boot up and then fix it, or if they don't mind me tacking on the connect-charges, I can fix it right then and there - and they always are willing to part with $10 to get instant service.

So for me, the Starbucks have been great. There - i said it!!! So.. bring on the hate, lol :wink:

ploeg
03-04-2003, 03:34 AM
No hate here. I can't justify connecting at those prices, but if you can make it work for you, so much the better for you.

tospappy
03-04-2003, 03:42 AM
Why aren't we splitting the cost of the national unlimited plans. Let's see now. If I subscribe for 40/month, what would you pay me to occassionally use the service, maybe $2/month. If I can find 20 folks, then I have free service. Now, we all know that we probably can't be logged into the network at the same time (anyone tested that?), so it would be a first come first serve arrangement.

This would be considered a "party line". Those of you who are too young to know about party lines, no, they are not white lines on a mirror you see at a party, they were shared phone lines.

Who wants to share an account?

I have used the Starbucks service a fair amount. I travel locally throughout the LA area and found it quite convenient to drop in, have a cup of joe and get my email. In the LA area, "Bucks" is almost on every corner and they all have wifi. I also use the Verizon 1x network, but it is a bit slow downloadings some of the larger attachments and therefore use the wifi when I needed it. I must admit though, with ministumbler on my Jornada 568, and so many unprotected home wifi APs out there, I can generally find a connection when I need one. Of course my car parked along the side of the street isn't near as comfortable as the couch at Starbucks.

fmcpherson
03-04-2003, 04:13 AM
Don't think of this as a Starbucks business. It's really T-Mobile's business that just happens to be in Starbucks stores. One of the main reasons why Starbucks did this is that as part of putting in the WiFI service, all of the stores are wired via the Internet & VPN back to their main office. From Starbuck's perspective they are getting what they want by having the network for all the back office processing. Any extra traffic that comes into their stores because of the hot spots is gravy.

BTW, this T-Mobile service works at more than just Starbucks. It's also available at Borders, most American Airlines Admiral clubs, and just today San Fran's airport announced they will have T-Mobile's coverage.

srs
03-04-2003, 06:29 AM
well lets see

if they can sucker you in with $5 a cup for coffee, whats to stop them from thinking they can reel you in for $6 for wifi access........

Mobile Bob
03-04-2003, 06:54 AM
Unemployed people in NYC will pay for this...they hang out in SBux with their laptops all frickin day.

TM

If they're sipping coffee while surfing, they must walk out of there with a serious case of "the shakes". A bunch of jittery, jacked-up, unemployed people could make for a dangerous web surfing environment. If I ever hear about someone getting beaten about the head with a laptop while at a Starbucks, I will not be surprised. Losing your connection during a long download at Starbucks could be serious business. :wink:

jizmo
03-04-2003, 07:00 AM
And when it comes to coffee houses, I really prefer original, small places over these faceless chain restaurants :roll:

/jizmo

scottmag
03-04-2003, 03:15 PM
Here's an alternate perspective. These pricing plans are not for you. It is not a substitute for your $35/month DSL line or for when you walk two blocks from home to get some coffee. It is for people who travel and want a reliable and easy to locate means of connecting to the Internet. Someone like me.

I travel frequently from my home in North Carolina to Washington, DC to meet customers. I will spend most of the day for a few days downtown walking between meetings. During the variable and often lengthy time between meetings I pop into a Starbucks to juice up, go over my notes from the last meeting, and prepare for the next. The last time I was there I met a vendor partner at Starbucks before a joint customer call. Starbucks in DC happens to be a great place to meet - it's comfortable, convenient, and caffeinated.

So if I need access to the net between these meetings what should I do? Get my car out of the parking lot and drive out to my hotel? Even at the end of the day at the hotel should I use dial-up or pay the $10/night for high-speed access? For my money (actually my companies in this case) the Starbucks wireless access makes perfect sense.

And enough with this $4 coffee talk. Starbucks coffee is around a dollar. Only their most frou-frou drinks in the larger size cost that much. If you keep saying it that still won't make it true.

Scott