Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Wireless internet access services at Starbucks, what a swindle!

Are you a customer of Starbucks? Have you ever tried their so called “wireless internet access” services at any of their stores?
I have the misfortune to say that I had. And my claim is not only because of a good or bad internet service, but it’s that you have to pay for it!!
Yes, believe it or not. As if Starbucks’ coffees were cheap. They won’t only charge you for drinking their expensive beverages, but they’ll also charge ridiculously high amounts of money for accessing their supposed “value added” internet service (with the complicity of Bell Canada, of course).
Here are the prices in Canadian dollars (paying with a conventional credit card):
Hour Pass: $7.50
Day Pass: $13.00
Month Pass: $35.00
Do you want other “payment options”? You can also purchase a prepaid card for exactly the same prices, except that they don’t offer a monthly pass. Or… you can sign up for Bell’s internet services in your house or office. What a business, huh!
And this story doesn’t end here. At the very bottom of the pop-up where they announce their magnificent deals, there is a paragraph that reads the following (obviously, in fonts as small that you have a hard time trying to read them):
“Access is valid at all Bell hotspots and provides unrestricted reconnections over the period in which the pass is valid. Access is limited to one active connection at any time. Connect time is metered chronologically (similar to a parking meter) in consecutive minutes/hours/days from the time of purchase. Price does not include applicable taxes”.
Haha! If those are the prices and conditions, I guess that it’s more convenient to go to a conventional internet café. At least there I can pay a fair price for internet services, and in any case, I can have some tech support available in-store as well.
So please, next time you go to a Starbucks store and you feel like using their internet access, avoid that at any cost! They swindle you with the exaggerated prices for their beverages, so don’t let them swindle you with their “value-added” services as well!


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