TLP: Starbucks Squatters Learning the Hard Way That Freedom Isn't Free
It was just summer a year ago that Starbucks started offering free Wi-fi. Looks like that was not as good an idea as they thought. Apparently, the lure of unlimited wireless was too good for people more interested in blogging and surfing than paying to eat and drink.
We were skeptical then. Now things are getting ugly, according to Gawker:
Starbucks' war against loitering laptop hobos has taken a stark new turn, according to anecdotal evidence! We knew that roving Starbucks employees were politely—but firmly!—ordering long-sitters to buy something or get out. But now the pigs are involved.Layoffs, store closings, price-hikes and additions of things like a breakfast menu perhaps hadn't helped boost revenues as much as Starbucks wanted, so it opened up the Internet stream. And it attracted customers, or maybe just Gawker's hobos, who couldn't be bothered to order more than a cup of Pike Place Roast to drink slowly. Maybe offering giant cups of coffee wasn't the smartest move, either.
An alert tipster and Starbucks patron sends the following shocking crime saga that went down yesterday at the Starbucks on 24th St. and 6th Ave. in Manhattan:
Well-dressed guy, sitting by the window at a clean table. Two police came in. The conversation went something like this:
Guy: "They told me to buy a cup of coffee or leave. That's pressure. I'm in Starbucks all the time. This isn't a Mom & Pop store."
Police: "It's a business and you have to buy something."
Guy: "Is this any way to run a business? I'm leaving, but I want your badge numbers."
He also said he'd get it publicized—I doubt he will— but since I was sitting so close, I thought I'd add it to the Starbucks crackdown list.
Keep trying, Starbucks. There's always a better idea. Like "extra sugar."