Starbucks Sucks

I’m not a big coffee shop kind of guy. I make my coffee (usually Peete’s) at home and that’s pretty much the end of it. When I do get coffee at a coffee shop, like a Starbucks, I typically just order the drip coffee, so it’s not any kind of major advantage for me to rock a coffee shop.

This past Monday morning I met a friend for coffee at a Starbucks. It was pretty close to my daughters school, so I dropped her off and got to the ‘Bucks about an hour early, figuring surely they’d have wifi. I remember seeing something about how if you buy a drink, you could get free wifi access. So I ordered my drink and asked how I could get access to the network. It turns out, according to the kind woman behind the counter, you can only get “free” access if you buy a $5 gift card, leave the store to sign onto a separate network, enter the code on the gift card, return to the store in order to take advantage of your two free hours of WIFI paradise. What a bunch of bullshit.

First, why any coffee shop doesn’t have free wifi is completely beyond me. Paying for wifi is like paying to plug your laptop into the socket or using the bathroom. And secondly, this whole system that Starbucks has cooked up is beyond ridiculous. Maybe it’s just me, but their coffee isn’t so good that I’ll seek out a Starbucks over another coffee shop that had free wifi. I’d rather drink Circle K coffee if it meant I could also partake in some wireless world wide web.

In protest, maybe I’ll compile a list of coffee establishments in the Gilbert area with free wifi. First shop off the top of my head is Liberty Market in downtown Gilbert. Any others?

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17 thoughts on “Starbucks Sucks

  1. Ha. My buddy manages the Paradise Bakery over at San Tan Village, and he runs a pretty good ship. Free WiFi, lots of available wall outlets, great coffee, and baked goods that make your face melt off they’re so good…

  2. Dude. I went to liberty market per your suggestion and pretty much decided it was one of the coolest restaurants I had been to in a long time. It makes me wish i lived in mesa again… i would totally be a regular there.

  3. I’m definitely looking forward to the list. I’ve been looking for free wifi coffee shops ever since I moved to Mesa, and I’ve found nothing.

    The Coffee Shop on Ray and Higley is pretty good, and while I haven’t had my laptop with me, I believe it has free wifi.

  4. It’s usually the local coffee shops that offer free wifi. Chain-wise, Panera Bread offers free wifi. I agree, every place should offer free wifi. My beef is with the big hotel chains that charge anywhere from 12 to 15 dollars for a 24 hour period. The small chains like Comfort Inn do not charge. Also, my other beef is with airports. Where i live, Richmond, VA, is free. i think Charlotte, NC is free. But airports like Chicago are NOT free.

  5. I work at Starbucks and think it is totally lame that we don’t have free wifi. But the barista was wrong, you don’t have to leave the store to set it up after you buy a Starbucks card. You don’t even have to buy a card, just have a card that once upon a time had money on it… basically you just need an active card so that you can use the numbers on the back of it. Once you have a card get on the wifi to either att.com or starbucks.com and follow the links to set up a log in with your starbucks card.

    I think it’s ridiculous that all that is required to log on to wifi at Starbucks, so if it’s access to the web you’re looking for I don’t blame you for not going to Starbucks.

  6. Wish I could help with the list, but I’m from the east coast. Down with Starbucks! There coffee is to the caffeine connoisseur what Mike’s Hard is to a French wine maker.

    If anyone is in NC and happen to be visiting the Biltmore Greenberry Cafe has free wifi and a chilled coffee that makes those fancy frappes look like weak tea.

  7. BIG CUP OF HATE.

    If you enjoy drinking coffee at home… try Storyville coffee. It’s a whole new coffee experience, for real. They’re out of Washington. Check their website out, storyville.com. My good friend Kris Rosentrater (unbelievable drummer and artist) runs the whole operation.

  8. i think for Starbucks it’s all about marketing. They want all your info. Way TOO intrusive if you ask me. Hey, is Starbucks part of the Bush Administration’s ‘War on Terror’?! LOL!!

    Max, i don’t think most peeps mind drinking coffee at home. The point of the post is getting wifi while out and about. i sometimes just enjoy getting out of the doldrums of my home. Also, when traveling too, free wifi is important to me.

  9. I love Starbucks. A Starbucks caramel latte is even nicer to drink then it is cringe inducing to ask for. Those drinks are my only vice.

    I don’t carry around a laptop after wi-fi though, so I take your point. But here in the UK I don’t think free wi-fi is that abundant anyway.

  10. i really think it’s a mistake the way starbucks handles their wifi.
    the best place i can think of for free wifi and good coffee is coffee rush. there’s one in chandler and one in gilbert … plus they’re open late! close their coffee bar at eleven and close the doors at midnight.

  11. Existential Punk, i completely understand and agree. my iPhone needs wifi up here in alaska. our business meets everyday at a local shop, they accommodate our wifi needs. it was a shameless plug. sorry.

  12. You don’t realize how lucky you are bro. This system at Sbucks is pretty new … up until a few months ago they contracted their wifi service out to the whole tmobile hotspot concept … meaning it cost $30/month … but that’s not the bitch of it. A 24-day pass was $9. Yup, $9. This last summer I actually found it cheaper to drive further away to Lux or someplace in Phx for the free wifi then spend it at Sbux … and that was back when gas was $4/gallon.

    Liberty Market is rocking the wifi … but my personal recommendations are Coffee Rush at Gilbert/Baseline (still many better tasting drink and better coffeehouse/chilling atmosphere than Liberty IMO), and now that they’ve expanded their hours, I love Inside the Bungalow (formerly Coffee Talk) at Robson and Main in downtown Mesa, although I believe that’d be a little far for you most days.

    That list you want is already made … arizona-coffee.com

    Liberty Market does get props for being able to have a beer with your wifi though.

    Take care, and Happy Anniversary to you and Holy bud!

  13. I would add Goldbar at McClintock/Southern in Tempe to that list, even if it’s a bit farther away. Cozy little cafe with delicious coffee and free wifi, of course.

  14. Nash,

    I figured you’d be the guy to ask. Thanks for the suggestions. For lack of cool places in the east valley, Liberty Market is probably the best spot, and it’s not too far from my daughter’s school. If I need to get out, but not far, then maybe Paradise Bakery, per Bam’s suggestion, is the way to go.

  15. i agree completely. starbucks sucks. they act like they are doing us a favor by offering us “free” wifi. there are at least 2 other independent coffee shops within 5 miles and a whataburger that offer for free for real. i don’t understand.

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