Starbucks to Offer Free Wi-Fi… only not really.

Starbucks has announced that they’ve finally dumped their expensive T-mobile wi-fi hotspot access in favor of “free” access provided by AT&T. Except that you only get two hours of free access, and only if you buy coffee with a Starbucks card. After two hours, access costs $4 per 2-hour block or $20/mo for unlimited access. And of course, since you have to use their proprietary debit card to get access, you’re also paying the lost interest on the stored value on your card, which now goes into Starbuck’s pockets.

Or, you could go to Panera, or any one of a million local coffeeshops, pay with cash, and log into their wi-fi for free.

Starbucks to Offer Free Wi-Fi With AT&T – New York Times

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