Thursday, 22 May 2008

Starbucks, please control yourself

I am writing again in response to Bert Hart, The Genuis of Starbucks' New Wi-Fi Strategy. I also would like to announce that I am officially a member of Brazen Careerist (look right). Clap clap clap! Although it is not a-million-dollar deal or something, but I guess big things happen one step at a time.

Bert said:
Starbucks has announced that it will be providing 2 free hours of consecutive wireless internet use per day to customers who use their Starbucks cards at least once a month. Translation: if you have a Starbucks card, which is free, and you drink at least one cup of coffee per month, you can go into any Starbucks in the world (by the end of 2008) and use the internet for 2 straight hours without being hassled by baristas or blocked out of the network.

I always go to Starbucks because I like to write and do works on my laptop outside. I would easily drink a cup of coffee per month and can afford the Starbucks card (anyway, it is free..LOL)

But I really hate it when they want to limit only 2 hours for the Internet use. So, if I drink 2 cup of coffees per month, am I eligible for 4 hours use? And is it like redemption thingy, like after I use the 2 hours connection, I have to drink another coffee to redeem 2 hours more the next day? I just wonder at what kind of stunt they are pulling. Kind of like Strategy A: we can get sales of 10 cup of coffee more per month, Strategy B: we can get each of the stupid people (I really do not know how many) to buy 1 more cup of coffee per month.

I really hope they would not implement that kind of control. I love Starbuck for the environment and the fact they are everywhere as I would not want to drive 10 km to get coffee. The coffee is great, but not the best so far. I prefer San Francisco’s actually.

Anyway, why they do this maybe due to 2 reasons:

First, from what I read in “The Undercover Economist” book, we are actually paying premium price for our coffees at places like Starbucks because of they are providing us with the environment. It does not cost them very much to make the coffee actually. So, I guess they are trying to say to us that we are not paying enough for the coffee because the coffee price actually includes the place where we are sitting (up to how many square feet we occupy), air-conditioning, the nice music and most of all, the Wifi-connection, which was introduced much later. So, it is another way of saying, we should pay for the Wifi connection because when they calculated and came out with the price for the coffee, they have not taken wifi-connection into consideration. So, assuming I am Starbucks top executive, I would think, how do we make our customers pay for the Wifi? If we increase the price for the coffee when the coffee price worldwide is not increasing, customers will f**k us. So, we have to be “creative”.

Second, I think it is a strategy from preventing people like me who usually hang out in Starbucks for more than 4 hours with just one cup of coffee (yes, I am cheapskate but at least I buy at least one cup. Size of Venti some more, what do they want?). Of course, by being there for more than 2 hours, the only thing they lose is another customer who can order a cup of coffee (yes, 1 more cup in sales) and sit at the place I am sitting. Place rental is always not cheap.

And remember the letter the Starbucks chairman, Howard Schultz sent out to warn of “the commoditization of the Starbucks experience”. He mentioned about “Push for innovation and do the things necessary to once again differentiate Starbucks from all others.”

Now, what an innovation Starbucks comes out with.

On additional notes, I just realize Starbucks is called Starbucks and not Starbuck, without the s behind. It really means that they are out not just to make one dollar or just an amount of money from you. They want lots and lots of money from you, your parents, your kids, your friends and whoever you know.


Weekhang Teoh said...

How do I get a Starbucks card? This is not that chop chop chop coupon right?

Susan said...


As far as I know, in Malaysia, this is not implemented yet. I hope they won't.

Will let you know if the card really come out. I am starbuck regulars.

satanbuddy said...

If like that they have better change their name to starfucks instead of Starbucks cos there are a lot of restaurants with Wifi in malaysia...

Or simply put, another way is to steal more of their mugs NOW, then when they implement it, you can actually bring out the mugs and refill their coffee, (pre made from home and brought there in a termos flask.

Or another way, steal their mugs after you have drank more than 1 cup pf coffee, that should pay for the coffee that we are paying..hehe.

Susan said...

well, satanbuddy, I think people should really follow your advices if Starbuck pull the trick. haha.

Jun Loayza said...

Hi Susan,

I actually have the same feeling towards Starbucks. They're such a huge company and they want to charge us for the Wi-fi! Just give it to us for free. Our generation hates paying for things. I purposefully go to places with free wi-fi just to support them and not starbucks anymore.

I also wanted to congratulate you on your step to becoming an entrepreneur. I left my corporate job as well to pursue my company Future Delivery.

Since we're both members of BC, I want to invite you to my FD Career private beta:
Code: junloayza

FD Career is a website where you can research companies and contribute by adding your comments about companies. This is a very early private beta, so you'll most likely encounter a lot of bugs. Throughout the summer, we'll be releasing more features like the FD RPG and FD Answers.

Would love it if you tried it out, added your contributions, and gave me your feedback.

Thanks Susan! Look forward to hearing back from you.

- Jun

Susan said...

Thank you, Jun.

I have visited your website. Cool one there.

I shall be trying it out when I have more time later.

Thanks for dropping by.

Susan said...

News from early this month - Starbucks had closed down 600 stores in US, cutting 12,000 jobs due to sloggy economy

Awful,right? I should change the title to Starbucks, please do not kill yourself!.

Anyway, Jeffrey and I also decided not to patronize Starbucks too often if we can help it. In the economy like this, we better we more thrifty. Hey, I say thrifty, not cheapskate, ok?

(When was the last time you are accused being cheapskates?

Susan: Yesterday!)

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