Starbucks, Your Wi-fi is a Rip Off

I love hanging out at Starbucks. Their coffee and frappuccinos are remarkably good. The ambiance is quite soothing if I simply want to chill. At the same time, there’s just enough “life” that can provide me with energy if I need to get some writing done. Plus, there are internet connection and easy-to-access electronic sockets.

Last night, however, the usually great experience I have at Starbucks turned unpleasant. I had to wait for my boyfriend to finish his shift, so I decided to hang out there for a couple of hours. It was the best place to kill time; the chairs are comfy, and they’ve got wi-fi.

When I got there, I was quite happy knowing that I’ll have a hot cup of chocolate while browsing Facebook and reading an ebook. But my excitement was cut short after learning their charge for wi-fi.

In order to use the wi-fi, I had to buy a P60 Globe card, which was only good for one hour. After an hour, it will automatically log me out. So if I were to stay there for three hours and want to access the internet, I had to pay P180! I also had to go through the trouble of scratching the numbers on the back of the card.

I’m already paying an unreasonable amount of money for the wi-fi, so I expected that the process would be smooth and easy. But that’s just not the case. The process was tedious. I attempted to login several times, and it kept on saying “login failed”. When I asked one of the Starbucks crew, he didn’t seem to know how to fix it.

Every time I use the wifi in Krispy Kreme, I just need to ask the password, and can connect to the internet without any problems. And the best part is it’s free!

Honestly, I don’t mind paying a small charge for wi-fi. But P60 an hour is a little steep! It’s not like they’re going to provide me with a computer. I have my own device. And it’s not the 90’s anymore when the rates for internet connection were ridiculously expensive!

Because of this experience, I’m considering never to hang out at Starbucks again. I’d probably buy coffee from time to time (probably on Monday since they are offering a 50% discount on frappuccinos), but I’d get out of there right away. I think other Starbucks branches have different policies when it comes to wifi access. So I hope that what I experienced was an isolated case.

What do you think about Starbucks’ wifi charge? Is it justifiable? Are you willing to pay for P60 an hour for wifi access? Let me know if you had the same experience. 🙂









Irene Chan

Irene Chan

Irene Chan loves two things: communication and technology. With this tech blog and her role as Head of Communications at Veems, she believes she has the best job in the world. 🙂 Besides those two things, she's also crazy for coffee, dogs, and zombies.Follow her on Veems to get tips and fun updates from her geeky life.
Irene Chan

  • Ime

    It’s a rip-off. Wifi is free everywhere else, and it’s just like CBTL. You have to pay for the Swirl card. Needless to say, I never go to CBTL anymore. I don’t go to Starbucks to use the internet anyway. They want to make more money, on top of the hefty price they charge for the drinks. Can you say greed?

    • Irene Enriquez

      Exactly! Wi-fi is free almost everywhere! Greedy indeed! I usually stay at Krispy Kreme, but the only choice I had that night was Starbucks. Thanks for dropping by! 🙂

  • Hi Irene! I guess the wi-fi is really indecent… yeah, I got that far into the hate. >:-(

    I also have another reason why I don’t go there anymore. I can’t get nicotine with caffeine there anymore.

    I guess it’s just me, but still, if they want to keep their “third place” a reality, they’d need to shape up.

    • Irene Enriquez

      Hi, Chad! I agree. It is indeed indecent! I don’t smoke, but I understand how you feel about not getting your dose of nicotine and caffeine. For me, it’s equivalent to not getting my dose of sugary and sweet things. 🙂 They think they can just charge anything and people won’t complain. Thanks for dropping by, Chad! Have a great day!

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  • Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is important and all. But think of if you added some great visuals or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”!

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    • Irene Enriquez

      Thanks for the suggestion! Actually, this blog has a YouTube channel for videos. Please click on YouTube at the top of this site.

  • Maggie

    I went through this yesterday. I was aware that Starbucks here in the Philippines charge their wifi service.

    I went to Starbucks in Parañaque and asked for wifi, they charged me for a P60 globe card so I can input it on the login system. I wasn’t aware that the card was good for an hour. But it bothers me why they need to have their wifi have to be separately charged.

    I do not mind paying an amount for wifi, but nowadays most wifi service in establishments are free. Even small business or starting establishments have free wifi. But starbucks has theirs with charge?

    I was in Spain for few months, and wifi in barcelona was EVERYWHERE! And I mean even while you’re on the street walking there is wifi through out the city. Although it could take a while to use because of slow connection because of many users but its not as slow as you might think. So sometimes I had to go to starbucks in Barcelona what they did for their wifi is, you have to buy something in order to get the wifi password. Because the password will be included in the receipt.basically te wifi is free. Although it was good for an hour. So how’s that? I think thats a better way for StarbucksPH if they have issues with their wifi. Its better for their sales because people would need to buy coffee to get a wifi.

    • Irene Enriquez

      Wow, thanks for sharing your experience, Maggie. It’s cool to see how wi-fi works in other countries. I recently went to Malaysia and hung out in Starbucks at the airport. I didn’t have to pay for wi-fi either. The wi-fi password was printed in the receipt. Right now, I have an unlimited data plan with SMART, so I no longer bother with Starbucks’s