Starbucks Listening to the Outcry of Digital Nomads

Recently, Starbucks launched an innovative social networking tool called My Starbucks Idea, where coffee lovers can take advantage of a virtual suggestion box. Customers use the site to offer new ideas for the company, vote on ideas and then discuss the ideas. One of the most popular suggestions on the site has been an outcry for free WiFi Internet at all Starbucks locations.

As of writing this post, the free WiFi suggestion has received 37,260 votes from the public. It is one of many popular ideas that are now under review by the company. Amazingly, My Starbucks Idea is less than a month old. That's right, a major corporation is actually listening to its consumers and responding in a timely manner.

According to Kevin Shawver, who works on the WiFi program at Starbucks, free Internet is already on its way… sort of. Starbucks recently switched to AT&T for its American WiFi services. Starting now, those who sign up for a Starbucks Card will be given two complimentary hours of WiFi in any store location. However, one must make a purchase on the Starbucks Card within 30 days in order to retain the free WiFi offer.

Naturally, the public wishes that all locations would offer unlimited free WiFi service. According to Shawver, this time limit is for the benefit of customers. In other words, they don't want you lingering at the shop all day, hogging bandwidth.

In my opinion, this two-hour offer is just the start of something new. If the company is somewhat complying with this suggestion after 37,260 votes, how will they respond when those votes triple in size (and believe me, they will)? The coffee conglomerate prides itself on being hip with digital consumers, so it isn't unreasonable to expect some big changes to their WiFi offerings in the near future.

Coffee and tea-guzzling digital nomads should be very pleased with these new developments.

Guest Post credit and by-line: Heather Johnson is a freelance business, finance and economics writer, as well as a regular contributor at Business Credit Cards, a site for best business credit cards and best business credit card offers. Heather welcomes comments and freelancing job inquiries at her email address .

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