Free Starbucks WiFi in the UK? Don’t hold your breath

Free Starbucks WiFi in the UK? Don’t hold your breath

When Starbucks announced on Monday that it was launching free, ‘one click’ wifi access to all its locations across the USA, the rest of the world was left wondering “What about us?”

We asked Starbucks UK if they had any plans to move to completely free wifi and their answer wasn’t exactly encouraging.

A spokesperson for the company pointed out to us that the coffeehouse chain has had free wifi for Starbucks Card holders since September last year. That’s all well and good, but it’s virtually the same deal that American customers have at present. The USA is currently limited to two hours per day, while the UK offers two hours per purchase, but how many people spend more than two hours per day in Starbucks anyway?

The far more juicy ‘completely free and unlimited for all’ deal with interesting free content deals thrown into the mix soon to be enjoyed in the USA seems unlikely to be making its way to the UK in the near future. The spokesperson told us: “We are continuously working with our service providers to enhance our services and explore future opportunities however we don’t have any announcements to make at this time.”

We shouldn’t be surprised that Starbucks has no immediate plans to extend its Digital Network and free wifi offering beyond its home market. These things take time to roll out, with different deals required in different markets, not to mention different laws governing things like public wifi provision (read more about that here).

Still, it’s always a shame when global companies don’t treat all their customers around the world the same. Those who get left out can end up feeling like second class citizens.

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