Starbucks can't handle demand for free Wi-Fi

Starbucks' Web site was overwhelmed with customers trying to sign up for a new program that will offer them some free Wi-Fi access.

Starbucks began offering US coffee drinkers a way to get free Wi-Fi access at its shops on Tuesday, but some customers had a hard time cashing in.

That's because some people were unable to access Starbucks' Card Rewards Web site in order to sign up for the program, which offers two hours of free Wi-Fi access per day to participants.

Some visitors to the site were greeted with a pop-up window stating: "Due to overwhelming interest in Card Rewards we are currently experiencing difficulty accessing Starbucks Card accounts. We are working to fix the problem and ask that you please try again later."

Starbucks announced the new program on Tuesday. People were encouraged to visit the Card Rewards Web page to either buy a new rewards card for US$5 or to register an existing gift card to be part of the program. Users who sign up before July 14 will get a free drink, and everyone who signs up can use two hours of AT&T Wi-Fi access in Starbucks shops free every day.

In order to get the two free hours every day, Card Rewards program users must buy something with the card at least once a month.

A Starbucks spokesman said that the problems were on Starbucks' end, not AT&T's. "Customers overwhelmed the site when joining Starbucks Card Rewards," said Doug Cavarocchi, a Starbucks spokesman, in an e-mail. The problem started in the morning and was solved by midday on the West Coast.

The problem affected visitors in the US and Canada trying to sign on to Starbucks.com with a user name and password, he said, although other users trying to sign up for the program also saw the error message.

The program follows Starbucks' announcement in February that it would begin using AT&T as the provider of in-store Wi-Fi service. For now, T-Mobile continues to operate Wi-Fi networks in some of the stores. Starbucks said that it plans to roll out A&T Wi-Fi in all of its US stores by the end of this year.

The program also follows the launch of the My Starbucks Idea Web site, where anyone can post suggestions for improvements Starbucks might make and vote on other ideas. A week after the launch of the site, which was built on a hosted offering from Salesforce.com, the number one suggestion was to offer free drinks, and number two was to offer free Wi-Fi.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?