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Monday, June 26, 2006

Hate Mail to Barnes and Noble

I sat down with my laptop to do a ton of work at Barnes and Noble on Sunday morning, assuming that they had free wireless internet (this is 2006, right?), only to be confronted with a "please pay ATT Wireless $3.95 for two hours" page. I can go to my local ice skating rink and get free wireless, so why would such a progressive bookstore be asking for such a steep rate? I was very irritated, especially because I had dragged a 1.5 year old in there with me and all my crap to do some work. I bitched about it at work and found that lots of people knew about this and NOBODY liked it. Of course, the only way to initiate change is to let people know. Here's a copy of my complaint form to B&N. Wake up!

"I was very disappointed to find out that your store in College Station, TX charges for wireless internet. I lugged my child and laptop in there for coffee and to buy a magazine and get some work done when I found out that it costs almost 4 dollars for two hours of access. I (and everyone else) am already paying for internet at home and I'm not going to pay more, especially when I can get it for free at almost every other business I go to. I packed up my child and laptop and went to Coffee Station instead and spent my money there. I also was telling people at work and in my neighborhood about this situation and they said that even DAIRY QUEEN has free wireless internet. Please quit charging for it so that I may go back to your store and spend my money while doing my work and not feel like I'm getting ripped off. You'll attract far more customers that way than charging for it."

I feel bad for airing my complaint to everybody, but it was very annoying to drive there, drag everything in, then have to do it all over again to go to a place with coffee and free internet. Let's hope they open up their access and quit charging for what's free everywhere else and losing business over it. I know it'll change someday soon anyway, but the sooner the better.


Blogger tarheeltri said...

If I had dragged a 1.5 year old in Barnes and Noble, believe me, they would have heard some complaining. Ive never heard of such a thing. As far as I know, everything around here (Raleigh) is free.

8:19 PM

Blogger Eric said...

I'm with you. Starbucks, (T-Mobile), airports (T-Mobile and ATT), and the list goes on.

Even McDonalds I think has free internet.

12:53 PM

Blogger Shea said...

Well said!

9:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No offense but....

Just because *you* expect something to be free doesn't mean it is. How is Barnes and Noble supposed to allegedly make money by having you sit there for 2 hours and have your kid running around. Does not compute.

Sorry but free wireless is not a right. Sucks when it is not there but c'mon, get real. Everything costs something

9:06 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post is crazy in so many ways.

1. You have internet at home and you drive to a bookshop to do some work. Why?

2. You drag a small child with you. Why, if you intend to work?

3. Did you consider that other customers might like a bit of quiet while they choose books? Generally small children do not equal quiet.

4. As mentioned above, why should B&N provide you with free internet, while you sip coffee. It's a bookstore. for crying out loud. Do you expect free beer in a bowling alley? Buy a book and go home.

Sorry don't agree with you on this one at ALL.

10:03 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

B&N is a business - they expect to make money off their customers. Did you also expect free child care while you worked in the cafe? They weren't charging you for the space you were taking up were they? Get Real. It's a bookstore - not an office.

12:26 PM

Anonymous Bobby said...

I agree with the anonymous posters. If they want to charge for internet, that's their own business. Let them suffer with the loss of customers. It's a book store; they're supposed to be quiet. Bringing a kid into one to do some work isn't exactly polite.

7:00 AM

Blogger Erik said...

You're a stupid fucking entitled asshole

6:08 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, B&N does not set up the pricing for wireless internet. (I used to work for them before I got my degree).

They just host the wireless feature-which is through AT&T. AT&T is the once who is in charge of the pricing. So you should forward your open hate mail to AT&T.

2:30 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, I work for barnes and noble and WE do NOT get paid for the wireless internet. That is through ATT not Barnes and Noble, We just Offer the service in our store but none of the money comes to us at all.

3:02 PM

Blogger Howard T. Snidbiscuits said...

Last two posts...

if B&N just provides the service and gts no money, whats in it for them? PO'ed customers?

An access point and a connection would cost the store like $100 a month... about time for BN to get with the times. I can get free internet at Caribou, Dunns Brothers, local coffee shops, etc. so why would I go to B&N and pay ATT stupid rates?

As far as why people want to go to coffee shops to get stuff done, it's because : it's nice. And they have coffee.

9:56 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This be the sweetstuff

Just saying internet is everywhere if u wish for it find it and shutup expectations can be let down facts cannot

And B&N get with the times so ur money can to


3:40 PM

Blogger Adam said...

As far as Starbucks goes (I work there) you get two free hours through ATT after you buy a cup of coffee with a registered gift card. The main point of this is to not have people there forever and not buying anything. I feel like this is perfectly fair bc it keeps people either buying or moving along and the place up the street from where I work is PACKED with their free wireless.

8:29 AM


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