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Do You Take Guilt With Your Coffee?

by Cally Carswell 


Tags: Technology, free wi-fi, coffee shops, wireless internet access, AdRants, CoffeeCompany, Ritual Coffee Roasters, Freakonomics,

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Coffee shop customers regularly transform café tables into their own personal offices. The price is right: A couple bucks buys you coffee, a “desk”, and free wireless access, which many penny-pinchers aren’t ashamed to log onto for hours on end.

The loitering isn’t always good for business, though. In fact, some coffee shops are trying to guilt trip patrons into coughing up more cash. According to AdRants, the Netherlands' CoffeeCompany chain uses its wireless networks as a shame inducing marketing tool. They regularly change their networks’ names from OrderAnotherCoffeeAlready to BuyAnotherCupYouCheapskate, or use it to offer promotions like TodaysSpecialExpresso1.60Euro. Other cafes, including  Ritual Coffee Roasters, a hot spot for Bay Area tech startups, have taken a harder line, covering up outlets so patrons are forced to move on when their laptop batteries run out of juice. Still, many customers don't take a hint—they just bring back-up batteries and stay put.

(Thanks, Freakonomics.)

Image by superfem, licensed under Creative Commons.