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The anti-WiFi movement at a coffee shop near you

Customers using Wi-Fi at a cafe Photo: flickr

Vancouver is a bit of tech hub, so it’s understandable that many of the coffee shops offer complimentary Wi-Fi access to customers. This way, people like me can whip our laptops and get some work done while sipping down on a hazelnut latte. But some cafes don’t like this anymore.

There’s an article over at the Los Angeles Times saying that more and more cafes are actually taking away their Wi-Fi access, and this is largely because of all the freeloaders. They’ll buy the cheapest coffee on the menu and then hog the biggest table for hours at a time.

It’s not only the fact that they’re hogging a table that could otherwise be occupied by a larger group of paying customers; they’re using the “free” Wi-Fi and the cafe’s electricity by having their laptops plugged into the wall. Some cafes are apparently so fed up with these types of “customers” that they are taking away the Wi-Fi access altogether. As a result, these people don’t show up and there’s more room for regular customers. And they’re finding support among the “anti-Wi-Fi crowd,” so to speak.

Getting out of the house and in a Wi-Fi cafe is a great way to change the vibe when working from home. I just hope that these “freeloaders” don’t go ruining it for me too.

[LA Times]

About Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

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  • Ernesto

    No need to remove wi-fi access. They can do what Blenz does, provide a 2-hour free access code. They can also remove power plugs close to tables, so people are limited by their own batteries.

    Also, the cost of wi-fi should be marginal to the overall cost of running a coffee shop. I’m one of those ‘freeloaders’ who spends at least $40 a month in coffee shops while browsing the net.

  • Adam

    I was wondering when cafe’s would start noticing that, i’ve thought about that many times before. I guess I’ll have to stay at home to use wifi.