AT&T blunders on free Wi-Fi for iPhones

AT&T just can’t commit. To free Wi-Fi for iPhone 3G customers, that is.

AT&T just can’t commit. To free Wi-Fi for iPhone 3G customers, that is.

AT&T blunders on free Wi-Fi for iPhones
The company seems to be having a blunder-fest with announcements that iPhone 3G customers can get free Wi-Fi at its nationwide AT&T WiFi HotSpots (most notably in Starbucks stores). The carrier trumpets the free service on its Web site one day, then claims the announcement was a mistake and pulls the link the next day. The culprit? Employee error. I bought an iPhone 3G, and it’s an awesome tool (the App Store is an especially appealing addition). I owned the first version of the device, but now I’m paying AT&T $10 more a month for the data service and $5 per month for previously free text messaging. So I don’t see why AT&T couldn’t throw in free Wi-Fi for my not-too-frequent visits to Starbucks. But, even if it did, I’m not sure that I’d be able to use it. About a month ago, AT&T announced that anyone with an active Starbucks card could take advantage of free Wi-Fi in the store. I dutifully loaded $10 on my card, bought a venti drip, and asked the barista about the service. He acknowledged that it was available in that location. When I cracked open my laptop and tried to join the network, however, it asked me to register the card at Starbucks.com. I did so, but still couldn’t access the network. So I called Starbucks to ask how to log on. The tech rep said that I should be able to access the network after registering my card. Beyond that, he could offer no assistance as to how to join the network. So I finished my coffee—all 20 ounces of it--and left. If AT&T  really intends to offer Wi-FI, it needs to commit. And then train its partners.

Until then, I'm drinking my coffee at Joe: The Art of Coffee. They don't have Wi-Fi, but they don't promise it, either.

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All