Starbucks with two free wifi APs

I’ve been noticing that more and more Starbucks outlets are not just having the “timezone” wireless access point any longer, but also having one named “Starbucks”. Timezone is available for free, without registration (except in KLCC’s concourse), however, the Starbucks AP is provided for by MOL AccessPortal.
MOL Access Portal at Starbucks...
They’re quite annoying. They make you watch an ad for 30 seconds, before granting you “free” Wifi (in exchange for some information).

The real problem? I run Flash Block in Firefox, and don’t see the ad playing! In fact, once that ad is done with, and you’re done registering (that seems to be a one-off process), you are shown a five-columned website, in where you see relevant information about Starbucks, however, there are three columns that are also blocked via Flask Block (the ads!).

Maybe I’m not the ads target market. Then again, browsers don’t come built-in with ad blockers, or flash blockers, so this probably doesn’t affect majority of the people showing up at Starbucks. I wonder how effective the 30 second ad actually even is?

For folk going to Starbucks, its a win all the way. Two access points, double the chance of having faster Internet. For those going to Coffee Bean? Sigh, Airzed, you’re losing out… For those in other countries where Starbucks makes you pay for the Internet (I’m looking at you America [t-mobile] and Australia [horrendously expensive Telstra]) – you’ve found another reason to move :-)

On another note, I’ve noticed that from February 1 – April 13 2009, Starbucks is running a loyalty program, that rewards you after buying seven tall cups of any beverage – you get the eight one free. Starbucks isn’t normally into these loyalty goodies, so I’m guessing they want to keep you loyal during the down economy (besides, coffee at the mamak is averaging RM1.50-1.80 now).


  1. Do you own Starbucks shares? It almost sounds like it.

    Anyway, free Wifi or not, morals here or there, if I go to a coffee shop, I want coffee. Starbucks fails that basic requirement. They serve overpriced deserts.

    PS: of course Starbucks is trying everything to get back their customers. They are in serious trouble, world-wide, as the financial crisis makes people realise how inflated prices have become, especially of hip joints such as Starbucks. So expect more loyalty programmes and more free Wifi… or just learn from it, save your money, go elsewhere, and get better coffee.

  2. byte says:

    Nope, no Starbucks shares… Though considering how often I’m at a Starbucks, it might start becoming a good idea. Aren’t they a bargain now?

    Heh, over-priced deserts. I’m not a coffee snob, and even if I were, there are next to no places to satisfy my needs here in Kuala Lumpur.

    So you might have the choice to go elsewhere… Kuala Lumpur residents, don’t

  3. lotso says:

    dude.. this doesn’t happen when you’re using the iphone to browse. I was surprised when it asked for these info when I turned on my laptop though.

    Guess no Flash Support in iphone makes it a win in this case.