Starbucks Offers ‘Free’ Wi-Fi, With A Catch

Starbucks is attempting to woo back the wireless set by offering free wi-fi at its U.S. stores. The only thing is, Starbucks’ version of “free” requires the purchase of their proprietary card, the wi-fi only lasts for 2 consecutive hours, and the card has to be used at least once a month.

Why take ‘Bucks wi-fi with a catch when you can hop on a truly free wireless connection, for as long as you like, at a competing cafe?

Thirsty for more business during the worst slump in its history, Starbucks will try to lure more customers by offering two hours of free AT&T Wi-Fi a day.

The Wi-Fi freebie will be available starting Tuesday to customers who purchase a minimum $5 reloadable Starbucks Card, register online for the Starbucks Rewards Card program, and use the card at least once a month. The two hours must be consecutive. New members also receive a voucher for a free drink.

Starbucks’ 7-year-old relationship with T-Mobile for Wi-Fi service is being phased out in 2008.

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