More on WiFi and Cafes Not Being Such a Good Mix
I recently wrote here on why I thought WiFi and Cafes might not exactly be a good mix for business, with the possibility of abuse from users who tend to overextend their stay while surfing over the cafe’s WiFi network. Well, right now, I just realized I’d been on the receiving end of such a problem.
There was one area that was unoccupied, and that was the smoking area, enclosed from the rest of the establishment in its own, comfortable, coccooned spot upstairs–emphasis is on enclosed here.
And guess what? I don’t smoke. I can’t stand cigarette smoke–the very smell would make my nose twitch and my windpipe contract to the point that I would usually end up sneezing myself to death unless I get a breath of fresh air in a matter of minutes.
So what have I learned from all this? I guess this just affirms my theory that in some instances, you could indeed assume the worst from people (which was pointed out in a comment posted here)–at least in some instances. Of course, it’s probably unfair to put people at fault for enjoying the facilities. Hey, I’m also here to do the same. What I’m pointing out is that there’s probably a better alternative for establishments attracting business this way–things that could discourage abuse.
For one, cafes could consider granting users free WiFi access with purchase of food or beverages, and this could be limited to a certain number of hours upon first use. At least this does two things: one, encourage patronage, and second, discourage overstaying. There are also a handful of other options, which would help the establishmets earn revenues along the way, say, by putting up contextual or location-based advertisements. This might not exactly deter abuse–but at least, the establishments could monetize the hotspot, or at least defray the costs of operation (or low table turnover).
Right now, I feel it’s time for me to go–I’ve been one of those overstaying laptop-toting patrons, and I’ve been at it for more than two hours now. Next time, I’ll make sure to come early so I can beat the WiFi rush hour. Somehow, I don’t think I I’ll be visiting this place again anytime soon.