So I've searched for this topic on here already and didn't see it.

 

So I was wondering if anyone else has this problem:

 

The shop I work in is on a very busy college campus which provides free wifi (the owners refuse to charge people for it or provide a password at the time that a purchase is made). So many times throughout the day we have many people come in take up seats and use our wifi. My question is what's the right way to approach a customer about basically freeloading?

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The one real and substantial thing to do that will make a huge difference is to look at this as an opportunity to learn from others mistakes. (That is assuming that free wi-fi is indeed a mistake, which I think it is)

You may one day want to own your own shop or have the ear of an owner as a manager etc. You may be frustrated at what is all too common an exploitation of services offered but trying to remedy the situation when you are not in a position of authority to do so will only add to that frustration. The problem may be alleviated temorarily but it will only return if you are not able to actually influence policy.

So my advice is to simply ask you manager or owner. Listen to what they say and learn your lessons on their dime while you can.

-cd

good call

Deferio said:

The one real and substantial thing to do that will make a huge difference is to look at this as an opportunity to learn from others mistakes. (That is assuming that free wi-fi is indeed a mistake, which I think it is)

You may one day want to own your own shop or have the ear of an owner as a manager etc. You may be frustrated at what is all too common an exploitation of services offered but trying to remedy the situation when you are not in a position of authority to do so will only add to that frustration. The problem may be alleviated temorarily but it will only return if you are not able to actually influence policy.

So my advice is to simply ask you manager or owner. Listen to what they say and learn your lessons on their dime while you can.

-cd

Our internet system is set so that anyone wanting to use the internet has to come to the register and ask how to connect to the internet. We provide, free of charge, receipt printouts which have a different username and password for each customer, and these usernames and passwords provide internet access for 24 hours. So pretty much each time these people come in, they have to ask for a new receipt, and in doing so, have to come to the counter, which is the surest method to even get them to consider buying something, even if they never do.

You already stated your answer:

 

"The owners refuse to charge people for it or provide a password..."

 

Simple.  Done.  No issue.

There is no "right way" to approach the customer.  The owners have decided that WiFi will be free and open to all.

 

Personally speaking, I think WiFi is a mistake (free or charged).  I don't want people sitting there for hours on end surfing their computer while others have to stand.  I want to turn the tables and make room for more guests.  Hence Spro's No WiFi, No Music and No Art policy.

We offer free wifi at the shop I manage, but we also have the extra space to do so.  We operate in a high-volume seasonal vacation area.  It typically doesn't pose many problems, other than the occasional camper. We offer the service to paying customers only, which means they have to buy something initially.  As an unspoken rule, we casually ask them to purchase something again after the first free hour.

Two specific wifi abusers I have had to confront:

1. The guy who was running his online business using our free internet (I also think he lived in his car). He came in every day for at least 8 hours. After noticing the trend, we politely asked him to limit his usage to an hour a day.

2. The guy who was using our free wifi in the parking lot after hours. We promptly put a timer on the wifi limited to business hours only.

 

 

     I don't know what it is about a coffee shop that screams come in have a meeting, conduct business, or surf the web all for free. This has been a major problem fro me from day one. I have had all kinds of customers free loading have even had them bring drinks from other places. So that means if you are in my space you have to purchase something or you must leave no exceptions. On the other hand I have a customer comes in almost every day spend 5 or 6 hours and buys something every hour or so. So I guess I am saying it takes all kinds. My newest cheap customer said and I quote 1 large coffee but please put in two small cups I want to share.  Huh!!! I can only guess that he thought that second cup did not cost me anything.

I have these signs in my cafe...

"The Shop provides free wifi to paying customers. Due to limited seating we may ask you to share your table or move if you have been here a considerable lenght of time. Thank you of being considerate and the space and others''

Network: The Shop

Password:****

Thank you for coming to The Shop!

We are currently in the process of some minor remodeling.  One of the crucial elements we decided to add is a wifi docking station - a long bar-type tabletop in front of a window with 6 tall chairs and outlets evenly spaced.  By encouraging wifi users to sit here, we hope to make more table/couch seating available for other customers. 

 

We always encourage our customers to bring their meetings, parties, and groups to our shop; as long as they know that we expect them to make some purchases. And it usually brings in some new customers, so why not. We have a weekly knitting group, botanical group, and two monthly book clubs!

 

And yes, it is 100% unacceptable and down right rude for a customer to bring in drinks/food from other restaurants. We have a subway nearby and are always explaining to customers that we cannot allow them to eat their sub in our dining room among other customers who have purchased our food!!  We have a full breakfast and lunch menu, pastries, and are adjoined by a pizzeria that our boss also owns...C'MON!!! 

Kathy Fadorsen said:

     I don't know what it is about a coffee shop that screams come in have a meeting, conduct business, or surf the web all for free. This has been a major problem fro me from day one. I have had all kinds of customers free loading have even had them bring drinks from other places. So that means if you are in my space you have to purchase something or you must leave no exceptions.
We posted a simular sign and it has helped alot, Somepeople on the other hand fail to relate purchasing something with being a customer. They seem to think if they walk in store they are a customer. I agree with Ashley it is just plain rude. 

Phoebe Aceto said:

I have these signs in my cafe...

"The Shop provides free wifi to paying customers. Due to limited seating we may ask you to share your table or move if you have been here a considerable lenght of time. Thank you of being considerate and the space and others''

Network: The Shop

Password:****

Thank you for coming to The Shop!

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