I'd heard a mention that things were changing in Starbucks.
This morning, I had the great displeasure of dealing with T-Mobile's hotspot customer support when unable to connect from my local Starbucks. I use an iPass-enabled laptop for work, which makes working in Starbucks generally easy. But not today. Once again, I had to explain to the customer service representative that the IP address I had really was from their hotspot. "Oh, but our IP addresses always start 10.113, Mr. Morgan". Once they finally acknowledged that there was a problem, I then have to wait 24-48 hours while they think about fixing it. At which point, they'll undoubtedly get someone in Starbucks to recycle the power and the problem will go away.
This is a relatively new branch of Starbucks and the T-Mobile hotspot has been a regular problem since it opened. I've literally spent hours on the phone to their customer support trying to get them to sort it out. Of course, being "a member of the public", I can't possibly know what I'm talking about. You get used to being patronised after a while.
Thankfully, however, the curse of T-Mobile is shortly to disappear from Starbucks. Having finally brokered the relevant deals, Starbucks in the UK is moving to BT Openzone for it's hotspots. To be honest, I don't really know if BT Openzone is going to be any more reliable. Or if their customer service is better.
What I do know, though, is that it's good news for us iPhone users. At last, from May 25th, I can have complimentary iPhone Wi-Fi access with my Caramel Macchiato. Which will hopefully be much much responsive that O2's patchy 3G coverage.
In the meantime, while I wait patiently for T-Mobile to fix the problem (or BT Openzone to replace it altogether), I'm having to fall back to my Vodafone 3G card. Still, at least it's working.
May 15 2009, 08:35 AM