"Free" WiFi at Starbucks comes with a price

Yesterday Starbucks began offering free WiFi to coffee drinkers who visited its Card Reward webpage to either sign up for a $5 rewards card or register an existing gift card. Users who sign up before July 14 get a free drink and everyone who signs up can use two hours of AT&T WiFi in Starbucks shops free every day. The only catch is that Card Reward users have to make a purchase with their card at least once a month.

But this plan was complicated when customers overwhelmed the Card Reward site yesterday causing the company to put up a message saying that they were working on the problem and to please check back later. This morning the site was operational.

This latest offer follows Starbucks' announcement earlier this year that AT&T would start providing WiFi service in Starbucks stores. T-Mobile USA, however, continues to offer the service as well.

For more:
- see this story

Related stories:
T-Mobile USA: WiFi subs can still use Starbucks. Read about T-Mobile's WiFi deal with Starbucks.
Starbucks snubs T-Mobile, signs WiFi deal with AT&T. Read about Starbucks WiFi deal with AT&T