Many NYC Starbucks Locations About To Put An End To ‘Squatters’

Coffee Giant, Customers Have Had Just About Enough Of You Hogging Seats

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — They’re called Starbucks “squatters.” You know, those folks with their laptops who take all the seats and never seem to leave.

But, as CBS 2’s Scott Rapoport, reports the coffee house giant has a plan brewing to fix that.

You know how some Starbucks customers and their computers like to make a permanent home in the coffee emporium, hogging up all the seats for hours, mooching off the free Wi-Fi and preventing you from sitting down and enjoying the latte you paid $5 for?

Well, now some Starbucks in New York City are reportedly pulling the plug on that idea, actually covering up their electrical outlets to discourage squatters.

WCBS 880’s Monica Miller Reports From Midtown

“Customers are asking (for it). They just purchased a latte and a pastry and there is nowhere to sit down in some of these high-volume stores,” Starbucks spokesperson Alan Hilowitz said.

“People actually live here. You know what I’m saying?” added Alan Glowko of Astoria.

It is a move that has some Starbucks regulars saying … it’s about time.

“If there’s no more space to sit, they should get up and leave,” said Katie Krug of Burlington, Vt.

“I mean, you can’t use their electricity for like eight hours. I mean honestly,” Glowko added.

Still others say for what they’re paying for coffee they should be able to stay as long as they like.

“If people want to sit there and relax they should be able to,” one person said.

At some other coffee shops in the city, like Doma in the West Village, they let you use your laptop here for as long as you like if the store is not too busy on week days up until 5 p.m. The catch is you have to have your own Wi-Fi.

At Grumpy’s, employees said there are no laptops allowed, period. That’s the policy.

As for Starbucks, the decision to pull the plug is reportedly up to individual stores thought to be only in New York.

It’s an idea brewed much the like the coffee — for customer satisfaction.

Employees at some smaller Starbucks locations told Rapoport privately that electrical outlets will not be blocked in their stores because seating space is not an issue.

Do you like this idea? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

  • lectorconstans

    It would be a lot simpler for Starbucks just to shut down the WiFi machine. Another chain, here in California, has their WiFi set to disconnect every two hours with a message like “Enjoy another cup of our coffee, and sign back in in 10 minutes:.

    Jeff: “They’re not called squatters they’re called laptop hobos.”
    I call them Parasites. They suck up the store’s electricity and WiFi.

    And Starbucks is not the only game in town. The commentors who say Starbucks coffee sucks obviously don’t think it’s bad enough to go somewhere else.

    But nit to worry – pretty soon the Democrats will decide that “free WiFi” is a Constitutional right, and we’ll have it everywhere. Don’t worry about who’s going to pay for it. WiFi grows on trees.

    Unfortunately, when that brilliant idea kicks in, we can say hello to 300 baud WiFi.

    • Unclero

      i am a consumer and a business owner and I think that it is horrifically sad how many Americans think that they are entitled to so much and feel no ill about taking more than they give in any and all aspects of their lives.How pathetic!

    • blake

      ohhhh republicans…

  • SFiPhoneUser

    In the San Francisco Bay Area coffee shop patrons with high tech gadgets are being robbed at gunpoint for the goods. I know that makes me think twice about using expensive gear in public places. In SF people are being robbed of their iPhones in broad daylight and in very public places.

  • betzyross

    That’s what killed Dean and DeLuca / Boarders @ Columbus Circle. People sit for hours with an empty coffee cut pretending to be a customer. Real customers walk out. I’v done is hundreads of times. Killed Boarders business and they didn’t even know it, I’ll bet. GO STARBUCKS ! Didn’t think you noticed either ! Go find free WiFI somewhere else, mutchers. Just what Obama is pushing for those living off others !

    • eracism

      You’ve gotta be very creative and probably mentally ill to see racism in betzyross’s comments. Please get help. You might consider the storng possibility that you are projecting…

    • The Voice of Reason

      Don’t worry LG. Obama will probably be a one-term president and go down in history as the one whose administration and policies definitively marked the fall of the US. The libs have been giving away cash for votes since FDR. Now entitlements have created a whole class that don’t work and suck on the teat of the government for a living. I see them everyday in the outreach clinics I provide free care at. Coming in saying “I want my hysterectomy.” They have no insurance. I can give my services for free but finding a hospital to do it isn’t easy. Problems like these can usually be fixed by birth control pills but they’re “not pill people” and that few bucks a month would eat into cigarette money. Look for Obama to inflate his way out of this one. You are an idiot as well.

    • Scamp

      RRH – Please explain where the tinge of racism is. Seems to me that the liberals pull the race card immediately when comments are made that might put the Boy King in a bad light. Never mind, you don’t have to explain, I just figured it out myself!

    • morgan

      sticking ‘actually’ at the front of a sentence doesn’t make something anaccurate true, but that’s cool, it’s fun to read your hilarious send up of tea partiers as ‘tea baggers’. unique.

    • morgan

      or, alternatively, ‘inaccurate’

    • roy

      RRH: where ever you go–make sure to switch to Decaf. Bleh!

    • Amy

      This is ridiculous. I understand closing up the outlets. But honestly… kicking all the writers out of your coffee shop???? What are you thinking????

      • Fran

        You must be kidding: they are unemployed bc they are hippies and are dern lazy!

    • Led Belli

      Obama may not be a communist, but he sure as hell acts like one, except most communists didn’t have a brain the size of a pea, like you and Barry, the Great Pretender.

      • James Johnson

        What does this have to do with the Starbucks article?

    • morgan

      yeah i totally noticed how those comments come with a tinge of teabaggery. very incisive rrh.

    • Bill O

      Racism and teabaggery, some folks can find a soapbox in anything. People who don’t know what a proper noun is, how to use punctuation, and who use run-on sentences probably contributed to killing Boarders.

    • lectorconstans

      LG: We are honored by your caring corrections.

      However, “Betzy” is what we call a “screen name”. It’s a personal extension of one’s self. She can spell it any way she wants.

      As for Obama, if he’s “moderate”, then I’m King of Siam. Your problem is that to someone so far left, even a moderate seems fascist. You give yourself away with the slur “teabaggers”.

      I notice now that the headline is “… New York…”. I understand the article perfectly. New York is home to the narcissistic, self-absorbed, “everybody owes me a living” crowd.

    • Barberick

      If “teabaggery” is about getting rid of losers who buy one cup of coffee and then sit around the rest of the time wasting space for others – call me a teabagger! When are you liberal idiots going to realize that in this world, nothing can be free – cause if it is – jerks like you take advantage and ruin for the rest of us.

    • Bill O

      A post about ingnorance includes sentences starting with a conjunction and advising that a person who chose to spell her name differently from the norm, she should change it. One might argue there’s a wee bit of racism or ethnocentrism here as well.

    • Gregg Velosi

      “Racism racism racism!! Teabaggery, OMG, the conservatives are EVERYWHERE! Quick, form a flash mob! Text Barry the Destroyer they’re gonna make us slightly uncomfortable, help!” Enjoy your little party while it lasts, RRH, reality is gonna come crashing down on your idealistic little dream with a quickness.

    • LG

      lectorconstans: Thanks. You’re pretty obnoxious yourself.

      If I was writing a formal paper for peer review or for any other academic endeavor, I would certainly not begin a sentence with “and.” However, it is quite another issue to misspell “Borders” thus creating a rather amusing a pun. I’m sorry you missed it, but then again, I cannot count on the existence of a high level of intelligence from everyone here.

      “Betzy Ross” may be a screen name, true, but it does contribute to a perception about the poster’s spelling skills when it is followed with “Boarders.” She (or he) can spell anything however she (or he) wants, as well, but that was not my point.

      In regard to the “teabagger” comment, I only seek to even the score with one “tea-bagger” for every “Obamacare” that has come out of the mouths of those who oppose it the health care bill. I also seek to use “teabagger” for every use of the words “libs, liberals, and bleeding heart liberals” that come out of the mouths of those who sit on the far right of politics.

      Political pundits love to give derogatory names to their enemies and their enemies’ policies. I say, “If you can’t beat, ‘em, join ‘em.” I’m terribly sorry for using the abbreviated contraction, “ ‘em “ when I really meant, “them.” I hope you can forgive me for such an erroneous error.

      In regard to Obama’s position, I would never have expected a communist to give tax breaks to corporations or to advocate for the use of private funding to educate the public in the form of charter and voucher schools. If anything, Obama is far too much to the right on those policies for the taste of many left-leaning citizens. Perhaps the reality of that explains his “political tendencies” are all a matter of perception and open to interpretation from a person’s point-of-view.

      (No, I’m not from New York, but thanks for making that judgment about New Yorkers.)

    • jim ford

      Agree with most of that statement. Except that President Obama is hardly moderate. He is the most liberal person who has ever held that office. President Peanut is the only one who even comes close.

    • lectorconstans

      LG: “… If I was writing…”

      That’s “If I were writing….”

    • JWnTX

      Moderate like who? Who else bailed out businesses and extra-legally dispossessed bond-holders in favor of the unions who drove them to bankruptcy in the first place? Who else has tried to socialize 1/7 of our economy in order to control how people live their lives? Who else has tried to make government ever bigger even as the rest of the country was folding under the economic pressure it already exerts? Obama may not be a socialist–but if he’s not, he’s as stupid a human being as ever reached the White House.

      • Abortdemocrats

        I agree 100% with your statement. Despite the fact that no nation has ever taxed and spent it’s way into prosperity the liberal Democrats in power seem to be solidly behind the concept, even now after their spending and policies have resulted in trillions spent with no result (don’t forget the $278k per job “stimulus” program), pro-union (anti-business) stance causing the continued dip in employment, and the class warfare they are promoting has caused such a divide in our country that we may never recover. If Obama isn’t re-elected I can already see them gearing up to label America as the most racist country, even though France, Germany, Italy, Russia, etc. has never had a black leader and probably never will. Democrats pit the ‘have-nots’ (liberals, Democrats) against the ‘haves’ (people who work for a living or employ others, Republicans, Conservatives, Tea Party members). I fail to see a future in catering to the least of society. It is one thing to care for a person who worked their whole life, quite another to finance the lifestyle of a 20 year old communist wannabe. Obama, Pelosi and Reid are single-handedly responsible for the decline of America, economically and socially, and they accomplished this in only 6 years of autocratic rule.

    • L.

      Why do you morons ALWAYS have to turn EVERY conversation to your ignorant political views? And WTH is a “mutcher”? Obama is also pushing for education… perhaps you should avail yourself of it. At least buy a dictionary… or borrow one from the SOCIALIST PUBLIC LIBRARY. (There, see? I can can do it too!)

      • abortdemocrats

        Your ignorance is showing. There cannot be a ‘socialist’ public library because there are no ‘private’ public libraries liberals always try to make-believe that we already live in a socialist society by pointing to public services, such as police and fire. Most conservatives will tell you that the government already over-reaches its basic responsibilities of provideing a safe and legal presence so that we may flourish in our PRIVATE lives. Making home-schooling illegal would be an example of over-reach by the government, but making murder illegal is within the acceptable framework. Now that healthcare insurance is a mandatory expense, why don’t you use that as an example of socialism? It is more appropriate, as it demonstrates more government and a direct manipulation of personal freedoms. Most people are not forced to go to public libraries, I haven’t been in one for over 20 years, but I have already experienced the results of Obamacare, and presumably will continue to do so. Perhaps if liberals would insist on a better public education system instead of basking in their ignorance you would understand the difference between public services and socialism. You could also explain how it is possible to believe healthcare is a right while promoting the abortion of millions of babies each year. It would seem that liberal thinking results in many paradoxical situations, i.e. spending more money than you have to become prosperous, taking money away from the economy to promote economic growth, electing someone with no experience to run the country. I won’t call liberals dumb, but I certainly see why they are so quick to tell people how intelligent they are, because that conclusion otherwise would not be the one reached in any test of reasonable assertion.

      • Dale Auburn

        I think he meant “moocher” (i.e.somebody who leeches off others).

  • dmzrn

    Friends don’t let friends drink starbucks.

    • dmzrn daddy

      Do u think your comment is witty?I found it plain stupid like ur mama.

  • aaa

    I can just point my repeater at the SBux across the street, steal the signal and get free wifi. Sweet? I buy coffee at the Islamocarts outside.

  • Whats Reality?

    Brad I hope you are not including Social Security and Medicare into the entitlement programs.

    • Taxpayer from VA

      Actually Social Sec & Medicare are the ONLY “entitlement” programs. You pay money into the program for an entire working career, and you are “entitled” to get it back. The other programs — food stamps, earned income credits, aid to dependent children, welfare — are not “entitlements” — they are handouts.

      • englanddg

        Actually, no. Social Security and Medicare legislation is clearly written that you are entitled to nothing. So, they are worse then entitlements. It’s a tax with a “whatever we want to pay out” clause.

        Look it up.

      • kissmyass starbucks

        So-called “entitlement programs” are not called entitlement because of your legal rights but because of the mindset of recipients.

    • Kettlecorn

      No SS and Medicare are not entitlement programs, they are PONZI schemes that will both be bankrupt within the next 10 to 20 years. You can’t pay in pennies into a program and withdraw dollars and think everything is going to be OK. Take a look at Europe as one country after another is failing, looks like Italy is next followed by Spain. That’s our future.

      • gnubi

        @West Man
        I’m a Tea Party supporter that can read and can assure you that you are wrong on all counts. Take your own advice and look it up. You won’t, of course, but you would be enlightened rather than remain immersed in your willful ignorance.

      • geummah

        Look at California, that’s America’s future. 12% of the nation’s population and they suck up 30% of all the welfare dollars. As long as illegals keep reproducing (and they will because by and large they are Catholics and zero birth control) we’re doomed. Getting the illegals out of the US would go a long way to saving this once great country.

      • Tjp

        Except if you were allowed to invest the same amounts in a private fund instead of under government care. Then you’d be a millionaire when you retired many times over.

      • West Man

        Yeah look at California that PAYS far more into the Federal Government than it receives. It’s the idiot Teaparty states that are the major welfare drains on the country. Look it up, oh yeah I forgot teabaggers can’t read.

      • Bill O

        Westman, I’d respond, but I can’t read your diatribe. However, I do know that in the context of your post, neither federal nor government are proper nouns.

  • kevin

    the people who frequent the starbucks at 181 st in washington heights will probably have a party if they do this. The people who squat there are annoying, loud and dramatic. Would be great to see them finally have to go home for a change.

    • Helena

      McDonalds will kick you out after an hour of seat hogging. The ones I feel sorry for are the Starbucks employees who get saddled with the chore of kicking out the seat and electricity hogs. Some poor SB employee will get stabbed or shot by some irate seat squatter they tell to leave and Starbucks will end up pulling the plug on free WiFi.

  • TheRealKingMax

    HA! A liberal-loving company gets a taste of their own medicine.

    Impeach Obama.

    • dawsdune

      i know . is it not delicious.
      and really, what did you expect when you offered “free” wifi. someone to sit for 5 minutes while they drank their coffee and left?
      it takes more than 5 minutes to do anything.
      plus, most of the starbucks i’ve driven BY (as in i don’t stop there) have tiny buildings. the most tables they have are like THREE! maybe four.
      that why, after work or on days when i don’t work, i go to mcdonalds or books-a-million or krystals.
      more room, cheaper food (so what what if it’s not healthy for you, neither is coffee filled with sugar and more sugar in the form of flavorings) and oh yeah more room.
      and one day, if i work long enough for miminum wage, internet will get cheap enough that i can buy it and use it at home.
      like most of you @$$holes who think this story is a “great” idea.

  • John Sheridan

    Great business think of your customers as ‘squatters’. There ARE other venues with free wifi AND less expensive food & coffee.

    • Ray Sheehan

      Agree. I don’t stay for “hours”, but I do need to stop occasionally to send/receive files.

      • Kingfish

        Must be a blogging hero, no home, no car, no brains, have to have moral support from your dependency on twitts, sad lonely life, loser.

    • Jack R.

      You probably are one of them, then…

      • Fran

        LOL @ Jack R. Ray is lying, he is the vagrant itinerant @ Starbucks

  • Paul Robb

    Why anyone would pay the money Stabux asks for their mediocre, industrial syrup flavored “coffee” is beyond me, but even more embarrassing are these people who think they are intellectually superior to all non Starbux clients simply because the parasites steal WIFI and electricity from their host. The parallels to Marxism and Socialism are delicious. Who is the lower form of life, those who pay for a Styrofoam cup with a cheesy logo, or those who sit around and watch the activity. None of these people have a life, and all are parasites on society. BTW, buy puts on Starbux.

  • Buck

    The stores are “thought to be” in New York? Does no one know whether the NYC stores are actually in NYC?

    • Thurston Wellington, III

      Sweet! I think this article was written by elementary school students.

      • Kingfish

        Absolutely, and you would know for sure!

    • StaticKlingon

      And they selll gunk that is “thought to be” coffee to morons who are “thought to be” trendy metrosexuals. Your point?

  • El Gato

    I have wifi at home. When we are on the road, occasionally, we like to stop at SB for a cup of coffee and maybe a sandwich or other snack. We have no way to get on the internet because most RV parks internet connections suck big time. We don’t abuse the priviledge. If SB stops the internet, we’ll just have to go to McDonalds’s!!

    BTW, how many of you whiners are running off your OWN internet connection. Just asking…

  • Dano

    I cannot stand all the people that sit and read in the dining area of Barnes and Noble bookstore. If you haven’t ordered food or drink you should not plop down and take space for paying customers. Also, maybe you should just buy that book if it is so interesting.

    • bookworm

      Many of the people who have the audacity to sit down at a bookstore and read are trying to decide whether to buy the book or not. With trade paperbacks costing $16.00 or more, plus tax, someone with only $20 to spend on books each week really wants to get their money’s worth.

      At Starbucks, the situation is somewhat different. Someone who pays $5 for a drink and then sits around for four hours is much less profitable than someone who takes a book (or multiple books) to a table, reads them for an hour to make sure the books are good, and then spends $10, $20, or $40 so they can keep reading the books at home. (Prices based on the typical cost for a single mass-market paperback, two mass-market paperbacks, and two mass-market paperbacks plus a trade paperback.)

      • Paul Kane

        If you have “only” $20.00 FOR BOOKS each week then you should think about purchasing books in a thrift store where they are much cheaper.

        For Heaven’s Sake.

      • Edina

        Hello-public library

      • Dano

        If you have time to sit around for an hour and read a book you should really buy it. I don’t have a problem with that by the way if you are simply flipping through multiple books while you try to decide on which to purchase. My biggest complaint are those who take space in the dining area for those who have purchased food or drink.

      • DaddyStarbucks

        I would be willing to bet that the net profit on a $10 Starbucks purchase is probably equal to the net profit on a $20 bookstore profit.

        But, at the end of the day, it’s all about profits. STARBUCK’s big mistake in the past has been that it is a huge company, and tries to set one consistent policy for each store.

        In my market, there are stores that are empty all day and would LOVE to have 5 or 6 people camped out there, just so it feels like there is traffic. Other stores are standing room only. This is a good step: Let different stores decide what works or their location.

      • jim ford

        I’m surprised Kindle hasn’t killed the hardcover business yet. Just a matter of time.

      • dwdraw2

        All too often I see people plop themselves down in Barnes & Noble dining area, and have five or six magazines they have taken off the shelf to read while sipping a cup of coffee. When they are done reading the un-paid for magazines, they walk out leaving the magazines cluttered on the table. The store then sends someone around to gather the magazines up and return them to the shelves.

        These people have no intentions of buying the magazines. It’s no different than a person stealing a magazine reading it, then returning it, at the stores loss. Shouldn’t then the sore sell the magazine as used, and half cost?

        Every magazine I grab at the store, I pay for at the counter with the coffee, then I plop myself down and read. Why is it so hard for the progressive liberals to understand that simple concept? “You pay before you play,” simple concept.

        The same basic theory applies for the live-in computer users of the free Wi-Fi, they need to purchase something to eat and drink to help the store pay for the electricity for their computer use.

        Progressive liberals are constantly trying to find ways to steal something from someone and wanting to call it community sharing.

  • Naru

    The two in Penn Station are blocked. Early in Winter the one closest to the A,C,E subways blocked them off- so then I used to go the the smaller one near the LIRR central corridor- then they blocked them too. It sucks for those that just want a quick charge and a hot tea.

  • xsnake66

    A leftist “service” establishment(s) calling their needy, leeches…..they so deserve each other……I can only hope that the offenders are devout anarchists, who hold grudges.

    • Joseph L Cooke

      Anyone voluntarily entering a Starbucks should be thrown out of the US.

      • Richard Halvorson

        well the owner of Starbucks did sell Seattle’s Beloved NBA team to the devil known as Clay Bennett who moved them to his hometown of Oklahoma City, so lots of folks in Seattle would agree with you Joseph!

    • Tangair

      Funny post. Well said.

    • ryan

      How is Starbucks anymore leftist than, say, Stake @ Shake? Or Joes Crab Shack? Last i heard Starbucks stays out of politics.

      • DaddyStarbucks

        Nah. Starbucks doesn’t back political candidates, but it is vocal in causes that are perceived to be left of center — eco, green, anti-war, etc.

        Stake & Shake? Is that a hangout for vampire hunters?

  • RJC

    @ Michael Smith & Ron Robinson –
    Please tell me who I need to contact at Starbucks HR so I can get a job writing shamelessly pro-Starbucks comments for articles like these! Is it worth what they pay you?

    • Michael Smith

      Oh I WISH they’d pay me! I’m a Starbucks fan, I admit it. I’m not in the USA at the moment. I hang out at a Starbucks in Riyadh, which is great. Music is sinful here in KSA and I don’t have to listen to the blaring “music” that I have to put up with at some of the New York Starbucks. I do sometimes wonder if Starbucks puts something in their coffee to addict me, because I truly love their mochas. So sue me!

      • Kingfish

        They do, a flavor called stupidity, common among libs.

    • DaddyStarbucks

      Lighten up, Francis. It’s just a coffee shop.

  • Brad P

    It’s the equivalent of welfare electricity for hippies. One of them will get Gloria Allred to successfully sue Starbucks for taking away their right to electricity and Wi-fi. Sounds like a good start, now on to the entitlement programs that make people useless.

    • bob

      …hippies can afford $7 mochafrappelattes?

  • Bella

    Devise a system of internet time that the person can earn based on what they buy. Ex. for every $5.00 puchase, the customer earns $15.00 minutes and they it internet service shuts off. – with a warning first , of course.

    • jimjim

      easy. put an access code on the receipt that activates only once and runs for 15 minutes. Make it so they expire in a hour if unused.

      • Cathleen

        Peets does that. You order, pay, get the code. It’s good for two hours.

        Peets is the ‘father’ of Starbucks. Two guys who worked there left and started Starbucks. They have not overly expanded and still mostly sell coffee and tea beverages. Both are in San Diego and I only order coffee wherever I go.

  • Hoppy

    I mean, c’mon. Like honestly? Like really. I mean c’mon.

    • Fran

      It’s like staying at a grocery store or a department store all day–these people are deranged and need to be locked up

      • ryan

        How are these people deranged? What kind of world do you live in where you consider people abusing free wifi deranged? Oh you have no idea what deranged means. Fancy word are the kryptonite of you it seems

  • JPrimus

    No way! Starbucks has turned on their hippies? i can NOT believe this. Awesome.

    See, eventually being a stinky art history major with no job doesn’t look so cool.

    • Fran

      Yeah or a psch or sociology or journalism major

      • DaddyStarbucks

        I don’t understand this comment. Maybe it’s just the NY market.

        I frequent various Starbucks in Texas. The people on computers at the locations I go to have jobs like freelance writing, interior design, marketing consultant, financial planners, marketing, futures trading, restaurant consultant, etc.

        The people with psych, journalism and sociology degrees are NOT the customers. Those are the people manning the coffee machines.

      • JPrimus

        I understand the confusion. And you’re right, it’s usually the workers with dead-end degrees. But the two by my house, it’s actually the customers. It’s like they hang and want to be seen there. Too cool to be anywhere else. Meanwhile it’s not cool enough to be anywhere but there.

    • Rogue State of Mind

      Liberals losing an entitlement. How sad. ;-)
      Wonder if we’ll have a revolution next week.

    • WhoDatMan

      Last one out please turn off the hippies.

  • Fran

    Often, they are long haired hippie-freaks or woman who have never shaved their legs.

    • Joseph L Cooke

      These women sound like crickets when they walk down the street. Yuk.

  • Houseblend

    Common over to Baltimore County, MD., and walk into Starbucks. It is just like going to Best Buy!

    • Casper

      “Common over…” Really! lol

  • Koblog

    Sounds like the typical self-absorbed New Yorker entitlement mentality: rent controlled housing; wi-fi paid for by someone else; one cup of coffee entitles me to a whole day of websurfing.

    • Howard Klausner

      I recently saw a well dressed man sit down at a Starbucks table, take his laptop and empty Starbucks cup from his breifcase and proceed to use it as his office.

      • Hawkeye

        These are the selfish folks the article is directed at. The “freelance” business people who use Starbucks as thier “office.”
        I’ve lost track of the articles I have read about these cyber mooches who abuse the free wi-fi privilagess.

  • Michael Smith

    Great idea! I love Starbucks and I get very irritated when I can’t find a seat to sit down and read for half an hour while I enjoy their excellent coffee.

  • Fran

    Sounds like the public library: people actually live there and talk to themselves at the PC’s all day. Then they take a lunch break and return to POSSESS a PC!!!

  • tiger blend

    We lost Coffee People in the Portland area when they bought them all and then
    changed them to SB, we lost the “tiger blend”, so now I go to Peets coffee.

    • Fran

      that’s an expensive way to get a cup of joe!

  • daveyjones

    Lancaster CA starbucks charges you for the password to borrow their wifi, 2 or 3 hour limit, I forget now. We were on vacation, so it was handy to be able to find a wifi spot to take care of a few things while we ate and drank a cup of coffee.
    but to sit there for hours and “work”, like you pay rent for the chair, feeling like “it’s my chair” …. not right. move along Capt. Selfish.

  • Craig

    I wish I had a Starbucks to go to. The ones in my city closed.

  • Ron Robinson

    Just came back from a 1.5 hour sales call at Starbucks (the editor I was talking to prefers that to his office across the street) where we both used the wireless to look at his web site and compare. But we were only there 1.5 hours – we both had other productive economic activity to engage in elsewhere.

  • Russ

    “If people want to sit there and relax, they should be able to.” How very considerate of this person to justify sitting and hogging the place indefinitely. I think a latté spilled into his or her keyboard would be a good thing. If people want to reward selfish and thoughtless behavior in kind, I think they should be able to.

    • DaddyStarbucks

      Except, as I pointed out earlier, Starbucks actively courted this audience for years.

      First, they wanted to fill up stores and dominate the market, so they went after these people — and I mean actively courting them with various Wifi plans, plenty of electric outlets, etc.

      Starbucks simply got what it wished for, and is now trying to deal with the problem.

  • LLSinSCV

    Yes, definitely ABOUT TIME that Starbucks kick out the MOOCHERS who hog up the tables or chairs for hours on end with their 1 cup of kawwwfee (my accent) or latte purchased… they think it’s their PASS to stay for the entire day. Don’t these people have JOBS like the rest of us??

    • Mark M.

      Moochers don’t pay for their coffee. These people do, and the WIFI is free because the pay model sucked. These are what you call Starbuck’s *Frequent* customers. Don’t they have jobs? Yes, most CHOOSE to work there because they don’t work in cube land where one’s worth is measured by the number of hours one’s ass occupies a seat.

      Don’t like that you can’t find a seat? Get there early or hit the road. Or maybe Starbucks could just provide more outlets. After all, we are talking about their REGULAR customers here, the ones who are there all day and buy several drinks throughout the day, not some “Oh let’s go get a latte and sit down for 5 minutes”. Seriously, who do you think spends more money in Starbucks, you or the person who’s there all day?

      • Fran

        You sound like a vagrant

      • jenB

        Well Mark, it is appears that the regulars are NOT the ones spending more, as this was a decision made because of complaints of the others. Just because you buy several drinks in a day does not mean that you have spent more than the 20 people who didn’t come in because your butt was in a seat for 6 hours. Nor does it mean that the rest of the squatters such as your self are actually buying several drinks a day.

        Selfish people, all about themselves. Never anyone else. don’t like your office environment, take your advice and hit the road to find another place that doesn’t resemble a cube. This is the starbucks, NOT your office.

      • Matt K

        “Seriously, who do you think spends more money in Starbucks, you or the person who’s there all day?”

        Umm…obviously Starbucks thinks it’s the guy/girl who gets the latte and sits down for 5 minutes, lol. Just common sense Einstein: if 5 different people were to buy a “beverage” and occupy your spot collectively for every hour (and beverage) that you individually take up on your normal all-day-sit-a-thon, the company makes a lot more money. That’s why restaurants try to turn over as many tables as possible and encourage waiters/waitresses to drop off the check soon after you start eating and pick up your plates as soon as you’re done…they want you gone to fill the spot with new paying customers.

        But not you, of course…because you’re a “frequent” & “regular” customer. (Good lord, that sounds so elitist.) A little tip for you pal…between YOU & lots of nonfrequent, irregular, and PAYING newcomers, I’m pretty sure Starbucks is gonna go with…well, not you.

      • AmericanMark

        Mark, you are the problem: a moocher. Too bad you’re too good for “cube land”. Where will you go when the free electrical access is cut off, the street? Funny that you rag on cube landers worth being based on how much they occupy an office seat when you’re doing the same in a coffee shop where you’re no longer welcome.

      • Jazz

        Holy mother, wow. Just, wow.

      • Mark M.

        Listen to you losers:
        Fran: You’re probably a vagrant. -Um no. I guarantee you I live in a far nicer neighborhood than you on probability alone.

        Matt K: Who spends more money: the guy all day, or the 5 minute guy.
        The 5 minute guy spent $5. The all day guy spent more than 5 bucks, and both did so standing in front of this thing called a “register” for 2 minutes.
        –So you can’t do math, and apparently these Starbucks store managers can’t either. Notice this is NYC. Maybe Starbucks should be looking for a little smarter managers in NYC that can, among other things, figure out how to keep their most reliable customers happy, keep the transient (vagrant?) 5 min latte crowd happy, and do math.

        Cubeland is great! – Um, sorry, I don’t have to work in a cube anymore because I work for myself, and my work is valuable enough that I can say “no, I’d rather not.”

  • Alvar the Fool

    Well I never go to Starbucks, so they can have my seat!

    • Fran


  • bruce

    i wish they would do that here in San Fernando Valley!!

  • jonathan f.

    I’m one of these squatters. It’s all part of my plan to slowly put them out of business for putting my local coffee shops, that actually had good coffee and a unique atmosphere (and electrical outlets), out of business through predatory business practices. Anybody who thinks there coffee is good- has never drank good coffee.

    • vintageport

      Would you like a little cheese with your whine? How is a $5.75 cup of coffee predatory…was your awesome coffee shop charging more and therefore couldn’t compete?

    • bruce

      you sir, are an idiot!!

    • Jody

      This is your brain on drugs

    • Kent

      When someone yells “lLoser Dork” do you look up instantly?

    • jeff

      So, incredibly bad behavior to everyone else in the coffee shop is justified by the taste of the coffee you have DRUNK? No, I’m not buying that at all. You are simply selfish and the rest is just an excuse.

    • Miguel

      You, sir, are correct. Starbucks is truly a predatory corporation which is dedicated to advancing it’s position, every bit at the expense of all others, including the many really great possibilities from young 0or older entreprenuers all over our great land. Any one who can;t see that is the American sheep that Starbucks Corporation intends you to be.

    • Billp

      where was you done brunged up ignorant young nimrod, can’t spell, can’t write, what good are you? waste of skin…

  • Nycl Poster

    Seems to me most of you are too dumb to understand how life works, This is a private business, they dictate the rules but common sense dictates you buy a coffee, maybe check your email and go after 10 – 15 minutes, you DON’T sit there like a loser for 2 hours hogging up valuable seating space. This is not your homes folks, please get a life, get the heck up and be courteous to the next customer and respect the business.

  • Car Dude

    Excuse me, sit.

  • William Baranowski

    Shark Jumpin’ Time At ‘Bucks.

  • alpha

    Staying more than 45-60 minutes is rude. SB is not in the office rental business.

    • Mark M.

      You understand they offer these things because they want to attract customers, right? We call them customers because they sit there and buy stuff, and most buy stuff all day, which is more than we can say for the in and out crowd.

      • JenB

        Good grief mark. Chill out, you aren’t their favorite or most important client anymore. I think you misunderstood their services. They are not an office rental that serves coffee as a perk. Sorry, but the other customers, who obviously Starbucks value more than you, have spoken. You have worn out your welcome. Its a hard lesson to learn, but it must be learned.

      • Mark M.

        When did you first realize you had psychic powers and could read the minds of Starbucks executives? Who the hell are you to decide which customers are important or not? Because if you actually read the story, it sounds like just some particular store managers have decided they don’t like their customers.

        I suspect that Starbucks management will be inviting them to leave once someone with some actual authority at Starbucks hears about this brilliant plan to get rid of their most reliable customers.

      • Dale Auburn

        Except that they DON’T attract customers – the moochers DRIVE AWAY the paying customers by hogging all the table space.

      • Dale Auburn

        @Mark M. “Who the hell are you to decide which customers are important or not?”

        Starbucks has already decided that the “important” customers are the PAYING customers, the ones who actually SPEND MONEY. People who just walk in, sit down, and type at their computers for 8 hours (using Starbucks’ electricity for free) are NOT paying customers and should NOT be subsidized by anybody.

    • redfish

      Staying when its getting crowded and people need seats is rude. Staying when nobody needs a seat is not rude at all. The management mainly cares if you’re taking something away from other customers.

      However, I’m not even sure why anyone who doesn’t want to sit down for work, or some other long activity (like reading) or a conversation with friends wants to take a seat in a Starbucks anyway. If I have nothing to do in Starbucks, I just take the cup and go for a nice walk.

    • DaddyStarbucks

      Ummm…just an aside: Starbucks ACTIVELY COURTED this audience for years. Why do you think they have stores with electric sockets every 4-6 feet?

      10 years ago, someone sat in the offices of Starbucks and said, “You know, there are probably 8 million self-employed, telecommuting, work-from-home people that sit and work and drink coffee all day, and who would love to get out of the house for a few hours. How do we reach out to them?”

      Happens all the time: Businesses achieve an objective, and find out that it presents a problem that they hadn’t anticipated. So, you adjust.

      But, face it: The people on computers aren’t “losers.” The ones I know are productive, and are fueling the economy by actually doing something, even as we sit at Sbux. If anyone is a “loser,” it’s the 20-something meterosexuales who are sitting around texting each other at 2:30 pm instead of doing something productive.

  • caroline

    LOL I’m so sick of the people too cheap to buy their own internet, so they crowd up the dunkin donuts. I’ll go with my kids, and it’s like study hall there. Starbucks is so packed, I don’t even go. Maybe they should give out individual passwords that give you a 30 minute wifi pass.

    • Russ

      I think it’s time to show up at Dunkin Donuts with your family and a few extra kids, look around at all the spaces taken up by squatters, and announce loudly ‘We’ll have to go someplace else – ther’e noplace to sit here.’ And then leave.

    • Old_Timer

      I think this would be an excellent idea. 30 Minutes exactly.

  • Jeff

    They’re not called squatters they’re called laptop hobos.

    • vintageport

      Nice…may I borrow that moniker?

  • Phillygal

    Wow, yourmom, that Word of the Day Calendar is really working for ya!

  • ecuamerican

    I don’t understand. Aren’t the “regulars” in this piece actually the “squatters” who are also “customers”? Did CBS even interview these “squatters” and get their take? Shoddy piece all around.

  • Billy Collins

    HAHA, leeches.

  • John

    In London last summer, you had to buy a SB “gift card” to get the password. I thought that was common in the big city.

  • kingfish

    Actually if Starbucks’ coffee was drinkable the customer would l drink it and leave instead of having to sit there for hours to get it down..

    • Jenniver

      Ha ha ha. Very funny. Obviously the coffee is more than drinkable given the huge numbers of people who have been going there day in and day out for 40 years.

      • Taytay

        I don’t think selling well is conclusive proof of quality… The White Stripes and Kesha sell records…

      • DaddyStarbucks

        Yes, but quality is usually not they top strength of market leaders. It’s more about supply chain, finance, economies of scale, branding, etc., and meeting other customer needs. McDonalds, Dewars, Microsoft, Coke, Campbell’s,…. you could fill a book about market leaders who are not the “highest quality” at what they do.

  • Dave Thrush

    I’m going there less and less anyway. The coffee is burned, half the time it’s cold, It’s way overpriced and the agenda of their corporation bothers me. I’ve found several better and cheaper coffee shops that don’t burn their beans until it tastes like cold mud.

    • Michael Smith

      You know this is not true. Starbucks throws out the coffee and brews a new pot every half hour. That’s official company policy. Ask any barista.

      • The Reticulator

        Being fresh doesn’t keep the beans from having been burnt way beyond any good roasting stage.

  • Dan

    Simple Solution: Use your Mac Book Pro and surf/work for 7+ hours without an outlet.

  • Alejandro Gonzalez

    If this becomes a policy for all stores, I hope another coffee shop starts to compete with Starbucks. The only reason I even go to Starbucks is to have a quiet space to work for like 4 hours. Although the one I go to isn’t that crowded and has plenty of space.

    • David

      How about a library? Many have WiFi and computers

    • Melanie

      You honestly cant find any other place to work besides mooching off of Starbucks?

      • symac

        I guess some people never heard of the library

      • Mark M.

        Why the hell should he have to find another place? Must everybody work as you do?

    • Talejandro

      ….and that’s why nobody likes you. In Spanish Alejandro means “selfish prick”.

    • Jazz

      Oh good God, I’m sure some entrepreneur is just dying to open a store where you can sit for hours for free using their wifi and driving other customers away.

  • noname

    i hate starbucks, i wish they would bankrupt

    • Lain

      Really? Do you realize how many people the SB corporation and all their chains employ?

    • yourmom

      What a puerile thing to say. How is life in the 5th grade? Still plugging along with your paper route?

      • WillD

        Yes indeed, how puerile…(Now where is my monocle…)

      • Jack Meehoff

        PUERILE!?! You just HAVE to be a DEMOCRAT. No one else in the world would use such a pedantic word.

        How’s that vote for Obama working out for you, Sucker Mom?

    • Jody

      Again…this is your brain on drugs

  • Clay

    Covering their electrical outlets? What if you buy and drink coffee all day? This is what Starbucks is known for. As soon as they start kicking out the people that made them, it’s downhill from here.

    • Car Dude

      This is going to be a major mistake. Some of their most loyal customers are the ones that set there for a few hours and buy many cups of that sludge. Often, Starbucks does not have enough seating regardless. This is a stupid move.

      • Mark M.

        Absolutely. But I’m sure the “let’s grab a coffee and check our blackberry” dinosaurs that still roam the concrete canyons of NYC will like those emptied out stores until their shuttered. …and the clueless crowd will say: “Oh what a shame, I sure liked getting a latte”.

        I’d be willing to bet that anybody that uses the internet to check their email for five minutes is wasting bandwidth. Don’t they have data plans for that?

    • Jazz

      Jesus, you do realize you’re paying double the price for high speed internet in your home or apartment if you’re paying for just one cup of coffee a day at Starbucks so you can sit for hours on your laptop for “free,” right? GO HOME AND SPRING FOR THE DAMN HIGH SPPED INTERNET ALREADY.

      • Clay

        Coffee at Starbucks starts at about $1. If you get the coffee with flavors it goes up. 99% of the time I work from my home office, the 1% of the time I “squat” and I buy stuff. Also, I don’t usually use the WIFI, I tether my smart phone because it is faster than the WIFI. What are you going to do now? No timeout on my internet, and I have backup batteries. Meanwhile, there are 14 people “squatting” reading the latest thriller novel, and drinking coffee.

1 2 3 5
blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live