Tip to CoffeeShop Wifi freeloaders: Buy Something

.. and conversely, Tip to coffee shops with wifi: Tell them to.

This was bound to happen. A 20 year old man in Washington, US was charged with “theft of services” after mooching off of a coffee shop’s free internet access for three months without buying anything.

“He doesn’t buy anything,” Emily Pranger, the shop’s manager, told KATU, a Portland, Ore. television station. “It’s not right for him to come and use it.”

Smith allegedly parked his truck in the parking lot to use Brewed Awakenings’ wireless access.

County deputies charged Smith with theft of services after returning to the parking lot after they told him to stop. The crime, which covers such crimes as bypassing a utility meter, stealing cable, and leaving a restaurant without paying, has been used in the past to prosecute hackers who have accessed a computer or network without paying for it. “It’s something that is borderline creepy,” Pranger said to KATU.

Re above, you have to wonder though: Did they ask him to buy anything all those three months he was using it? Or at least politely tell him off? Maybe even block the signal? All better alternatives to having someone arrested imo, or is calling 911 the default thing to do over there?

Truth is, I don’t put restrictions on my own home wifi. The way I figure it, I pay a flat rate for it anyway, so I don’t pay any more or less if I get a moocher. However, it’s very unlikely that I’d get a lot up here in the Cainta mountains, so that policy would change if I’d live, say, in a Makati condo.

If I did however, I’d likely adjust as needed, and shut off access only when I feel things are slowing down too much, or my security is at risk. And yes, also if someone’s been mooching for three months without even a thank you, but I’d just block him first at any rate. Besides I wouldn’t even know how to explain that to our police.

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5 thoughts on “Tip to CoffeeShop Wifi freeloaders: Buy Something

  1. Hey Gary! Do you know any free WiFi here in Metro Manila? I found hotspots in Gateway and Mall of Asia but they’re not accessible. If I park my car in front of your house, will I have access? Haha, kidding. I finally bought a Nokia E70 phone and made a WiFi AP inside my house made of USB WiFi dongle on Windows2000 Server.

    I also live in Cainta, near Sta Lucia Mall. Maybe we can get together sometime and do some catching up.

  2. why are the wifi hotspots you found not accessible rommel? sure if you get to my house free ka, kaso sa gas pa lang papunta dito i dont think you’d be interested pa rin :)

    nice phone! anytime kitakits!

  3. In Mall of Asia, the hotspots require a password. In Gateway Mall, my phone just stayed on the “Connecting…” screen.

    The car wash near our place (Mugs ‘n Wash) advertises free WiFi but I have not had my car washed since I got the phone.

  4. ah i see that mugs n’ wash whenever i go to katipunan! grabe traffic dun :(( anyway, the free wifi hotspots i know that work are the ones at galleria, at the cafe downstairs and another cafe at 1st floor level near the escalators, adb avenue side.

    i dont know why wifi on phones hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves. I think it’s fantastic!, and should be the most sought-after connectivity feature in phones from now on. Just the fact I can watch tv or read a book while my phone keeps tabs with gmail so i can moderate comments on my blogs without need to sit in front of my PC is so liberating! :)

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