2 Useless Companies: Starbucks and Bell — I’m sick of them

The bloom is off the rose, folks.

I, a formerly avid Starbucks lover, am never going to patronize that store ever again.



All because of their association with one of the rudest companies I’ve ever had the displeasure of coming across.

For the past 3 weeks, I’ve been going into Starbucks periodically to buy drinks, enjoy the atmosphere and read a little bit on my iPad.

I had NEVER had a problem before with their Wifi service, provided by Bell Hotspot, and even though they originally made you jump through hoops with Starbucks Card registrations and so on, it always connected me and it always worked.

(Note: I am on an iPad, iPod Touch or Laptop like a Macbook Air, and those products ALWAYS connected to Starbucks Wifi before)

Not any more.

Today, for the 15th time I’ve been into a Starbucks location (various ones all over Toronto), I was given the error message of something along the lines of:


Sorry, we couldn’t process your request at this time.

Please close the browser window and try again.

You can also call 1-866-768-8005 for customer service.”

I was trying for HALF AN HOUR.

I finally decided to call Bell Hotspot to see if there was anything that could be done, because it was starting to get on my nerves that I’ve never been able to connect to any Starbucks wifi since I returned.

Here’s how it went:

Bell Customer Service: Hi how can I help you?

Me: I’ve been trying for the past half an hour to connect to your Wifi at Starbucks and it keeps giving me this Error message.

Bell: Oh, well has it happened to other customers?

Me: *thinking WTF?*… Umm I don’t know, and frankly I don’t care. I have been trying for the past half an hour, and it keeps giving me an error message. I haven’t POLLED the customers in the store, so I am going to assume they all have the same problem.

Bell: Well if you knew if other people were experiencing the problem then we could do something.

Me: ………. [This is “customer SERVICE”?]

Bell: Could you go talk to the Starbucks manager and ask them if anyone else has been reporting the same problem? You have to talk to the Starbucks manager and then ask them, and then have them tell me.

Me: Look, I told you that I’m the one without connectivity here, and this is not the first time this has happened. I’ve NEVER been able to connect to a Starbucks wifi lately, and it’s the first time I’m calling in. You probably don’t get a lot of calls for this because people give up, but I thought I’d call and give it a try.

Bell: OH NO. Trust me, we ALWAYS get calls of customers complaining [And this is a good thing?] but we haven’t received any calls in the past 3 weeks. It has to be your device.

Me: Probably because no one has called in. I’ve been having problems for 3 weeks but this is the first time, and frankly, it isn’t my device. I’ve been using this same device before January when it connected perfectly fine to your network, and it’s only been in the past 3 weeks since that it hasn’t worked

[They probably cut down the bandwidth to be super cheap at Starbucks locations to make more money, or because they’re just trying to be CHEAP]

Bell: You need to go talk to the Starbucks manager and ask them if anyone has had problems.

Me: Why? I shouldn’t have to do that, it’s really your service you’re providing to them, not their service that I’m complaining about… [it’s not even my job, it is YOURS, BELL.]… I’m the client of Starbucks, and their clients are your clients indirectly, so you should be helping me.

Bell: But I don’t know who you are!!!! I need you to go talk to a Starbucks manager and ask them! YOU should go ask the Starbucks manager!

Me: But really, what does it matter?   [YOU ARE THE CONTACT NUMBER FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!!!] I’m a client at Starbucks who cannot log in, and hasn’t been able to for the past 3 weeks to your wifi at different Starbucks locations all over Toronto.

Bell: You know what? Forget it. *hangs up*


Especially if your number is the contact number for problems with your service.

If they put YOUR customer service number on there to call rather than writing: “ERROR: Go see a Starbucks manager to resolve.“, then it means it is YOUR responsibility, Bell, to take care of the customers. Period.


There is no ifs, ands or buts about it. Your service sucks, the end client of your major client is complaining, and you better damn well do something.


She didn’t even ASK ME what I was using to try and connect to their Wifi Network, she just said: Oh it must be the product you are using to connect.

Telling me that my iPad, iPod Touch AND Macbook Air are all the source of your lack of proper hosting for your client, is not a good thing to do.

And really? Apple products are ubiquitous in Starbucks cafes, and if they are having problems like I am, they may be too polite or lazy (as I was in 3 weeks) to call and complain each and every time.


I told her it happened every single time I went to any Starbucks location in the past 3 weeks, and having her parrot back to me: Oh but I haven’t received ANY complaints in the past 3 weeks from customers, is not a good way to serve customers.

For the record, the last one I was at was not even close to being near a busy area, with 3 customers on laptops, if that.

And to have her say that in EXACTLY 3 weeks it’s been all rosy at Bell, just because I said I had been trying to use it for EXACTLY 3 weeks and getting annoyed, is utter crap.

If I said: In the past 2 months, she probably would have denied receiving any complaints in the past 2 months.


It is not my job as a client of Starbucks, to do YOUR job by talking to the manager.

I am calling on a phone, on MY time, on MY dime, and you should say: I will take care of it.

None of this “oh it’s your device“.. “oh I haven’t received ANY complaints in 3 weeks“…”oh, it’s you that should make sure that everyone is also not getting wifi too, or talk to the Starbucks manager“.

Does that sound like it should be my job to do that, as a paying end client of Starbucks?

No honey, YOU should ask the location of where I am at (she didn’t even do THAT), and then you should take it upon yourself to say: Let me call the store directly and talk to the manager and work this out. I apologize for the inconvenience.



In summary of the above, she didn’t ONCE apologize for the service being down.

She was defensive for everything.

without even once asking me where I was located, how many times I experienced the problem in total, and taking it seriously.

She shined me on, HUNG UP ON ME and I’m angry and annoyed enough to not only blog about it, but to not go back to Starbucks until they get their #$*$(! act together


So why boycott Starbucks in general?

Frankly, if Starbucks is the kind of company that can hire such UTTER CRAP to be your Wifi Service Provider for your cafes, and you don’t even know how horrible they are to your clients who are paying for what is essentially overpriced (albeit delicious) drinks, then you don’t deserve a penny of my money.

In that pricey drink I was taking (usually lattes), I thought accessible wifi was part of the deal and I was willing to relax with a cup and browse the ‘net.

I was willing to pay, and I have been paying for years, as well as being quite a rabid fan. Not any more.

You also probably trusted that Bell would be nice to your clients right?

Well the woman I got, was not, and this is how angry I am.

If you want to make sure that Bell doesn’t f*#$ up your relationship with your clients, then SWITCH SERVICE PROVIDERS and vote with your money.

I vote with my money, and my money stays where it is — with me, and not with Starbucks.

Bell, you just don’t understand business and it shows in your so-called ‘customer service’ reps.

You don’t even know the meaning of customer service.

You’re only growing profits and revenues by screwing over your clients and trying to lower the quality of service, but charging the same amount.

It’s like this company can only make money  or turn a profit if they screw clients, but they don’t even realize that their crappy customer service to their clients’ end clients is what is the problem.

I hope you die a slow and painful death, and I’ll do my best to help it along, seeing as we already refused your crappy service for TV, Internet and Telephone at least 3 times in the past week.


About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.