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Mike Pollock
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@Can't Please them All So what am I, chopped liver? I prompted you to start all this mess and so far the customer service supervisor who was supposed to return my call on the subject from last week never did. I think I'll check back in with them.
Ricardo, that wouldn't be a deterrent, since most modern phones and laptops are dual voltage. The charger wouldn't even flinch.
And #11203 750 6th Avenue New York, NY 10010 I think that's a large enough sample size.
Well, actually, my original question from my original post in the #3 position--about how prevalent this practice is--hasn't yet been answered, although I appreciate "...human being's" apparent willingness to give it a shot. To answer HB's question about specific locations: the first one I noticed a couple of months back, and the only one I'm sure about from memory, is store 18444 at 39th and 8th/600 Eighth Ave. I've noticed at least two or three other stores that had their outlets re-plated, but haven't kept specific notes about which ones they were. I will do so as I make my way around town tomorrow and make specific reconnaissance visits to the stores I'll be near in Times Square and Chelsea. And since you've alluded to my specific outlet usage, as a working actor, I'll usually stop at Starbucks when I have gaps in my schedule between auditions and bookings throughout the day. Not having a normal office, and leading a nomadic working lifestyle, Starbucks is a handy place to refill both my belly and my smartphone's battery as I bide my time until my next appointment. I rarely have enough baggage with me to spread out over an entire table or extra chairs -- It's usually just me and my phone, and I'm just as happy at a counter seat as I am at a two-top table. I seldom log in to the free WiFi, since the phone has its own data connection, and even though I have the solar charger, I prefer to keep that as a last resort -- an outlet adjacent to a table is obviously far more convenient. In fact, I'd gladly pay for the privilege of an AC outlet, if pay-per-charge was an option. (By the way, my clients let me plug in at their offices, too, when I'm working for them, so SBUX isn't my only mobile power connection.) I prefer not to sit for hours in the store if I don't have to, but I do make sure to get some type of beverage and food and/or pastry to pay my "rent" at every visit. I also prefer Americanos, so free refills aren't an option for me. As for the controversy I've sparked, again I'm amused by the adjectives ascribed to my post, such as "leading, loaded question" and "contrary," when, in fact, my original post was meant to be nothing of the kind. I used the term "disturbing" because I personally find it so, and I speculated that the outlet removal was done to discourage loitering, which would seem to run contrary to the company's "third place" philosophy. I had been meaning to post my question in an open thread for some time, because I hadn't seen it addressed here before. I happened to choose this week's thread before reading the article. After subsequently reading the linked piece, seeing the bit about WiFi, and realizing my issue had been overlooked for a day, it occurred to me that maybe if I add a subsequent post -- pointing out the previously unnoticed connection -- someone would chime in with some useful information. The Internet being what it is, people certainly chimed in. Whether they did so with any useful information beyond the flaming is another matter.
Actually, I travel with a portable JOOS Orange solar charger, so I am neither a cheap f### nor obtuse, but your preconceptions were most amusing. However, it still doesn't answer my question.
Please allow me to rephrase my earlier question to better tie it into the linked article, which states, "Starbucks provides free WiFi, and there's no restriction on laptop use." Several Manhattan, New York, stores have replaced AC outlets with blank faceplates, implying that wifi users should leave when their batteries run out. Isn't that a type of restriction on laptop use?
How prevalent is this disturbing trend I'm noticing in Manhattan locations: vanishing AC outlets? Presumably to discourage loitering, previously functional AC outlets are being replaced by blank wallplates!
@winterene Try http://mobile.starbucks.com which hasn't been redesigned since 2007, but the back-end data is actually current.
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Dec 12, 2010