There’s a McDonald’s at the corner of Monroe and Clark in Chicago’s Loop where I stopped for a quick bite this morning before heading to a client meeting. I had about two hours to get some work done, so I grabbed my Egg McMuffin and tried not to get grease on my laptop. After about an hour, a staff member walks up to me and says “We have a 30 minute limit.” I replied, “So, are you kicking me out?” She said, “Not yet, but if people start looking for tables, I will.” I looked around. I was surrounded by empty tables.
Aggravated, and thinking this was my last visit to a McDonald’s (my arteries just cheered “Hooray!”), a realization struck me: I’m an AT&T Wireless customer. This McDonald’s is an AT&T Wireless hotspot. My agreement with AT&T includes access to their WiFi network. So, the McDonald’s staff just kicked its WiFi partner’s customer out of its restaurant for using a service said customer has essentially paid for twice.
If this was an episode of Seinfeld, I’d be suing right now for free Diet Cokes for life.