We, the perhaps naive but nonetheless openminded subscribers to the liberating Wi-Fi Internet signals that stream throughout most of America's Starbucks locations, understand why you partnered with the most opressive of all coffee purveyors our country has probably ever seen. We understand how much money and exposure the move has brought you. And we concede that having a place outside the house to do our work -- some of us don't live near free Wi-Fi hotspots after all -- is a boon to the freelance life that our forefathers never enjoyed.
What we don't agree with, however, is the blatant absence of Starbucks's in-store music policy on your Web site. If we spend $40 a month to use your services in cookie cutter stores that sell terrible coffee, we should be made aware that we will not only have to listen to the same music over and over (a given in this day and age of corporate-tune streams) but that your store's musical menu, programmed by a tonedeaf suit in Seattle, will include almost every terrible Christmas song ever written starting from the day before Thanksgiving all the way through the span of winter.
Fine, BeBe Winans' new Christmas album isn't particularly as rancid as your coffee, but we'll be damned if it hasn't caused at least two customer seizures on our 6-day watch. More damning, we no longer enjoy Vince Guaraldi's formerly heartfelt "Christmas Time Is Here," complete with charmingly out-of-tune children's chorus and reminiscent of Charlie Brown specials from childhoods past. The man's chords were brilliantly bluesy, but that fact should be remembered in a literal manner. Bluesy Christmas music only induces suicide, not espresso brownie orders.
We realize, of course, that the music is so grating that you may just be getting the sort of table turn-around that helps keep customer traffic flowing at the desired pace. But do you not want to sell CDs? Do you and your partner not aspire to corner the coffee-store music retailing market as well? We will forego the option to work online in your locations if you do not take measures to both admit and improve on this disaster in an orderly and respectful manner.
Your considerate customers
[Sign, copy, and send at http://www.t-mobile.com/hotspot/contact_cs.htm to feel adequately ignored by corporate America.]