So DTUT has become a “they” company.
They’ve killed the wireless internet after 7PM. I asked the guy behind the counter what the reason was, and he said that it “ruined business”, because the laptop freeloaders would order the minimum amount or nothing at all. I looked around. I’ve never seen the place so empty on a Friday night. I wanted to just reach across the counter and explain to him all about incremental profits and overhead, but, I realized that it would probably be to no avail. Counter Guy doesn’t care. Now, perhaps it’s true that the people using the wifi do order less, but the point is, they order something, and, there is incrementally no cost to keeping the wifi on all the time. The only legitimate financial argument you could make is that, somehow, the overabundance of laptop freeloaders drives away higher paying customers—that the place is already at capacity and it ruins the mix.
Of course, that’s not the case. People rarely walk out of the place because it’s too crowded. I mean, sometimes its packed, but like right now, its pretty empty. (I’m typing this on Word because I already bought my green tea without realizing the wifi deal.) Do I usually only order a green tea while I’m here? Sure. But… so what? What’s the margin on a $2.25 green tea? 90%? In other words, at eight visits a month, I pay for half the wifi myself. Do I take up the space of an otherwise higher paying customer? No, definitely not. In fact, the wifi is really the only reason why I come here in the first place. And, in fact, one thing they fail to take into consideration is that because I’m here all the time freeloading off the wifi, it becomes my central hangout place and I’m used to coming here. So, when I’m looking for a place to go to with friends, this is also my number one stop. Now, however, I’m annoyed, and their ridiculous retraction of the free wifi has created ill will. I’m less likely to come here the next time. In fact, I’m less likely to come here at all. I have a feeling this won’t last. Although, perhaps it will, because the downtown location of DTUT just closed, so perhaps they’ll run this place into the ground before they have a chance to change the policy.