Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Image

McDonalds Free Wi-Fi Users Soak Up Seating 500

Posted by samzenpus
from the super-size-my-connection dept.
bfire writes "McDonalds has earmarked potential changes to seating plans in some restaurants to prevent free Wi-Fi users from monopolizing seating, particularly in peak periods. The availability of Wi-Fi means people are now spending 35 minutes in McDonalds — rather than the average ten minutes that patrons used to spend eating there. But it appears not everyone is happy with the increased 'stickiness' of customers, with some licensees in Australia reporting that Wi-Fi users aren't turning over seats fast enough. The restaurant chain is considering options including space demarcation to deal with the problem."

*

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

McDonalds Free Wi-Fi Users Soak Up Seating

Comments Filter:
  • by LaZZaR (216092) * on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @11:43PM (#27933029)

    Because we all know they are just sitting there waiting to get first post.

    Oh wait...

  • Coffee (Score:3, Funny)

    by sys.stdout.write (1551563) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @11:44PM (#27933035)
    I'd suggest McDonalds try dumping coffee on their laps, but they'd probably get sued for millions of dollars.

    HEYO!
    • Re:Coffee (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fractoid (1076465) on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @12:43AM (#27933509) Homepage
      Or a slightly less pathological solution which would nevertheless fix the issue: Simply record MAC addresses and after 15 minutes (or whatever) of use, ban the address for a couple of hours. Sure, a few of us will spoof MAC addresses until we find an unbanned one but the vast majority (and it's the vast majority's asses that are causing the problem) will just mooch off to a different Maccas.
      • Re:Coffee (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Mr. Freeman (933986) on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @12:55AM (#27933599)
        Yeah, that'll go over really well. "Excuse me, your Internets are broken" 10 times a minute.
        • Re:Coffee (Score:4, Insightful)

          by fractoid (1076465) on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @12:56AM (#27933619) Homepage
          They offer wireless internet as an incentive for people to use their stores. People are staying too long. Limiting the time allowed for the wireless internet is the obvious solution. Maybe a full cut-off would be too annoying, but at least cap it at 64kbps after half an hour.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by master5o1 (1068594)
            It could also refer all pages to one of those Hot Spot login pages that most have to first enable the internet. I would assume than it would be safer to not refer SSL ones to their as to allow them to finish what ever it is in SSL... But then that's an awesome loophole for SSL proxies, etc.
        • Re:Coffee (Score:4, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @04:42AM (#27934775)

          They could simply stop sending the client webpages and start sending "Your time is up, thank you for eating at McDonald's! =D" pages after 15 minutes.

      • Re:Coffee (Score:4, Funny)

        by xp (146294) on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @01:29AM (#27933801) Homepage Journal

        Or make the wifi users eat McDonalds food. That'll kill them off quickly, freeing up all those valuable seats.
        --
        Slow Poke [pair.com]

      • Re:Coffee (Score:5, Funny)

        by clickety6 (141178) on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @04:16AM (#27934635)

        ...must resist....must resist.... gah! temptation is too strong...

        Surely you mean Big MAC addresses?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by pak9rabid (1011935)

        Or a slightly less pathological solution which would nevertheless fix the issue: Simply record MAC addresses and after 15 minutes (or whatever) of use, ban the address for a couple of hours. Sure, a few of us will spoof MAC addresses until we find an unbanned one but the vast majority (and it's the vast majority's asses that are causing the problem) will just mooch off to a different Maccas.

        Having worked for the company that runs McDonalds wifi networks, they most certainly do record the MAC addresses of everyone that uses their wifi network. This is how it keeps track of who's allowed through their firewall and who's not. They just need to decrease their connection time from 2 hours if they're really concerned about this.

    • Re:Coffee (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pete6677 (681676) on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @01:04AM (#27933669)

      I suggest the United States McDonalds keep doing what they already do: make the store environment resemble that of a public bathroom as much as possible so as to make it miserable to linger around in. Allow creepy and smelly homeless people to linger around the place for added ambiance. Overuse of the wifi will then be the least of their problems.

      • Re:Coffee (Score:4, Funny)

        by poetmatt (793785) on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @01:29AM (#27933795) Journal

        How is that a change?

      • Re:Coffee (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @06:33AM (#27935247)

        So, you're saying creepy and smelly homeless people are less human than the rest of us, and should be shipped off somewhere where they won't offend our delicate sensibilities?

        Homeless and poor people often go to a McDonalds, because it's a a single serving (nowhere to store the leftovers), and it's hot, reasonably good food, cheap. They linger there for warmth, for restroom access, because their pride tells them they paid money, so they're allowed to be there, and a host of other reasons too. Homeless people are people. Most of them have some sort of mental illness and with proper treatment could become productive members of society again, but with no treatment, they end up self medicating with drugs and alcohol, exacerbating the financial and psychological problems that led to them being homeless in the first place.

        I'm one of the lucky ones. I never got caught up in self medicating with drugs and alcohol, so when circumstances changed slightly, I was able to leverage that to get out of homelessness, and eventually into running and owning my own business. But I spent enough time homeless to know what it's like. They are people.

        • Re:Coffee (Score:5, Insightful)

          by PeeAitchPee (712652) on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @10:19AM (#27937349)
          That may be so, but most mentally ill homeless people also refuse the very treatments that would make them "productive members of society again." Also, McDonalds' other paying customers deserve to eat in a place which doesn't smell of unwashed people and urine, or features mentally folks having a deep discussion with the soda fountain. That's just good business sense -- if it happens enough, they'll take their money elsewhere. Yes, the homeless are people, but that doesn't give them the right to inflict their condition on others. If I stunk because I shit myself, or I chose not to use deoderant, are you seriously telling me it wouldn't bother you in the least if I sat immediately behind you on a hot day while you were eating your Big Mac and struck up a loud, spirited conversation with the napkin dispenser? Come on.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by PeeAitchPee (712652)

        I suggest the United States McDonalds keep doing what they already do: make the store environment resemble that of a public LIBRARY

        There, fixed that for you.

  • Simple Solution (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cashman73 (855518) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @11:45PM (#27933039) Journal
    Go to Panera Bread [panerabread.com]. They have free wi-fi there, too. The food is quite a bit better, and healthier, than all that fried and preprocessed crap that McDonald's dishes out,...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @11:48PM (#27933079)

      And they employ sock puppets to promote their company on slashdot, too!

    • Re:Simple Solution (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Pinckney (1098477) on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @12:00AM (#27933197)

      Go to Panera Bread. They have free wi-fi there, too. The food is quite a bit better, and healthier, than all that fried and preprocessed crap that McDonald's dishes out,...

      How do you suggest Panera Bread handle it when their seats start getting filled-up by people using the Wi-Fi?

      Your solution has nothing to do with the problem of the article.

      • Re:Simple Solution (Score:5, Interesting)

        by MichaelSmith (789609) on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @12:53AM (#27933593) Homepage Journal
        My wife has an architecture business. One of her customers (a cafe owner) treated us to a free meal. When we sat down my wife shifted in her seat and congratulated the owner on the uncomfortable seats. Apparently he had gone through a few iterations on seats to make sure that people didn't stay too long.

        I worked with him for a bit on a proposal for wifi for customers, but I don't think it would have been good for them in retrospect.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by clickety6 (141178)

          Have you seen MacDonalds' customers? Most of them bring extra seat padding with them! You'd need to have seats with 6 inch nails hammered upwards through the seat in order to penetrate the comfy cushions of flab...

    • Re:Simple Solution (Score:5, Informative)

      by eln (21727) on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @12:04AM (#27933213) Homepage

      Panera Bread has 1,230 locations in 40 states. McDonald's has more than 31,000 in all 50 states and tons of other countries. Panera Bread sells high quality but overpriced food, while McDonald's sells low to middling quality food super cheap. They are not competing in the same segment at all.

      So do you work for Panera Bread or are you a franchisee?

    • by MrMista_B (891430)

      That's a bad solution. First of all, I've never heard of Panera Bread, and there's definately not one local to me. Choices for free wifi are basically the library, a couple coffee places, or McDonalds.

    • Re:Simple Solution (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Planesdragon (210349) <{slashdot} {at} {castlesteelstone.us}> on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @12:14AM (#27933289) Homepage Journal

      The food is quite a bit better, and healthier, than all that fried and preprocessed crap that McDonald's dishes out,...

      "Better" is subjective, but I doubt you'll find it especially healthier. (Go ahead. Ask for their nutritional guidelines -- you know, the kind that are on every @#$!ing McDonald's wall.)

      Whether you like fried and preprocessed crap or BAKED and preprocessed crap is a matter of taste.

      • Re:Simple Solution (Score:5, Informative)

        by eln (21727) on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @12:31AM (#27933391) Homepage

        Man, you weren't kidding. Compare Panera Bread sandwiches [panerabread.com] (page 4 of the PDF), with McDonald's sandwiches [mcdonalds.com] (select sandwiches from the drop down). The highest calorie sandwich from McDonald's is 740 calories. The highest calorie Panera Bread sandwich is the Full Chipotle Chicken on Artisan French at 1070 calories. Panera Bread has no fewer than 16 sandwiches that exceed the calories of the Double Quarter Pounder.

        I thought McDonald's food was unhealthy, but damn Panera Bread's stuff is even worse! Panera Bread's stuff is also loaded with sodium, even more so in many cases than the notoriously sodium-heavy McDonald's fare. In fact, their highest sodium sandwich has more than twice the sodium as McDonald's highest sodium sandwich! Trying to pass off Panera Bread as a "healthier alternative" seems like a pretty irresponsible thing to do.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          If you think that just looking at the calories a good way to judge healthy food, you don't know much about nutrition. I'm not saying that either one of these companies sell more nutritional food than the other, but just comparing how much they don't have of a couple of things is like comparing the "cons" of something and failing to take into account the "pros". I suggest reading "The Omnivore's Dilemma". Googling it should find you a free PDF or the entire article somewhere.

    • Re:Simple Solution (Score:5, Informative)

      by svunt (916464) on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @12:55AM (#27933609) Homepage Journal
      Really valid for the AUSTRALIAN restaurants the article is about. Only 12,000km to he nearest outlet!
  • by PCM2 (4486) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @11:48PM (#27933071) Homepage

    I once heard that the reason McDonald's used to outfit its restaurants with hard plastic bench seats colored garish orange and yellow was for that reason -- so you wouldn't want to stick around too long. Has it changed its mind recently?

    • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @12:03AM (#27933203) Homepage

      They don't want sticky customers. The signs in the bathrooms require that employees wash hands. But you know, the last time I was there, no employee would wash my hands... I wanted to complain but people made me leave.

    • by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @12:11AM (#27933259) Homepage Journal

      It seems to me that they could have a system set up such that you buy something and you can request a code for minutes of WiFi, maybe every dollar you spend on their product gets you a bonus of five minutes internet time. A combo would be half an hour. That way you don't get the people that just buy a coffee (or even not even buy anything) and stick around for an hour. That should cut the average time down and free up the seats.

      I think I've heard of some shops turning off WiFi during rush hours simply because they don't have enough seats and would end up losing customers because people that want what they're selling end up going elsewhere.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MichaelSmith (789609)
        Now that cellular broadband is becoming cheap, public wifi may be on the way out anyway.
    • Absolutely true. Also the fact their straws were (don't know if it's still true) a little wider than average so that customers would finish their drinks faster.

      Why the heck they would want people to stay in their stores longer now I have no idea. Then again, why the heck anyone who can afford a laptop would want to hang out in their nasty ass stores, let alone EAT there, I have no idea either.

    • by CodeBuster (516420) on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @12:30AM (#27933389)

      Has it changed its mind recently?

      Apparently, but some franchisees are complaining (rightly IMHO) about "too much" turnaround time in their restaurants. The "fast turnaround" has always been a selling point, either stated or implied, for any potential McDonalds franchisee. For those of you who don't know or have never owned a franchise many business details are NOT up to you the owner, but rather are spelled out in your franchise agreement with the franchise owners (i.e. the McDonalds Corporation). So for example, if the franchise owners decide that all locations will now offer fancy coffee then you must pay for and have the necessary equipment installed even if you don't think that such expansion would be worth the cost in your particular location, perhaps a truck stop in the midwest were overcooked eggs and plain black coffee are the "traditional" breakfast. In this case McDonalds has mandated that you provide WiFi access to customers because the marketing drones at corporate have decided that all hip restaurants catering to the under thirty crowd must offer free WiFi to be relevant. However, this may be the first time that a new directive from corporate has conflicted with a long standing element of the core business (which many franchisees count on for their profitability), namely fast turnaround of tables in the dinning area.

  • well.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by R.Morton (1540993) <Russell_M9@yahoo.com> on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @11:50PM (#27933095)

    What did they think would happen ?, of course people are going to stay longer maybe add more seating or extend the range to cover a larger area so users could sit in their cars and use the WIFI there.

    Just a thought

    R.Morton

  • by WarJolt (990309) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @11:50PM (#27933099)

    Even if I did eat McDonalds food there I don't think I like the atmosphere enough to stay. There coffee tastes like piss anyway. With all the great local free wifi around where I live I'd have to be pretty desperate to go there. Simple solution: open up a coffee shop next door.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by vkapadia (35809)
      Consumer Reports would disagree with that harsh assessment:

      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16951509/

      The magazine reported that McDonald's was "decent and moderately strong. Although it lacked the subtle top notes needed to make it rise and shine, it had no flaws."

      That said, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BeaverCleaver (673164)

      And there's the rub. In Australia (that place in the summary, I haven't RTFA either!) we don't have ubiquitous hotspots. The woeful state of our broadband has been discussed here many times before so I won't say anything more than that it's fault of those cunts at Telstra, and their douchebag former CEO (who incidentally used to be in charge of USWEST in Colorado, who were so shit they had to change their name to Qwest... OK I'm ranting here but god dammit my country does some retarded shit)

      In summary, down

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Nazlfrag (1035012)

        So you confess to going into their store when you normally wouldn't and purchasing stuff? You utter bastard! Heaven forbid they earned a little more money that day. It's anarchists like you that make a mockery of cheap promotional stunts by honest, hardworking advertising executives.

  • Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Deadstick (535032) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @11:51PM (#27933111)

    Let's see...connection time is free, **AA complaints go to McD's IP address, and people stay longer...what are the odds of THAT?

    rj

  • by fermion (181285) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @11:56PM (#27933139) Homepage Journal
    At someplace like starbucks, where one has a reasonable chance of receiving $5 for $.20 of product, low overhead, few employees, WiFi makes sense. The same hold true for many other places where table turnover is closer to an hour than a few minutes.

    I never understood what was the point of putting these things in places where turnover is a few minutes. It encourages loitering. It is not like customers pay for refills, or are otherwise likely to buy more product.

    Of course the solution is simple. Do what other places are doing. Limit the time. If they want turnover in 10 minutes, make that the time limit. The point stands, though. WiFi in places like this just seems silly. OTOH, I know of places that have gone out of business after they got rid of the WiFi. They did not like hanging around in the afternoon drinking coffee, but those same people also stopped coming around for the evening meal.

    • by Shadow of Eternity (795165) on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @12:13AM (#27933277)

      A lot of places here in CFL have taken to sticking a second antenna outside and letting all the freeloaders sit outside doing their thing. The heat tends to get rid of them quickly, and those that do stay tend to be more likely to buy things, and the ones that are hell bent on getting just free internet and nothing else still wind up attracting customers without using up too much space.

    • by dbIII (701233)
      In Australia some McDonald's branches added a "McCafe" counter with expresso coffee and cake - all the branches with WiFi that I have seen so far are like that. Since it's european style coffee it's actually better in quality than Starbucks but much more limited in range.
  • I'm okay with free wifi at coffee shops and slightly luxirious stores but never at fastfood chains. I tend to avoid fastfood chains with free wifi and the reason is that we often have a hard time finding seats during lunch hours. Some worst cases are people ordering a coffee and using the space for over an hour to the point that they even asked for a renewal in their wifi connection. (Some have a 1-hr access limit so if you're renewing, you had been there for an hour)
  • McWiFi??? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @12:00AM (#27933193) Homepage

    Last time I saw McWiFi, it was Windows only and needed some sort of login. I run Linux so no McWiFi for me...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dbIII (701233)
      At least in Australia now the login page works with a lot of web browsers (including phone ones) and is just something to tick a box about agreeing with terms and conditions. There's some sort of blocklist as well.
    • Re:McWiFi??? (Score:4, Informative)

      by eln (21727) on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @12:40AM (#27933481) Homepage

      That's weird, I've never heard of controlled access wifi that's Windows only. Unless they were using some sort of weird ActiveX control, I don't know why such a thing would be necessary.

      When I was doing controlled access WiFi systems like that, it was basically a web page based login. Upon successful login, it just adds a firewall rule for your MAC address so you can get around the Internet. If it's timed, after a certain amount of time the firewall rule is removed. You'd have to jump through some hoops to make such a thing Windows-only.

  • by j741 (788258) on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @12:02AM (#27933201) Journal

    rather than the average ten minutes that patrons used to spend eating there

    I only ever sat there for 10 minutes because that's all it took for the diarrhea to activate after eating that addictive crap. Sitting any longer and the chairs would be a different color.

  • by Trip6 (1184883) on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @12:04AM (#27933207)
    ...followed by "Stroke"...
  • by hacker (14635) <hacker@gnu-designs.com> on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @12:18AM (#27933307)

    PANERA Bread already solved this problem. If you go to a PANERA during peak hours, you get roughly 10-15 minutes of free WiFi, and then you're shut off, at the MAC address level. Thankfully, I have GNU macchanger [alobbs.com] installed, so I can grab some more time, but they're already doing it programatically.

    What's funny is watching someone come in, spill out their entire office on the table (manila file folders, laptop, external number pad and everything), and then get shut off because they sat chatting at the coffee machine for 10 minutes while their laptop was connected, and shut their laptop down, only to stare at me working for 30+ minutes at a time.

    Am I breaking the rules? Maybe... but I also buy a breakfast, then a tea, then a lunch in the same 1-2 hours I'm there. I also have WWAN, so if WiFi was turned off, I could still continue to work, without changing anything (all built-in).

    McDonalds should just limit the free wifi to 10-15 minutes and be done with it. Oh, and also SHUT IT OFF at the end of the night, so people don't just park in the parking lot and steal your wifi for nefarious means.

    As with most of these "problems", the solution is rarely technical. It is usually a political problem that stops the solution from being implemented.

  • No brainer--but we are talking about McDonalds, aren't we?

    Announce a policy of turning off the WiFi when the McDonalds is too full, and post a schedule of the normal times when free access is available. No skin off their noses if they have some extra customers when there are empty seats, eh?

    Since this is McDonalds, I feel obliged to note that the nose skin goes into the hot dogs. Does McDonalds serve hot dogs? That's how long it's been since I've eaten there... Wait! Sausage. I'm pretty sure they had some k

  • by hellfire (86129) <deviladv AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @12:26AM (#27933359) Homepage

    This is the idiocy of how some businesses deal with networking and the internet. First, they offer free. Then they find out when you offer free, people actually use it, and so the same business turns around and gets upset that people are using what you are offering for free?

    Yes, people like free wi-fi, and you offered it in order to drum up traffic and hope those customers would buy stuff, which they did. But you like the business it brings in but you don't like those people freeloading on your network and in your seats when you need more people to be buying stuff?

    Yo, McDonalds! Suck it up! You put yourself in this position now you have to deal with it like adults. You either have to limit free to like ten minutes of free, which does reduce the number of people who will come in since they might go to the coffee shop down the road, charge access fees, which also reduces walk ins, or accept that your restaurants don't have enough seats any more. You got greedy and wanted to steal some of the coffee shop crowd to your stores and now you are dealing with the fact that two business ideas are conflicting. Coffee shops work well with wi-fi business models because they have comfy chairs and lounges and expect their clientel to pay a lot for coffee and sit down for a while. It's about atmosphere. You have cheap coffee, no atmosphere, and expect to be selling coffee in volume.

    I have a feeling Mickey D's is going to come up with stupid artificial rules that it will expect their employees to enforce and it's going to get ugly and moronic before they end the free wi-fi.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by everynerd (1252610)

      I think the idea behind the free wi-fi is not to keep people there longer, but to promote return visits. However it appears they ARE staying longer, and a "restaurant" like McDonalds can't cater to the lazy surfer. If it were seated area where customers were waited on and expected to order, this would likely not be an issue.

      You're right though, McDonalds has brought this on themselves, but they're well within their rights to axe it just as quickly if it doesn't produce the expected results.

  • Simple solution (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @12:31AM (#27933401)

    A simple solution : print an access code on tickets you receive when buying some food. Should only be unique and valid for a couple of minutes. Access code expired ? Buy more stuff or get the hell out ! Solved.

    • Re:Simple solution (Score:5, Informative)

      by Corbets (169101) on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @12:46AM (#27933541) Homepage

      Starbucks in Switzerland does something like this. It's free wireless, not even a purchase required: all you have to do is go to the counter and ask for an access card. However, that access card expires 30 minutes after activation, and to keep going, you have to request another.

      I'm not sure that would work back in America; it plays off people's shame and only works if they don't keep asking for cards. However, it seems to work well here.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by wvmarle (1070040)

        I think having to go to the counter every 30 mins gets old quickly for the customer. It is irritating. This way it's great for a normal session (I can imagine very much using such a service when on business trip to read e-mail and reply some urgent matters, 30 mins is usually enough for that - otherwise just get a second ticket to finish your work), but not for WiFi camping in that shop for hours.

        This sounds like a creative and smart solution to me. And I am not surprised it works very well.

  • The whole point of McDonalds was to get the people in and get them out, as quickly as possible. IF you go to any decently run McDonalds, there will be several times as many cars as there are in any other food place in the area. Those franchises just print money. Putting in wifi just slows down the presses.

  • Tell the users that they can use the wireless until a trap door opens up underneath them and they are dumped into a vat of boiling french fries. Their times are announced by some junior on front counter with a megaphone.

    "Come in number 192.168.1.121, your time is up"

  • Wrong headline. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Alsee (515537) on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @01:55AM (#27933913) Homepage

    Business offers customers free wifi, which has the twin effects of attracting more customers and some of them staying longer. This is news? In other breaking news headlines, water is wet!

    What caught my eye was the last two paragraphs of the article:

    The wifi service is backed by a secure internet gateway product from wholesaler earthwave called Clean Pipes, which is there in part to apply McDonalds' Family Friendly policies to the service.

    It had so far not detected any major 'red flag' sessions that had to be reported to law enforcement authorities, a representative of earthwave said.

    Why isn't the news story here that McDonalds has a program in place to spy on customer's wifi usage, to get customers arrested?

    If my phone company were eaves dropping on my conversations to report to the police, I would have a problem with that.
    If my ISP were eaves dropping on my internet phone calls or other communications to report to the police, I would have a problem with that.

    If a company is offering free wifi connections, obviously the standards are somewhat different than dealing with my own phone company or my own ISP, however I still consider it outrageous and a primary news item that a company *does* have a program in place to spy on communications over their free wifi, one dedicated to having those customers arrested.

    -

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ion.simon.c (1183967)

      This isn't news if the users of McD's wifi have to click through a page that discloses the surveillance program run by Clean Pipes before transmitting a packet to the Internet.

      IMO, McD would be insane to set up the system in any other way.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by angryphase (766302)

      I hope this isn't indicative of the general opinion that is being bred into today's society.

      McDonalds are a business that relies on a appeal to families as well as adult customers. Restricting the service like this promotes their own policies as a kid-friendly establishment (ignoring for now their impact on the growth of obesity and unhealthy lifestyles), one of their major requirements as a business. If they are seen to be promoting the freedom to surf porn within their premises then they lose this reputat

    • Why isn't the news story here that McDonalds has a program in place to spy on customer's wifi usage, to get customers arrested? If my phone company were eaves dropping on my conversations to report to the police, I would have a problem with that. If my ISP were eaves dropping on my internet phone calls or other communications to report to the police, I would have a problem with that.

      Well, for one, they have a large number of people hopping on and off their network, and they don't maintain a constant bus

  • McDonalds in Korea (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @04:28AM (#27934715)

    To maximize seating efficiency at peak times, in Korea McDonalds apparently has ushers that will place customers in empty seats next to other customers.

    Choice of music is another tool commonly used to influence how long customers stay. At peak times, they'll play up-beat songs. At off-peak times they'll play more soothing music to encourage people to hang around longer, so as to avoid having the place look like a ghost town.

    And there's always the 'Can I take your tray sir/madam' line when they're getting desperate. I get that one a lot when I'm half-finished, annoys the crap out of me. So I like to chew, what's wrong with that?

  • Simplest solution (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 91degrees (207121) on Wednesday May 13, 2009 @05:45AM (#27935023) Journal
    Stop offering free Wi-fi.

    Seems that it's a net cost. The extra custom doesn't cover the increased cost of requiring more tables. Not quite sure what the point is.

Forty two.

Working...