15 July, 2008

Frustration (but ultimately successful) Registering my Starbucks Card for AT&T WiFi Access

Being a Starbucks freak, I decided to register a Starbucks card, online, to utilize the Rewards Program's benefit of a) free 2 hours/day WiFi access, and b) unlimited coffee refills. I registered a card, at home, and weeks later actually decided to use it. This is my story...

It was a frightenly sunny and hot day. I closed my moon roof and windows, cranking the A/C, making sure to open them all, when I'd pull into parking lots, so I would appear green-friendly, to any passing eco villians. It was my weekly "night out", and I was ready to read a novel and do a little "netting", at my favorite Starbucks.

I bought a cup of joe, with my Starbucks card, and booted the old, decrepit, some-memory-is-dead laptop, and connected to the AT&T site. It asked me for my Starbucks.com login information. 'Hmm..,' thought I. 'I don't think I have one.' I checked my RoboForm (secure identity software) logs. Nope. I don't have one.' I went to the Starbucks web site, and the link to check card balances was clearly visible...but there was no sign of a signon prompt. [Note that AT&T, at a Starbucks, will let one get to the Starbucks site, the AT&T site, and the T-Mobile site, but that's it.] I checked my card's balance and all was well with the card.

I created a Starbucks.com login, then tried to register the card, to the account. It said that the card was already registered. Ughh! I poked around, on both the AT&T and Starbucks sites, and there was no help as to how to handle this situation. So, I read through all the FAQ's, at Starbucks, and found there was a way to transfer the balance, of one's card, to another card; one has to do it live, at Starbucks. 'Uh huh, Baby! Woo!'. I took the card to the register, got a new card, and had the barista transfer the balance. I then logged into the Starbucks site (having found the page to do that via a link from the AT&T site, because I could not find it at Starbucks site itself), and then used the 'Add a card' option, at Starbucks, to add my new card. I then went to the AT&T WiFi login page, entered my Starbucks.com login information (although there was no visual indication there that this process would work), and presto, I was on the Internet.

And by "Presto" I mean afer over an hour of screwing around.

Long live rock. Oh yeah, and rock has nothing to do with this experience.

I have now become the "crazy, bothersome regular" who accosts folks, who have the same problem (known by their cussing), and help them with the issue. Yet another way for me to control events, so I kinda dig it.