Posted by Rod Brant on December 16, 2009 at 4:25am
Dear Panera Bread Just West Of Cleveland Ohio Off Interstate 90,What are you thinking?Early this morning I was traveling along I-90 and decided to stop for an hour or so and get some work done on my laptop. Normally, I'd try to find a local coffee house with wi-fi, but alas, there were none to be found at my exit. So i chose you...Panera.Big mistake.Turns out, my kids must have been facebooking on my computer last night and my battery is completely dead...so i start the hunt for an outlet. Lo and behold, there are 3 tables with outlets right below them, so i pick a two-topper.I proceed to unload my computer, work materials, and my power adapter. I plug into the outlet....oh, wait...the outlet has been weirdly blocked off and I can't even plug in.On to table #2....same thing.Table #3...ditto.It's obvious that these outlets worked at one time, but they've all been disabled, the plugs have been installed at a weird angle, and they have all been painted black.And, from the look of scratches on the black paint on the outlet, I'm about the 800th person who has attempted to plug in!Now dear Panera, I understand why you want to do this...electricity is expensive and you need to cut costs wherever you can. I get it.But, I am your TARGET CUSTOMER. I travel this way all the time. I'm always looking for a place to pop in and get a little work done.You've just alienated me forever. I walked out without spending a dime and I'll never be back. Sorry.I may have used 15 cents worth of electricity during my stay, but i was planning on buying one of your overpriced bagel / donuts, and a cup of coffee for about $3.00, of which your cost is well under a dollar.On second thought. I'm not sorry. You chose to alienate a great potential long term customer worth hundreds of dollars in new revenue and you chose to save a couple of pennies instead.You made the choice, not me.