Monday, January 26, 2009

Wandering WiFi's Proactive Customer Service

A few of you may know that mrontemp is not my only blog. While mrontemp, I actually write several other blogs (under the "Empoprises" banner) that are targeted toward specific topics. For the most part these are niche blogs, and aren't read by a huge number of people (not that mrontemp is read by a huge number of people, but you know what I mean).

One of my blogs targets the Inland Empire of Southern California (the region where the city of Ontario is located), and is called Empoprise-IE. Back on November 2, 2008, I wrote a post about a visit to the Vons in Upland, California. It turns out that the Upland Vons offers free wi-fi for people who are shopping in their stores. When I E Food asked about the point of offering free wi-fi in a grocery store, I replied that this Vons has a seating area near the deli, and that one could conceivably use the service from the chairs there.

But by the time I had responded to I E Food (incidentally, the I E Food blog is here, and it talks, I had an opportunity to try out the service myself - not on a laptop, but on my old Hewlett Packard PDA. I wrote about this on November 18:

I happened to be using my PDA just before I had to go to the Vons in Upland, so I brought it with me to test the "Wandering Wifi" service.

My browser displayed terms of service, and a Login button. I clicked the button and got...a blank screen.

Apparently Wandering Wifi's login process is incompatible with my PDA's browser.

So much for that...

Normally this would be the end of the story. Writer at a small-time blog tries a service, and the service doesn't work.

Fast forward to January 14, 2009, when Robert posted a comment at my second blog entry:

Sorry that you had some issues with our service. There are some occasional quirks with some PDA browsers and the login screen. We can fix that quickly for you with a call to our service department. You are probably not too interested now, just thought I would throw that out there. Our number is 866-926-3374 if you ever need it.

Robert's comment points out the importance of having the full context behind a post, and something that I failed to do when I wrote the post. If Robert had access to my full lifestream of posts over the years, he would have realized a few things:

  • My PDA is an old PDA. How old is it? I first blogged about it in December 2005 (in yet another blog, the Ontario Technoblog).

  • My PDA is even older than my phone, which is itself pretty old and uses the browser equivalent of Internet Explorer 4. When I admitted how untrendy my cell phone's operating system was, Louis Gray was downright embarrassed and wanted to disassociate from me. (Gray was joking...I think...)
So I should have made it clear in my November 18 post that I didn't really blame Wandering WiFi for the failure of the service to work with my older PDA. Heck, if there are companies who won't support Internet Explorer 6, I can't really fault a company for not supporting Internet Explorer 4.

So I figured I'd send some praise in Wandering WiFi's direction. And since my Empoprises empire doesn't have a business blog - yet - I figured I'd put the praise here in mrontemp.

And if you'd like to know more about Wandering WiFi, go to In addition to Safeway (and Vons) locations, Wandering WiFi has also implemented free wi-fi access for customers of Caribou Coffee; WellStar Health Systems, Ardent Health, and Blessing Health System (for hospital patients and visitors); and First Watch Restaurants. They have targeted specific vertical markets, both for solutions for customers and secure solutions for the businesses themselves. Here is what they say about providing Internet access to restaurant customers:

Whether you’re the hottest new restaurant in New York City or a reliable roadside diner, we know you’re always in search of ways to enhance customer service. Reliable Internet access is one amenity to consider....

Some restaurateurs fear however that providing their patrons with high-speed, Internet access will be an expensive proposition as historically, owners had to make significant capital outlays for cabling, computers, space and custom software. This is not the case with a solution from Wandering WiFi. Whether you’re a ‘mom and pop shop’ or a national chain, we can help you develop a HotSpot strategy that fits your needs. Free, free with purchase, limited time sessions or restricted peak hours – whatever model works for you can be worked out by us.

Oh, and Robert...thanks again.

Sphere: Related Content
blog comments powered by Disqus