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WIFI Gimme Pigs

I am submitting this while on the road across country. Earlier today at lunch…

Weather is being dicey across the country and I must travel so I lugged my laptop in at our lunch stop in a ‘next to the highway’ restaurant so I could check on what was going on or going to be going on in the area I had to go through next.

I have paid for with my mobile and data plan and put the software and dongle on my laptop, it is it’s own wifi. Secured, of course, I have to pay for every bit and byte that goes up and down, but, if I choose I could share the access.

All is good, weather looks good and the ick is behind me, I should finish my last leg without issues. I have paid for my bill and handed the waitress hers. My companion heads for bathroom then to vehicle… And I log off, close up, stow, and as I get up I am met by three younger people with various devices in hand.

“Yes?”, I ask politely.

“Unlock the wifi,” states one with a tablet.

“Excuse me?”

“Young person” #2 pipes up, “You heard him, we need the wifi.”

Blink, blink.   “I’m sorry, but I’m on my way. Excuse me.”

The three are between me and the door but there’s lots more seating and I start to move around a few tables to bypass the bodies and leave. They move to surround me.

“Stop hogging the wifi,” #1 says to me.

I stop again.  #3 now tells me, “Wifi in public places is always free, turn it back on.”

“I’m sorry but I pay for that access and every bit that moves through it, it is not free and it is not public. I need to leave…now.”

At this moment, the cook and dishwasher come out of the back because the register/hostess person had seen what was occurring and went and got them; and my travel companion came out of the bathroom. Neither of these three are small fellows and they are descending on these other three.

#3 offers, “But, but, she’s not sharing the wifi, in public places wifi is always free!”, he tries. I step away, collect my traveling companion, and on the way out I smile and thank the hostess. I left while the three had a discussion with the restaurant staff. I also made sure I got the bleep out of there and tried not to flash my license plates where those clueless could see.

I’m going to drop a thank you note to the restaurant staff; and I’m not going to stop in that burg on the way home. 0225-14

I have to say this is a first for Ehell but something tells me it won’t be the last time we hear of WIFI gimme pigs who feel entitled to demand that others unlock their security features on their personal WIFI connection so they can “ride” for free on someone else’s phone service.

{ 122 comments… add one }
  • crella March 3, 2014, 7:10 pm

    Wow. I have my own Wifi but haven’t used it anywhere but during visits to MIL’s hospital (in the coffee shop) so I can show her photos from Flickr or Facebook, so no one has ever asked to use it. That’s incredibly pushy and I’m shocked that it happens that often!

  • Kimberly March 3, 2014, 7:40 pm

    I wonder if the OP’s hotspot name had a carrier’s name in it. They saw it – tried to get on – the op shut down – they thought the OP had done something to a “free” AT&T or other carrier hot spot. It doesn’t surprise me. I’ve been using laptops since late 90’s and I’ve

    1. Been told I had to share a movie with the kid behind me on a plane

    2. Been told I had to turn off my movie on a plane because the Mom of the kid behind me didn’t want him “exposed” (for the record it was a mild PG for language I was using headphones movie)

    3. Been told I had to share my movie in the ER waiting room with someone coughing up a lung. I was there for a possibly broken wrist.

    4. Had a woman in the library go off because I “cut in line” to get my laptop. She I understand. I was using a Dell almost the same as the Dell’s the library had for loan. It took the librarians, and another patron showing her that my personal laptop did not have bar code the library computers had.

    5. had a guy go off on the management of a little mom and pop bakery because they gave me the password but wouldn’t give him the password. Except the bakery didn’t have wifi – I was using my hot spot. Adding to the difficulty there was I’m monolingual English, the bakery owners are primary Vietnamese speakers, and the man wanting access was primary Spanish speaker. I keep my wifi in my bag. I had to take it out show him – turn it off and him see the hotspot disappear from the list.

    6. had an election judge go off on me royally. Our school at the time had NO wifi. This was a primary election so One party was at one side of the cafeteria and the other was at the other side. One side when told we didn’t have wifi decided to use a phone to help people find their precinct if they showed up at the wrong one. (1/2 of our catchment zone is in a different town than our school (the two towns are mushed together) many people assume they vote at our school because it is “their school” but actually have to vote in other town) This election judge must have internet access. I as the resident geek get called out to deal with him. I tell my then principal we don’t have wifi. The only thing YOU (not me) can due is call the head of Tech and see if they will allow him to use our wired internet. Then you have to run a cable from their table across the hall – down the hall 12 feet into the councilors office – and she won’t be able to use her computer because there is only 1 hot drop in there. At this point my principal argues “but I’ve seen you use wifi” Which meant for the 10th or 12th time I had to explain that I had a hot spot that I had used to get around district blocking so he could get to something stupidly blocked. No I wasn’t going to lend it to someone I didn’t know to use for 12 hours of constant access. Especially since i needed to leave long before the polls closed so I could go VOTE. No I wasn’t going to drive 45 min home, vote, and then drive 1 hour 15 min back (traffic) to get my hot spot and then drive 45 min back home.

    IT ended up coming and making a drop hot for the guy then running a cable through the ceiling to him so the kids wouldn’t trip on the cord all day.

    That reminds me must go e-mail new principal about how election judges can access our wifi tomorrow.

  • Elsie March 3, 2014, 10:40 pm

    Wow! They really are either something or do not understand how technology works.

    I should also mention, I really doubt they were using her mobile HotSpot. Usually, you need a username and password to be able to use someone’s personal Hotspot. If the OP wasn’t doing this, I advise her to set up her Hotspots in such a way – it’s a SERIOUS security risk to let other people into your Wi Fi! It is not difficult at all to steal information from public Wi Fi’s (passwords, usernames, credit card information, website information – your computer/phone/tablet/kindle stores a lot of data). 5 minutes tops is enough.

    What rude people. Sorry you had to go through that, OP! I’d send a thank you note to the staff, too.

  • Enna March 4, 2014, 7:04 am

    These people are rude and entittled gimmie pigs. The OP did say it was a secure connection I think when the boar said “turn it back on” they had noticed it go when OP had switched her computer off. If those thugs were using it they should be made to pay or it is theft.

  • Enna March 4, 2014, 7:05 am

    P.S I hope those thugs were also banned from the diner as their blocking the OP’s way is unaccetapble.

  • iridaceae March 4, 2014, 7:53 am

    You’d be surprised how unknowledgeable people can be about WiFi. I work in a hotel and we provide free WiFi. You open your browser, the page pops up, you click the free access button and you’re on. Some people go hunting for networks instead. Yes well anyone should be able to figure out that HotelNameNetwork is ours, right? Wrong. So they try to connect to other networks can’t and call up screaming.

    I still don’t understand how anyone can think Two Carefree B*itches is a hotel network name but the guest did.

    • NostalgicGal April 13, 2014, 3:53 am

      About a year and a half ago we stayed at a (major chain *** hotel) in a major city. They had issues like the hot tub broke when we tried to use it; and. Their ‘free WiFi’ was down. As in their computer was so attacked by virii that it wouldn’t even boot; and they didn’t have the software CD’s on hand to fix it (I would have gladly sat there and done ‘computer STD cure’ for them but without the CD’s forget it, impossible), and it’d been that way for a few days already. Front desk guy had been getting flack all evening as there wasn’t any WiFi… My smartphone can be a hotspot so I fired it up, linked my laptop and hubby’s tablet to it with the password, and we did what we had to that night, about 30 min… then I turned off and we found out the hottub issue…

      Next morning when we went to check out, the same night desk clerk was still on duty and did the… he’d been getting flack because there was a WiFi signal but nobody could log ONTO it, then it disappeared. Oh, yeah…I’d turned my phone on briefly then turned it off, it can do that (though when I got home that wasn’t exactly cheap when I got the bill as I was ‘roaming’). Oh. So I hadn’t come back down and tried to fix their computer later that evening–no. We also smartly and quietly shut up as someone else came down to start a rant on the Not Accessable WiFi signal and we grabbed luggage and left.

  • Carol March 4, 2014, 8:36 am

    I used to work for a government agency managing its displays at large trade shows. One of the feature of the displays was that we had a number of computers that guests could use to order our publications online (we had samples on display) via the agency website and view videos about the agency and its programs. I cannot tell you how many convention-goers would ask us to let them use the computers to check email, Facebook, the headlines back home… you name it. They seemed quite put out to be told that we weren’t an Internet cafe that they could use however they chose.

  • Mya March 4, 2014, 9:59 am

    That’s the most ridiculous entitled thing I’ve ever heard. If I were you, I’d make the SSID on your WiFi dongle hidden. Don’t broadcast it publically. No-one has any right to something you own and pay for.

  • Tech_Note March 4, 2014, 1:47 pm

    For anyone living in close proximity to others or while traveling, suggest you not broadcast your SSID (as Mya stated). This is a simple check box on your wireless router or broadband configuration settings (a quick google search can tell you how in more detail). If your SSID is not broadcast, then no one knows you have WiFi. Problem solved.

  • gb March 4, 2014, 5:08 pm

    Wow!! How different is demanding personal wifi than demanding anything else that isn’t yours?
    It seems like even though the gimme pugs misunderstood about it being a private hot spot, they were very rude when it was explained. Hope they aren’t allowed there again!!

    I’ve had people demand to use my phone, when I plain just don’t want to hand an expensive device over. I saved for that phone, it costs me a lot per month as well.

    What I absolutely hate is how rude my Co worker is about devices with wifi access. She’ll just announce across the room “gb had a Kindle, she’ll look up those directions, phone numbers, recipe, let you find that pic on Facebook to show me. Um, no, that’s my device, it was expensive and I can’t afford to replace it. What’s worse, I’m usually reading on my break when she does this. I have to stop my book, turn the wifi on, and help HER client because she already told them I would.

    Said co-irker also pushes her phone in your face, saying, “fix it!!” Every time she doesn’t understand it. Arg! People!!

    • E March 5, 2014, 9:15 am

      I think you should have a private talk with your CW and put her on notice that the kindle is your own private device and that you will not be using it for anything workplace related. Perhaps CW should take it up with the boss and request that an internet station be installed in the office. (How does no one have a smartphone??)

    • WifiGal March 5, 2014, 10:55 am

      I’d go further, and get a paper copy book after having a talk with her and leave the kindle home for a few weeks… when she announces you’re going to be a big help, show her your nice thick copy of War and Peace and ask her how to turn the wifi on on that…

      I agree too, that perhaps the boss needs to be chatted with too.

  • Spike March 4, 2014, 5:33 pm

    Ugh, what a creepy and weird experience. I work in a restaurant and people are always asking if we have wi-fi and then screwing up their face when I say we don’t, as if it’s a given. I understand that many coffee shops offer it, but we are a small, high traffic establishment and many people who come want to sit down to eat. So we don’t need to be giving people incentives to come in and set up their laptop to sit there for hours, only buying one coffee. Also it would be just one more bill to add on top of my bosses’ already very high overhead. I feel like mobile devices are making people so self-centered. Oftentimes I will have to say excuse me 3 or 4 times to someone who is waiting for takeout because they are so engrossed in their phone.

  • Kate March 4, 2014, 7:39 pm

    This is why I love when I see neigbours name their Wifi “don’tstealmywifi” or “handsoffmywifi”.

  • WifiGal March 5, 2014, 1:23 am

    OP here.

    My Wifi hotspot name is a string of upper and lowercase letters and numbers made up by a random generator. It does not point to what carrier I use.

    SSID is blocked. You see that 15 character string which is not the SSID.

    You bet I have my hotspot secured. The three other diners were not using my signal, they didn’t have the SSID or password. I couldn’t tell either to you offhand, they are both another one of those uppercase and lowercase mixed with numbers things that are hard to guess; I’d have to do some real work to get past a set password to retrieve either.

    I have returned home safely; and sent off the thank you to the restaurant and staff on duty during my recent visit, praising their EXCELLENT service. I do not know how the other three diners fared.

  • Maggie March 5, 2014, 1:53 am

    This post made me think of a picture I saw posted on the internet of a chalkboard in a small restaurant. It said something like: “We don’t have WIFI; talk to each other”.

  • WifiGal March 5, 2014, 2:16 am

    Yes I also commented through the comments.

    I only had the spot on for 5-7 minutes, no more than 10; as I hit a couple of weather forecast sites and their radar, and mulled my weather and if I thought I could continue, and to check my confirmation for that night’s lodging when I decided to continue to drive.

    I figure looking back, that was enough time for them to find out somebody got a signal, they tried to log in a few times and couldn’t; then I closed up and they seen the big laptop and when the lid went shut the signal cut. And came to say hi in their non charming way.

    • Abby March 5, 2014, 10:37 am

      You’re probably right. It was most likely a coincidence that they accosted you after you had already shut your laptop down- it wasn’t like they were using it until you logged off.

      What I can’t fathom is how they truly thought you had accessed the restaurant provided WIFI, and, just for kicks, figured out how to lock it and did so, just to inconvenience everyone. And if they truly believed the restaurant provided it, wouldn’t the first step be to ask the hostess for the password?

      I go to a coffeeshop sometimes that provides WIFI, but it is password protected and you have to ask the cashier for the password. If I was too lazy to go to the front, I might ask someone next to me if they knew the password, but I wouldn’t accuse another patron of “hogging” or “locking” the wifi just because I had assumed they used it. Makes me wonder if the three kids were really that clueless, or knew very well it was your WIFI and thought they could bully you into using it.

  • crella March 5, 2014, 3:09 am

    ” gimme pugs”

    gb, I loved this typo, it made me imagine the three surly young people making their demands for the OP’s WIFI like Frank the pug in Men in Black!

  • JJ March 5, 2014, 9:58 pm

    While I love technology, especially wifi, I also hate how it has contributed to people becoming greedy gimme pigs. People seem to think wifi is free everywhere now just because a few places like cafe’s and stores offer it. Can I just say aw hell no! To the bullies in the story and anyone else who is a wifi pig I say invest in a decent data plan so that if you are somewhere with no accessible internet connection you can use your back up data plan to check the internet. How on earth do these kinds of people think generations survived before them without precious free wifi? How did they do it 😉 Even if they did use her wifi(which I don’t think they did I think they just saw the access name but couldn’t use it) who the heck do they think they are just demanding someone turn it on for them. Do you walk up to people wearing nice clothes or holding a music player and demand they give it to you because you want it? I also agree with the poster who said they don’t even like handing over their phone for a stranger to use, unless it was an emergency situation. I paid good money for this iphone and it is the only phone I own (I don’t use a landline it cost to much extra) so no way I am just handing it to a random stranger at the bus stop to borrow to make a call. How do I know some people won’t just run off with it or beat me up over it?(note: this seems to be happening a lot lately where I live every time I read the paper there is a new story about people getting phones and ipods stolen in public)

    • WifiGal March 6, 2014, 1:08 am

      I agree about the phones. I read in the older submissions about someone playing bejeweled on a city bus commute and having someone ask then demand that the phone be handed over for his five year old to play the game. And expected them to do so.

      I bought my smartphone, I bought a contract, I bought insurance, I bought a case to protect it. I have apps on it, music that I bought and a lot of my life on it (contacts, calendar, photos, etc). I bought a Bluetooth for it so I don’t have to wave it. Anyone else similar, could easily have a $3-5 THOUSAND commitment to that small piece of technology, for two years. Now then, someone wants me to hand over my phone, I don’t think so. I also don’t want to flash it as there are thieves who ‘apple pick’ ipads, iphones, and the like on the street. I wish more would realize that; that is a rather personal and expensive piece of tech, it’s not yours for the whim.

  • alkira6 March 8, 2014, 4:26 pm

    I was one of those bad people who stole WIFI. I didn’t know we were stealing until we were moving and found out that our router was unplugged and probably had been for a year. Our wifi name was the generic AT&T name that came with the basic setup. Just about everyone in the neighborhood had almost identical names.

    • Theta Marie August 18, 2014, 4:09 pm

      That’s not really your fault though. It’s not like you logged onto a neighbour’s knowingly, or that they asked around because their usage was incredibly disproportionate to the amount they thought they were using and if they hadn’t noticed that they were paying a disproportionate amount for their internet compared to their usage then nothing could be done.

  • camlan March 9, 2014, 9:13 am

    I got a wireless router at home just after they first came out. I was living in an apartment building with four apartments.

    A few weeks after I had the router set up, I was stopped in the parking lot by one of the other tenants, a young man in his 20s.

    “Are you the one with the wifi?” he asked. I replied that yes, I was. (There was that in his tone of voice that led me to believe he couldn’t believe the frumpy middle-aged lady was the one with the wifi.)

    “What’s the password?” he asked.

    “What?” I replied.

    “The password! The password! I can’t get on it. None of us in the building can use it!” He was getting upset.

    “It’s my router. I pay for the internet connection. You aren’t supposed to use it.”

    That led to a few minutes of angry words on his part. I finally got into my car and drove to work.

    I think so many kids get free wifi in college these days and they had it at home growing up, so that it is difficult for them to realize that someone, somewhere, is paying for that internet connection. Some businesses choose to share it, but private individuals certainly don’t have to.

  • DMDoug April 4, 2014, 12:34 pm

    I had problems with bandwidth stealing until I secured my router. I changed the name to ‘FBI Surveillance Van’ and added a password, no one ever asked about it and the problems stopped.

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