Thoughts & news on technology…well, mostly

Need to find a Starbucks on your cell phone? Send a text to “MYSBUX”

Starbucks has launched a service that allows you to get a list of the closest Starbucks by sending a text message with your zip code to “MYSBUX” (697289). After doing so, you’ll receive a text message listing the 3 nearest Starbucks locations with their address, phone number, and a link to a mobile-friendly web page that tells you if that location has WiFi and where the store is located on a Microsoft MapPoint map.

If you have a cellphone or smartphone that can browse the web, you can also navigate to their mobile-friendly site – mobile.starbucks.com – to find the nearest stores, identify which ones have Wifi, get maps, directions, etc.

I compared the text message service to Google’s 411 text message service by submitting 3 different locations (Somerville, MA, Cambridge, and Brookline, MA) to both services and got better results with Google 33% of the time (I’m sure this percentage will fluctuate depending on the city). When I say “better results,” I mean that Google returned more stores that were closer to my location. When I searched for stores nearest Brookline, MA, the Starbucks service didn’t return one store that was the second closest to my location. The response time from both services were equal – I got replies within 10 – 20 seconds. Overall, the Starbucks service is easier to use because all you have to do is enter your zip code whereas, with Google’s SMS service, you have to enter name, city, and state or zip code. The Starbucks service always returns 3 results compared to Google’s 2 – 3 results.

I also tried the Starbucks mobile site and was surprised at how fast it was. If you don’t want to use text messages, this is a very good alternative. Plus, the mobile site gives you a lot more results.

At the end of the day, I love Google SMS and will keep using it since it’s a lot easier to remember the number: “GOOGLE” (466453). Needless to say, I’m recommending Google SMS because not only can you search for Starbucks locations but you can search for anything else – it’s basically the mobile version of the 411 Directory Service.


Filed under: Cellphone, Google, Mobile Phone, Search, Text Message

5 Responses

  1. Mark Emery says:

    Thanks for using the service. My company, Air2Web, built the application for Starbucks. Would love to hear additional feedback on the application, or other things you’d like to see text-enabled.

  2. koolio says:

    Mark, thanks for reading my post and commenting.

    One feedback I have for the Starbucks locator is the ability to search by city, state. There are times when people travel to a different city/state and don’t know the zip code of the city they’re in.

    Btw, my girlfriend tried the service two days ago and said she got 4 responses – 3 of which, were the same location. However, I was unable to reproduce it. The zip code she used was 02144.

  3. While the MYSBUX service sounds cool, wouldn’t it be even cooler if you could order and pay from your mobile phone and skip the line when you got to Starbucks? Checkout http://www.gomobo.com and this piece from Good Morning America (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDv-LDyBbk0)

  4. d_i_g_t_a-L-D says:

    i just learned about that text message service with google to day it would have saved me litraly like 1000.oo dollers because i have been using 411 on verizon like a dumb ass which cousts like 2 or 3 dollers a call even if thay cant find it.

  5. koolio says:

    Yeah, 411 is an absolute rip-off. Gotta love Google!

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