A very interesting development. First off, let me recommend the latest coffeegeek podcast. Mark discusses the Clover situation in the first segment of the show, and provides some insight and details that may not be immediately obvious (such as Starbucks shutting down services and training that were an important component of a Clover purchase).
So on the one hand, I can understand the feeling of betrayal from the indie cafes. A lot of time and energy went into helping Clover achieve a good product, and to lose almost all of the services and support from the company is a pretty bitter pill.
I also have to mourn what is probably the loss of a "hand-crafted" product. If Starbucks is going to use the Clover in a significant percentage of its thousands of stores, it will probably need more production than can be mustered by the folks at Clover. If they're going to mass-market it as a consumer product, same thing.
But... I also have to celebrate the success of an entrepreneur. You believe in something, work your butt off for it for years, and finally you get bought by a mega-corp for hopefully some significant cash. I can't fault the Clover guys for that at all. Congrats to them! Let's enjoy some clever coffee entrepreneurs making a financial success of their efforts.
As for the indie shops refusing to use the ones they already have... I dunno. That smacks of elitism for its own sake, but at the same time, you can't build a Clover into your business as a core offering now, because you won't be able to get any more of them (i.e. for other stores/locations).
So I bought an airline ticket for a friend today, for him to fly today. I found a fare on cheaptickets for $295 on Delta, but cheaptickets couldn't book it because it was same day (I dunno)... they indicated that I needed to call Delta. I'd also found a Southwest flight for a bit more ($349).
So I call Delta. After wading through the voice-recognition interrogation, I ended up with an agent. The agent sounded as if she was reciting some phrases, but OK, whatever.
So she says the best fare is $481. HA. I say I'm not paying that much, and give her the details on the fare I found, which she fails to find... but while she is failing to find it, she offers me several "deals" that I would certainly be interested in, such as a credit card and a vacation getaway. After it's clear this is going nowhere, I tell her thanks but I'm not interested. I had to hang up on her as she was still going on about the deals.
Then I call Southwest. No voice-recognition, just a queue, and a person answers after maybe 20 seconds. Very friendly, immediately understood what I wanted and had the flights up. She suggested another flight that left later, but would arrive sooner due to delays on the other itenerary. I booked that flight, and that was it.
WHAT a contrast. Customer service people, are you listening? Employ people that are friendly and well-spoken and genuinely interested in customer service. It goes a long way.