Just got back from a trip to Europe and have a question regarding "Free internet access" there. I tried to log on to the internet with my smart phone at McDonalds, which indicated free access, but it would not connect. I asked someone there and was told it only works with European phones and If my is from the US it would not work
Why is this and is there a way to solve this in the future?
It might depend on the country you were in. I am guessing that McDonald's does not have one "unified" European operations...i.e. McDonald's in each country likely operates separately from other countries. And how they handle WiFi in their restaurants then likely varies from country to country.
If my assumption is correct, then there may be some countries where it is completely free, but there maybe some countries where it is free if you have cell service through a specific carrier (kind of like McDonald's WiFi in the US used to be in the past when they had a deal with AT&T...if my memory serves me correctly).
So, you may need to go to the McDonald's site for that particular country and it might offer an explanation.
Of course, the person you talked to may not know what they were talking about and you may have just had some technical issue that prevented you from connecting...not that you were using a US phone.