Featured: Verizon writes to FCC, explains how much they care

March 3, 2012 - Written By Randy Arrowood

I’ve been a Verizon Wireless customer since the beginning of time. My first cell phone account was with Cellular One in Cincinnati, which became AirTouch Cellular through a buyout. AirTouch Cellular merged with Vodafone in 1999 and later that same year, Verizon and Vodafone entered into a joint venture that merged their cellular assets into Verizon Wireless. I’ve literally been a Verizon Wireless customer since day one.

Nobody needs to explain to me that Verizon Wireless has always been at the very top of the carrier suck chart. Nobody.

There are those people, however, that have never experienced how much Verizon truly sucks. They’ve never experienced BREW on a plain old cell phone, or had so many bullshit “system” apps installed on their phone that the thing would barely run. Verizon sucks. Always have, always will.

In attempt to demonstrate their suckage to the uninitiated, Verizon wrote a letter to the FCC in response to a Block C spectrum complaint concerning Verizon’s use of locked bootloaders on Android devices. I’m not going to get into all of the details of the Block C spectrum auction, the rules that were placed on the usage of that spectrum or whether or not Verizon is in violation of those rules. Not gonna do it.

Instead, I’m going to translate two of the statements from the VZW letter in a way that only a long suffering Verizon customer can.

Statement 1:

(Verizon) “has established a standard of excellence in customer experience with our branded devices”

What VZW is actually saying here is that they prefer a wireless world where they and they alone determine what you can or cannot do with your device. For example, there was a time when VZW sold Android devices that came with Bing services pre-installed instead of Google. That wouldn’t have been such a big problem, but in the beginning these devices couldn’t even find the Google apps for search or maps in Android Market. VZW blocked them.

That’s their idea of a standard of excellence in customer experience. You’ll use what we want you to use on your phone and if you don’t like it, well, you can sit and spin.

I’m told that Bing-Droids were far and away the most returned devices ever.

Statement 2: (the most outrageous statement ever)

“an open bootloader could prevent Verizon Wireless from providing the same level of customer experience and support because it would allow users to change the phone or otherwise modify the software and potentially, negatively impact how the phone connects with the network.”

The customer experience that Verizon is trying to protect here is their included apps cash cow. I rooted my original Droid 1 for one reason and one reason only: to rid myself of all of the pre-installed bullshit apps that Verizon was paid to load on my phone. I swear, there was an update to my device that I am convinced was sent down only to add the battery sucking Slacker app to my phone.

Well, it doesn’t fit with Verizon’s business model to have an end user be able to root their phone and remove these crapps. Ultimately that impacts the amount of money that Verizon makes because, as in the Slacker example, Verizon gets a cut for every user that signs up in the Slacker app. They’re paid up front to include the app, they get a cut of every user that subscribes to the app or both.

The other part of that statement, the part about negatively impacting the network, well that refers to people who root their phones and install tethering apps to connect their other devices to their mobile Internet connection.

It isn’t that I support the notion that tethering apps are theft of service, it’s that if every person that was using a tethering app instead chose to pay Verizon for tethering access, that wouldn’t be a problem for Verizon. It’s only when a customer can sidestep the outrageous fees for services that VZW cares about network impact from tethered devices.

If Verizon truly cared about the customer experience, their 4G network would actually work. Instead, I’ve suffered through no less than six 4G outages that lasted for more than four hours each. And contrary to the bullshit lies that they post on Twitter during these outages, when 4G goes down 3G goes with it on 4G devices.

Source: Droid-Life | Image: Android Community