Mon, Jul 23rd 2007 1:58pm
An anonymous reader has submitted a story about Verizon Wireless apparently crippling the GPS functionality on the BlackBerry 8830 handsets it sells, after advertising the feature as one of the device's selling points. This sounds a lot like the situation Verizon found itself in a few years ago, when a bunch of pissed-off customers filed a class-action lawsuit against the operator (which it ended up settling) after it advertised the Bluetooth functionality of a Motorola handset, then crippled it so it would only support certain functions. The legal or liability ramifications of what Verizon's done here aren't clear, but judging by forum posts, there's a number of annoyed customers out there. Of course, Verizon's done this sort of thing before, whether it's continuing to cripple Bluetooth, keeping its customers in a walled garden so they can only access data services that make Verizon money, or by making misleading claims about the "unlimited" aspects of some of its services. While Verizon's strategy seems to result in plenty of unhappy customers, it's unlikely to change until a good number of them start voting with their wallets and fleeing to other operators. After all, the bad publicity and occasional class-action suit doesn't seem to be having much effect.
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