Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Verizon Wireless Pays Up For Crippled Bluetooth

For a while, people had been complaining that Verizon Wireless crippled their Bluetooth implementation. The mobile operator was doing so purposely, in order to protect their own business model -- without realizing that making their devices a lot less valuable might just drive users elsewhere, doing a lot more harm than good. Earlier this year, disgruntled users who claimed they bought Verizon Wireless devices believing the Bluetooth wasn't crippled filed a class action suit against the company. After looking over the possibilities, it appears Verizon Wireless felt it was better to simply settle the matter out of court and will be providing a $25 credit to those who felt wronged. Otherwise users can cancel their contracts without an early termination fee (it would be amusing to see if some unhappy customers use this as a way to get out of their contract, even if they don't care about the Bluetooth issue). However, what isn't clear is if Verizon Wireless will keep crippling their Bluetooth implementations... but just make it clearer to buyers that they won't be able to do lots of things Bluetooth should allow them to do.

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