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Verizon Removes Search Choices For BlackBerrys 510

Posted by kdawson
from the you've-been-bung dept.
shrugger writes "I picked up my BlackBerry this morning to do a search and noticed Bing as my default search engine. I thought this was very strange, since I didn't pick this setting. I went to change it back to Google and, to my chagrin, Bing was my only option! Apparently Verizon has pushed an update that removes all search providers except Bing. Thanks a lot Verizon!" The Reg notes: "The move is part of the five-year search and advertising deal Verizon signed with Microsoft in January for a rumored $500m."
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Verizon Removes Search Choices For BlackBerrys

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  • Re:Wait for 2010 (Score:5, Informative)

    by lorenlal (164133) on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:31PM (#30519154)

    Verizon doesn't use SIMs. In fact, I'm pretty sure the SIM slot in my Verizon phone is disabled.

  • by E IS mC(Square) (721736) on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:35PM (#30519186) Journal
    If I had option of Droid on T-Mobile, I would get one today. The only reason I did not get one is Verizon. I am not willing to sell my soul to either Verizon or AT&T - even if that means not carrying a mobile phone altogether.

    Thank god for T-Mobile.
  • Re:F*ck you Verizon (Score:3, Informative)

    by trapnest (1608791) <janusofzeal@gmail.com> on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:36PM (#30519190)

    I have to deal with Verizon as an ISP here for a few of my clients. I can't recall all the times a Verizon screwup has caused problems for me.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:42PM (#30519230)

    Lily Tomlin, you mean. :-)

  • by darthflo (1095225) * on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:51PM (#30519306)

    There [google.com] you go. It's a Moto Droid with quadband GSM instead of CDMA innards. Put any T-Mobile SIM in there and you're good to go. If you're getting a contract anyways, you may want to get one of their $1 phones and eBay it to get some of those $600 back.

    Let me know how you like it!

  • by davecrusoe (861547) on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:59PM (#30519406) Homepage

    Unfortunately, here's yet another reason to MOVE MY PHONES AWAY FROM VERIZON. Recently, we found out that Verizon was charging for data (1mb of data transfer) when I accidentally hit the "Get it now" key that is hard-coded, pre-programmed, into my phone - without any labeling and without any option to repurpose the keystroke.

    This seems to come on top of everything else as yet another reason to choose another vendor - Google, hopefully! - and not Verizon.

  • by E IS mC(Square) (721736) on Monday December 21, 2009 @10:00PM (#30519408) Journal
    Thanks. Did not think about that option.

    But two problems:
    1. Will definitely have to get a phone on contract and ebay it - if I am on their network for long time, I would rather I use their subsidy. And I am not good at ebaying stuff.
    2. (More importantly) Unfortunately, the phone wont be able to use T-Mobile 3G network. Here is more detail on it - http://forums.t-mobile.com/t5/Non-T-Mobile-Devices/Motorla-Milestone-GSM-ver-of-Verizon-Droid-A855/td-p/272760 [t-mobile.com]
  • by alen (225700) on Monday December 21, 2009 @10:00PM (#30519410)

    google does the exact same thing and has for a while

    to push android they have a revenue sharing agreement with other companies. check out abovethecrowd.com.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 21, 2009 @10:01PM (#30519414)

    This has been standard Microsoft behavior. Whether it says good things about your product, it's exactly the sort of bundling that concerned the DOJ.

    Too bad the DOJ was eviscerated by the Bush twins, and Obama doesn't show any signs of replacing the excised organs.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 21, 2009 @10:04PM (#30519438)

    Try a n900 then, it works on all t-mobile freqs. Its missing one of the att 3G bands though.

  • My Experience (Score:5, Informative)

    by duchessjane (1705392) on Monday December 21, 2009 @10:06PM (#30519450)
    After reading several Blackberry message board posts from Verizon users that got Binged, I kept checking for it every time I did a reboot or battery pull. After one reboot, I noticed a new icon with the Bing logo. I clicked it. It said it wanted to change my default and had the "I Agree" and "I Disagree" choices. I clicked "I Disagree" and then deleted the Bing icon. I'm a Verizon Blackberry user with Google as my default search. Bing doesn't even appear on the menu.
  • by zizzo (86200) <fishbolt AT yahoo DOT com> on Monday December 21, 2009 @10:11PM (#30519500) Homepage

    Agreed. If you are affected you should probably contact the FCC or the FTC and complain about this.

  • Re:Oblig. Simpsons (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 21, 2009 @10:20PM (#30519556)

    > Honestly, I feel sorry for us all. It's important to have at least one major provider that is open and not locked in

    Sounds like the N900 (open Linux platform). The provider can't reach into your device and remove features. YOU have the root password, and THEY don't, just like things should be.

    Plus you can do things like use VOIP apps, no matter what the vendor might wish.

    Why so many people buy into the walled gardens has always been a mystery to me.

  • Re:F*ck you Verizon (Score:2, Informative)

    by malkir (1031750) on Monday December 21, 2009 @10:41PM (#30519702)
    From my experiences with Verizon as an internet provider, they're fantastic -- but all of their services just feel way too overpriced.
  • by awyeah (70462) * on Monday December 21, 2009 @10:50PM (#30519770)

    [...] the main lesson I take from this is the Blackberry is a poor choice if you want control of your own device.

    If you look at most of Verizon's other phones, they all use the same user interface (look and feel, menus, etc). They also used to disable some bluetooth functionality (you couldn't transfer files, but you could use a headset), and they used to disable GPS functions for applications other than their "VZ Navigator" app.

    It sounds to me like Verizon is a poor choice if you want control of your own device.

    Then again, lots of carriers lock out some functionality. For example, AT&T hasn't given me the manual network selection option on any of my phones for years. It only appears when I'm outside the U.S.

  • Re:Wait for 2010 (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 21, 2009 @10:50PM (#30519776)
    Hey you, SIM card idiot. Quit spreading your lies. The Storm is only available from Verizon, which seems to suggest that Verizon doesn't disable the SIM card. Why in the hell would a manufacturer make a 'world phone' and then sell it to a company that disables the 'world' part of the phone? "Pretty sure" translates to "I've no fucking clue what I'm talking about."
  • by rdavidson3 (844790) on Monday December 21, 2009 @11:01PM (#30519860)
    Oh, but you can. ;)

    http://roaminghack.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]
    http://www.ucan.org/telecommunications/wireless/how_to_cancel_your_cell_phone_contract [ucan.org]

    I am in the process of getting off of Bell Canada and none too soon. I moved within Calgary, and the area I am in has poor coverage, so the phone drops calls continuously. After calling Bell to complain about the coverage, even though the coverage map says my area of the city is good, they said that I couldn't quit them since I didn't get their permissions to move (huh???), and its my fault the phone works periodically.
    Anywho, I asked to get a supervisor and he got me off the rest of the contract and heading over to a new provider (http://www.windmobile.ca/) in the new year, and their rates are fantastic.... just hope they don't treat the customers like crap.
  • by s73v3r (963317) <s73v3r@gmail.cPASCALom minus language> on Monday December 21, 2009 @11:45PM (#30520158)
    Don't even do that. T-Mobile now has plans specifically designed for people who are bringing their own phones, and don't need the subsidized phone. They're about $10/month cheaper than the plans with the subsidized phone, and no contract.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 21, 2009 @11:46PM (#30520182)

    In no way, shape or form was my search choice removed.

    You sir are NOT experiencing the same issue as everyone else thus your input is irrelevant and unnecessary. If you would do a bit of research, you would see that the Bind Icon showing up uninvited, and the removal of the search options are two separate issues.

    The problem that you are NOT experiencing is that when you open the default browser, and click Goto (or from the default homepage) and attempt to search then ONLY search provider in the dropdown list is now Bing.

    Just wait, VZ has already said that they have plans to push this to every BB Model, you time is coming too.

    Its funny that you look like an even bigger idiot after your 2nd post than your first post.

  • by Kral_Blbec (1201285) on Monday December 21, 2009 @11:57PM (#30520252)
    You have 30 days after a policy change to cancel a contract without paying the ETF.
  • Re:Droid (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rocketship Underpant (804162) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @12:01AM (#30520278)

    Actually, the iPhone lets you change your search provider in the configuration settings.

  • by Fallen Kell (165468) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @12:26AM (#30520402)
    Actually, if they changed it while you are under contract, you can terminate your existing contract with no questions asked (there is a time limit from when you are notified of the contract change). Anytime they change the services or add fees this consumer protection goes into effect. Your state may offer even more protection as well....
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @01:14AM (#30520630)

    I really have to start reading Slashdot at work, because I'm already 250 comments late getting on. So I don't really expect to successfully counteract the layers of mindless speculation and chest-thumping rage already piled up here. As someone who actually works for Verizon Wireless customer service and has read the company details about the change, I have to speak up, cause there's barely a smidgen of fact in this entire story. Here's some bullet points:

    1. Yes, Verizon Wireless has switched the search bar to run Bing. No, you don't have to use it. The company has just gotten the equivalent of a very expensive TV commercial for Microsoft. You don't need to watch commercials either. Just ignore Bing, like you already do.

    2. No, Google isn't blocked -- just go to the browser and bookmark Google.com. As noted somewhere in here, you can even download a Google app.

    3. This is only for a handful of BlackBerrys. The Droid, being a Google phone and all, isn't affected.

    4. This does NOT count as a material change to your Customer Agreement, because it isn't costing you anything. Don't bother trying to argue your way out of the ETF.

    4a. And please don't harass the customer service reps about this, as some helpful person suggested earlier. We'll consider a whole bunch of reasons to waive your charges, but not some bullshit reason like this.

    Yes, I know we all hate cell carriers. God knows they deserve it. But to see a bunch of people piling on against some piddling little change without bothering to actually ask someone who knows anything really shakes my faith in torch-carrying mobs.

    (Posted anonymously for legal reasons -- my opinions don't reflect the opinions of Verizon Wireless, blah, blah, blah.)

  • by AK Marc (707885) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @01:26AM (#30520702)
    Read your contract. I'm sure that they state that they are allowed to change features (including removing functionality) any any time for any reason and you can't do anything about it. I found that in my last AT&T contract. As long as it dials when you punch numbers, your "phone" contract holds. The data stuff is like an add on that they could remove/block and you are still on the hook for the phone service for the rest of the contract.
  • by Svartalf (2997) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @02:37AM (#30521050) Homepage

    In actuality, if you've got a PDA phone (i.e. a WinMo, BlackBerry, Palm, or Android...) you're required to get the PDA plan. That's a combined phone and data plan- that's typically unlimited.

    As such, suppositions about the data part being a "bonus" are bogus.

    I should know, I spend quite a bit of money on that specific plan- and if I had a BlackBerry, I'd be PO'ed at this point.

  • by Achromatic1978 (916097) <robert@chrBOHRom ... minus physicist> on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @02:39AM (#30521060)
    You are not locked into using Bing. You can still use any search provider from the web browser, but the phone default for /its/ search app is Bing.

    Shitty, but still.

  • Re:No, not exactly (Score:2, Informative)

    by j_rhoden (214320) <rhodenr AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @02:53AM (#30521146)

    I can confirm this is true. They pushed a Bing icon to my Storm that propmted me to download the Bing Mobile app, but Google is still my default search in the BlackBerry browser.

  • Re:No, not exactly (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @03:43AM (#30521348)

    Yes, the same thing happened to me. That there's now a Bing icon on my Storm's home screen is no big deal really. What is a big deal is that the phone _automatically_ downloaded the Bing update without prompting.

    Naturally, it chose to do this on a rare day when I really needed the phone for my job. The stupid thing blew almost its entire battery downloading the damn update and left me out in the cold. Idiots.

    Anyway, I've got a Droid now.

  • by BitZtream (692029) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @03:51AM (#30521374)

    Doesn't matter. Contracts can't override the law, regardless of how hard they try to make you think they can. They can say they have the right to change service at any time and that you can't terminate, but that is simply not true.

    If the service materially changes, you can terminate the agreement, regardless of how many times they tell you that you can't.

  • Re:Not for OS 5 (Score:3, Informative)

    by dissy (172727) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @04:31AM (#30521548)

    That's pretty troubling, I wouldn't think the device should accept a service book from anywhere but it's authorized BES server. That means that *any* BB can probably be silently "upgraded" with a SB that compromises encryption (as an example) by the ISP.

    It's already been done elsewhere by ss8.
    http://www.veracode.com/blog/2009/07/blackberry-spyware-dissected/ [veracode.com]

    It is believed this is the same method the US government intercepts a blackberry with a warrant as well.

  • by vonWoland (615992) <dmitri&momus,net> on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @05:18AM (#30521760)
    Sprint uses the very same CDMA towers as Verizon. Even if Verizon has more coverage, with Sprint's free roaming, I still have the exact same coverage as before I switched. Sprint, however, is cheaper, though arguably just as evil.
  • by linzeal (197905) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @06:23AM (#30522064) Homepage Journal
    Well to do that you are going to have to hire a lawyer.
  • by FlyingBishop (1293238) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @10:40AM (#30523466)

    This has nothing to do with the Droid. And you can bet if they try this sort of shit I'll walk, with my subsidized minicomputer in tow.

  • by Foolhardy (664051) <csmith32@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @02:29PM (#30526350)

Entropy requires no maintenance. -- Markoff Chaney

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