Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Cellphones Google Microsoft

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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Verizon Removes Search Choices For BlackBerrys

Comments Filter:
  • by kiloechonovember (1704288) on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:23PM (#30519084)
    Oh we hear you Verizon, apparently you just don't care.
    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:24PM (#30519096) Journal
      "We don't have to care, we're the phone company."
      • by ta bu shi da yu (687699) on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:49PM (#30519298) Homepage

        Ah, the wonderful sound of thousands of cancelled contracts! Nothing quite like it.

        • by peragrin (659227) on Monday December 21, 2009 @10:21PM (#30519572)

          ah but they doubled their termination fee. now it is cheaper to get a divorce than to pay verizon to get out of the contract.

          • by tenton (181778) on Monday December 21, 2009 @10:46PM (#30519744)

            Divorce her and leave her the phone. That'll teach her.

          • by s73v3r (963317) <s73v3r@gmail.cPASCALom minus language> on Monday December 21, 2009 @11:42PM (#30520140)
            Shouldn't this fall under changing the contract? You are now locked into using Bing as your search provider, which is a restriction that was not present when you originally signed the contract, which means that it has changed. You should be able to terminate ETF-free, although it'll definitely take some fighting to do so if you're the first.
            • 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 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.

                • by Myopic (18616) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @12:15PM (#30524644)

                  You sound very knowledgeable. Could you please cite a law so we could use it?

                • by AK Marc (707885) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @01:48PM (#30525774)
                  Doesn't matter. Contracts can't override the law, regardless of how hard they try to make you think they can.

                  Well, the Libertarians will be very upset about that, but suppose you are 100% correct. What's the effect when you sign an "illegal" contract? You get to follow what you like, then if there's something in violation of the law, you don't follow it and tell them why? They won't believe you, and you'll have to fight the contract in court. Otherwise, they'll proceed like the contract is valid and you'll have outstanding debts and marks on your credit report.

                  By the way, have you ever tried to get a home loan with even silly stuff on your credit report? You'll be there on closing day, they'll say "this whole thing falls through if you don't make out a check for $525 (or whatever) to Verizon and hand it to the escrow agent." Sure, you have the option to not pay Verizon, but then you also will be giving up the home loan, and the house that goes with it. Happened to me with a water bill after I moved and the final bill never made it to me. I probably did owe that money, but never even got a chance to look at the bill and make sure it was correct, and it was pay the bill or not buy the house.

                  Your only real recourse if someone presents you with an "illegal" contract is to walk away. Anything else and you did sign away that right, and it would take a court order to reinstate it if you aren't allowed to sign it away.
            • 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.

          • 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.
          • 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 b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @10:48AM (#30523548)

            Call and complain. Average cost per call, considering overhead, is anywhere from $20-$40 in the call center industry, even more if you have dedicated in-house support.

            Prepare a complaint and read it, word for word, to the person you are talking to. Remember you are not talking to the person who made the policy, so refrain from profanity, yelling, and personal insults.

            But do take the time, at length, to voice your displeasure. If you're the only one who calls, at least you tried. If a million others also call, they are going to look for what's driving all of these calls and fix it ASAP. Cos no one wants to pay for call center overtime, or ramping up staffing.

            The trick is, let someone know you're unhappy and it might change. Keeping quiet guarantees it won't. Example: "Dear abby, I have a problem but I haven't told anyone about it because of some arbitrary reason. Answer: Tell them, simply and directly." It's in the newspaper every day - try it out once.

            • by stonewolf (234392) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @02:26PM (#30526300) Homepage

              This is an excellent suggestion, but not quite complete. Do not just complain. Ask for instructions on how to change the setting back to what it was. Under no conditions should you accept that it can not be done. You could change it yesterday, so you must be able to change it today, right? Be nice to the poor guy on the other end of the line. He is not at fault. But, when he says you can't change it kindly say that you believe he does not know how, and then demand to talk to a senior technical person so you can get your phone working again. Stay on the phone as long as possible and talk to as many people as possible.

              After you call Verizon and complain you *must* then call the FCC. You can find the number at http://esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm?sid=d1e640&id=d1e697 [fcc.gov] or just 1-888-225-5322 if you trust me :-) Then, you call the senators and your representative. You find your senator at http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm [senate.gov] and then your representative at http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/mcapdir.html [house.gov]

              Calling Verizon costs Verizon money, but it will not force them to change their actions. Calling the FCC forces the agency that regulates Verison to take notice of what Verizon has done. If the FCC doesn't get complaints they are not forced to "notice" the problem. Calling the Senate and the House of representatives makes sure that the people who make the laws that govern Verizon notice that the people who vote for them are not happy with the laws that govern Verizon. Believe it or not, no matter how large a bribe ... OK "campaign contribution" your elected officials have been paid by Verizon (each and everyone of them has been bribed by Verizon) they will take action if they think it will affect their ability to stay in office. You see, no matter how much money Verizon can give them, Verizon can not vote for them. And the elected bastards know one thing, if they do not get elected they get no more goodies from Verizon and the rest of the megacorps.

              And, Ya'know, if you are just feeling mean, call Microsoft support and ask how to turn off Bing on your phone. It is their product, they should know, right?

              The idea is to make this policy change as costly for Verizon as possible. That means you make them pay to handle your calls and you make them pay even more by generating bad feelings toward them in the Senate and the House.

              Oh yeah, I nearly forgot. If you want to call and leave a comment for at the White House for President Obomo, 202-456-1111 or, if you do not trust me as you should not, you can find the number here http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact [whitehouse.gov]. You can also send an email from there.

              Stonewolf.

              Why isn't this information listed at the top of the page on Slashdot?

        • by CodeBuster (516420) on Monday December 21, 2009 @10:58PM (#30519832)

          Ah, the wonderful sound of thousands of cancelled contracts! Nothing quite like it.

          Which won't happen because just about everyone who wanted the iphone or out of Verizon for some other reason has already bailed. The people who are left are there for the coverage or to put it more bluntly, it's the network stupid. They will piss and moan and grumble about it but it will not be enough to get them to switch because they chose Verizon for the network ; not because they had the best smartphones. Verizon is doing this because they can and their customers will like it that way. Verizon a bully? who knew....right.

    • by lorenlal (164133) on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:28PM (#30519122)

      Go download the Google app in the meantime.

      My initial reaction is just pure anger. I have settings, I like those settings. To have them just overwritten, and to take away my choice of a search provider just reeks to me. BTW - Way to go pushing that Google Android based phone, and then piss off your BB users with a Bing deal.

      • 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.
      • by causality (777677) on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:56PM (#30519352)

        Go download the Google app in the meantime.

        My initial reaction is just pure anger. I have settings, I like those settings. To have them just overwritten, and to take away my choice of a search provider just reeks to me. BTW - Way to go pushing that Google Android based phone, and then piss off your BB users with a Bing deal.

        The law should allow you to cancel your contract with no early termination penalty of any sort anytime the telco unilaterally and irreversibly reduces the phone's configuration like this. This behavior should legally negate any "terms subject to change without notice" clauses. It's a form of bait-and-switch, because when you bought the phone you were able to decide which search service to use and now that decision has been removed without your consent after you signed the contract.

        If it only applied to new phones with new contracts, or to existing customers whose contracts are renewing (and thus can be terminated with no penalty) I'd feel differently about it. It's waiting until you are locked into a contract with specific expectations and then reducing (instead of improving) the functionality of the device mid-term that I have a problem with.

  • F*ck you Verizon (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vinn (4370) on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:30PM (#30519134) Homepage Journal
    F*ck you Verizon. You know, I used to manage a 500 phone cell contract at the last company I worked for. I actually liked Verizon then. They had great support and offered decent phones (although it still took them a year to get the RAZR, the hot phone at the time.) We had some great regional sales reps too. Warranties were hassle free and we appreciated that. I moved jobs three years ago. It came time to consider switching cell providers and I naively assumed Verizon was the same. Sure, they're rates were still about the same, but everything else has changed with the company. I hate dealing with them now and they're the bane of my existence. I had SEVERAL regional reps outright lie to me this year. I hate them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by trapnest (1608791)

      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.

    • You mean Fuck (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ArchieBunker (132337) on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:39PM (#30519214) Homepage

      Honestly how angry can you be if you still have to censor the word fuck? Whats next C*ap and F*rt?

      • by Culture20 (968837) on Monday December 21, 2009 @10:54PM (#30519806)

        Honestly how angry can you be if you still have to censor the word fuck?

        Parent wasn't censoring, that was globbing. It expresses all of the following:
        Feedback you Verizon
        Fetlock you Verizon
        Flack you Verizon
        Flapjack you Verizon
        Flashback you Verizon
        Fleck you Verizon
        Flick you Verizon
        Flintlock you Verizon
        Flock you Verizon
        Flyspeck you Verizon
        Forelock you Verizon
        Frock you Verizon
        Fuck you Verizon
        Fullback you Verizon
        and more!!

        • by nacturation (646836) * <nacturation@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Monday December 21, 2009 @11:17PM (#30519970) Journal

          Also:

          Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. And if Abraham Lincoln were alive today, he would smack you Verizon.

  • by Mononoke (88668) on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:30PM (#30519140) Homepage Journal
    No matter how much AT&T sucks, Verizon will always lead the competition in that category.
  • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:31PM (#30519150) Homepage
    If you need to push your product by paying another company to force your product to be used, I don't think that says very good things about your product. Moreover, it is going to make many people simply react negatively to being forced to use Bing. On the other hand, given the massive head start that Google has over Bing, it is understandable that Microsoft would try tactics like this. Presumably if they are still trying this sort of thing in two or three years that would indicate a much more serious problem. Honestly, having tried both Google and Bing I've found them to be close to the same quality. I prefer Google but primary for the interface.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:43PM (#30519242)

      Yea but from the same artilce:

      "It should be said, however, that according to press reports, Google was in talks with Verizon over a similar search deal before the Microsoft pact was finalized"

      Sounds like google was working on doing pretty much the same thing. Microsoft just beat them to it. This is about money, not about the quality of the product.

      • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:58PM (#30519382) Homepage

        Ultimately how bad this is depends on the terms of the deal. Is the search engine the default option on new devices, or is it the only option forced on existing customers who didn't know something like this could happen when they signed up? That sort of thing makes a big difference.

        Either way, I think the real culprit here is Verizon. It's understandable that Microsoft or Google would want some kind of deal for search engine placement. We all know Google pays Mozilla for placement as the default engine. The problem is more about how little regard Verizon has for their own customers-- so little that they think it's perfectly appropriate to go in and screw with a customer's phone remotely.

        • by innerweb (721995) on Monday December 21, 2009 @10:10PM (#30519488)

          Google pays Mozzila for initial placement. That I can change when I want to. Nah, this just means no AT&T and no Verizon for us (my family).

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jc42 (318812)

          Is the search engine the default option on new devices, or is it the only option forced on existing customers who didn't know something like this could happen when they signed up?

          According to the summary, it was done to the writer's phone that had been using google; he found that google was no longer an allowed search engine and he had to use bing.

          It does seem like this sort of arrogant restriction should be legal ground for abrogating the contract. It should also be additional evidence in the "Net Neutral

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by KublaiKhan (522918)
      It is a little on the suspicious side for anyone paying attention to see this sort of thing--essentially, they're saying that nobody uses their engine voluntarily so they have to pay to force people to use it. Kinda makes me wonder what's -wrong- with it.

      I've used Bing a couple times, mostly by accident because the corporate image only has IE available and forgetting to complete an address in the search bar brings you there. I didn't really like the 'feel' of it, but that could possibly be because of my n
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by alen (225700)

      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 jc42 (318812) on Monday December 21, 2009 @10:59PM (#30519844) Homepage Journal

        google does the exact same thing and has for a while

        As far as I can tell, their deals don't include blocking access to the other search sites. Verizon is making bing the only search site usable by Verizon customers. Google seems to merely pay for placement as the default server. My (up-to-date) copies of seamonkey and firefox default to google, but the search widget has a menu of other search sites, and I typing in the URLs of other search sites also works. Nothing is blocked.

        So it's not at all the "same thing" as what the Verizon/Microsoft coalition has done.

        The abovethecrowd.com article seems to confirm this. Google's nefarious plot has be based on positioning themself as the default "less than free" alternative, by giving kickbacks from their ad revenue to their partners. But so far they don't seem to have actually managed to restrict customers' access as Verizon is doing. They merely make their stuff available at a better price for everyone, to gain the "default" position.

        The article goes into the related GPS navigation story in some detail. I saw a good example of google's approach a few days ago, when I needed to be at an event about 90 miles away shortly after local rush hour. I have a Garmin GPS gadget in my car, and I also had my T-Mobile G1 Android phone in my pocket. The Garmin gave me a route that the G1's google maps app told me had a serious traffic congestion. So I took a slightly longer alternate route that google said wasn't congested, and got there well before the estimated arrival time of either GPS gadget.

        The interesting thing about this is that I've taken to pitting the G1 and the Garmin nav stuff against each other, out of interest in how they compare. The main problem with Garmin's GPS is that it doesn't have "live" net access to anything. Its maps are now incorrect for a couple of local areas due to recent new highway construction, and it would cost me $160 to "upgrade" my maps to the latest version. The G1 uses google maps, so it's constantly downloading the current maps from the Net, but its downside is that when I'm out of cell-tower range, it can't get the maps. In this case, though, it showed off the real strength of google's nav stuff: It gets current traffic reports from its traveling phones and can warn you when there are problems ahead. Most of the time, its warnings are even accurate. If Garmin and the other GPS vendors can't move onto the Net in the same way, they're going to be out of business soon. On that trip, I ended up ignoring the Garmin routing, and followed the G1's suggestions.

        It should be noted that google isn't just supplying their nav software on Android "google" phones. My wife has an iPhone (which she loves), and it has the same google maps software. We've had a bit of fun comparing how google's stuff works on the two phones. There's no clear winner in that contest.

        (And I expect that google will soon be pre-fetching maps over a larger area, as memory becomes cheaper and phones can store more maps. This will ameliorate the out-of-cell-contact problems a lot. They'll also probably figure out how to make their UI better, by copying things that the GPS companies have done right. ;-)

    • by Culture20 (968837) on Monday December 21, 2009 @10:31PM (#30519644)

      If you need to push your product by paying another company to force your product to be used, I don't think that says very good things about your product.

      I've got some friends that work for Microsoft, and a lot of their social media status updates are about Bing!. The way they're phrased, it's obvious that posting those statuses is "not required, but not discouraged". Astroturfing, paid shills, annoying television commercials, removal of choice, worse search results... these are a few of my least favorite Bing!s.

  • by StreetStealth (980200) on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:31PM (#30519152) Journal

    The appropriate way to ink this deal would have been to simply make Bing the default instead of actually removing the competitors. It would have been worth less money to Verizon, but far more in terms of customer loyalty.

  • Bing... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:34PM (#30519174)

    Bing, the sound of thousands of Verizon customers finding a new provider...

  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:35PM (#30519184)

    Apparently Verizon has pushed an update that removes all search providers except Bing.

    . . . more like a "shove."

  • Boycott, anyone? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sethens (1705378) on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:36PM (#30519196)
    Honestly -- did Microsoft learn nothing from the browser war? Its anti-trust lawsuits? Even if this sort of move is not technically illegal, they're sure to gain more enemies than friends in the tech community. I was never keen on the blackberry, but the sliver of interest I had in the product is now gone.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:52PM (#30519322)

      Anger at BB for this? I have no interest in owning a BB either personally, but if I was a VZ customer, I'd be pissed at VZ - not MS or BB. MS is simply trying to market a turd, and BB is simply BB. VZ is the one that crossed the lines, imo.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by causality (777677)

      Honestly -- did Microsoft learn nothing from the browser war? Its anti-trust lawsuits? Even if this sort of move is not technically illegal, they're sure to gain more enemies than friends in the tech community. I was never keen on the blackberry, but the sliver of interest I had in the product is now gone.

      What Microsoft learned is that the general public has an extremely short memory and will continue to assume good-faith on the part of companies who have given every reason to doubt that. It's similar to what politicians learned a long time ago.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pclminion (145572)

      It isn't a boycott unless paying customers leave. Every time I see an article like this there are always a slew of people who say "I'm not a customer of XXX, and I certainly never will be now!" I think Verizon is probably yawning right now. For a boycott to work, people who were a source of income to the company need to CEASE being that source of income. Otherwise it's just mental masturbation. The people who are actually customers always seem to be able to find an excuse not to take action. Personal conven

    • Re:Boycott, anyone? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by OpenSourced (323149) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @11:00AM (#30523702) Journal

      Honestly -- did Microsoft learn nothing from the browser war? Its anti-trust lawsuits?

      Yes, they learned that they still keep getting richer every day, and punishments are a joke.

  • by Tisha_AH (600987) <Tisha.Hayes@gmail.com> on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:37PM (#30519200) Journal

    Wow, AT&T with it's lock-in of the iPhone, now Verizon with a lock-in to Bing. Can it be that this is the only way that Microsoft can get people to use Bing?

    I tried Bing, gave it a fair shake and ended up back with Google. To have my choices taken away by my phone carrier in a backroom deal between Microsoft and Verizon would get me looking for a new carrier.

    Of course, Microsoft has been in this business for a long time so they can give lessons to Verizon.

  • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:46PM (#30519274) Homepage Journal

    I own an openmoko, which has some hardware limitations, but I like the fact that I control its configuration almost as far as I control the configuration of my laptops and servers.

    If you don't want to be treated as a captive audience by your service provider then put your money down on a phone which gives you control.

    I know its a cliche, but with Apple et al getting on the app store bandwagon, and google linking phones, the OS and advertising, the old GNU issues around Free software are becoming more real.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Darkness404 (1287218)
      Yeah, but the difference seems to be between usability and the total lack of. While I would like an open device, I would also like something reliable. For example, the last time I checked OpenMoko, calls still wouldn't work all the time. Its kinda important for me that my OS doesn't randomly not answer calls or receive text messages.

      Really, even though its closed, Android is a nice alternative. It is stable, has lots of application support, lots of phones and most are easily rooted to do whatever with.
    • by Hairy1 (180056) on Monday December 21, 2009 @11:54PM (#30520228) Homepage

      I have a OpenMoko as well. It's all very well putting your money where your mouth is but how about the makers of OpenMoko actually finishing the software so the thing will run. The version that was sold had a hardware bug that requires fixing. There has never been a solid version of the software. The Android phones at least actually delivered on being a phone.

  • Shameful... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by QuietLagoon (813062) on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:52PM (#30519324)
    From now on, whenever Microsoft talks of providing choice, remember this deal in which Microsoft appears to have removed any choice of search from Verizon's users.
    • Re:Shameful... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak (669689) on Monday December 21, 2009 @11:08PM (#30519910) Journal

      From now on, whenever Microsoft talks of providing choice, remember this deal in which Verizon appears to have removed any choice of search from Verizon's users.

      Fixed that for you.
      Verizon is definitely not a victim in this.
      Despite the mountain of cash waved in their face, Verizon could have said no.

  • by Johnny Loves Linux (1147635) on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:53PM (#30519336)

    This demonstrates exactly why the phone network provider has to be decoupled from the cell phone vendor. What is the subtext of this? That the consumers are nothing more than serfs for the phone network providers to buy and sell as they please. That's the point. You have NO choice with Verizon. It's not YOUR phone it's THEIR phone.

    Microsoft couldn't pay enough people to use exclusively bing *and* keep their word, so why bother with the common citizen and instead go directly to the phone network? After all, the phone network is the only the thing that matters. Who gives a F*** about you and me and what *we* want? Certainly not verizon with this maneuver. The worst part? I don't think it has even occurred to the management at verizon how deeply offensive this maneuver is. To FORCIBLY lock people into 1 choice of search engine?!?! WTF? What are they smoking?!?!

    I think it's time that Congress and the President (who's a blackberry customer) is informed of what exactly verizon thinks of their freedom of choice. Talk about Dumb Ass Maneuver!

  • by rzei (622725) on Monday December 21, 2009 @09:58PM (#30519372)

    Go and demand your gsm subscriptions and your mobiles separately.

    Easy as that. Unless you are already past the point when there are only these mega corporations (Verizon + AT&T) selling you what ever bigger companies want.

    Buy Nokia :) (The cheapest ones, you don't get angry when destroy the damn thing next friday when you're drunk! You don't really need all those fancy features, you just want to make a call, send an sms and every phone can run Opera Mini)

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • No, not exactly (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bsDaemon (87307) on Monday December 21, 2009 @10:07PM (#30519458)
    I have a BlackBerry Storm through Verizon, and the other day I noticed the Bing icon show up on my screen, which I thought was strange, but seeing as how I'm sort of generally disenchanted with Google these days, I didn't really care. However, if you open up the actual browser app instead of clicking the new icon, then you can still search via Google by default in there without any disruption.

    Verizon didn't remove search choice, and they aren't forcing Bing, they just stuck an extra icon on the phone. Delete it and move on. Seriously.
  • by HangingChad (677530) on Monday December 21, 2009 @10:28PM (#30519616) Homepage

    The move is part of the five-year search and advertising deal Verizon signed with Microsoft in January for a rumored $500m.

    Reminds me of my dad saying someone was so ugly you had to hang a pork chop around their neck to find them a date. If Microsoft search is so great, why do they have pay Verizon a half-billion dollars to be their friend?

  • by erroneus (253617) on Monday December 21, 2009 @11:07PM (#30519894) Homepage

    ... Verizon sells its customers!

    There was probably a funnier way to say that, but I think the point is made. Here we have this situation that appears again and again. Businesses who collect our money in giant leaf-piles of money somehow feel it's not enough and end up selling their customers... their trust, their personal data and personality information and habits and preferences... it sickens me but it stopped surprising me long ago.

  • by laing (303349) on Monday December 21, 2009 @11:11PM (#30519942)
    I dumped Verizon over 5 years ago when they partnered with M$ for "myvzw". One day I went to log into the portal (which worked fine from a mobile phone so it didn't require too many html capabilities) and it said I was on an incompatible browser and needed to upgrade. The problem was that I was on a SPARC. I'd been using a SPARC with Netscape for years with no trouble and then suddenly they said I needed exploder. AT&T has better phones anyway. I recently dumped Netflix because they require Silverlight to view movies on-line. It's just a coincidence that the CEO of Netflix sits on the M$ board of directors... People who say Microsoft has changed its ways and is no longer anti-competitive just aren't looking in the right places.

A consultant is a person who borrows your watch, tells you what time it is, pockets the watch, and sends you a bill for it.

Working...