Verizon Wireless and the stealth update

Verizon Wireless and the stealth update

Summary: Verizon Wireless updated my HTC Thunderbolt last night. I wasn't given notice. I wasn't give a chance to opt out. Bad move Verizon Wireless.

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TOPICS: Verizon
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I was awakened at 2 AM this morning when my HTC Thunderbolt rebooted itself.  It appears that Verizon Wireless downloaded and installed an operating system update without asking me, without giving me any clue to what was being updated and without giving me a chance to opt out.

Could this be considered virtual breaking and entering? Can I call the police. Unfortunately no.

I've been searching the Verizon Wireless website in the hopes of finding out more about what was in this update. All I found was a page offering a sketchy PDF file containing little to no information.

My alarms were canceled.  Verizon bloatware that I had stopped was re-enabled once again.

In one way, I'm fortunate that I was awakened so that I could reset the alarm.

Bad move Verizon Wireless.  What was so important that you couldn't have informed me what you were doing and give me a chance to opt in?

Topic: Verizon

About

Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. In his spare time, he's also the managing partner of Lux Sonus LLC, an investment firm.

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12 comments
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  • News Flash - it's not your device

    Unless you bought your smartphone at full price your leasing the device from Verizon and they have full control and rights to do whatever they want to your device. Maybe if you actually read the contract you'd see that.

    Your device is an extension of Verizon's network that you pay to use. They can control whatever they want when you use their network. I don't like it as much as anyone but that is the reality. Don't like it? Don't use a carrier network and live with a WiFi only device / Skype.
    MobileAdmin
    • You went with Android to avoid Apple's walled garden and

      Draconian controls...so, how's it feel knowing you were snookered by a lie?
      baggins_z
    • RE: Verizon Wireless and the stealth update

      @MobileAdmin: You are not leasing the device. That is just flat out wrong. You purchased it (even if at $0.00) at a discount in exchange for a contract, or at full price, but the equipment is yours.

      @ Dan Kusnetzky: The Verizon Wireless Customer Agreement (http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/globalText?textName=CUSTOMER_AGREEMENT&jspName=footer/customerAgreement.jsp) clearly states: "Please be aware that we may change your wireless device's software, applications or programming remotely, without notice. This could affect your stored data, or how you've programmed or use your wireless device."
      So yes, you were warned about the possibility of software updates. It isn't Verizon's fault if you didn't read the customer agreement before you signed on the dotted line.

      Also, if you had been awake at the time, there would have been a popup allowing you to delay the update if you were in the middle of something.
      sparhawks
  • RE: Verizon Wireless and the stealth update

    It is possible they plugged a security hole that was so bad they did not want to advertise it until after everyone is updated.
    mrlinux
  • RE: Verizon Wireless and the stealth update

    Verizon does this a lot. Everytime they update my phone, the bloatware gets larger; the speed gets worse; and the battery time becomes almost non-existant.<br><br>The last update made it so our text messages can go anywhere (including facebook and twitter) but verizon does not care at all. We've asked and asked about this but Verizon does not care about your privacy or you as a customer at all.
    ewhisper
  • I'm no lawyer, but...

    ...it seems to me that as this upgrade was not "approved" by the user, the user would not be bound by whatever EULAs were in place for the software updated.<br>I'd be interested in hearing a real IP Lawyer's interpretation of this.
    OrlandoHatch
  • RE: Verizon Wireless and the stealth update

    This is inexcusable and anyone that accepts it is a lemming. Leave Verizon now if you care at all about privacy and freedom.
    lippidp
  • RE: Verizon Wireless and the stealth update

    I actually like that Verizon is continuing to fix or upgrade my thunderbolt when they could just ignore it and focus only on the new model phones. I like how the update was done in the night so as not to disrupt my day. And Unlike the author, my alarm went off in the morning as scheduled. Also, after the last update my battery time almost doubled! I can now go for more than 24 hours without charging. When the Tbolt was released i would charge it all night then it would die before I got off work.

    I do hate the bloatware, but I don't think it affects the phone any when not in use.
    tboltguy
  • RE: Verizon Wireless and the stealth update

    Switch to the new Nexus. Android comes directly from Google without being touched by the phone manufacturer or the carrier. You get the latest release early with no bloatware or modifications. Google may update Android automatically like they do Chrome and ChromeOS.
    Ronim
  • RE: Verizon Wireless and the stealth update

    I got the same update on my Thunderbolt. But instead of whining about it, I welcomed it with open arms because the Thunderbolt is such a crappy buggy phone, I'll welcome just about any update if it has a chance of making the dumb thing more stable.
    wendellgee2
  • RE: Verizon Wireless and the stealth update

    VZW is known to do all the things that irritate rooted users & privacy seeking individuals. There are plus's and minus's with all carriers. Maybe VZW or the others could start offering connections to their network with opptions for updates & rooted phones... Oh, I guess I have an overactive imagination & that's way too optimistic. It just is what it is...
    ebiz1
  • Sounds like this guy has a personal vendetta against Verizon

    News flash. All the carriers have major issues.

    Comparing open source to Apples O/S isn't apples to apples. Years ago Microsoft was "hammered by open source advocates early and often". Now that apple is the bully on the block no one is saying much for their over priced proprietary products and accessories.

    Open source comes with a price: It allows developers (yes I am one) to modify the O/S to meet certain criteria. The problem is Samsung, Google and even Verizon probably won't be able to answer every question about every flavor of modified Open Source O/S.

    Personally I will take the minor downfalls of Android over the strangle hold of Apple and silly white (gay) cords that cost a fortune.

    My two cents.
    kbarber02