Verizon, My New Smartphone Has An Incredible Amount Of Bloatware

Timothy copied Consumerist on his EECB to Verizon. While he likes his new HTC Droid Incredible a lot, he’s deeply disappointed in how many applications the phone shipped to him with. “Effectively, we are paying you for the privilege of having to repeatedly be harassed by your adware,” he writes. Do you agree, or is Timothy overreacting?

Ladies & Gentlemen,

My name is Timothy [redacted] and I have been a Verizon customer for many years. I am also an I.T. Director at a large hospital in the [redacted] area where one of the areas under my purview is our Telecom group where I am responsible for the telecom architecture, hardware and mobile strategies.

The reason I am writing is that I have recently purchased your new Android device, the HTC Incredible, for my personal use as well as for review to determine if it would be a suitable smartphone platform for our enterprise.

On a positive note, I am all but thoroughly thrilled with this device. It accomplishes everything I had expected in this highly anticipated tool, with the exception of the abysmal battery performance.

That is not why I am contacting you, though. What I am writing about is Verizon’s deplorable, and borderline unethical, inclusion of scads of bloatware and adware applications on this device, which in and of itself is a disgusting practice by an OEM, be it smartphones, desktops, laptops or any other related type of device, but made all the more unacceptable by the fact that there is no possible way of removing said applications. Dare I remind you that these devices we purchase from you are our property? To do with as we see fit? We are not renting or otherwise leasing these devices from you.

The worst offender of this lot is the bloatware application called CityID. Yes, I have no doubt whatsoever that Verizon received a sizable payment to include this garbage on OUR devices, but there is next to zero value-add to your customers. By customer, I mean those of us that pay you, each and every month, quite a bit of money to use your services. If you have a customer that does find value in an application of this nature, they could have simply gone and installed it from your Android app store, but it was apparently more financially advantageous to foist it upon us all with no means to remove it, again, from OUR devices. The borderline unethical charge that I lodge against you comes from the fact that this application repeatedly reminds us to sign up for the pay-to-use version. Effectively, we are paying you for the privilege of having to repeatedly be harassed by your adware.

This is the type of action that costs you customers and loyalty as well as corporate business, as I will most certainly not be recommending this platform to our enterprise, nor our individual users. This is also the type of action that forces those who are more technical astute to “root” their devices to remove this type of garbage, thereby voiding their warranties.

I would very much appreciate any feedback you could offer me in regard to when we will be able to remove the bloatware and adware, and when this practice will cease. Until such time, you will see no further business from me, nor from my organization.