Verizon's Bright Idea: Shaft Users, Make Money - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile
Commentary
12/21/2009
10:23 PM
50%
50%

Verizon's Bright Idea: Shaft Users, Make Money

Can Verizon infuriate its Blackberry users by shoving a "preferred" search provider down their throats? Yeah, there's an app for that.

Can Verizon infuriate its Blackberry users by shoving a "preferred" search provider down their throats? Yeah, there's an app for that.Last January, Verizon inked a deal with Microsoft to use the company's Bing search engine. It's one thing for a wireless provider to set a default search option on its users' devices. It is quite another to leave users with no options at all: Gone are the Google, Yahoo and Wikipedia options that were available just days before--though Verizon BlackBerry users can still manually access any search engine they please by typing the corresponding URL into the BlackBerry Browser.

. . . Typically, BlackBerry users can select their own search engines of choice from the BlackBerry Go to pages and search the Web from there. But as of last week, Verizon decided to eliminate all the search options and now a number of its wireless customers are, in effect, being force-fed Microsoft's Bing.

Verizon accomplished this nasty piece of work by pushing out an "update" to its users' Blackberry devices. Those who want to use Google's search engine must now either visit the Google Web site or download the company's quicksearch application.

Verizon has pulled some slimy tricks in the past to suck money out of its subscribers' pockets. After all, this is the same company that initially refused to enable Wi-Fi support on its Blackberry devices. Apparently, the company hasn't learned its lesson.

In the grand scheme of things, crippling a user's choice of search engines may not sound like a big deal. But it speaks volumes about Verizon's contempt for its customers -- and it demonstrates why the current U.S. system that ties handsets so tightly to individual network providers is such a raw deal.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Commentary
2021 Outlook: Tackling Cloud Transformation Choices
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  1/4/2021
News
Enterprise IT Leaders Face Two Paths to AI
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  12/23/2020
Slideshows
10 IT Trends to Watch for in 2021
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/22/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
Video
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
Slideshows
Flash Poll