Verizon Crippled My Blackberry Pearl

Date Published: 17 March 2008

Verizon Crippled My Blackberry Pearl

A few weeks ago I upgraded my phone to a Blackberry Pearl 8130. Overall I was (and am) very happy with the phone. It’s small, light, has enough battery power to last about two days given my usage, and it’s a breeze to check email and the web. However, one of the reasons I liked this phone (which I mentioned in my previous post) is that it comes with a GPS. I’m an ex-Army guy and I’ve always had a thing for GPS’s and navigation – they’re just fun, and quite often, useful. So I was looking forward to seeing how fast the GPS said my car was going or finding out the exact coordinates of various places, etc.

Unfortunately, after trying in vain to get my GPS to work with the pre-installed Blackberry Maps, I eventually discovered that Verizon has intentionally crippled this phone such that the GPS will not work except with their software. Oh, and by the way, their software costs $10/month.

So, here I am, a very pleased and for a long time very loyal Verizon customer, faced with this absolute load of, well, you fill in the blank. I can’t tell you how many people I mentioned this to at MIX and I’ll continue to mention it to every person I tell about how I like my new phone. The phone is great, however Verizon are a bunch of greedy bastards who intentionally broke a perfectly useful device in order to make a few more bucks.

That’s just asinine customer service. If their VZNavigator service is better than Blackberry Maps or Google Maps then fine, maybe I’ll subscribe to it. But breaking my phone because their service can’t compete on its own merits… grrr it ticks me off.

So – go buy a Blackberry Pearl… and use it with Sprint or someone that doesn’t give it to you broken out of the box.

Steve Smith

About Ardalis

Software Architect

Steve is an experienced software architect and trainer, focusing on code quality and Domain-Driven Design with .NET.