Smartphones optimize

Spam: The ultimate low in Verizon's class act as a wireless carrier

TechRepublic member dcolbert shares his disgust with Verizon's recent decision to place unsolicited commercial advertisements in the Android OS notification bar. He believes that a notification area that's clogged with special offers and spam will quickly become unusable. Do you agree?

Corporations make dumb mistakes all the time. Most are trivial enough that consumers ignore them and go on about their lives - but every now and then, some company will cross the limits in such a blatantly wrong way that you have to ask yourself what they were thinking when they signed off on a particular idea. Recently, I experienced such a situation, and my guess is that I'm not alone.

Carriers, app developers, and platform developers for mobile devices must walk a fine line with how they leverage the features of their devices. I'm not sure about other carriers, but Verizon has consistently shown bad judgment in this area. Specifically, I'm talking about unsolicited commercial advertisements that are delivered by features of a phone.

I understand that carriers want a way to reach their customers to let them know about special offers and useful handset features (and ways to increase the revenue stream coming in from the sheep... er, customers, who subscribe to their services). However, I'm insulted every time I receive an unsolicited text message from Verizon telling me how great Verizon Navigator is for only $19.99 a month. This is called SPAM.

Unfortunately, Verizon operates on the same principle as spammers. If they send out 200,000 unsolicited text messages and two people subscribe to a useless and over-priced turn-by-turn navigation service, this is "profitable" for them. Never mind the fact that the other 199,998 Verizon users are either completely disinterested or extremely disgusted by this practice.

Personally, I think Verizon is a sleazy, greedy, unethical company, so I really wasn't surprised when they acted like common spammers and abused my text message inbox. I figured this was the ultimate low in Verizon's class act as a wireless carrier - but I may have been wrong.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Android OS, there's a notification bar at the top of the home screen. This bar has icons that display things like calendar appointments, status updates on unread e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and text messages, as well as battery life, signal strength, and other system information. You can pull this menu down and see an expanded description of the status represented by the icons.

The notification bar is a single source where Android users can quickly discover what's going on with the phone and respond to items that require action. It's arguably a better system than the iOS push notifications - one of the things that Android users have lauded over iPhone users as a superior feature of the Android OS for awhile now. I check in the morning and throughout the day to quickly stay organized and respond to messages, requests, and appointments.

This morning, I noticed a new icon in my notification bar. I pulled down the expanded menu and scrolled down to see an advertisement. QuickOffice, a MS-Office reader/editor for Android, was on sale for 50% off. The notification included a link to the QuickOffice web site. Well, I assume that it was a link to the Quick Office web site. I don't know, because I don't ever want to be the 2 out of 200,000 sheep that helps justify such an epically, momentously stupid decision as to send an application sale update via the notification system.

What kind of idiot decides that jamming up a notification area with ads for services, applications, or other special deals is a good idea? This kind of clutter here further erodes the suitability of Android devices for enterprise use, for professional applications, and users - after all, who can afford a notification area that's backed up with useless information about special offers and applications? If I was Google, I would be ballistic about this misuse and abuse of the notification bar because of the long-term implications of such activities.

To be fair, I think I might be able to understand the logic behind this moronic decision. If there are application or system updates available, those appear in the notification area first. They include a link to the appropriate area where you can download and install those updates. On the surface, this is similar to what the QuickOffice status was trying to accomplish. And that's really how spam operates, isn't it? By trying to look legitimate while duping people into purchasing a product, vendors cross a line.

We've seen this same kind of vaguely unethical behavior even from relatively reputable security software vendors in the past - the bait and switch up-sell from a free version to a paid version with what looks like an "alert" from the application. Sending me a genuine system alert that says, "Your AV engine is outdated and you should upgrade immediately to the latest version to protect you from a rapidly spreading virus" is one thing. Sending me something that looks like a genuine system alert that says, "You do not have full coverage, but you can get it by upgrading to the full version of our security suite, which is on sale this week only for $39.99, over 20% off the regular price" crosses the line into sleazy marketing that erodes trust in a product.

This QuickOffice offer, presented in the Android notifications system, is an example of the latter type of marketing. The tip-off is the uniqueness of the notification. A regular software update that doesn't stand out from any other software update is perfectly reasonable. A special update with a custom icon that leads to a web page and discusses adding enhanced features for a sale price simply doesn't belong in the notification area - especially because I can't opt-in or out of this kind of unsolicited notification.

I've never used QuickOffice before, but out of curiosity, I loaded the app on My Droid 2. The first thing that it came up was a "Register your Software" screen, asking for my name and e-mail address. The fact that they tried to reach me through a completely inappropriate avenue sets such a terrible precedent that I have no interest at this point in using their app, even though I was actually considering checking it out in the past.

Obviously, some sort of business arrangement was made to help increase the use and adoption of the full QuickOffice suite. I'm not sure who's responsible for this notification - it could be Verizon, QuickOffice, or possibly even Google - but whoever came up with the idea and authorized it clearly didn't understand the implications of their decision.

A notification area that's clogged with special offers and unsolicited advertisements will quickly become unusable. It's in the best interest of Verizon, Google, and app developers to make sure that only critical information appears in this section of the Android OS.

A long time ago, Windows spammers realized that the Machine Messaging Subsystem in Windows could be used to send spam advertisements over cable broadband networks that looked like regular system alerts from administrative staff. The quickest fix for the average user was to turn the Windows Messaging Subsystem service off - and that's just what many people did.

Abuse of a system like this makes the system more than useless, it makes it a barrier to productive, enjoyable use. Someone involved with QuickOffice for Android on Verizon phones took the first step in this direction. Hopefully, the responsible parties realize what a foolish mistake that step was and take action to ensure that it never happens again.

About

Donovan Colbert has over 16 years of experience in the IT Industry. He's worked in help-desk, enterprise software support, systems administration and engineering, IT management, and is a regular contributor for TechRepublic. Currently, his profession...

35 comments
Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Reading your title I was thinking CLASS ACTION (as in lawsuit), but found no such thing. :( I agree ads by text or email to your cell phone are a bit too much, especially if you pay for them. I recently dropped my data plan, no more email by phone either, just phone or text. I am now getting messages saying I have an email but an not subscribed to the service, please call ****** to speak with a Rogers representative. You must be KIDDING ME? I have essentially blocked some BS email and they are saying I can subscribe again to read it! :D (everyone I would accept calls or email from has my contact info, and my cell number anyway, if they really needed me they'd call). Er, no thanks, you can keep your email, I'm not interested, no matter what you have to say. If you have my number you cal phone me, if not, I don't want to talk to you anyway. I don't need email on my phone anymore, I find regular email invasive enough, you can't escape working these days! I abhor mobile web access now too, I can wait until I get home. There is NOTHING I need so badly and so immediately that I would need a phone with web access to find out. Friend's with iPhones always say, 'just a minute' when I wonder out loud. By the time they have looked up the info, I either have it already or don't care anyway, was just a passing thought or something. As a result, I said 'f-it' ditched the web access, ditched the email and now just have a cell phone with a keypad so I can text the few friends who can't answer their phone while they are holding it, but can read and reply to text instead?! freaks. One friend never answers his phone, the ringer/vibe etc is shut off. But he looks at the screen every couple of seconds to see if he's missed a text or a call?! FREAK! I like leaving voice messages like," I was by your place and thought I'd pick you up for a few beers and bets on me. You stood there like a fool with your phone in your hand but couldn't hear it ring, so I am heading over to 'James' place to pick him up now. If you want to come out and join us we'll be there until 8PM." Face it, you snooze you lose. Answer your damn phone or get rid of it. What were we talking about again? Right, SPAM, don't like that either. :D

dcolbert
dcolbert

I prefer texting. Phone conversations are always uncomfortable. Voice communications seem to require an additional amount of verbal fluff. Text allows you to cut right to the heart of the matter without formalities of civil conversation. Conversation is how my wife shops, there is a whole ritual and experience surrounding the entire event. Texting is how *I* shop. I go in, I pick up the product I want, I walk to the checkout stand, I pay, and I leave. Verizon likes to be clear in their spam texts that "you were not charged for this text" - or otherwise indicate that the message was free. Except for my time to manage the text. Isn't that the basic insult of all junk-email, solicitors, or other impositions upon my time? I have my hands full responding to legitimate requests for my attention. I don't need Verizon flooding my inbox with notes about how their useless Navigator application is now only $9.99 a month when Google's much superior solution is free. But, either encouraging or allowing vendors to send "alerts" to your notifications bar that are actually advertisements - this takes that imposition to an entirely new level. Now you're legitimately clogging up a system resource intended for system messages with advertisements. I know that the companies are justifying this by stretching *their* definition of what a "system message" is. In this case: QuickOffice is a bundled, and popular application - it isn't considered crapware. QuickOffice is offering an application upgrade to the application - application update notifications normally appear in the notifications bar (as they should). But in this case, the "update" is a discounted opportunity to upgrade from the basic version to the full version of QuickOffice for a fee. Oooooh- and there is where you've crossed the line. You would think anyone involved with a shread of critical thinking skills would have instantly seen why this was the wrong decision. In fact, I'm sure they did. I bet they all sat around and discussed this marketing idea and said, "There will be a few people who complain very loudly, but the vast majority of users will simply delete the message and forget about it, and maybe a couple of suckers will actually pay for the upgrade instead of, you know... just using Google Docs". So, of course, why *wouldn't* they do it? I'm sure "The Prince" is required reading for Verizon Executive Management.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

I don't mind text fo rsimple, one sentence comments. "Leaving now, will you be there on time?", "Be there in 5", "Got the groceries" etc. Closed ended questions or frank comments. What I hate is the wasted time and lack of voice inflection used in voice communications, it causes as much unrest as email does, or this forum for example. With e lack of voice inflection or tone, the writer has to be absolute and very specific in order to convey meaning and not be mistaken. People miss sarcasm here all the time, it is completely lost without inflection. People misunderstand meanings behind posts as tone of voice is imperative when it comes to subtlety. and length! Open ended discussions by text? Phone me, easier, MUCH faster, more concise. "Hey what are you up to today?" "Nothing, nice day wanna meet up?" "Yeah, okay, what did you have in mind?" "I dunno, get some beers, head up to the mountains, grab some lunch" "What time were you thinking?" "About 3" "No I have laundry to finish" "When is best for you then?" "Not sure, prob around 4:30" "Cool, where?" "Pick me up?" "How about halfway at teh bus loop?" "Renfrew or Broadway?" "Tell you what, call me when you are leaving" It's INSANE! A 30 second phone call that takes 10 minutes by text, very efficient and clever, wow what great technology! That's not in and out of the store in 5 minutes at all, it's aimlessly wandering around the mall, window shopping on the way to the store you need. People overuse text as they apparently don't have the vocal capabilities of making a simple phone call. As for shopping, I can shop for my family, brothers sisters, neices and nephews in a few hours and get exactly what they want and need. I'm not a time waster, that's why I prefer voice calls for anything more than a simple comment I need to pass on. It's faster, is easier to understand true meaning and intent and allows for open ended conversation that is time consuming and ineffective by text.

dcolbert
dcolbert

Although I think people very rarely mistake *my* intent here in the forums. :) But you're absolutely right. I suppose it comes down to the purpose of the conversation - which medium is most suitable. I am *not* a massive text-er. But I text more than I actually talk on the phone.

AZ Greyhound
AZ Greyhound

Is this all you have to worry about? Get a life!

dcolbert
dcolbert

I also spend considerable time pondering if Open Source is the be-all-end-all solution to the world's problems, or the lame OS of sloppy fat guys with cheetos in their beards and no logical reasoning skills. Every now and then I think about Apple products a little bit, and whine about them for awhile, as well. Then I spend some time in my giant Scrooge McDuck shaped vault, rolling around in piles of money that Bill Gates has sent me for attacking Apple and Linux while claiming that Microsoft products are the *best thing since frozen PB&J sandwiches*. Why would I want to get a life? This facade of a life I live is *awesome*! (Lighting a Cuban Cigar made from the crushed dreams and aspirations of Open-Source Advocates with a $100 bill)

Catfish305
Catfish305

A related development is already prevalent among the cell-phone carriers in India. They advertise there 'Value Added Services', which are basically overcharged 'services' such as Jokes, Astrology, and other spammy stuff which nobody wants. They usually advertise it in the space where the cell-phone tower name/location and the network name appears, which happens to be present even in very backward phones, with no fancy features. Obviously on the flip side, without these advertisements, the critics would argue, just that bit less of the willingness to invest in the telecom sector, by the telecom companies to recoup there investments.

girishbs_29
girishbs_29

I would not know about US but in India there is DND (do not disturb) service enforced by the government on the telecom companies. As a consumer you have to register for it and then the companies cannot send you text, notifications for their advts.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

I just shut it off, it is selectable on my phone.

dcolbert
dcolbert

If Verizon charged the prices Indian telcoms do for service and data plans, I might be less judgmental of occasionally having some spam show up on my phone. :) Verizon wants to have their cake and eat it, too, Catfish. Average US smart-phone plan is nearly $100 USD/Mo - among, if not the highest rates in the world. Now they're tiering those plans with severely limited restrictions on data usage, charging extra for services like tethering - and spamming you for these same kind of value-added services. I suppose Palmie and others are right... why wouldn't they as long as consumers keep signing up for the abuse?

ITOdeed
ITOdeed

You hit the nail right on the head with this article. Not only is Verizon greedy, it is sleazy greedy, The insatiable greed of Verizon is sickening.

fairportfan
fairportfan

On another front - because i don't have a smartphone and won't have a smartphone till they cost about $29.99 and there's no extra charge to use them - i recently dumped my Comodo firewall (with which i was generally happy) and went back to ZoneAlarm because Comodo began popping up scareware-style messages warning me that i was vulnerable to all sorts kinds malware if i didn't pay themmoney for things i neither wanted nor needed.

dcolbert
dcolbert

Great example of this kind of behavior. Not enough consumers are willing to respond to this kind of abuse by taking the action to vote with their wallets by going to competitors who don't do these things.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

Yet I still receive periodic text adverts from ATT. Idiots in the drivers seat...

dcolbert
dcolbert

This is where some Federal agency with a TLA should be getting involved. Turning texts off should be Opting Out. If I've got my texts disabled - it means I don't want ANY texts, let alone ads from AT&T. Why the hell do consumers put up with this with the wireless carriers?

hammeroftruth
hammeroftruth

The only time I get text messages from AT&T is if I turn on text alerts thru their website. If an AT&T customer is complaining about getting texts from them, then it's because they gave them permission to do it. I have been on AT&T since 94 and never got any type of spam or unsolicited texts from them ever. Now they do send you a text after you have made a payment from their iPhone app. I don't mind that, as I keep it as a receipt that is on my phone. The iPhone has what is called "Notifications". What that is, is settings for every app that wants to notify you with a sound, an alert and a badge. You can turn off one or more or all of the notifications from each app that has them or globally for all of them. The most annoying one for me was the Southwest Airlines Ding app. That damned thing would chime and wake me up in the middle of the night. I finally turned off the sound but left the alert (which is just a message that pops up) and the badge, which is just a number that shows on the app icon, so if you have two alerts, there will be a number 2 on the app. If AT&T were to text me without my permission I would call them and tell them they do not have my permission to text me. I would be pretty upset if Verizon just started sending me texts for no reason and without my permission.

dcolbert
dcolbert

It is easier at midnight just to turn off the WiFi. I like the notification and chimes during the day. :) Things like this are why I still have my doubts that we'll see the iPhone on Verizon any time soon. I know the rumor mill looks good for it this year. But, that isn't a first. I predicted that the iPad and Verizon made a good fit for a variety of reasons in a recent article - while claiming that the iPhone is a different beast. We'll see if I'm right in the 1st quarter of 2011. But Verizon may be willing to concede some of their behaviors for the iPhone. That is the interesting value in the equation: Is either party willing to be negotiable when both have a reputation for not giving any concessions to partners.

hammeroftruth
hammeroftruth

You don't have to turn off WIFI to get those annoying sounds to stop. Just go to settings, then notifications, you should see facebook as an entry that has notifications and turn off what you don't want. We'll see what happens when the iPhone is available on Verizon. There might be a class action against them if they continue this behavior.

dcolbert
dcolbert

Are so much less than Android notifications - as they exist now, anyhow. On the other hand, ADVERTISEMENTS in iOS notifications would be even MORE intrusive and annoying than advertisements in the Android Notification bar. To wit - having a little blue box with white text pop up, over-writing whatever notification(s) had preceded it, that said, "Want to upgrade to iWork '11? Go to www.apple.com now for a special offer" that disappeared instantly as soon as I "slid to unlock", would drive me berserk. On busy facebook nights, my wife has made me get up and turn off WiFi on my iPad to end the constant notifications chimes. Verizon *does* text you without permission. They're very aggressive with this with their dumb-phones. But this latest is a new approach for them. Hopefully they realize it is a very bad idea. Verizon has big ones though when it comes to telling their customers, "tough, you don't like it, go to iPhone and AT&T".

rarsa
rarsa

Corporations don't normally use the Out of the box crpware full version of windows that comes with computers. They get the computers and install a clean (or customized) preconfigured image with some enterprise applications pre-installed. The same can be done with Android to ensure 1) avoidance of crpware, 2) Support consistency, 3) Control over what's locked down and what's approved. I pity non technical users that must live with the carrier provided version when it is fairly easy for technical users to install a clean one.

dcolbert
dcolbert

Installing your own custom ROM or rooting your hardware violates your ToS and voids your warranty with most carriers. We have a Verizon corporate plan. This isn't something I've researched much - but personally, I don't want IT being the sole point of contact for supporting a dozen or more rooted Android phones. If the device were personal property, it might be a different matter. If there is something I don't know about, please feel free to share. :)

wbomgardner
wbomgardner

SPAM only works, whether it be on a smart phone or PC, because there are just enough dumb people who will click a link. If you tell enough of them, "don't click it," maybe some day spam will go away. I'm not holding my breath though, I work with some of these dumb people.

MikeZane
MikeZane

I guess I am so used to it I just delete and go on with my business.

dcolbert
dcolbert

I hadn't considered that this might be happening on other carriers too. That is interesting. Not Text Messages, but actual ads coming into your notification bar on an Android phone? Now I'm curious if T-Mobile and Sprint users are experiencing the same thing, also. I can't believe there isn't more outrage about this practice. I'm betting this DOESN'T happen with iPhone.

merlinpr
merlinpr

What phone do you have? I wonder if this is trickling down based on the model of your phone and will soon make it to all of them or if it's limited to certain models. I have a Droid X and I haven't seen this. If I did I would be annoyed. If it started to happen very often it would probably be the thing that makes me root my phone to get rid of Verizon's and Motorola's junk.

dcolbert
dcolbert

My wife has a Droid 1, and she hasn't seen it. So far, I haven't heard the outcry that I expected, so maybe they were just testing it out on select users... Maybe they wanted to see if I'd write an irate blog about it. :)

merlinpr
merlinpr

It does sound like they are testing with select users (or phones). They picked the wrong devices to test with which is why we haven't heard much about it. If they decide to roll this out to the Droid X which is one of their biggest android user base I'm sure they will hear the complaints. I will be the first one to do so. I'd start with a nice letter to Verizon which they will likely ignore...next step would be to root my phone.

Sysadmin/Babysitter
Sysadmin/Babysitter

Verizon has ALWAYS seen itself as a "Utility Company". They don't care about ANYTHING but themselves, BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE TO!!!!!!!!!

dcolbert
dcolbert

Have you received advertisements through the notification bar in Android, and if so, do you agree with my conclusions that this is a horrible precedent to set that could potentially cripple the usefulness of Android phones?

tdrane
tdrane

I have a phone, it makes and receives phone calls. There is no such plan out there for this. I dont use the web on it, I dont do photos, messages, apps. I dont twitter or 'friend' people of things. Lot's do. Go for it. Have fun. I just wanna call home and say I'll be a bit late.....

codebunnie
codebunnie

Ive been with VZW for over 6yrs...not by choice. Where I live and travel to, they are the only wireless carrier available. *sigh* You would think in 2010 I could have a carrier to match their coverage but alas, no. I have had my Droid 2 for about 2 months now. My previous child was a Treo 755P which I had for about 3 yrs. Before I got the Droid, I was solicited by VZW OVER THE PHONE!!!! YES...They would CALL me, leave me voicemails, and fill up my vmail box with all kinds of messages. Usually it was because they REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted me to upgrade my phone. I hadn't done so in 3 yrs and I was grandfathered into some pretty nifty cheap data features. My insurance was also cheaper with a lower deductible, so they were itching to get me into a newer device to make more money off of me. I had decided NOT to upgrade my phone because I was waiting for a PDA that satisfied my needs (or the Treo to DIE, whichever came first). So along comes my Droid 2. (The latter happened) Since I have had this phone, I have been even more disgusted with VZW. First Off: THE PHONE COMES LOADED WITH A BUNCH OF 'FREE TRIAL' APPS -Provided by VZW, which CANNOT be deleted by conventional user means. This tee'd me off because you just took my brand new toy and loaded it with a bunch of crap that I dont want or need. A bunch of crap that uses my system resources and bloats up my menu, causing me to scroll through dozens of un-necessary titles before I find what I want! They obviously have partnerships with these companies. If you are going to load my phone with crap, at least do your market research to see what I could use. Why do I need Blockbuster installed by default? Netflix is a FAR SUPERIOR option. etc etc. Not only that...but ultimately, VZW allows developers to SPAM you. I downloaded a couple of free apps. The apps HAVE ADS in them. On top of them having ads in them (which I am perfectly fine with seeing since I am not paying for it), I NOW GET SMS SPAM from random other sources. I can only assume that the free apps I downloaded were allowed to provide my phone number to other spammers!!! As for the Quick Office crap, I get that too! The notification bar SHOULD NOT BE USED for SPAM. If I see something there, based on MY particular configuration, it means I have something IMPORTANT to tend to. I go to check and NOPE, its a spam message for an upgrade! I do agree, VZW is a Goliath mammoth that feels invincible. And its sad what customers have to go through.

dcolbert
dcolbert

I do not mind in-app advertisments for "lite" or ad-supported versions of apps. It is part of the up-front agreement we enter into when we purchase these phones. No one should be shocked or surprised about that. Angry Birds is now available for the Android platform, and where it is a paid, and ad-free app on the iOS platform, it is free, and ad-supported on the Android. The ads are some of the MOST aggressive of any app I've ever seen. It will interrupt the game to display video commercials. On the other hand, they've made it *reasonable*. You can skip the videos. Small constant ads are displayed at the top of the game, but they're pretty unubtrusive. Ultimately, it is a fair exchange tor having access to an entire, high quality, $5 game for free. There is a line that companies cross when delivering advertisements. The reason I assume blame lies with Verizon is that they've shown in the past that they're BAD at crossing this line. They've got control issues where they feel like, "If you're on our network, on our device, we'll deliver whatever we want to it and configure or cripple whatever features we please, and charge you even for things that are included with the phone from the manufacturer and cost us nothing to allow". They've done it from the start when they crippled cam-phone blue tooth profiles and required you to send photographs to yourself via txt message. But, it might be Quick Office, Motorola, or even Google that has crossed the line with this particular problem. Consumers *know* when something is fair, equitable, an even-trade. "I've given you something, you gave me something, and we're both happy". They also know when they're being taken advantage of... "I've signed up for your phone, and you've used it to pull every Facebook Friend contact I have so that you can send us all advertisements - by promising to consolidate all of my contacts but not explicitly saying that you were going to do THIS with the information, once you had consoldiated it". Sending me videos I can skip in turn for giving me your game for free - Fair trade. This last example, unethical. Sending a notification that there are free updates in the market for apps I've downloaded - great value add. Sending a notification that a bunled app can be upgraded to the full version for a discount - unethical. It is so easy to figure out.

QAonCall
QAonCall

The target audience is really seniors and kids, who may or may not be on their own plan. They send these messsages that the less nimble with this phishing scams will fall prey to. I have begun my switch from Verizon, in business and personal, to a different carrier. I will give up the best network (by experience with partners who use other carriers) in order to bet on the future other carriers will catch up, and not treat their own customers as targets for their scamming, phishing and unacceptable practices. I have tried for over 8 months to stop a service on my moms phone, that she received a text message about, to 'try' a game. She now needs to cancel. Unfortunately she has since gotten a new phone. So now she cannot cancel from the new phone, because the esn does not match. The insanity associated with this business practice will ultimately result in a class action lawsuit, which verizon will lose, and pass the cost of to their users. Additionally, is this really the company, along with google, and their nefarious data collection practices, to be the keepers of the gates of the internet (net neutrality). I hardly expect anyone thinks that they will be inundated with spam from these carriers, but history shows they shold, and when they do eventually make the mistake, expect Google to have captured you every keystroke along the way. I love andriod, but not a fan of google, and will soon be a former verizon customer, even if it requires a contract buy out.

dcolbert
dcolbert

Seems to be the most aware of the opportunities that are made by Verizon and AT&T exposing themselves with these kind of behaviors. I know that Sprint hasn't been any saint in the past - but hopefully they'll realize that going against their nature may be their best opportunity to compete.

jpopalus
jpopalus

On point, yes I've received spam on my phone. Verizon Wireless even gave my confidential details to "authorized resellers" who mailed me, had my number, my bill amount, and my renewal date. Verizon Wireless doesn't recognize its own privacy and ethics rules. Spam on my phone Spam in my mail box from verizon agents Worse: surcharges added to my phone. Verizon Wireless is a bottom dweller, scum of the earth when it comes to integrity. Worse, they are the best of the worse. jp