Alan Wallace's Blog

Thoughts… Rants… Rave's – mostly on Tech

Verizon Please Let me remove CityID

I don’t think I’m asking too much.  I spent a great deal on my DroidX along with accessories.  It is by far my favorite phone but  Crapware is Crapware whether its on the PC or infultrating my mobile device and that is not beneficial to anyone.

That said, I love promoting software via bundling and have found some great applications this way.  My DroidX came bundled with some apps that I’m not using but may wish to someday and in fact I was using CityID till I received the alert that  my trial was up and that I would be charged $2.00 per month if I wanted to keep using it.  Now knowing where someone is calling from is nice but worth $24.00 a year – not for me.  Even the software maker talks about how this app even with “modest adoption rates in the of 8-10% range have a meaningful bottom-line impact” – you too can see how Verizon and others can make millions this way by also looking at their “Revenue Calculator” @ http://www.cequint.com/ but what I don’t get is why Verizon does not realize that ticking off your user base is a much greater cost than benefit.

I have asked Verizon and Cequint how to remove this.  Verizon has said that they are working on a response – this is the response that I received from Cequint.

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Dear Mr. Wallace:

 Thank you for taking the time to contact us.  Because City ID is one of the preinstalled applications on the Droid X, there are no install or uninstall options (as is currently the case with all applications that are preinstalled on the Android operating system).

At the end of the 15-day free trial, a trial expired message appears to inform you the trial has expired.  This expiration screen will ask if you would like to subscribe to City ID with the options “Yes,” “No,” or “Remind Me Later.”  Selecting “No” on the touch screen will disable City ID, and the city and state of calls will no longer be displayed.

Thank you for your message and feedback.

Sincerely,

The Cequint Team

support@cequint.com

Cequint Incorporated
1011 Western Avenue | Suite 800
Seattle | WA | 98104
www.cequint.com

Confidential Information – this email and any and all attachments to it are Cequint’s confidential information and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. Any unauthorized disclosure or forwarding of this email or any files transmitted with it constitutes a breach of your confidentiality obligations to Cequint. If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender, delete this email from your system and do not disseminate, distribute or copy this email or the files attached to it.  Please treat all documents shared from Cequint as confidential.

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So according to Cequint – they don’t seem to care. But as a user – I sure do – and I’m sure if other users have questions that perhaps those questions should also be asked of Cequint’s support.

I really like the DroidX and I have been with Verizon for years but in all those years I have never had them force an application on my phone that I could not remove.  I’m all for the phone introducing me to apps that I may like and wish to purchase – all I ask is that as the person who purchased the phone and pays for a family plan with data and hotspot access is that you let me remove apps that are not crucial and that I don’t want.

I seem to remember the “EU” suing Microsoft over IE not being able to be removed and I certainly think IE is more crucial to Windows than City ID is to the Android Operating System.  Maybe I need to “Get Jesse” – but is it really too much to ask both Verizon and Cequint to do the right thing?

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Filed under: Cell Phones, Must Have Tech Gadgets, , , , , , , , , , ,

Verizon – Love my Droid Hate the Forcedware

Windows users are used to this – we buy our dream machine and once we boot it for the first time we see all the OEM’d software that we sometimes keep, sometimes leave but in many cases remove.  In fact applications have been built to do just this such as the much user beloved PC Decrapifier.  I understand somehow this is supposed to reduce the cost of my computer but so are commercials before movies and unlike technology movies are not getting cheaper.

Now a couple of weeks ago I blogged about my new DroidX – this is beautiful hardware and just what Verizon needed (as they still can’t seem to get Apple to do the right thing and bring a great phone to the best carrier) so while I was getting tired of waiting I decided the Droid was the jump I was ready to take. 

I have been pleasantly surprised that I could check more than one exchange account but surprised that my DroidX would not show exchange linked pictures of people calling – opting only for pictures on Facebook or Twitter – seriously – Why?  Please fix this in an update.  But so far until now all I have thought has been very positive.

But today I learned that VZW bundled apps that I cannot remove from my Droid – so while I’m still in my honeymoon phaze with the Droid, I have also decided that  I’m presenting my first ever “WTF AWARD” to Verizon for this botched bundle.

To me Forcedware ™ is crapware that cannot be removed by the user.  Specifically, I’m would like to remove the App called “CITY ID.”  Verizon included City ID with my new Droid Verizon (In a 2008 announcement Press Release – “Verizon Wireless customers purchasing the Voyager will receive a complimentary 15-day trial of the City ID application beginning with their first incoming call. Customers may subscribe to City ID for $1.99 monthly access per line added to their monthly plan.”  This is the same deal that my DroidX has been stuck with.

For the first time I have an application on my phone that is really not important yet impossible to remove.  Now I understand some apps need to be there – and I don’t even mind the account management tool from Verizon being pre-loaded and not removable – but when an application times out after 15 days and then if I want to use it you are going to charge me about 2.00 per month – than I should be able to uninstall it.  Apparently I’m not alone on this desire (http://www.google.com/search?q=city+id+uninstall&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7)

I called Verizon support and they thought initially they could help me – they could not and I went back to the store where I purchased my phone and they had apparently heard my thoughts several times today alone – I’m guessing from more people who like me bought this phone on launch day.  I wonder how many of them thought I still have 15 more days to return it?

Verizon, you are a good company, I like your products and I have no real issues with the pricing.  Why now are you making me think twice?  Why are you forcing an icon on my phone for an app I won’t use.  I’m not sorry you put it there to try out – but if I decide I don’t want it – why are you locking it and not allowing it to be removed – does this really show that the customer comes first?  If I like it – I will use it and you and the software developer will both benefit – if I want to remove it please let me.

No one benefits by forcedware.

Can someone at Verizon, Motorola, Google or Cequint please do the right thing and let your users have a way to uninstall?

Filed under: Cell Phones, Must Have Tech Gadgets, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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