Verizon Bloatware Rant

Preface: I'm not just blowing off steam. It's time we started seriously discussing this issue with our carriers.

I've been a Verizon customer for over 15 years, and since the advent of smartphones, I have wanted nothing more but to simply be able to remove Verizon's apps I do not use to free up resources for apps I do use. Subsequently, I do not understand why we are still having to have this conversation so many years later.

We have allowed Verizon and other carriers to run roughshod over our privacy under the guise of "making the user experience better." This is nonsense, and we all know it. Anyone who is seriously using Verizon's bloatware apps with any regularity simply doesn't know any better, and the rest of us are begging for you to stop so we can make a stronger argument as to why this garbage should be removable from a device I just paid off the $1000 USD lease for. Once the lease is paid off, and I continue using the device, I own it. Smartphones are, by default, a lease-option-to-own scenario.

Ownership is a hugely misunderstood issue in the United States, and likely other parts of the world. If I pay the complete retail price for a product, I own it. I can do what I like with it. That means I can take my $1000 smartphone, remove any application or software I so choose, open it up, or throw it in the river because this product is now my property and I assume all risk therein. Right?

Verizon, and other carriers as well as the phone manufacturers themselves (namely Google, Apple, and Samsung) do not believe this, and have been trying to take the rights of ownership by controlling how you use your device, and injecting it with data harvesting software that they make additional money on when they sell your information. Most companies will deny they do this, because there is no real enforceable consequence for saying you don't and doing it anyway since fines for violating people's privacy are generally much cheaper than the financial loss experienced when the revenue stream generated by the sale of consumer information is lost.

I'm not asking for much. I just want the option to remove the applications I do not want on my phone. All those warnings you get about the system not working right if you do, or applications behaving poorly, this is all propaganda designed to get us to stop asking, and it's dishonest, unsettling, and does not inspire loyalty. They are not necessary. They are in place so the carrier or manufacturer can make more money.

Give us the power to remove unwanted applications. Let the users who want to continue using those applications use them, and let the rest of us take some consumer power back, and both groups will have greater confidence in your brand.