There's an old letter being passed around today that provides Verizon's response to the FCC about locked bootloaders. Starting early this month, these letters began going out to anyone who had formally filed a complaint with the FCC about Verizon locking the bootloaders on phones that utilized the spectrum covered under the block C license, and they don't say anything everybody didn't already know. Verizon wants bootloaders locked, and they say you'll get better customer service if they stay that way.
And they are right.
Put away your pitchforks and hear me out. If you're reading this, and got a little hot under the collar when I said Verizon could better serve customers if the bootloader was locked down, you're not the problem. You root and ROM your phone, and when things get squirrelly you don't call customer service and gripe about it. You flash another ROM, like any smart Android geek would. Verizon isn't worried about providing customer care to you, and you don't need them to. But there are people out there who see these tricks online, get someone on Craigslist to root/unlock/flash something to their phones, and a week later when they realize the camera doesn't work as well, or the Wifi is wonky, or they can't rent movies from the Market, they get on the horn with Big Red. Those people cost Verizon money, and end up not very happy with their hacked Android phone. Plain and simple -- Verizon tech's can't help you if you don't have their software installed.
Yes, it gets old. It sucks when we get punished for problems other folks cause, but welcome to society. It's not likely to change, and VzW probably isn't violating the C block agreement by not allowing unauthorized software to run rampant on their network. You've got three choices -- only buy phones that can be unlocked, switch providers, or enjoy the hell out of your phone the way it came out of the box. Verizon has their best interests, and their shareholders best interests, in mind and we shouldn't expect anything different.
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