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Vodafone customers fume over HTC Desire "upgrade"

HTC Desire

By Barry Collins

Posted on 4 Aug 2010 at 16:57

Vodafone has infuriated customers after updating their HTC Desire handsets with the network's own irremovable apps.

UPDATE: Vodafone capitulates over HTC Desire "upgrades"

The update, which many customers believed was the 'Froyo' Android 2.2 upgrade, instead delivered a series of Vodafone 360 apps and a new Vodafone-branded start-up screen, and added various web shortcuts to the home screen.

The Vodafone forums are swelling with complaints from customers who believe they were duped into downloading the "upgrade", with many complaining of impaired performance and crashing apps. What's more, the bundled applications cannot be removed.

Pushing out an unannounced branding update that installs apps that are not optional and messes with your bookmarks etc, is frankly very poor

"Pushing out an unannounced branding update that installs apps that are not optional and messes with your bookmarks etc, is frankly very poor," complains one customer on the Vodafone forums.

"I've cancelled my mobile broadband and have told them I intend to move everything away from Voda[fone] because of this," writes another.

The inclusion of dating sites among the downloaded bookmarks has also angered customers. "I can't believe the sensitive nature of the bookmarks added - what if my girlfriend had seen and Flirtylicious, or whatever it was?" asks another forum user.

Other customers claim the update is faulty, with SMS messages stored on the phone now appearing in duplicate. "It has rendered certain functions of the phone unuseable," complains one HTC Desire user. "I have set the text message limit to 200 per conversation. Since the update ll messages have been duplicated, taking many conversations over the 200 limit and causing issues with the maximum clear limit."

A Vodafone spokesman told PC Pro that the company "didn't intend to give the impression that it was the Android 2.2 upgrade" and that the company had always stated its intention to update the handsets with the 360 services. "Customers have a choice to use those services if they want to," he added.

The spokesman declined to comment directly on the dating bookmarks. "We've seen the complaints customers are making and we're investigating those," he said.

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User comments

The joys of a branded device.

Fortunately, my provider doesn't do branding. However, I also bought my Desire SIM free, as I prefer to have things as the manufacturer intended, not how some marketing committee want it. Maybe people will vote with their feet, or wallets.

By Stonedecroze on 4 Aug 2010

"Maybe people will vote with their feet, or wallets."

Yeah but sad to say they probably won't. They'll complain on the forums for a bit and then tire and do nothing but bend over and take it. I'd loved to be proved wrong though as then it might finally teach these corporate marketing [insert colourful term] that this behaviour is unacceptable.

By koshthetrekkie on 4 Aug 2010

I'm a business customer and use the phone for work. My customers see what I've got on it as it's almost replaced my laptop. Dating sites and adult material are totally unsuitable on a business phone. It's not a toy and I'm not a kid. An upmarket phone like this is just being cheapened by Vodafone's approach. They've certainly antagonised this long term customer to no purpose as I have no intention of using their garbage.

By chris_sedman on 4 Aug 2010

Copy of Message to Guy Laurence of Vodafone UK

Dear Mr. Laurence:

I am very disappointed and angry with Vodafone for pushingcrapware to its customers with the recent software update for the HTC Desire. I have been a loyal customer of Vodafone foryears, and you have just given me a good reason to change operators at the endof the contract.

What you need to learn is that YOUR customers, the ones thatfeed you, that is, do not care about operator services. How many millions of pounds does Vodafoneneed to waste until it realizes that? Itseems that after losing gazillions with Vizzavi, the failed portal, Vodafonehas learned absolutely nothing. Zilch. Nada. How about That wasalso a waste of money. And now Vodafone360 is another waste of money. Leavethose services to companies that can do this much better than you, i.e GMAIL,Facebook, Skype etc. By providing yourclients with a walled-garden, you simply alienate them. At least give them an option. I am sure that you can shove this crapware tosome of your naive customers who have no clue, but do not offend those who knowwhat they are doing. Just do a search onGoogle News for the terms Vodafone HTC Desire and you will find all the badpublicity that you are getting for being both ignorant and arrogant.

Give your investors a break and stop wasting company moneyon Vodafone services that are doomed to fail and ###### off your customers.


A disappointed and angry custom

By londonbear23 on 4 Aug 2010

Spots still on the leopard

Unfortunately, Vodafone have previous here.

Waited months and months and months for updates to the lamentable N96 and Vodafone refused to allow the use of the unbranded Nokia firmware because they wanted to 'ensure that all their users has the same experience on their handsets.' i.e. their branded crapware.

In the end a letter to the CEO of Vodafone got me permission to put on the debranded version but their customer service staff were appallingly uninformed throughout. I just hope that everyone that is hacked off now remembers it quite clearly when their contract expires as commented above - its about time these companies deliver what people want and not what they think we want.

I wonder how they must be itching to brand the iPhone.

By Fraz_pro on 4 Aug 2010


stop faffing and go to villainrom and get the debranded 2.2 version.

By darkhairedlord on 5 Aug 2010

again... this is why you never buy a phone on a contract...

By ioushephf on 5 Aug 2010

Is this 'update' forced on customers or is it an optional download that people believed to be Froyo?

By jra25 on 5 Aug 2010

Upgrade? What's one of them?

At least you get an upgrade. You ought to be with the customer service nightmare that is T-mobile. My HTC Hero is still languishing in the Stone Age.

By thancock3 on 5 Aug 2010

Is this 'update' forced on customers or is it an optional download that people believed to be Froyo?

By jra25 on 5 Aug 2010

I've read on a couple of other sites that this update is not actually Froyo. It is a patch for 2.1 to add bloat. You could call it 2.1 Update 1

By james016 on 5 Aug 2010


I too am on t-mobile with a G2 hero. went to villainrom, followed their (complex but foolproof) instructions to root the device then had opened a whole raft alternative roms to try. currently using froydvillain which is android 2.2, HTC trhemselves wont be porting it the hero so only way you'll ever get it!

By darkhairedlord on 5 Aug 2010

I also read that the Froyo update will also have this bloatware.

By mng70 on 5 Aug 2010

Is this 'update' forced on customers or is it an optional download that people believed to be Froyo?

By jra25 on 5 Aug 2010

Er...apologies, I don't know what is happening but it seems every time I log in my original post is been reposted!

I was just wanting to follow up by asking mng70 where they read about the potential for the Froyo update to contact this bloatware? Cheers.

By jra25 on 5 Aug 2010

To jra25. Here is a snippet from the article on ZDNet.

"Even if people choose to reject the Vodafone app update, they will be presented with the same changes again when the operator issues its eagerly anticipated Android Froyo upgrade. Vodafone's spokesman confirmed that the Android 2.2 update will automatically include the branding and 360 updates."

By mng70 on 6 Aug 2010

That was close

I was about to consider getting a Vodafone contract phone...

By phantombudgie on 6 Aug 2010

Thanks mng70...

Certainly food for thought!

I was looking forward to Froyo too!

Contract review time.

By jra25 on 6 Aug 2010


No Crapware

HTC DESIRE Supplied by 3 on 18th December 2010

Android Version: 2.2
Build No: 2.25.771.1 CL254759 release keys
Software No: 2.25.771.1

By bigluap on 10 Jan 2011

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