Still NO Windows Phone 8.1 Update? FCC? Attorney General?

Novice

Weeks of 8.1 release information.  Stories.  Photos.  Videos.  Customers with other carriers have been enjoying their update already.  Microsoft WP Development Team already has new updates out.  And still every Verizon Windows Phone Customer sits with no update.  Some are even being told "no update".

This is year number 3 for me with delayed Windows Updates.  I have filed 4 FCC complaints since 2010.  I have received 3 call backs from Verizon regarding my complaints.  Here is where the problem stems:

Customer Agreement | Verizon Wireless

Yep.  Customer Agreement.  I like the term "agreement" because it makes it sound like a cordial 2-way relationship.  If you read the fine print, you will find out that this is not the case.  Not in any way, shape or form.  And considering the fact that you have to approve the agreement to get a phone or service, well, that's an entirely different argument.  The Verizon agreement does several things...

  1. It explains that even if you buy a phone at full face value, Verizon has 100% control of it on THEIR network.
  2. It explains that Verizon doesn't have to do a darn thing for you, your service, or your phone.
  3. It explains that you can try to sue them, but that there is a limit on damages, blah, blah, blah.

So before you say that you are "toast", let's look at who else plays the "Customer Agreement" game.  You know, large organizations who force you to "agree" before providing service (like you have a choice).  DirectTV, Brighthouse, TimeWarner, Comcast, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Duke Energy, Florida Power and Light, and the list goes on.  And what do all of these organizations have in common?  They all have some kind of government regulatory group in place.

After 4 years; what have I learned? 

  1. Complaining on a Verizon forum does nothing.
  2. Complaining to Verizon Executives does nothing (they don't even respond to letters, email or phone calls).
  3. Those who refuse to pay their bills until they get an update end up getting their service shut off (not me, but I know of a few).
  4. The BBB was created because of Verizon and the BBB gets ~50 complaints about Verizon a day.  A waste of time to complain there!
  5. Microsoft won't help.  Or, at least, Microsoft won't help those who don't want to help themselves (ahem, Verizon).

HOWEVER, if you look at a telecom company, power company, financial company you will find that every day consumers are working with the Federal and State Government to insure ethical treatment in fees, billing, services, and more.  Government intervention can also be requested in multiple ways with zero cost to the customer.  I have found 2 successful and proven ways to engage the government in your battle with a big company like Verizon.

  1. File a complaint with the government organization that oversees compliance "in that industry".  FCC = Telecom  Federal Energy Commission = Power Companies  Federal Reserve Board = Banks ...and so on.
  2. Engage State Regulatory Boards, or your State Attorney General.

As I mentioned earlier, this is Round 4 for me with Verizon and their slow or no Windows Phone Updates.  The FCC has worked historically because they require Verizon to contact the customer to close the case you opened with your complaint.  While you get to give Verizon an earful, I still have yet to see any change.  This round I am going to ask for more information.  Names.  Phone Numbers. Email Addresses.  Yep.  Going to give Verizon a little "Can You Hear Me Now?"  In addition, this round I am going to engage the Florida Attorney General.  Florida offers a very easy to use complaint process on the AG Website.  Have a look at the link below.  But before I file my complaint with my AG, I want specifics on delays, how VZW handled my complaint with the FCC,  and I will clearly explain what Verizon was withholding in terms of security and connectivity enhancements for my device.

When I worked for one of the largest companies in the US, the CEO had a rule which was "complaining is fine, as long as you offer a remedy or resolution along with the complaint".  There have been a number of naysayers and complainers out on the Windows Phone Forum over the past several days.  Some are passionate about updating their devices and others just seek to aggravate.  I think we have read enough "opinions".  Some creative or, perhaps, proven ideas to resolve this problem are welcome at this point.  Feel free to use one of my other posts to aggravate others.  I like how it brings those posts to the top of the forum list!  It only takes a moment to voice your complaint and it doesn't cost you a dime.

File a complaint with the Federal Government:  File Complaint | FCC.gov

File a complaint with your State Attorney General:  Florida Attorney General - File A Complaint

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Re: Still NO Windows Phone 8.1 Update? FCC? Attorney General?

Sr. Member

This is just based off observation of the roll out with at least the Lumia devices.  I strongly believe that Microsoft is giving the go-head to the carriers.

Why do i say this...  If you look at the US roll out it's only AT&T that rolling out the update to devices and no other carrier.  Why only AT&T?  Is it that AT&T normally gets the exclusive devices first? Microsoft seems to favor AT&T over any other carrier; at lest in my perception.

You would think T-Mobile, Sprint, Cricket or Metro PCS would have started the roll out as well.  Which leads me to be Microsoft is in control of who and when.

Now for HTC and Samsung I have no clue where they are in releasing updates to their devices.

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Re: Still NO Windows Phone 8.1 Update? FCC? Attorney General?

Novice

primortal  You are 100% correct and I have discussed this with folks on Joe Belfiore's WP Team in the past at Microsoft Convergence and WPC.  It's not that AT&T are favored, it's more that AT&T participates in more pre-release activities than the other carriers.  These programs are available to all carriers and I wish Verizon would jump on board.

As you and I have seen with most releases in the past, AT&T may not have an update out the day of the release, but they have historically been the first to step up.  Such pre release programs are out there, hopefully we can get Verizon to participate sooner than later.  (Especially as Microsoft has gone to a more frequent release cycle.)

Re: Still NO Windows Phone 8.1 Update? FCC? Attorney General?

Sr. Member

Then I would say Microsoft needs to provide VZW some really good incentives to participate in the pre-release program Smiley Happy

Otherwise we are at the mercy of VZW inept ability to anything but support their network.  Unless we're a fortune 100 company that has all their employees using VZW and threaten to leave unless they provide timely updates to their devices these posts are falling on deft ears.  It's up to Microsoft to get VZW on-board with the program.

You're better off contacting the VZW executives than voicing here.  There those like yourself and me that would love to have these type of updates pretty quickly.  Hence joining the developer preview program.  Though it lack the firmware upgrade I'm patient enough to wait for it.

With Blackberry on it death throes Windows Phone is the new 3rd ecosystem on the block.  Microsoft has ramped up their development cycle with the OS and most likely Windows Phone 9 will be a big enough threat to iPhone and Andriod that they will start taking over second place.  The only problem left is to get the various apps on the OS.  It's a vicious circle; no movement in in popularity no apps; but you need apps to make the OS more popular Smiley Sad

My last pet peeve is the Microsoft needs to calm down on all the Lumia devices; its like they are releasing a new phone every other month.  Come out with a few devices once or twice a year and that's it.  One awesome flagship device and a few mid/lower end device.  I heard from many people they don't know what Lumia device to get being there is so many and it's hard to choose.  Look at the 929 (Icon why did Microsoft allow VZW to give it a name?) it's the same as the 930 except for more colors (VZW what is you phobia with colors?) and Nokia/Microsoft is promoting the 930 a lot more than they did with Icon.

I personally would like to have lemon law enacted around devices from carriers.  If you have to return a refurbished device n number of times you should entitled to a brand new device from any manufacture the carrier has at no cost to the customer.  I only buy my phones at the Microsoft Store just for that very reason; my Icon goes off the deep end I go to the store; pay my deductible and walk out with a brand new Icon

Re: Still NO Windows Phone 8.1 Update? FCC? Attorney General?

Novice

It will be very interesting to see if Microsoft continues to participate in these "exclusive phone" programs with the carriers.  Clearly, AT&T and Verizon have been favored.  You would think that a carrier would want to promote their exclusive phones by keeping them updated on a timely basis.  Oh, wait - AT&T does.

As I mentioned above, this go-around I am not going to allow Verizon to close my FCC case until they provide me with some contacts in the organization who can address these update delays.  Verizon should move their corporate offices to Washington DC where not being accountable is a way of doing business.

I am sure that the Windows Mobile Team has been given all kinds of marching orders from Nokia leaders new and old.  Come up with a high end replacement for the 1520.  Come out with low end phones for Europe and Asia.  Come up with a selfie phone for those under 18 years of age.  And probably more to come until the new OS (Common Windows Platform) hits in 2015.  I also wonder what phones will be supported with that OS at THAT time?

I think you and I are of the same mindset; Give your money to Microsoft by buying your Windows Phones from the Microsoft Store, add the warranty, and keep running DP updates as they are a dot-version or so ahead of Verizon.  I just ready that the Debian Red update is next and expected to hit in November 2014.  (Here we go again.)  Worse case is that the phone gets crushed or bricked - in which the Microsoft Store replaces it after deductible!  It's a complicated game to play, but contracts and other barriers to working with Verizon don't really leave many other choices.  I wonder if new ICONS being sold today have 8.1 Cyan on them already?

Re: Still NO Windows Phone 8.1 Update? FCC? Attorney General?

Sr. Member

Icons sold today do NOT have the Cyan update.

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Re: Still NO Windows Phone 8.1 Update? FCC? Attorney General?

Sr. Member

They wouldn't.  Those devices have already the OS installed and packaged up. Nokia/Microsoft isn't going to unpack them and install Windows Phone 8.1+Cyan and repackaged...

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Re: Still NO Windows Phone 8.1 Update? FCC? Attorney General?

Member

MadDogFL62 several weeks back I read your posts and thought he is very upset... is he taking this too far?  But now I am starting to ask myself... "Self, is Verizon treating me like a valued customer?"  In all honesty I would have to say no, an why is this?  Well like an idiot I pay my bills on time and have so for the past 10+ years.  Have I misrepresented my self and/or used my account in a less than honorable way... no.  After a close review of how I have been treated I can only say it is because I have a Windows Phone.  Let's see, I had a BlackBerry Storm and Droid Incredible and I never had issues with phone updates and in store service like I've had with my Windows Phone.  I am tired of being treated like garbage and with my contract end nearing it looks more and more like I will choose a new carrier.  I will be more than happy to submit a complaint with the FCC, BBB and anyone who will listen... but to be honest I don't think it is in Verizon's nature... I believe they have an agenda fueled by upper management and short of losing a large portion of their user base it's not going to change.

Re: Still NO Windows Phone 8.1 Update?  FCC?  Attorney General?

Sr. Member

Verizon isn't intentionally mistreating anybody. But with WP's low (and sinking fast) marketshare it's just not a priority. Frustrating, but it's reality. And if your phone is currently operating smoothly, as WP8 phones are known to do, then what's the hurry? They'll get the update out when it's ready and when they're ready. Meanwhile, enjoy a great phone!

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Re: Still NO Windows Phone 8.1 Update? FCC? Attorney General?

Member

Happy with the phone.  Happy with the operating system.  Expect to be happy with the improvements to the operating system.  Not happy with the service provider.

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