Monday, 13 July 2009

Blodge

EtisalatImage via Wikipedia

It looks on the surface about as bad as you can get in terms of completely mis-handling your customer base, lying to consumers and losing their trust and respect in one single great big blodge.

A telco pushes an upgrade to users of devices on its network. That upgrade not only apparently has the effect of downgrading the service, but is widely reported to screw up the batteries of those devices, triggering a public outcry.

Then people start to look at this software, labelled, "Etisalat upgrade for Blackberry service. Please download to ensure continous service quality" to see quite why it has been such a disaster. And they start asking questions about quite why it was important to download a network performance upgrade to the clients.

This is what they find, according to DXBLouie (no relation to our pal Bluey methinks), posting his findings on the BlackBerry support forums: A series of Java files. Perhaps interestingly, they all install to a folder called SS8.

SS8? Who they? What do we find, for instance at SS8. com? A security and interception company perhaps? One with a newly opened local operation, too, it seems.

So the inference customers are drawing is that the telco knowingly pushed a security and monitoring application to their handsets without informing them - one that has crashed their handsets and caused considerable annoyance. Obviously, they're jumping to conclusions.

But now they're starting to ask questions about quite why it was that a telco thought it could stealth a nasty little monitoring application, without telling them, without asking their permission and without any 'by your leave' onto their handsets. You'd expect the telco to start facing questions about that...

It's going to be an interesting 48 hours, people...


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8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Simply shocking!! Unfortunately, mainstream media will never be able to catch to this story :(

Tom Gara said...

hi anon, i'll try my hardest :)

Graeme Baker said...

what a fantastic story. thanks for that!

Nigel said...

I just posted a brief description of the source code on the blackberry forums. There's a persistent object that's used to store the state of the application when you shut down. That's the place where any "fix" will target.

Unfortunately, I don't have a blackberry, so can't provide that fix for you.

http://supportforums.blackberry.com/rim/board/message?board.id=BlackBerryDeviceSoftware&thread.id=5504

alexander... said...

Thanks, Nigel! It does seem to be a clumsy patch...

Let alone the communications issues around the way it was implemented...

Anonymous said...

This same company has said that they cannot respect my privacy and refrain from giving out my mobile number to other companies. Instead, I have been told, by several customer execs, that it is up to me to phone the company that is sending msgs and ask them if they could please, pretty please, give me something called their sms short code so I can then text it to a special number of the TelCO and then the messages will be blocked.

Anonymous said...

Why on earth would anyone want to risk downloading - or even consider downloading - a BB patch from eatsalad in the first please? Weyak? DELETE.
Sent from my ratjer spffy BlackBerry 8890 :-)

DXBLouie said...

Thanks for spreading the word guys..

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