Hey Vodafone, why can't I quit your bloatware?

Bitterwallet - Vodafone logoYes, Vodafone again. Sorry. This time, customers have been kicking off with the service provider over all the crappy software that's added to handsets every time their new software is uploaded.

The current round of complaints concern the Galaxy S and the 'Vodafone 360 Experience'. The latest software update introduced a Vodafone splash screen that nobody wanted, links that didn't work and apps that customers couldn't delete.

In fact, customers can't remove any of it, despite their agreement with Vodafone stating the contrary:

1. The Service: This service (the “Service”) will install some or all of the applications and services... to your mobile device depending on the compatibility of your mobile device and the country from which you are accessing the Service.

You can stop using the Service and remove both the Service and any applications downloaded via the Service at any time from your mobile device.

According to customers speaking out on the Vodafone forums, customer service staff can't provide any method to remove the apps and links; when they have done, savvy users have rubbished them on account of them never standing a chance of working. Some customers have resorted to hacking their handsets, unsure whether or not it invalidates their warranty. Others are worried that Vodafone are introducing new terms for the service that don't mention been able to remove the content.

Vodafone finally responded to the criticisms this morning, by say they are working on a method for removing the unwanted bloatware, but that the changes to the terms of the 360 Experience aren't related to the airtime contract. In other words, Vodafone can keep tinkering with your handset's software whether you want them to or not.

Thanks to avid Bitterwallet reader Simon


  • me
    breach of contract? end your contract, move networks and sell the phone.
  • arduino
    I got my HTC magic from vodafone, installed cyanogen and never looked back :) http://www.cyanogenmod.com/
  • Spark
    If you leave the contract early without paying the termination charge then they can brick the phone.
  • -]
    I can understand joe public being up in arms about this (well, maybe. most wouldn't know any better) but why would a competent user (geek/nerd/twat) ever install a operator branded ROM? First thing you do when you get a android smartphone is prepare your own/download a custom ROM and have only the functionality you need without all the bloatware.
  • dave
    Rooting your phone is easy enough, there are some one click rooting procedures out there. After that, deleting the apks for unwanted software is easy. Just dont delete media viewers as i deleted mediascape and timescape off an sony x10 and couldnt find any alternative ones on the market.
  • dunfyboy
    Was with VF last year and their firmware was crap. Brought it up on their forum but they were no help. Won't be going back to them any time soon.
  • Kirsty_Vodafone
    Hi There We're continuing to look into this matter and please rest assured we're listening to your feedback. Our technical team is now working on a resolution to give Galaxy S users more choice over how they use 360 services, including the option to remove them. This is being looked at as a priority and as soon as we've got confirmed details we'll share them with you. In the meantime, we can tell you that it's likely we'll implement these changes through the forthcoming Android 2.2 update. This may mean there is a slight delay in delivering Android 2.2 to you because, due to the newly planned changes, the current version has to be re-worked and tested but we hope our variant will follow soon after Samsung releases the open market version. Kirsty Web Relations Team Vodafone UK
  • BT B.
    [...] their programming – or at least that of their mobile phones. A handset OS update meant customers had a Vodafone mobile full of bloatware – branded applications they didn’t want and links that didn’t work. Despite their [...]

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