Even After Updates, HTC Thunderbolt Still a Problem for Some

We’re not going to be the first to admit this, but the HTC Thunderbolt has been, for some, a very problematic handset.  Whether it’s random reboots, force closes, or unsupported applications, users have been suffering through a less than stellar experience since its debut.  A few software updates into the device history and it’s still not the phone that was promised all the way back in January.  And speaking of updates, we’ve heard our share of consumers bitter over the lack of Gingerbread update.  Such is the case with Mr. Bryan Waters who passed along his email correspondence with a Verizon customer service representative. 

We did not get the initial complaint, but we gather that he is upset over a few problems with his Thunderbolt, specifically the generally poor experience and lack of an Android 2.3 update.  Based on the content of the following emails, we surmise that he asked for a replacement handset of equal or greater value since neither HTC nor Verizon were delivering on their advertisements. Waters deems the situation an “extraordinary” one in that the problems are not isolated to his handset and that there are plenty of documented cases of unhappy Thunderbolt owners.

We’ve pasted the conversation below for you to read.  After you’re done, tell us whether or not Mr. Waters is in the right place to ask for a different model of smart phone.

VERIZON: Upon review of your account, we do not see evidence of you contacting us regarding your HTC Thunderbolt since adding it on 3/17/2011.  Verizon Wireless cannot say when a software release will be made available through the manufacturer.  Troubleshooting would first have to be done on your equipment.  If it is determined that another device is needed due to manufacturer defect, a certified-like-new replacement of the same device would be offered.

A different phone would not be offered based on a software update not yet being made available through the manufacturer.

WATERS: I respectfully disagree Sir, I am aware of your policy of replacing devices with a “like new device” but that isnt what I bought, I bought a new phone, one that I was told was the best phone verizon had to offer at the time.  I was assured that it would be reciving the latest software as it became availible.  I have seen other phones that havent been out as long as the Thunderbolt get the Gingerbread upgrade, why not my phone?

Further more, the first update Verizon released for it.  caused a myriad of different issues, up to and including the reboots.  These happen frequently, up to 8 times a day.  Often, as I am trying to do something with the phone.  The reason I did not report this to Verizon is because I read that this problem was being experienced by everyone, and that a new update would coming shortly to fix it.  I didn’t want a “like new” replacement so I kept my mouth shut.  Then Verizon and HTC released this most resent update and I am still getting the reboot (though less frequently) and I had the added bonus of it turning my alarm clock setting off.  I was late to work because of this.  I now find my device to be sluggish and laggy.
Everything that I have read has said that Gingerbread is supposed to fix these issues (Did I mention the battery?).  I am not trying to get a hand out or a freebie here, I simply want what I paid for, I want a phone that will work as advertised and be maintained as advertised.  Your records should show that I bought this phone the day it came out, I was incredibly excited for it and as of now have been disappointed.  I believe that Verizon and HTC’s lack of communication to the customers is rehensible.
I feel this is an extraordinary situation and thus requires and extraordinary solution.  In my mind that is a new phone from Verizon of equal or better value.
Respectfully, Bryan Waters
VERIZON: While we understand your frustrations, Verizon Wireless would not consider this an extraordinary situation.  You advise you were told your equipment would receive the latest software as it became available.  That was and remains true.  Verizon Wireless, however, cannot determine when the update in question will be available to customers.  You also advise that you read everyone was having the same problems you were having and thus decided to keep quiet about it.  I must say that is not true.  Not every customer with a HTC Thunderbolt device on the Verizon Wireless network is having problems with their phone.  You not wanting a certified-like-new replacement does not negate the fact that such replacement devices are what is in place for Verizon Wireless customers.An extraordinary situation would be going through the process offered several times without resolution.  For example:  you being sent 5 certified-like-new replacements in five months.  It is not our anticipation that such replacements offered by Verizon Wireless and deemed viable replacement options for our customers would be bad.  That is why, hypothetically speaking, you receiving several bad replacements would be considered extraordinary.

In this instance, troubleshooting must be done first.  If a replacement is needed, a certified-like-new device of the same model will be sent to you.

Respectfully submitted.

WATERS: Unfortunately while I respect yours and Verizon’s opinion I have to disagree again.  Clearly Gingerbread is available as it is coming out on phones that have been out less time than the Thunderbolt.  Even phones made by HTC.  Clearly there is either an inherent issue with the Thunderbolt or, it isn’t being given the priority of other phones.  Whether that is controlled by HTC or by you is irrelevant, as the carrier of the phone and as the consumers representative to the maker you are in a better position than anyone to ensure that the advertising you paid for is fulfilled.

While I understand not everyone is having the same issues with there Thunderbolt, I am also not stupid.  I can read the reviews and postings on Verizon’s forums, as well as on HTC’s I know I am not the only one experiencing this issue. http://www.gottabemobile.com/2011/07/01/htc-thunderbolt-issues-are-unacceptable/
I can provide a hundred reference like that.  So, in this case it seems clear that this isn’t an issue of a bad egg, but of a bad product.  I am upset for you guys!  You should be spitting mad at HTC they sold you a bill of goods but now your customers are unhappy.  This is the extraordinary situation Mr. XXXX.  Not that my device is defective but that most of them are.  That is why I am not satisfied with the status quo of a “like new device” chances are it will have the same issues.  I want to be free of the debacle and continue to enjoy the superb service Verizon offers.
As I have said before I am not an idiot, I know that I have very little bargaining room here.  I am counting on the superb customer service I have always experienced from Verizon to do the right thing here.  I have articulated my issues with you in what I feel is a very clear way.  I have outlined a solution that I feel is acceptable and now, as a valued customer I would like for this to be taken care of to my satisfaction.
If you still find yourself and your company unmoved, then I will utilize the only option available to me, I will pay my bill, wait out my contract, and leave Verizon.  I will also sing my story from the top of every blog, forum, consumer advocacy site, and encourage others to do the same.  Please do not mistake that as a threat, as that is not my intention at all.  Simply put your self in my shoes.  What would you do?
VERIZON: We understand your position.  We would not like to see you ultimately decide against remaining a Verizon Wireless over this situation.  The resolution previously offered, however, is the only resolution available to you at this time.

WATERS: That is truly a dissapointment.  I really didnt expect a large, emensly wealthy company like Verizon to deign me worthy of any exceptional consideration, but I had to try.  I think you will find though that this growing market of savy intelligent smart phone user’s are more connected than you expect.  I think you guys had a chance here to seperate yourselves from the competition by truly offering an excellent customer experince.  Oh well

I thank you Mr. XXXX for your time and your consideration.  I hope you not take any of this personally as it isnt directed at you but at your employer.
I would like to make one final request.  I would like you to forward this to your supervisor.
Do you think Verizon customers are entitled to trade their HTC Thunderbolt in for a different model handset?  Are they right in being angry over the phone or are they being unreasonable?
  • Tsr980

    Root that bitch run cm7 end of problem. send me a email and ill help you 

    • Can I simply use TB_Auto_root? (I haven’t downloaded the new update yet).

      I have downloaded the HTC driver.

      • Tsr980

        personally i dont trust the auto root programs. ADB is the best way to go. but once you have root you can change roms and radios. the last ota has the best radio imo.  i have not had a reboot since i flashed the new radio and ive been running gingerbread for months lol

        • So are you saying I should update, then root?

          Also, I have absolutely zero experience with adb. There is a YouTube showing the auto root & it looks legit.

          • Tsr980

            i cant advise you on the auto root program. if you want help setting up adb id be happy to show you how. As far as the update goes you can still root with ADB even after the update. I can try to help you with team viewer if you like it lets me remote on in on your pc and run the process for you.I have done a few tbolts that way

          • I appreciate your willingness to help. But after watching the YouTube a couple times & reading comments, I’m confident enough to give the auto root a try. Hopefully ill post my results this afternoon!

          • Tsr980

            Good luck…

          • Todd Stuart

            I have been hesitant to do any rooting or updating on the TB, I had the original droid and rooted and rom’d it tons.  I would like advise as I am getting tired of the bloat and slow updates that do not work.

          • Tsr980

            be happy to help no regrets here i love this damn phone lol shoot me a email with your contact info and lets get her done!

          • Godmom27

            I would love for you to do my tb phone I have know ideal how root it I am sick of the problems with my phone here my Email [email protected] PLEASE HELP ME since verizon and NYC won’t

          • Godmom27

            Sorry I meant htc

          • Tsr980

            check your email….

          • Akpamnani

            Hey TSR,

            Can u please help me root my thunderbolt. Im tech savy but this would be my first root. Please help me out thanks. My email is [email protected]

          • Tc

            OK. Please send me the instructions also.Got the update on my TB, now it has trouble connection to Blue Tooth. Thanks.

          • Tsr980

            i need a email address

          • Kevin

            Tsr can you send tb root info to [email protected]

            My biggest complaint with the tb is voice quality issues. people all the time telling me they can not understand me unless I am on headset our speakerphone. I have been through four replacements so far and am about to go for the 5th.

          • Sadman

            So how did your auto root go?

          • Tsr980

            I personally would suggest you root with adb then you can flash the rooted ota, its still froyo but i think it address most all of the issues  from the past.Once you are satisfied that your phone is ok, you can play with some different roms.

          • Sadman

            Can you send me directions on how to root my TB? My email is [email protected]   THANKS

    • Rem32001

      [email protected] can you help me with gingerbread?

    • Jquincy

      i will admit right now that i am not as tech savvy as i’d like to be, especially with phones, but i do know that the TB has been a MAJOR disappointment just simply based on how much i paid for it. i didn’t even know that it had been hyped up so much pryor to it’s launch because i don’t pay super close attention to that sort of stuff. i just wanted a good smartphone that works and does what i need for it to do, which really isn’t all that much. if you can help me with this, i’m all ears: [email protected]. thanks..

      • Tsr980

        I would suggest maybe do a little research on what rooting offers just so you know what the pros and cons are, but it gives you access to parts of the phone that  htc or verizon  did not want you to have . example custom roms, free tethering, kernals ect… the thunderbolt is one of the most supported phones by developers and the options are endless with root. Ive been running gingerbread for months no complaints but if i was on a stock rom id be screaming too..This is the best source for info on the tbolt but keep in mind most people in here are rooted. http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=941  Im happy to help if you decide to go for it. Good Luck

        • Robert Woo

          Need some help in rooting mine too. Thanks in advance
          [email protected]

          • Tsr980

            check your email

      • Tsr980

        i would read this if you are unsure about rooting great info http://forums.androidcentral.com/thunderbolt-rooting-roms-hacks/103522-faq-should-i-root-my-thunderbolt.html If you decide to im happy to get you going

    • Julienjeff

      If u even could figure out how it void warranty and when this phone chaos out they WILL make it up!!

      • Tsr980

        It can be unrooted easy enough, root isnt for everyone

    • Exhale Slowly

      If you could help me out is be grateful. I would love to root mine, but I’m scared I’m gonna brick it. [email protected]

    • Garfield516

      I am trying to get cm7. Please email me. [email protected]

      • Tsr980

        check you email

        • Ryblueyez

          Tsr my email is [email protected] I would love some info on rooting

          • Tsr980

            check your email

        • yumiko

          Hi I just got a brand new replacement tbolt and I have the same issues everyone’s having, especially it sending messages to wrong recipients. Can I get some advice on what problems rooting would solve? [email protected]. Thanks!

    • Sam Eldawoudy

      Hi TSR980 My email is [email protected] and read about rooting and I want to root manually b/c this is my first time then I might need your helo also in flashing a custom rom.

      • Tsr980

        check your email

        • Caylward

          [email protected] I have the latest tbolt update. Can you help me root, and help me install gingerbread?

        • Caylward

          [email protected] I have the latest tbolt update. Can you help me root, and help me install gingerbread?

          • Tsr980

            check you email

        • Caylward

          [email protected] I have the latest tbolt update. Can you help me root, and help me install gingerbread?

    • Kemtiaz

      Hello tsr980, my email is [email protected] and i was wondering if you could tell me how to root my brand new thunderbolt. I am a beginner so i was wondering if you could dumb it down for me, thanks!

      • Tsr980

        check your email

      • Tsr980

        check your email

      • Jjcruz6246

        Would love some instructions on how to root. Please email [email protected]

    • Tvcstoner

      Hello tsr980, my email is [email protected] and i was wondering if you
      could tell me how to root my brand new thunderbolt. Thanks

    • Tvcstoner

      Hello tsr980, my email is [email protected] and i was wondering if you
      could tell me how to root my brand new thunderbolt. Thanks

      • Tsr980

        check you email

    • Tvcstoner

      Hello tsr980, my email is [email protected] and i was wondering if you
      could tell me how to root my brand new thunderbolt. Thanks

    • Jwachtel72

      Would love some help rooting mine – [email protected]

      • Tsr980

        check your email

        • Mrpende

          i would like to root my phone also……[email protected]  thanks

          • Tsr980

            check your email

        • Drjmj2323

          I’m on my 2nd HTC thunderbolt and have a long time left on my verizon contract.  not sure what rooting and gingerbread is, but sounds like it solves lots of problems.  my friends are now saying they can hardly hear/understand me, calls come but don’t show up on call history, can’t turn off notification for email and wakes me up all night long, and have had some dropped calls lately.  help please??   Jo.
          [email protected].

      • Edmundsclan

        Please email rooting instructions. I have a thunderbolt that keeps rebooting…would love to get gingerbread on it. Thanks
        [email protected]

    • Sadman

      I rooted my phone with your help and it turned out great. I personally like sense so I installed das BAMF Sense 3.0 RC 4.9. With a few add ons and tweaks this is absolutely the best phone I have ever owned. I have not looked back for even 30 seconds after rooting. This made this phone the GREAT phone it is supposed to be. Thanks much!!!!!!

    • Rainmaka

      [email protected]

      would like some help rooting mine, Please and Thank you!

      • Tsr980

        check you email

    • Gtwism

      I would love to root my TB…please help: [email protected]

  • Belbarid

    With VZW’s very public “We have your money, now go screw off” customer service attitude, I tend to think anyone that uses Verizon has no real reason to expect anything more from them.

    And since the attitude VZW takes toward their customers isn’t exactly a secret, if this guy didn’t know going into his contract that this would likely be the result of any CSR interaction then it’s completely his fault for not doing a little basic research.

    No American wireless provider does a particularly good job of supporting their customers, but VZW is downright predatory to their user base. If you sign with them, this is a likely scenario.

  • Anonymous

    My first lesson about Verizon came a while back.  I talked a friend into trying Windows Mobile.  He picked up a Samsung Omnia.  When he couldn’t get his gps to work in Google maps I did a little research and found that Verizon had disabled the on-board gps for all applications but their paid Verizon Navigator service.  http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google%20Mobile/thread?tid=0c6286e801c30b1a&hl=en
    That was all I ever needed to know about them and no stance they ever take in the future will ever surprise me.

  • Sccarlin

    Yes, they are entitled to a new phone.  In contract law, that is called “covering”.

    There are numerous features for the TBolt phone that were a big part of its launch that have still not shown up 4 months later: Skype video, Gingerbread, etc.  This is a classic deceptive trade practice (yes, I am a lawyer): representing that product has certain qualities or characteristics that it does not, in addition to warranting that a product is fit for a particular purpose.  Maybe there is one out there that I have not found, but I am genuinely surprised some plaintiff’s firm has not brought a class action against Verizon and HTC regarding the TBolt, since they both pumped it so strongly and have delivered so poorly.

    Of course, the tech world as a whole gets away with over-promising and under-delivering all the time, much more so than other industries like automobiles (can you not being able to return a 4-month-old car that wouldn’t reliably start?).  It has gone from bulletproof technologies like the phone and television systems of the 50s, 60s,and 70s, – the phone and the TV ALWAYS worked – to the Microsoft standard “good enough” in the 80s and 90s, to the Apple, HTC, Samsung, et. al. standard now: “good-enough-to-market”

    We are the greater fools for continuing to believe that what these companies claim about their products is true.  Shame on us.

    • Jomcglothlin

      The lemon law wouldn’t be effective here? Would each plaintiff have to sue (class action)in their own state? But would at least hit Verizon with multi suites.

  • Computechx

    Seems a class action law suite would be in order here. Any lawyers out there?

  • micheal

    I don’t have a thunderbolt but I can reason with this article… Verizon customer service is the worst -_- coming from someone who still has a f**cked up samsung fascinate 😀

    • Jon

      My brothers wife has a fascinate and it crashes all the time! Of course, I told her not to get a Samsung product after my horrible experience with my Blu-Ray Player. After a year and a half of very slow updates, it still won’t play Avatar the first couple times. I figured it would be the same for all their products, and seems true!

  • Lastboyskout4u

    I will now contact Verizon daily about my thunderbolt issues. Until I set a cease letter.

  • Lastboyskout4u

    I will now contact Verizon daily about my thunderbolt issues. Until I set a cease letter.

  • Imlahil

    This is going to be the normal response from any wireless provider. If you don’t call and report your problems and go through any troubleshooting the carrier is not going to just hand you a new phone. It is insane to think otherwise and an exercise in futility. Also not every single one of these phones has the issue. People that have the problems are going to be the most vocal. Now that isn’t to say that a lot do have problems but at least try to get a replacement first before you start your bitchfest.

    • kdog

      I totally agree with you. Verizon spelled it out for the guy. You must get several replacements before they consider it extraordinary. If it were me (and it has been me before), I would call about a replacement every time it reboots. After three or so, your case is built to switch phones. But, until you go through the effort, Verizon is not going to budge. Right or wrong, this is the policy…and they are nothing if not consistent across the board.

  • Like any large entity they are not going to respond to the requests of a few. For instance had this guy gotten a new phone I would have immediately gone and done the same thing. I am certainly not making excuses for Verizon or HTC (which is where the problem is with) but I can understand their hesitancy to start replacing the phone with a different one. As consumers we are going to have to continue to voice our displeasure en masse and hopefully cause HTC to recall these devices if in fact they are defective or ultimately fix them otherwise Verizon will have no choice but to replace them with something else.

  • Papro_44

    Any response to a customer complaint/problem that begins “Unfortunately….” or “I understand your’…_ is a sure sign that you the customer are not going have the problem solved to your satisfaction. I firmly believe that day one of customer service class 101 for these corporate pawns consists of the entire class being required to recite “I understand”….. “I feel your…”  throughout the day!!  Good luck! I WAS going to “upgrade” my Incredible to a Verizon 4G phone, but after looking at the slim pickings and now reading many posts such as the above, I will be hanging on to the Incredible, perhaps for the next 5 or 10 years years, at which point I will no longer need  a cell phone. ….

  • Pissed is an Understatement

    Hell yeah! I am on the same page as Mr. Bryan and I have reported my issue to the Better Business Bureau.  I also plan on looking into my States Attorney’s office with my compliant because this is unacceptable!

  • Anonymous


  • Sadman

    I understand and feel for Mr Waters problems as I have experienced the same with my TB. I also bought my TB the day they were released. I may be way out of line but if you put it in the same scenario as a new car that you buy the dealer is not going to replace it without numerous complaints from you. I feel he has to contact VZ daily and voice his complaints. As far as the updates promised and the functions that are supposed to work I am highly disappointed with VZ and HTC. There are phones that were released after the TB that have received the Gingerbread update. What’s up with that? The updates that have been released as supposed fixes were shoddy at best. It does seem that if customer relations were high on the list notifications would come out periodically regarding the problems and give a possible release date. I have personally been with VZ for years and after reading about the TB waited with high anticipation for it’s release. The only original complaint prior to release I read was about the horrible battery life. I cured that with the extended battery. But with all the rest of the promises and downfalls of the phone I would think that VZ and HTC would put this phone on their top priority list if they want to obtain future customers and retain the current customers. Evidently the quality control of this phone was and is sub par at best. I like the phone but like the rest of the TB users the excuses are getting reprehensible. It’s just too bad the cell phone industry is not like most large department stores where if the product you buy is defective they give you your money back or are willing to replace it with a like product and if it sells for more you pay the difference or if sells for less they refund you that amount. The pride of MADE IN AMERICA is gone. Good luck to all.  

  • Smith_nas

    I called Verizon for the same thing, they said I’d have to go through troubleshooting, and as soon as they transferred me to the 4G department, that guy said that it is a software issue and troubleshooting didn’t even have to occur, and sent me a CLNR and said if that didn’t help, he would get me into the Samsung Charge or something similar

  • Stanhelp

    I agree with this customer.  I am having the same issues.  I would like to root the phone but give me a break it should work.  Especially, if the rooted phones seem to not have these issues.   This is supposed to be a flagship HTC model.  Switching carriers and brands is starting to look promising to me.

  • Tonyc

    Damn Right! Matter of fact, maybe we should all complain to our state Att Gen’s office to claim a possible fraud in Verizon’s ads then not following up in their statements and on their deactivating a built in device function and willing to sell it back to us at a $$ cost.

  • David

    Maybe I’ve been lucky. I purchased my TB the end of April and that phone was replaced within the 15 day exchange window (got too hot to touch during a 4G data transfer). The replacement worked fine until the May update.  Reboots galore, sometimes more than 10 in a day with each one costing 2 to 11 percent of the battery — horrible given the already short battery life and undersized battery.  To make a long story short, I’m on my 5th TB. 

    The latest (1.70.605…) fixed the reboot problem and introduced it’s own challenges. Some of the features that were supposed to be in the update (e.g., tabbed App view) aren’t. In addition, while I haven’t had a reboot since the update, i have had 3 phone freezes that required pulling the battery to restore normal operation (all reported to VZW and HTC).

    From my perspective it demonstrates a lack of quality control It’s not the company who gets to make this determination, it’s customers. There is a simple equation value = quality = (correct balance of functionality + reliability). While I like the fact the TB does voice and data with 4G OFF or not available, that’s getting to be insufficient.

    It’s clearly a challenge with the TB, my wife has the HTC Droid Incredible 2 and loves it (and also has had no problems with it).

    What’s wrong with this picture?

  • Enigmaspeed27

    That’s the same line of BS Verizon gave me when I had issues with my Droid and Droid X. If they can charge us a monthly service fee for our phones then we shouldn’t have to pay that fee for a phone that does not work right. Forget about going to Verizon to get your phone fixed the techs there have no clue about the phones they sell.

  • Josh88l2001

    I have to say, that even after receiving 4 replacements they still didnt deem my situation as extraordinary and offer me a better phone.  Now finally the last update fixed the problems but now we are still waiting on an operating system that should’ve been on the phone from the start.

  • Rocketralph Rh

    My phone was better off before the update.I am very disappointed in HTC and Verizon.

  • 12william874

    wow I’m shocked about this thunderbolt. I have the first incredible and love it. No probs. I was about to upgrade to the tb …but after these posts…looks like I’m getting a Droid charge.

  • Gpislander

    I agree with this guy completely. Verizon spent a fortune on ads claiming this phone was better than all others. Not true. I can’t even take videos with it because the mic doesn’t work due to crappy software. It would be nice if there were a class action suit threatened, despite the fact that I hate lawyers.

  • Coled

    Absolutely.  I’m experiencing a lot of the same issues including very poor or no data connections for days at a time. Half of my time using the device is spent rebooting and trying to get the connection back.
    And what about all of the advertisements that stated that the Thunderbolt featured integrated Skype Video calling capabilities?
    I saw these displayed at several Verizon stores and was a huge factor in my choosing the Thunderbolt!
    If they don’t fix the issues, or compensate then Verizon will loose customers!

  • They have every freakin right. They paid for a device that is not to par. CASE CLOSED.

  • JDub

    What other Verizon phone is “of equal or greater value”? The Charge? Please, I’ll keep my quirky, randomly rebooting tbolt for now. When it’s working it’s super fast!

  • I agree with the comments and other threads about this device. This is the worse phone I’ve ever seen, not near the hype leading up to its release. The inability to get rid of the bloatware, the constant restarting of killed apps, the horrible battery life, and reboots. I’ll never get an HTC device again and I’ve recommended to everyone I know NOT TO GET A TB.
    I’ve thought about rooting, but I’m not sure and don’t want to make the phone useless.

  • Winfield

    I feel his pain.  I’m sick of Verizon.  I’m sick of being treated like crap after spending my money on the latest phone that they claim is the “best phone available…”

  • Vinlew57

    Put my name on that same situation as Mr Waters, I feel that I have been taken. I bought the TBolt  on opening day also with hopes of getting the up dates that would allow me to watch Netflix and Skype with my 3 boys away at college. It looks like they may have their Masters before I get the update.

  • Jpcarpet01

    Oh my crap! I am having similar issues with Verizon. However I gave up because it leads nowhere. Verizon doesn’t care. I have been with them since they were Alltel, I believe. Anyway my first cell phone was in 1994 so whatever the company was then. Anyway, I always have the latest phone but this Thunderbolt sucks. I was given the option of a choice of another (4th) thunderbolt, a revolution or a charge. Right, none of them appeal to me. So I have been waiting for the Bionic for my replacement. And all the carriers suck now and our choices are slim, but to treat customers this way sucks. Boo Verizon. Boo.

  • Tim

    This dude is right on! Verizon lost my business and give other of our work phone agreements because they pulled the same garbage on me! The tbolt does not work as advertised. I had 4 of them. They all sucked!! Oh, and by the way…where is lte in austin texas?! What gives verizon? Your customer support I
    Is awful. Though I know your competitor is enjoying 6 new corporate accounts!!

  • Anonymous

    wow. i guess im just one of the lucky few the loves this phone. i guess i
    never really come across all those problems because i rooted out of the
    box. well if you’re having problems and stuck with this phone give
    rooting a shot. its fairly easy as long as you do some research on it. i
    currently have better battery life, sense 3.0 (i could care less about
    gingerbread having that), skype with vid, netflix etc.. good luck!

  • Anonymous

    wow. i guess im just one of the lucky few the loves this phone. i guess i
    never really come across all those problems because i rooted out of the
    box. well if you’re having problems and stuck with this phone give
    rooting a shot. its fairly easy as long as you do some research on it. i
    currently have better battery life, sense 3.0 (i could care less about
    gingerbread having that), skype with vid, netflix etc.. good luck!

  • Kavall

    It appears to me that both sides have made very clear and valid arguments. Honestly, I’ve never received such polite and intelligent responses from customer service. Should they be entitled to a different handset? A reasonable compromise would be they would be required to do one replacement Thunderbolt before being allowed to trade it in at their original purchase price towards the value of another phone. Are customers right for being angry? I would say, yes, they have a right to be upset to pay for a phone that has stability issues. As for the lack of 2.3 and lack of Skype, no I never saw massive advertising for those features. It was suggested, but not promised, nor was it available when the phone came out. Personally I don’t buy anything for what it might be upgraded to in the future. I buy it for what it is now.
    I applaud Mr. Waters for his respectful and articulate interaction with Verizon’s Customer service. He was a class act, and we truly need more of that in today’s age.
    Personally I think the situation has motivated me to continue to refrain from upgrading my phone till either a viable phone hits the market or I may end up changing phone carriers. The greatest power we have as customers is taking our business elsewhere.

  • Eestubbs104

    I agree with the letter and the thoughts of Mr. Water. After over 45 minutes in a Verizon store and a hour on the phone, I agreed to a like new phone to be sent to me. They acted as if I damaged the photo, but I didn’t. It all occurred after the second update. I can no long get connected. Not to 4G or 3G. The technician in the store and on the phone could not get me connected. So why not another phone or at least a brand new replacement phone. Or even better, let me out of my contract without any penalty.

  • Rex_D

    I wonder what phone of equal value he wants.  I do not think he is entitled to such a request.  I do understand his point of view and I sympathize with his frustrations however.  I think he should try out the “certified-like-new” replacement at least once.  We as consumers have created this scenario where manufacturers can deliver inferior products and fail to support them.  We’ve done this with our hunger for bigger, better, faster, and shinier products and with the ease at which we throw money at them. 

    I bought an XBOX 360 and ended up with the infamous red ring within 16 months.  I then switched to PS3, which lasted less than 1 year.  I had a $1600 Sony digital camera, lasted only 16 months.  I got a $1200 Movado watch, which spent 1 month in repairs every 3 months for the first year (4 times!!!) and is still broken to this day.  My $34,000 Acura has had vibrations and issues with the front passenger window since 8 months after purchase.  My $299 original Motorola Droid doesn’t work when it’s hot or humid outside, forcing me to keep it indoors at all times.  My partner got a $249 Droid Charge, only to have no network connection for 16 hours before it finally worked.  My $299 Samsung Galaxy Tab has had to be hard reset twice in less than 5 months.  The $200 Titanium chain I bought my partner broke the clasp only 2 months into it, a design flaw, but the company will only replace it with the same design.  Over the past 5 years I’ve had to replace the filling component and flapper in my frigging toilet 4 times (and I buy the NICE one, not the universal generic one).  My pool pump lasted only 1 year before I had to buy a new one.

    It’s sickening, frustrating, and evil… but we buy into it.  We want it and we want it now, and we accept less than good quality.  We tolerate issues and are hopeful the next one will be better.  Maybe it is because all of our products come from other countries?  Maybe if people just STOP buying, companies will be forced to improve their standards.  I don’t know…. but I wish there was an answer!!

    • Biff

      Very well put, Mr. Waters.

      I have three of the new LTE products. I got them as soon as they became available. Two are modems, MiFi 4150L & UML290, the other is the Thunderbolt. None of these devices work correctly. The modems & phone seldom connect to data service nor do they stay connected when they occasionally do connect. I use an older 3G MiFi 2200 instead of these newer devices because it always connects and it stays connected. Verizon in-store staff & on-line technicians have never been any help with any of these devices. Amazingly they even deny that there is a well-known inherent problem with the devices. As a very long-term customer of Verizon, I will be looking for a better cellular service. I have 6 devices on my account. I shall shut them all down.

    • Biff

      Very well put, Mr. Waters.

      I have three of the new LTE products. I got them as soon as they became available. Two are modems, MiFi 4150L & UML290, the other is the Thunderbolt. None of these devices work correctly. The modems & phone seldom connect to data service nor do they stay connected when they occasionally do connect. I use an older 3G MiFi 2200 instead of these newer devices because it always connects and it stays connected. Verizon in-store staff & on-line technicians have never been any help with any of these devices. Amazingly they even deny that there is a well-known inherent problem with the devices. As a very long-term customer of Verizon, I will be looking for a better cellular service. I have 6 devices on my account. I shall shut them all down.

  • Julienjeff

    I’m a 40 something mom who was talked out of the iPhone from vzn rep.I had a leaked Skype with video that no longer works and I am upset…my daughter in Sweden and it put huge impact on my communication with her. Not to mention netflix promised. I am not happy at all and if ATT offered me buy out of thus th bolt and contract I would pounce on it. I think they should recall the phones. So unfair.

  • Rudgate

    I also just purchased a htc Thunderbolt 3 weeks ago and the phone was re-booted/re-set by htc 3 times (once per week usually on a Friday morning) and 2 hours later I was able to capture all my settings from memory.  This is totally unacceptable and I am not sure who is going to fix this problem for good. I believe Verizon is the responsible party as my carrier.  If htc hard reset’s one more time, I will request setting up my Droid X and live with 3G. 

  • PlaineJamez

    Hopeless!! I’ve owned several android phones and tablets since the original G1 was offered by T-Mobile. So far what I’ve seen in my experience is Sh##ty unfinished software and rushed devices! I don’t think any device I’ve owned has ever received an update as promised! Point Blank HTC Sense is a bloated piece of garbage (my personal opinion). I can also say the same for Motorola’s blur (Moto Cliq yuck!!) and Sony Ericsson’s whatever-u-want-to-call-it. For once I won’t blame verizon in this case. The fault is with HTC! #getyousomeCyanogenmod

  • Anonymous

    I agree with Mr. Waters. I am suppose to be receiving a ‘like new’ Verizon replacement Thunderbolt today (July 18th), but when it comes, I will not accept it. I paid good money for my Thunderbolt when it was new and I will not have it replaced with a ‘like new’, used phone.

    It would be different if I was the cause of this phone acting they way it does with all its problems, but it is not because of me.

    Verizon is still advertising new Thunderbolt phones so why not replace mine with one of them. Come on Verizon, don’t you value your customers?

    A class action law suite, where do I sign?

  • Ses020570

    How many more times is this article going to be published?????? I know I have seen it at least 8-10 times. There is no new info and HTC is doing nothing about it!

  • Ed Buchmann

    All the same here!A class action law suite, where do I sign?

  • ThunderboltSucks

    Thank you for this article, AndroidGuys, I too have been VERY frustrated with my Thunderbolt. I purchased it shortly after it was released and from the get go I have been frustrated. This is the second problematic handset I have had from Verizon. I had the Envy Touch right after it was released and although I knew plenty of people who hated it and all of its problems, mine got better with each up date. Everytime the Envy froze up I went in to check for an update and after a few all of my problems stopped. I have been trying to give the Thunderbolt the same patience but lets face it, this phone retails for around 700 dollars…It should work!!!!! The Thunderbolt is SUPPOSED to be one of the best on the market. I could get a REALLY nice computer for that amount of money. Based on all of your responses I plan to start calling Verizon every time this crapset screws up. The rebooting, extensive software issues, terrible updates, and overheating is ridiculous. I do not feel I should have to accept a “Like New” replacement when I have been using this phone for barely four months. The phone I have is like new. Take off the zagg shield and the case and it could go back in the box. I cannot believe this is coming out of my mouth after years of being anti-apple, but I wish I would have told the salesperson to shutup and give me an iPhone….and yes I just died a little inside…I hope Android Guys keeps this situation updated, I would love to see this terrible situation fixed or these phones recalled… I do not want to root and void my warranty, I want Verizon and HTC to find a fix for this!

  • Gordon695

    Yes! I can’t wait to get rid of mine… 

  • FluffyBunny

    I have a Thunderbolt, too. VZW and HTC have been in a pissing contest for months. HTC has a working version of GB for the Thunderbolt, but after VZW gets through loading it up with bloatware, it is no longer stable. As far as I am concerned, I bought the phone from VZW, not “the manufacturer” and I hold VZW responsible for the failures in the device. VZW’s lofty dismissal of customers with complaints is typical of their standard operating mode. They get away with it because they can. “Fair” never plays a part in how they operate.

    • Sadman

      So is there a leaked version of this GB?

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  • Cc4237jre

    I read online that the update was released and how to manually download it, which I already knew how to do. I have attempted this download countless times and everytime I select check new it begins searching for the update then just vanishes. I called VZW and the salesman says she and her bf have received the download and their thunderbolt work great now. She recommended I come to the store. I comply but she was no longer there. So I get a different salesmen who also has the thunderbolt and says that the download HAS NOT even been released yet and her phones check new option does the same to her, it just vanished after checking for new. She along with her supervisor recommends that I just wait it out like everyone else. so I wait it out and still get nothing. I called them back yesterday and was informed that they now are aware of another “known issue” where some thunderbolts will not see the new software update, therefore it won’t download it or recognize it and that VZW and HTC r now working on a patch and I will again have to wait. I was further informed that VZW will not even consider a like new replacement for this issue instead employees are told to tell the customer to wait it out. I’m so fed up with VZW and this pos thunderbolt. Mine reboots literally 10-20 times daily. They have done nothing to compensate us consumers for their screw up. Shoulda went to T-Mobile for the HTC sensation. Fk VZW.

  • Fredinaz2

    Mine is horrible and I am on board with the suit.

  • Apaniolasoul3

    I have had literally 12 phones since my first purchase of a Droid 2 global in January. I have gone round and round with Verizon, honestly logging in over 100 hours on the phone with customer service. I was literally handed a new thunderbolt after received so many certified pre owned phones….and am to the point where I am hugely disliking this one as well. I got the same responses that you did, and literally told them that I was going to file suit against them. I did not want someone else’s problem phone, and ended up with the tb. As it stands now, my phone goes to black menu screen numerous times a day, reboots, my reception is lousy and i rarely get more than 1x, while my fiancees incredible runs circles around my phone. I shall be calling Verizon yet again….its very frustrating…..just wish my phone performed at the level that they claim.

  • Dave

    Wow! And I just had my head office order the Thunderbolt for me today! This will be my 1st Android phone. The dealer never said, “Here’s a list of ‘Certified, Like-New Products. Interested in buying one?” I thought I was buying a new phone, not just a chance at either a new phone or a ‘Certified Like-New’, one. The order should have been placed this morning. I will do my best to cancel it and warn the rest of our staff.

    ‘Verizon Wireless would not consider this an extraordinary situation’!? Yikes! This is standard for Verizon?! I can’t believe it. That spokesperson had better hope his supervisors do see what he’s saying. And then he nit picks over the guy’s comment about being patient because everyone was having the same problem, saying ‘not true’, ‘not EVERYone was’! So what!? The guy was patient needlessly!? He gave Verizon the benefit of the doubt that it was working on a large problem and would take care of its customers as quickly as was reasonably possible. That spokesperson for Verizon should be fired.  


    Sure glad to see this info. I was a few days from paying off my AT&T contract on three phones and getting at least one TB with Verizon. I will look elsewhere.

  • Rainmaka

    [email protected]

    would like help rooting mine! please and thank you

  • Broadbentjd

    I think you should this phone has been truly a let down

  • Bs4chailer

    I bought this phone as I was tired of having 3 devices (cell phone, PDA, 3G card) to deal with.  This promised a database feature with Docs to Go – this feature actually works.  Having a Mobil Hot spot, after phone and sim card change outs and phone replacement it still did not hold a signal  or in many cases could not find a signalwhile I was in a major metro area.
    Finally told them to turn off the Hot Spot feature and purchased a separate 4 G Card.  Still have problems with lockup and re-boot.
    This phone should be replaced to all users with something that acdtually works as advertised!!!

  • Anonymous

    Has anyone had the problem of the TB randomly sending your text messages to other people that you did not send to? Brought it back 5 times, had it reprogramed, had the “required updates”, and I’m on my second TB since March. Still does it and battery is getting worse. I use Advance Task Killer but it does no good because as soon as you kill an app it just restarts it immediately. Will rooting it fix this issue? especially sending random texts to wrong people?

    • Sadman

      Rooting and putting on a different rom will cure this and a lot of other problems the TB has. But root is not for everyone. If you should decide to root please do a lot of reading in the forums about rooting. Once rooted if you take the phone into VZ the warranty is gone but there is a way to un-root the phone if more problems occur. If this is something you don’t want to try and tackle HTC promised that gingerbread would be out by the end of the month for the thunderbolt. That should cure all the problems the phone has. I have been running gingerbread on my phone for months but I rooted mine and it is a great phone now. But like I said if you can live with it hopefully they are to be taken at their word and the gingerbread release will be out within 15 days.

  • Tim

    Could I have some help rooting? [email protected]

  • Maysone4u

    I would like 2 reboot my phone also thunderbolt thanks [email protected]

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  • JBlum

    I have had the SAME problem with my Thunderbolt and experienced the SAME frustrations that Mt. Waters has/is experiencing.

    The FIRST DAY I had my Thunderbolt(April 2011) it took 3 hours to activate. Got home, could not make or receive a call.  First week, had to get a replacement battery due to my original battery over heating.  Reboots, Changes in my settings done randomly, inability to connect to the network. Signal strength non-existant when person next to me shows 3-4 bars available. The list goes on and on.  Have replaced 2 batteries, 2 ‘like new phones” and 2 SIM cards in the past 8 months.  Should have gone in sooner for repair/replacment but (ai am not exaggerating here) it takes 1.5-3 hours every time I go into the store. I do not have the luxury of that kind of time on a weekly basis just to show my Thunderbolt is the WORST phone on the market and I am stuck with it for 2yearsy customer service from Verizon.

  • Yes they should give you a new phone!! I have a thunderbolt phone too and verizon wont do anything. wait, I have insurance so I can pay the deductible and get something else. Why should we have to put out more money when we paid for a phone with problems from day one. I can’t wait to get rid of this phone!!!!!!!!!!! verizon is loosing customers over this crap.

  • tekibeki

    I am having the same problems with my thunderbolt..I had to go to verizon twice to get some results..even though I got a good deal,I still had to pay some money I didnt want to pay..I think because it wasnt our fault, they should have given us a free update..I am very upset over the situation and would like a class action suit to be taken against someone

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