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Subscribers Sue Verizon Over Disabled Phone Feature

A group of Verizon Wireless subscribers has sued the carrier, claiming that it advertised Bluetooth file transfer features and then disabled the features in order to collect more money.

Specifically, the Wall Street Journal reported that the users filed a suit in a California court claiming that Verizon Wireless disabled a capability in the V710 phone from Motorola that enables the transfer of files from one device to another via Bluetooth. That, in turn, requires users to perform such transfers using a Verizon network service for which there is a charge. Bluetooth is still enabled on the phone for other tasks such as using wireless headsets.

"The problem is that manufacturers make the phones with certain capabilities and advertise them," the Wall Street Journal quoted the group's attorney, Michael Kelly, as saying. "When those functions aren't there or come at a price, the buyers get very upset."

A spokesperson for the company, while refusing to comment on the specific lawsuit, told the Wall Street Journal that users should get information about the capabilities of the phone from Verizon Wireless and not from the phone manufacturer, in this case Motorola. That's because it is ultimately up to the wireless operator to determine which features are made available to users, the spokesperson said.

Part of the description of the phone on the company's Web site says: "And with Bluetooth wireless technology, you can make hands-free, eyes-free calls, and connect to your PC or PDA whenever and wherever you want."