For those just tuning in, T-Mobile has told its BlackBerry customers to “Get Less!” by instituting port blocking that prevents any 3rd party apps that need internet access from working. For me and many others, this meant that our instant messaging applications, like Verichat, were suddenly useless. We pleaded, begged, and even tried to social engineer T-Mobile to get them do something about the problem, but they turned a deaf ear, and decided that their BlackBerry customers didn’t really matter.
Well, in true Internet spirit, the developers over at PDAApps, makers of the Verichat IM app, decided to treat T-Mobile’s boneheaded port blocking and customer service attitude as damage, and route around it. The latest versions of Verichat (starting with 1.66b) now provide full IM capability – MSN, AIM, Yahoo, and ICQ – despite T-Mobile’s port blocking.
That makes me one happy BlackBerry user! Even though our grassroots campaign to get T-Mobile to un-screw BlackBerry customers failed, PDAApps has shown that smart developers and users can and will route around any damage that deaf, monolithic corporations inflict upon our communication networks.
Markets are conversations, and customers (and developers) are smarter than most companies give us credit for. We won’t just bend over and take it. Looks like even though the Cluetrain was trying desperately to make a delivery to T-Mobile, no one there was awake enough to accept it.