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Sun 12 Jul 2009 01:00 PM

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Etisalat upgrade ‘kills’ BlackBerrys in UAE

Performance enhancement patch issued by telco results in significantly reduced battery life

Etisalat upgrade ‘kills’ BlackBerrys in UAE
Etisalat patch sees battery life of BlackBerry devices reduced to barely an hour (Getty Images)

BlackBerry customers in the UAE are furious after a software upgrade issued by Etisalat yesterday significantly reduced the battery life of their devices.

“The problem came up when they sent a new batch to enhance the performance but instead they have killed all blackberry batteries by activating a process inside the phone which empties the battery in less than an hour if not charged,” complained a frustrated BlackBerry customer in the country who wished to remain anonymous.

“All our company employees who installed this batch file has been affected. They claim they are working on it, and the time frame to send a fix is said to be 7 days,” our source added.

Another Etisalat help centre agent gave a completely different response - advising affected customers to charge their device for three hours and then remove the battery without switching the device off. Once kept aside for five minutes, the battery should then be placed back into the device and left to power on automatically.

There’s no word yet on whether this is an effective solution and Etisalat has since apologised for any inconvenience caused.

"This routine upgrade process has now been stopped as a precautionary measure. Etisalat is investigating the problem and affected customers are being contacted by Etisalat to advise them about a solution to the current issue," a statement from the company read.

Related news: Etisalat's BlackBerry patch designed for surveillance

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van loon 11 years ago

Typical Etisalat. First they have you upgrade it within any prior description and when it turns out to be a very bad solution leave the customer stranded. When will they ever learn about CUSTOMER SERVICE.

Kunal Bajaj 11 years ago

I am a Blackberry Admin in our company and I can tell you that any amount of time spent charging/discharing will not help. For the time being, the best workaround is to wipe the handheld under the security options of the device and then re-activate your handheld

DubaiMax 11 years ago

Yep, it happened to me 2 or 3 days ago. Went to buy a new battery: no change. Went out to buy a new Blackberry. Was running fine, till the new batch arrived. and then the same story again. All these expenses and time wasted! Who will pay for all this? Of course the customers of etisalat. where in other places the customer is always right, here the customer seems to be allways the idiot... I was told by an etisalat agent to: backup the device, wipe the handheld, remove battery for 5 min, restore the device. doing that now and hope it will help.

H. A. 11 years ago

I have received the new batch of Etisalat and the moment I installed it in my machine all DATA services has been disconnected permenantly. After addressing this problem for Etisalat over the past 2 days and after all solutions by customer servise officers, I am till this moment have NO DATA service. Tried to find a way to remove this batch but unfortunately they said it is not possible, HOW COME?????? I don't know what they are doing!!!!

Fawzy 11 years ago

I am one of the casualties, and I confirm that a less than 6 months old battery has been renderred useless after installing Etisalat Batch... May I respectfully suggest that instead of apologizing, Etisalat, who is earning record profits, should provide AED 200, ( price of a new battery) as a credit to all blackberry users...

Phil Dubai 11 years ago

I was just about to purchase a new BB battery today when it occured to me that the Etisalat recently-downloaded software might had something to do with my dead battery. Then I scrapped that possibility assuming that Etisalat would at least test their new firmware before shooting to customers. I was obviously wrong. So unporfessional. So reckless of them. I am furious with this useless services from Etisalat. Good for nothing.

Amarnath Bantwal 11 years ago

To all Blackberry Etilsalat subs....what a way to get drained now....imagine running out of oxygen just when u need. Hope they fix it soon before people lost it. Cheers

Jacy Bott 11 years ago

This is Etisalat - dont think they would employee people who knew what they were doing would you?

Omar 11 years ago

Might this be spyware for lawful interception? Looks like all Blackberry's with this software installed could be monitored by the government: http://supportforums.blackberry.com/rim/board/message?board.id=BlackBerryDeviceSoftware&thread.id=5504 The spyware is developed by SS8. It has been removed from the Etilsalat website.

John, Dubai 11 years ago

You all can see what SS8 is all about. I mean...If you are going to interecept people's communications, you might as well do it in a discrete manner. What a mess Etisalat has made. Exposed to the max. Well deserved...