More than 50% of BlackBerry users to ditch Etisalat - poll

Arabian Business poll reveals customers' anger over spyware allegations.

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By  Elsa Baxter Published  July 23, 2009

More than half of Etisalat’s BlackBerry customers are planning to ditch the UAE telecoms provider in the wake of the spyware scandal, according to online poll for Arabian Business.

The UAE firm is facing intense criticism following allegations it deliberately infected customers’ handsets with software to spy on peoples’ emails and texts.

Some 36 percent of BlackBerry users who took part in the online poll said they will cancel their Etisalat contract “immediately” and switch to rival telecoms provider du.

A further 18.7 percent said the controversy had put them off using their BlackBerry handset altogether.

However, 14.7 percent of respondents said they would do nothing about it, and 30.7 percent said they would wait for more information before making their mind up as to what to do.

BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) issued a strongly-worded statement on Tuesday claiming the Etisalat patch was spyware.

RIM stated: “Independent sources have concluded that the Etisalat update is not designed to improve performance of your BlackBerry, but rather to send received messages back to a central server."

Etisalat said the Java-based software was a “performance enhancement patch” designed to aid 2G to 3G handovers. The firm has so far refused to comment about the allegations.

stopped issuing the patch after it was found to greatly reduced the battery life of devices.

3610 days ago

you mean etisalat is bad and du is worst, please dont compare du with etisalat, i use to be an etisalat customer, and i have to say etisalat had the wrost customer service ever. they missed with my internet accounts and made me pay twoice for an account i didnt have and they didnt refund me anything, hell they even didnt listen to me. in du you are respected and you are the priority, they wont mess with customers trust. and the network in prefct and in some areas better than etisalat, and the wireless internet is much better than etisalat since etisalat is using antique equipments, so you can enjoy a fast blackberry usage. and its much cheaper, they raised thier usage to 10 GB, the same as etisalat. so far im enjoying using my blackberry with du. and if you have a little problem with your BB, they will give you a new one. i think etisalat should give new BB to all customers which i doubt it.

3613 days ago

If you want to unlock your etisalat blackberry, just call 101 and they will give you a code to unlock your blackberry. Source:

3613 days ago

Yo Ma Ma - ""50% have something to hide""?? You obviously use your Blackberry for nothing more but to look like you have something to do while you walk around teh shopping mall at all hours. Personally I will be switching and yes, I do have a lot to hide. A lot of corporate information that I do not need the snoops at Etisalat selling my business information to their local friends to try and undermine a deal or fact, I would rather pay TMobile and roaming charges knowing the information on my BB is only for my eyes and no one elses. James.

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