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Why does Verizon cripple the GPS on the BlackBerry 8830 and lie to customers about it?

The RIM BlackBerry 8830 features a perfectly good built-in GPS functionality which should work with the built-in RIM mapping software as well as with Google Maps and third party GPS software. The device, as sold by Sprint has this functionality intact.

After initially advertizing the phone as GPS-enabled, Verizon, locked/encrypted the GPS access and allows it only to their Verizon Navigator application which they sell as a subscription for $10/month.

Customer service has been lying to customers about the reasons GPS is locked... False reasons vary from "Security issues with our network" to "The phone does not have fully functional GPS receiver." and "The GPS is only 911-emergency location enabled."

Here's an ad for the phone from Verizon's own Connect publication from spring 2007 listing GPS as one of the features of the phone. For the record, all phones on the page have 911-location enabled GPS, and only the BB8830 is advertized as GPS-enabled.

There are discussions by disappointed and enraged verizon customers at

and at

So, Dear Verizon, when are you going to un-cripple the phones you sell to the customers who trust you with their money and keep you in business?

To say that this behavior is disrespectful, is an understatement.
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