[Update: And Now an App] Marketing Blunder: Verizon Sends “Thunderbolt Available” Flyers to Customers


This has easily become the greatest device joke in the history of Big Red, and it’s getting even sillier. Reports have come in suggesting Verizon customers are now receiving promotional flyers for some new devices Verizon’s trying to push. Alongside a Samsung messaging phone, a Blackberry of some sort, and some other phone that I really don’t care to identify lies an HTC Incredible and – you guessed it – an HTC Thunderbolt that Verizon wants you to know is “Now Available”. (The irony here is that we’ve had to suffer through the same circus that was the aforementioned HTC DROID Incredible.) Really, Verizon? I used to laugh, but now it’s just downright mean. I think I feel a tear trying to squeeze out of my eye socket. [via Droid-Life]

[Update]: And now there’s a freaking application in the Android market. Great! Next thing you know, they’ll officially “announce” the device to be on store shelves only for them to mistake the dummy units for real phones. Can you tell I’m frustrated yet? [Source]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. We all need something to get our minds off this stupid verizon thunderbolt ordeal…. What a farce this has turned out to be. Enjoy this granddaddy device the trend setter… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HceTo4NN6sU&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  2. Ridiculous!

  3. Damn you Big Red for tormenting me!!!

  4. I can see it might have been building tension, but now it’s just annoying

  5. Who cares when you have Sprint 4G. We already knew Verizon sucks. If they are so great and LTE is so awesome why can’t anyone use it. Plus the LTE coverage is ass in my area and there is no unlimited plan. I will stick with Sprint thanks.

  6. Wow this thing is going to be obsolete before it hits the market. One of the very few times I am glad I am not on Big Red’s network, this is starting to go beyond a Epic Fail.

  7. Well…at least now people can stop saying “how can it be delayed if verizon never said it was coming on an official date?”. That realllllly pisses me off lol

  8. For those wondering, the other phones pictured are the Samsung Intensity II, the Verizon Wireless (ZTE) Salute and the Blackberry Curve 3G.

  9. This is a nightmare and a fraud. My mom called verizon and they said it wouldn’t be out for the next couple months.

  10. Signit, or Richard, whom ever u are, how do u know LTE is ass in your area? Let me guess, u are a Verizon insider with a sprint phone, and if LTE sucks so bad Richard, why is sprint trying to buy some spectrum? Just a few questions you might ask yourself before making these idiotic comments, also, you must be in the one area of the US that sprints service is better than big reds. Check out engadgets report on which US service provider has the beat overall call clarity, least dropped calls and best coverage. I believe the article even reads “no shocker here” and since your unable to comprehend what that means, it means everyone in the states except you KNOWS, that VZW is the best. Just a little FYI. Get your facts straight and u won’t look or feel stupid as much. And I’ll stop being a dick when people stop talkin shit out of jealousy, I don’t post on sprint news that Verizon rocks and speint sucks so I?

  11. This is just getting silly now. If millions of customers got these flyers a blunder of this type might force a release. Or could it be that Verizon are actually launching the phone on tomorrow (on a Friday)? Either way big red have killed some of their own hype. Apple obviously have more sway over Verizon than H.T.C. “Make them wait… Eventually 50 percent of them will go and get an iphone 4, at that point you boys can release the Thunder.”

  12. Hey richard, who said there would be no unlimited plan? Thats right, nobody. Now please, stuff back into your ass, that wich you have pulled out.

  13. Yea I agree I don’t understand why people hate one company or another its not like you get paid by them to post for them so who cares verizon meet up still will have the best android selection this year yet agan

  14. Just out of curiosity…Besy Buy’s online ad is through March 26th, which is a Saturday. And this same ad is still featuring the Thunderbolt. Now, with that being said, it COULD BE (rumor) true that this phone, may in fact, be coming the 24th…like i said…just curious. I don’t remember which article said look at the trends…Feb 10 = iphone, feb 24 Xoom, march 11 (off by one day, i know) Ipad 2…March 24 thunderbolt??? ….again, curious….

  15. Am I wrong is this blatant false advertising? This combined with Best Buys ad’s should mean someone (VZW, Authorized retailers, Best Buy) should be in some sort of legal trouble.

  16. I am going home and checking on this. If I get one I am so going to a VZW store and complaining until I get one. They shouldn’t be lying like this.

    As for the LTE suck/Pro Sprint argument. I’ve seen less ignorance out of a chicken. Sprint is very hit/miss bordering on piss poor. WiMax is throttled and not even controlled by Sprint.

  17. I don’t know if its illegal but it certainly is flat out stupid. They obviously were planning for the phone to be out tomorrow and who knows maybe they will shock us all. Let’s face it they basically promoted the phone without any advertising. Now that is just wishful thinking of course. They blew this harder than a two dolla hooked sucking for her crack rock. Someones dumb azz should get fired. I find it odd that they priced all the phones but the bolt. Prob don’t want to scare people with the 300 price tag….which I still think is rediculous. I want the bolt but I need two phones. Not about to drop 600 beans on them

  18. Where do people get this shit? Nobody said it was $300. Just like nobody said there would be no unlimited plan.

  19. I would like the Thunderbolt, but all these drama is crazy. Verizon said that the phone would come out on first quater (which I believe is Jan-Feb-March). If the phone doesn’t come out before March ends, then I will be very upset. So all we can do is just hope that the phone in fact come out at least at the end of March.

  20. Verizon’s marketing department is obviously completely incompetent. Im not sure Ive ever seen such a product release. If I were a stockholder I would be very concerned.

  21. The $300 is in Best Buy’s buyer’s guide, and the last 2 Sunday flyers.

  22. sorry my spelling and puncuation is wrong im just really mad and this is what I sent to verizon customer service as an email.

    Hi my name is Eric I sent an email thinking I would get a reply and never did well now Im really pissed off. I was given false information from both best buy and verizon employees regarding the release date for the htc thunderbolt which has now caused me to be without a phone for a month now. However im still paying for service each month which I dont think is fair considering the false info given. I spoke with best buy and verizon employees on feb 7th saying the htc thunderbolt would be released feb 14th so I sold my droid x to have the money to purchase it and to pre order it for when it came out. Now its been a month and I have no phone people keep saying they dont know when it will be out however I received a flyer stating htc thunderbolt now available so if you dont want me to report this to the better business bureau then either you need to stop charging me monthly for something I cant use. Or ou need to send me a loaner phone til I can get the htc thunderbolt with my story and proof of false advertisement I believe something can be done. Oh and if i dont receive an email back unlike last time il call them anyway because this whole situation is really starting to annoy people. If you do reply dont call me since i have a phone but you can email me THANK YOU

  23. @Kaizzle9
    Verizon is good at raping their customers finances and bad billing. And I know LTE has no good coverage in my area because Verizon says so. They cover the airport area best which is about 7 miles from the nearest metro area.
    Fact is Verizon is the company playing catch up, and unable to execute on a 4G rollout. Sprint is much smaller, has less money, has better 4G coverage, and proven speed on a congested network. Verizon sucks and the Thunderbolt is already outdated. In a few weeks the Evo2 will drop and be the flagship 4G phone in the USA probably until Q4.

  24. Thank you Tim. I love peoples attitudes. The shot comes from a stores so until I hear otherwise im going by that price. That price is outrageous. Either way Verizon still failed on this. Either extremely brilliant calculated. Fukup or a moronic fukup. Lol

  25. While Verizon never officially announced a timeframe for the Thunderbolt’s launch other than by end of Q1, the fact that Best Buy went ahead with preorders, the heavy rotation for commercials for the Thunderbolt from both Verizon and HTC, and now this flyer all show that they intended to have it released by now.

    While it’s frustrating, I’m sure they’re not releasing while they address some serious last-minute problem(s) it has, and I’d rather they get fixed BEFORE I drop $250 to $300 on the phone, and commit to another 2 year contract because of it.

  26. Richard: Sprint started rolling out wimax almost 3 years ago. It has stalled. No new markets since December, and that was just San Francisco. Verizon deployed Lte in 38 markets and 60 airports on 12/6/10. They have launched 2 additional markets since then. By 5/31, another batch of 40 markets will launch, bring the total to 80 markets in 6 months, covering over half the population. Sprint has 68 markets. That means Verizon will have surpassed what Sprint has done in 2.5 years. By the end of this year, 70% of the population will be covered. Verizon’s Lte markets cover a lot more area than Sprint’s Wimax. Lte is on a better frequency, providing better coverage. Sprint is about to ditch wimax. For you to say Sprint is so great and is better than Verizon is preposterous. Glad I dumped by 4G-less Evo and Sprint. Bring on my Thunderbolt!

  27. Is this a marketing/PR mistake? Obviously, but “fraud” or “illegal”? Some people are just plain ridiculous…

    A coming soon ad is by no means a contract, and is not enforceable in any court. Best Buy owes people their deposits back of course, and they should willingly do just that; but mistakes and/or intentional deception in advertising happen all the time. There is very little legal recourse for the consumer other than demanding a refund or just not buying the item.

  28. Why get mad at Verizon? Isn’t the problem with HTC not getting the product to them? The marketing for this is planned months out and reprinting/retooling the ad to remove one phone may be impossible or simply very expensive.

  29. Ummmm… Didn’t Verizon have a change in CEO or COO several months ago? Is the new guy trying to pile drive Verizon into the ground?

  30. Lol, someone brought their little girl panties to work to day. Holy Christ what a joke. Don’t worry, you’ll get your phone LONG before you ever get laid…so the timeline is pretty much the same.

  31. It’ll be worth all of the wait though. It’s stupid to get a new 3G phone when they will be unpopular with all the new 4g smartphones coming out. But verizon is pissing me off with the release if the tbolt. It better be the shit with all these damn delays.

  32. HTC shipped the phone long ago. This is not their fault.

  33. Yeah it’s all on verizons shoulders. They shouldn’t have mentioned the phone if they’re never going to set a date or release it.

  34. I wish someone would sue the crap out of them.. not sure if there is a legal argument there, but here’s to hoping!

  35. My friend at Verizon just told me the phone is in stock and was supposed to be released tomorow such still might happen but as of now plans are to anounce tomorow with sales starting monday. Htc is really getting pisses with Verizon so they r gettin it out asap. As to other networks and phones none r as good as Verizon. Ihave atrix. Right now and 4g wont be available till june. And the phone is pretty bad tmobile uses hspa and also terrible 4g.wimax is fake 4g and not surprising they all are going The lte route

  36. @17 SIGINT even if you want to think that VZW is “catching” up, at least it is THEIR network. They paid for it and created it from the ground up. They didn’t pay and support a third party company like Sprint is and has to have 4G service. The only thing Sprint has is that they have enough money to pay another company for their 4G service. They have enough money to pay for roaming on VZW’s network (apparently not enough as their unlimited plan gets cut off if you roam too much). Sprint is a joke as they cannot support themselves. Why do you think the rumors have been going around about joining forces with T-Mobile? Even T-Mobile doesn’t have the money to create their own LTE, so they are leasing/selling parts of their own network to make money. Oh, but let’s go by what Richard keeps braggin’ about…They have the best phones(only an opinion of course)…on SOMEONE ELSE’S NETWORK THEY LEASE FROM-4G THEY HAVE NO REAL RIGHTS TO. Wow, what an accomplishment!

  37. Marc is a MARK! If your friend told you THAT then MY friend told me that the Easter Bunny would have my TBolt! WTF!

  38. Sprint is king in my world nothing but the best service here in the city that never sleeps.. I personally have no issues with Verizon as a coverage provider i just don’t use them. I don’t like what they have done to the thunderbolt and htc and anyone who knows me already knows I’m a serious supporter of HTC/SPRINT and proudly will admit to being a Evo 4g head.. Nothing beats that not even some unproven thunder or bionic for that matter

  39. @My two-cents
    You do know that Sprint OWNS a majority stake in Clear, yeah? Not sure what your point is. Sprint has 4G, Verizon is a sad place with overpriced service. Oh and I used 180 gig of 4G data last month. Do the same and show me your Verizon bill. Oh wait. You can’t because Verizon is pathetic and can’t get their 4G devices out the door.

  40. Looks like MOTO -were smart in placing the Bionic release way after the TB release…TB looks cool and sounds pretty cool, however-at this point I think waiting for the Bionic maybe the way to go-or another 4g phone to be

  41. sue who and for what? For getting your hopes up? good lord. If a phone not getting released ruins your day THAT much– look I do understand but, keep it all in perspective.

    I think it’s interesting how pissed and defensive people get about their carriers.

  42. The club cant even handle me right now

  43. Richard, your evo has been beat a long time ago. By numerous phones, on every carrier. And, the tb blows it out the water.

  44. Good job Big Red. The fail is strong with you.

  45. @NIsme… Always great to see your USELESS POSTS…. EVO is a proven product that has lead ANDROID into the 4g landscape and will again lead ANDROID into a new landscape of 3D either way it HAS BEEN A TREND SETTER…. nothing on Verizon is a trend setter…. Get lost on these forums and take @kaizzle9 and @ksizzle9 WITH YOU

  46. Too bad the thunderbolt is just a glorified evo.

  47. It was a good phone, it had its day. That day has come and gone. As for “trend” setter, the og droid did more of that. And, your touting a phone that hasnt been announced yet, and wont be out for another 6 months. Go make an evo fanboy video on youtube, Im sure youd get a boost in subscribers.

  48. everyone’s getting their ‘ginas in a bunch! Oh and by the way, the Presdient of Verizon was the one who said 4G would be the end of unlimited data plans and VZW would be moving to a tiered structure… If you think you’re getting unlimited 4G, I have a bridge to sell you.

  49. @42 SIGINT Yeah, I know they own stock in Clear, that was why they kept feeding them money as they continue to fall(financially). What I don’t understand from you is that you are knocking a product and its price when it isn’t available. You have no experience with the product or the service. Currently pricing for 4G looks to be the same as 3G. You do know that they have 4G and was officially launched on Dec 4, but it is only for the USB devices and not for cell phones. When that came out, the USB connection price WENT DOWN $10/mo. The speeds are very nice, at least for now. LTE is in fact, cheaper to run as a network than 3G, so it makes financial sense for carriers to move to it. Sprint had to put so much money into Clear, that they raise the connection price of 4G $10, and now have the $10 premium charge for all customers, even though they may only have a 3G phone so they can help pay the bill, among other things. I understand you want to attack the pricing of VZW, and that is fine, but attacking a product or service you have used from a carrier you don’t have, doesn’t have much value. Even with the 4G that VZW is running right now, is in fact cheaper than 3G.

  50. Why are some of you acting like bothered women?

    really? Are you men, or whiny 12 year olds?

    This does piss me off, but what can you do. Further, I tried the Evo for a week, and it’s a world class top-notch phone, and holds its own even almost a year after its release. Can’t say that for the Droid X (which I also had since last summer).

    Either of these are better than the Samsung Fascinate I have now, at least until Samsung denies crappy ass bing on their phones, and gets rid of laggy touch wiz.

  51. This is probably a fake flyer made by verizon so they can further their amusment at us.

  52. The carriers seem to keep making themselves look worse and worse every day. T-Mobile’s Vibrant flop, Big Red’s Thunderbolt, etc. The list goes on and on and on and on. It’s time we just eliminate these stupid carriers all together and let the manufacturers start dishing out their own data/phone plans. Cut out the middle man and go straight to the source.

  53. @NIsme… A butthole that Evo 3D will be introduced march 22nd and released by june 1st 2011 that is 2plus months from now… Your an Evo hater and in general just a hater of anything… Thanks for your lovely youtube views…… LOSSER………

  54. He said tjey were moving to tired data, didnt day unlimited was getting touched. Big differance.

  55. Sure, June 2nd. If YOU say so.

  56. @Nlsme sorry, the President didn’t say it, just hinted at it… the CFO of Verizon did confirm it however during a webcast of an investor’s conference the week of March 1st – this summer unlimited is history… theres no way they’d be able to keep any decent amount of bandwidth with everyone having an unlimited bucket – watch and see; Verizon isn’t the most expensive for nothing

  57. Again, he only said they were moving to tiered data. Never said unlimited was. Being touched. You cant add on to a quote and still say they said it.

  58. But you right, they arent the most expensive for nothing. But, thats a good thing. You get what you pay for. Thats why sprint and tmobile are cheaper.

  59. As much as I want an android phone with 4 inch screen, after Verizon sending me a 5th refurbed htc incredible, I’m not planning on jumping on the thunderbolt bandwagon anymore (I had system restart problems, system phone memory problems, touchscreen and power button problems and problems with apps functioning at all from the home screen). The delays make me think that the software installed with sense UI on top is causing the problems, even though others claim its to do with the power consumption. Its essentially the verizon branded Evo, it can’t be that hard to get right even though its CDMA and not GSM. This time around I refuse to be a glorified beta-tester for untested hardware. If google would just create the hardware with standardized android as the OS, I would commit to buying another android smartphone. At this point, however, third party hardware manufacturers aren’t cutting it.

  60. As an employee of VZW you idiots need to grow up. First of all its a phone. Secondly why release a phone before it is ready? So that you all can call and whine everytime the phone lags for 3 sec? Or piss and mone about the battery life. Lastly, Verizon is the king of wireless service, they don’t promote cheap prices cause we are not cheap. Our network is superior and we offer the best lineup of Android Devices. Carry on suckers.

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