This probably wouldn’t merit any discussion if Verizon hadn’t been so unnecessarily shady. It’s tough when your phone battery drains fast, but most people recognize that new features and tech can have that effect.
In a Sunday morning tweet, the wireless provider offered up a suggestion for customers struggling with a fast-draining battery. And while the substance of the advice boils down to “turn off 5G if your phone supports it,” that’s not actually what Verizon’s tweet said.
“Are you noticing that your battery life is draining faster than normal?” the tweet, which Verizon apparently deleted while this story was being written, asks. “One way to help conserve battery life is to turn on LTE.” (h/t The Verge for spotting the tweet)
While the advice is technically accurate, it’s also misleading. See, LTE is active by default as a backup for those times when 5G isn’t available. Following these instructions actually has the effect of turning off 5G.
But wait, things get weirder. At one point, a Verizon Twitter follower noted the dissonance between the company promoting “new 5G ultra-speedy phones” while also coming up with advice for battery drain issues that amounts to “hey turn off your 5G.” It’s hard to read the company’s response as anything other than a straight-up deflection.
Do you see what’s happening here? The initial tweet was about troubleshooting battery drain issues. But this Verizon response changes the subject and makes the conversation about speed issues. This is despite the fact that the tweet it’s replying to wasn’t citing speed or battery issues; it was putting the company on blast for sending mixed messages.
None of this is a huge deal when all is said and done. But there’s real “the cover-up is worse than the crime” energy emanating from the whole situation. Yeah, 5G is probably a source of battery drain. People might have gotten mad if Verizon had just up and said that, but it still would’ve been the truth.
Instead, the company tried to play PR games and shift the message away from “5G is a battery drain” to make it more of a “LTE is a battery preserver” kind of thing. Then, when someone pointed out the fact that those two things are the same, the response was a performatively oblivious change of subject. As if all that wasn’t enough, Verizon just up and deleted the tweet as media organizations took notice.
The whole thing is just odd and unnecessary. People on the internet are smart enough to see through this. Verizon would do well to remember in the future that a little transparency can go along way.