Hi folks. I learned something this past weekend I thought I'd share quickly. This is in regard to rooting and in regard to tethering.
I have a family member who works for VZW. He lets me use his employee account (he gets 5 lines, everything is 50% off), but as a result, I have to be more careful than the average person with what I do, what I say in text messages, etc., since upon my family member's hiring by VZW, they did an AOL on his account (Assumption of Liability) where essentially his account can be subjected to investigation by Verizon at any time (since they own the account due to the AOL). Anyway, this family member of mine is currently a Retail Sales Rep. He works for the direct/corporate side in a retail store in the NW region.
Friday mornings they have store meetings every week, and when he came home Friday he asked me how my day was. I said how my school's internet was out, but I was able to use my Wired Tethering app (through Koush's 184.108.40.206 Cyanogen ROM) to give internet to my desktop to get some school work done. He said "you really shouldn't do that anymore, we had a meeting about it, in fact, you could have your contract canceled as a result and have to pay an ETF and not be allowed to have service with Verizon anymore."
Obviously I asked what he learned to substantiate such a claim. He told me that in Friday morning's meeting, two things came up. First, his store manager gave an explanation to the team about what "Rooting" is, and that if a customer comes in with any Droid phone for troubleshooting/technical support, they are to ask to see the phone and to check the "About Phone section" to determine if a phone is rooted. If it is, the sales/customer support rep is to notate in the customer's account that they have made modifications to their phone which voids the warranty, and they are to refuse to help the customer with any tech. support and are to tell the customer to call in to customer care for further information (and customer care is supposed to let the customer know their contract has been canceled and that they owe an ETF and that VZW is dropping their service).
In addition, the store manager also covered tethering. Tethering is going to be cracked down on by Verizon, especially on Android phones, and apparently they have ways of checking if someone is tethering or not. Anyone caught breaking the rules will have their contract canceled, and they will subsequently be charged an ETF (early termination fee) and will have their service then suspended.
I know that most people know Verizon doesn't like tethering, and I know some have said if you don't go above 5GB/month you can't be caught, etc., but I choose to not follow that logic only because I'm on an employee account and I'm held to a different standard than most Verizon customers. You guys can do whatever you want, but I thought this was a fair warning to people who are rooted and who do tether - be careful what you do, Verizon certainly knows what's going on and they are now training their retail staff to watch for signs of these two activities. This isn't meant to be some fear-based message to get people to stop tethering. I wish I could tether, but I'm too afraid of being caught.
So, if you're rooted, make sure to flash to stock before going into a retail store for help with your phone; and if you're tethering, you should really watch how much data you use, and try not to tether unless you really are prepared for the consequences.
My family member who works for VZW said tethering was brought up since they were going over the Incredible and the fact that customers who want a Droid and who want to tether are to be sold an Incredible since it "officially" supports tethering (and it's going to cost an extra $30/month). I'm thinking of picking up an Incredible and paying the extra $15/month (I get half off) for the tethering just so I can do it when I need to (which is pretty often).