Verizon Offering Push-to-Talk "Free for Life" on the BlackBerry Tour 9630

Tour 9630 Free PTT
By Adam Zeis on 30 Apr 2010 11:19 am EDT

Verizon's Push-to-Talk service has been active for a few weeks now, and perhaps as a sign of just how many Tour users haven't added the service, Verizon has sent out emails to Tour users letting them know they can get the service free for life. The email states that users need only add the PTT software and service to their device before June 30th and they will get to keep it free for the life of the contract. To me this seems like a sign that PTT isn't going over as well as they thought. If you're a Verizon Tour user you should see the email pop up in your inbox, but if not, hit the link below to download the software and get rolling. Are you using PTT on your Tour? Leave a comment and let us know. Thanks to everyone that sent this in!

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

Verizon Offering Push-to-Talk "Free for Life" on the BlackBerry Tour 9630


Thats what they told me. It's to bad the .591 software required to run it was so crappy and unusable that I had to migrate back to .419. Actually they told me that its good for the next 30 years, if my memory serves me correct.

I wish the PTT was available across the board, it is the only thing I miss from my Nextel days. There should be a way to add software to any BB and use a conv. key to operate it.

its not that sales of ptt are going poorly, they launched this promotion the day the software upgrade became available. the idea seems, get a whole bunch big base of people using it and talking about it, then when people come to upgrade later, their friends and colleagues have it and would be more apt to add the feature. so many people say that they dont know anyone that uses it, well, now with vzw giving it away for free for the first 2 months for people for life, then chances are, they will have someone they know using it. great incentive for businesses that use it too.

i was just thinking along the same lines, that this will probably be something VZW service employees conveniently brush over when people do upgrade their devices/renew contracts, at which point people will be paying for PTT because they didn't expressly ask to have it removed from their plan.

and i agree that this move is likely a result of PTT's unpopularity with Tour owners to this point.

"Free for life". My life, carrier/verizons life, or device / 9630 life? This is simple one, whichever is shortest!

Devices / phone models do not last very long, so worst case for Verison would only be a few years.

if I knew anyone else that has the service. I have known two people in my like that ever had a phone with PTT. It could be usefull but no one uses it.

Honestly, I don't care...I'm one of 2 people I know that has a Tour, plus I'll be getting a Bold as soon as it comes out, so why bother? If they include the deal for the Bold once it's out, I'll consider it.

Its not that sales of PTT is going slowly, its that people know if you really need a PTT service nothing is better than IDEN.

I've got a Nextel thru work, and there is no better PTT service available.
That being said, I'm on hold with VZW customer service right now adding PTT to my service. If it's not going to cost me anything I might as well have it. GF has a Tour, so does my buddy from work. Just makes my Tour an even better communication device!

PTT is kinda pointless...most people dont have PTT and the VZW Tour users that do can just call the other person for free with the IN Network. I tried it once but it got old in about 1 minute when we realized we could just talk through a phone call and get clearer and less confusing convos

PTT is so annoying. I always hated people on their Nextels, hearing the loud beeps and loud conversations in the middle of stores. I'd rather PTT not even be an option...

I kinda miss PTT when I had nextel(in 2005)...but it was free with them...wish I could get it for free on my 9700

they told me i need to have a data plan over 40 bucks, which i felt was weird. and so i'm trying it out right now, paying 5 a month but only have 1 contact with ptt. im gonna probly get rid of it

I called verizon after installing the app, the lady had absolutly no clue what I was talking about even after referencing this post...and let me know it is not free and that she'd gladly put it on for an additional $5 a month.

I know she had no clue wtf she was talking about do I go about adding it without having to deal with CS who doesn't know what's going on?!

When I added it to my account the CS rep didn't know anything about the promotion either, until I mentioned promotion code 19038.

I called CS to get this on my phone and he said there would be a $5 monthly charge. I don't think memo has gotten to all Verizon employees.

It probably hasn't, the guy I talked with had to go check to make sure, and he confirmed that it is infact free, he even double checked the promotion code to make sure it applied to my account.

I would rather not turn my blackberry into a pieace of crap boost mobile walkie talk. If I wanna push to talk I push Vlingo and say call this person and it dose and its not just one so thanks but no thanks

i just talked to them now and he said that it was only for the enterprise accounts but offered me 2months free to try it out anyone else get this?

I'm not 100% sure, but I would imagine that it would be until you cancel your service with VZW.
I look at it like if you signed up for a particular rate plan, and eventually it is no longer offered, you can keep that rate plan forever, gets grandfathered in. I would think this would be the same.

If u currently have a Tour then yes, its free.. But if u renew or upgrade to another device No.. The Tour is retired so if u get another phone besides the Tour PTT isn't a option.

I love this.......

"All it takes is a simple software upgrade...." ......that makes your phone crash and burn!!!!

No thank you VZW. I am sticking with my stock 4.7 OS.

I signed my wife and I up for PTT a couple of days after Verizon introduced it, and so far I am not all that impressed. There have been several times that I have tried to connect to her phone, where it just timed out and failed to connect. I was able to place a voice call to her immediately afterward and get her with no problem. We have both also had several occasions where we had an ongoing PTT conversation, but what we were saying was incomplete on the other end. Sometimes it was cut off, and others the transmission started after we started talking (Yes, we did wait until after the beep after pressing the button to start talking...). It is a neat concept, but I don't think that it is quite reliable enough yet.

The ad says the life of your device, not contract. Look at the right side of the ad. However, as stated above, CS doesn't seem to know about it. Rather than respond to the post here, it would be better to wait until you receive an email directly from VZW or give it a couple of days to filter down to the ranks before calling and asking for information. Thus far, I have found the .591 to be a very stable OS. I have experienced no problems with it at all. Not sure what the "crash and burn" is about. I have never had any BB do that. This isn't Windose.

Hmmm...If you look at the next to last sentence on the left
of the promo, it does say "Add Push to Talk on the Blackberry Tour FREE for the life of your contract.".

Well, no kidding. The text on the left side says Contract, the right expressly says "device". So VZW, WHICH IS IT??

If it does turn out to be device, then what do they consider the "life" of the device? If it is the sales life, then it really doesn't matter since the Tour is going EOL soon...

A few of us were going to join up just because we thought we'd throw money at it to try, but now that they are making it illegal to use your phone while driving, without the handsfree option, its pointless cause if someone beeps me and I answer, technically i'm not handsfree and can get the $150 fine for it. Plus, you can't hear sh!t on speaker in a car with the windows down.

Customer service rep just came back on and put it on two of my phones for free and I am not an enterprise customer. She had to call the promotions department who verified promo. This is how it works. they put it on your account and the $5 charge shows then it shows a $5.00 credit.

From an earlier promo that should still be ongoing -- I apologize for the formatting, but it is cut/pasted from the actual PDF file (NOTE: The actual promotion codes are contained at the bottom of this info. I activated this on my account, and it actually showed up as such on my recent invoice!):

"Good News! Customers who activate the Push to Talk feature on compatible BlackBerry smartphones from March 30 – June 30, 2010* will receive the Push to Talk service for free.

*Promotion end date is subject to change.


-- The promotion is available to all sales channels for new activations and existing customers who add the Push to Talk feature.

-- Customers who activate the Push to Talk feature on compatible BlackBerry smartphones during the promotional period are eligible for the $0 pricing for the length of their contracts as long as they maintain the voice and data requirement and Push to Talk feature on the account.

-- The free offer applies when Push to Talk is added to qualified voice and data plans and Nationwide Voice & Email Plans with monthly access of $34.99 or higher.

-- -- Exceptions - the Push to Talk feature code can also be added with:

-- -- -- The $9.99 Small Business SharePlan secondary lines with data plan of $29.99 or higher added

-- -- -- The $9.99 Family Share plan secondary lines with data plan of $29.99 or higher added

Other Price Plan Guidelines

-- Customers who activate the Push to Talk feature on a standalone $49.99 BlackBerry Data plan are not eligible and will be charged $5 for the feature.

-- The promotion feature cannot be added to flat rate plans; i.e., $11.99 or $14.99.

-- Extension of the free offer to customers with non-standard plans or features will go through the normal non-standard approval process.

Qualifying Customers

As always, it is imperative that you qualify a customer for the services you sell - even a free promotion. If it is not appropriate for a customer’s needs, it can cause confusion for the customer and put your Net Promoter® results at risk. It can also drive unnecessary calls to Customer Service.

Keep these points in mind as you qualify your customers.

Push to Talk on BlackBerry is a powerful service for customers who need instant communication and will benefit from the ability to:

-- Connect with team members in the next room or across the country.

-- Make group calls with up to 50 participants.

-- Use Presence to see who’s available for Push to Talk calls.

-- Manage Push to Talk contacts for your entire company online.

-- Access email and the Web while you’re on Push to Talk calls.

Feature Codes

For this promotion, the feature codes below will be applied
as $5 with a 100% discount to the appropriate plan types.

The promotion code 19038 will auto-attach when one of the
feature codes is added to an account.

-- 75404 Consumer

-- 75406 Enterprise"

The reason they are doing this for the Tour is because the 5.0 OS stinks, but they need to validate PTT for other models and since a lot of Tour users are either downgrading back to 4.7 or not going to 5.0 Verizon doesn't have enough feedback to see if it's decent software to push to every model.
Verizon.... Keep your PTT I like my phone to work right....

5.0 version .519 is TERRIBLE! You HAVE to have it to run PTT and when you keep PTT running (even if you don't talk to anyone) it eats up battery life. I have it, and never have the feature enabled because I can't make it half a day on battery. This version of 5.0 is horrible for battery life. If you run any apps, it eats way to much battery. NEVER did this 4.7. Since I never use the PTT feature now, I'm switching back to version .419, that was the best 5.0 out for the tour. Far too many bugs with .519. Browser click issue, terrible battery life, and the most annoying is sound profile bugs. When I put the phone on silent mode, it shouldn't vibrate in my pocket! that is what vibrate only is for!

Someone posted the fact that it was free on another site a few days after Verizon released the official .591 OS. I called Verizon and they had no clue what it was, after persistently telling them to look harder for the promotion, they finally found it and signed me up.

I have used it a few times. I have about 6 friends in my PTT contact list. So far, it has been fun just to play around with but other than that it kind of sucks. The problem is, the only way to disable it is to go into the phone settings and do it. There is no option in the PTT app to set yourself to unavailable or something similar. This would be very handy because currently with the app, you can select someone from your list and just barge right in on their phone. If they do not have their phone set to silent, your blabber would come through loud and clear through speaker phone without them even accepting it. If they have it set to silent, it comes through the handset ear speaker which can still be heard if you are in a meeting or something. I had to remove my boss from my list because his name was accidently bumped on my list when I was out at the bar late one night. Overall, it is neat for a while but unless they change it to prevent the barging in, it is just kind of a piece of junk.

My HTC Incredible is on its way for delivery after FOUR warranty replacements for my 9630. And who really uses PTT nowadays?

That's a really good marketing ploy. Get people hooked on it and then when they want to upgrade their device, they no longer have it for free, haha.

PTT is the only thing I miss about having a Blackberry on Nextel. I wish this service would come to AT&T. Is it even possible to have PTT on a GSM network?

Why are so many people upset about this? If you have the Tour and do not want it just don't get it. I know having the Storm 2 I am hoping this will be become available to me, because I would use it. Verizon could have a winner here if they launched it to the rest of the blackberry family. Having it only available to the Tour severely limits its use. Verizon if you are listening and offering this service for free, to have customers get used to it and stay, then offer it to more devices. Once people get used to it the majority will like it and stay. Thats why Nextel was loved so much. Actually a good customer marketing tool.

just dialed *611 to talk to vzw, and she had no idea what i was talking about. tried using any of the promo codes listed in this thread-19308, etc.-and got told "there's no way to enter a promo code for this service." if i wanted it it would be $5 a month...but honestly, i can't seem to imagine using it all that much, either.

Just when I thought the nightmarish PTT was out its way out, VZW is still trying to force a comeback. There is nothing more annoying than having to deal with people on the phone in public places, except for hearing the static-y other side of the conversation.

I think PTT is only useful for business use. (Employees in the field etc.) Completely pointless for personal use.

Just dled app and called vzw to activate feature. It appears to be working fine, but of course I don't know anyone else with PTT capability.

Anyone who has it willing to trade PTT numbers so I can try it out please PM me.

i got it and have been playing around with it but don't have much use for it... i can see where it would be use full but right now i don't need it much

Was told by Verizon who was reading the promotion from their list of promotions. They said that it say s "free for the life of the contact" not "free for life."

I never understood the benefit of PPT and always thought it was lame to hear someone yelling through a phone "Hey Joe, you there". Might as well just install a ring tone that says that and then let me connect by _phone_ to have the conversation ;) If you want to hear it announced to the world like PPT the push the speakerphone button ;)

I have the tour 9630 with Sprint but don't have PTT. Is there a link where I can install it to my phone with instruction please. Not real good with this and I'll appreciate all the help.

give the rep the code ""19038"" , she even talked to her supervisor about it and supervisor knew nothing.

Don't trust this 100%. I was told the same thing by Verizon, but noticed that my bill was charging both my sister and I for it. It was some sort of crap about having to meet certain requirements. I own the Tour, I am still under contract, and I still didn't qualify. So I made them remove it and charge back all the charges. Just a word of caution.

Push to talk is obviously for a perticular user. For reaching employees out in the field or several coworkers at the same time it is 100% useful. I agree it is bothersome to hear the beaps in a restaurant, but the service has a place for businesses. For businesses that rely on Nextel, there is a clear need for a better quality service of PTT through another carrier or system.
Main problem is Nextel has most of the vendors that are using such a service and is almost impossible to switch.