This past week Facebook was fronting for the Hotel California (You can checkout, but you can never leave...). Years ago I had a similar experience with trying to eliminate a Microsoft Passport account -- later Microsoft cleared that up.
It's no surprise. I've been in the startup gig. "Erase customer data" is the sort of thing that never gets beyond "priority C" -- but funding ends mid-way through the "A list". Facebook is unusually bad, but not qualitatively different.
On the other hand, there's the Motorola RAZR from Hell. There's no easy way to leave that sucker!
I did it anyway.
I'd replaced the Sprint V3M RAZR with a low cost AT&T Nokia (better phone too) enroute to iPhone 2.0. It's about twelve months old and in surprisingly good shape -- so I wanted to get the phone to someone who'd really use it. Any money for me would be nice.
I probably paid $150 to $200 less than a year ago, Second Rotation offered me $50 (shipping included). Motorola phones depreciate fast. The price/hassle ratio was good enough for me, so I accepted the offer. I rounded up all the gear, including tracking down the original 64MB MicroSD card.
Then I had to erase my tracks a bit. I'm not worried about someone plumbing the on-phone memory, I just didn't want my contact list available. Turns out Motorola never bothered to provide a complete phone clean-up utility.
Here's what I had to do:
- I tried calling with the phone and got a reassuring "not activated" message.
- From the manual I learned of the Security Menu options to remove contacts and "reset" the phone. I needed to know the security code to do this, but I'd never set one up. Turns out the Sprint guy set one up on purchase. Maybe they told me then what it was, but I don't recall it. Happily they followed the convention described in the manual -- the security code was the last four digits of my phone number. Now I know to set one up early.
- I formatted the Micro-SD card from my desktop (FAT).
- I found an option to completely clear my call log.
- I had do do a few other manual content cleanups.
I'll miss my RAZR. It gave me something I could really rale against.