What I've found works is to clip a sling to the biner that the rope goes around (not the one attaching the device to the anchor), and pulling on this sling. When the biner is pulled away from the device it allows the rope to feed, but still provides plenty of friction so that you aren't going to get a sudden unexpected release like can happen with the approved method (obviously, make sure you are holding the brake side of the rope still).
That is PRECISELY what our local, very experienced (20+ years) climbed did and he dropped his partner to the ground as a result. There's a reason why BD and Petzl instruct you to use the release hole.
I guess he wasn't experienced enough to know that you never let go of the brake side of the rope
I don't believe that was the issue, if I am thinking of the same accident. It was pulling on the biner in combination without redirecting the brake strand
. He couldn't be held and dropped.
I have lowered many times on a guide, and as long as you use the hole with a sling redirected and attached to your harness in combination with the brake strand redirected, there should be no problem.
The real problem is that so many climbers (myself included at one time) buy them, use them and when they need to do something like lowering, they either don't know how or even worse, know in theory and are figuring it out on the fly.
Once I realized that I was missing this vital piece of information, I practiced in a safe setting.
Every piece of equipment has it's advantages and disadvantages.