Research In Motion Apologise to Blackberry Users for Outage:
4 days of outage globally have seen RIM lose ground on Apple and other rivals as one of the worst communication problems of the modern age just went on and on and on.
With tens of millions of users suffering at the hands of a system wide meltdown on all five continents, Blackberry users were left without messaging, browsing and email services, an absolute disaster for business people and for research in motion in general.
2 CEO’s make joint apology:
RIM Executives Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis made a rare dual appearance at a news conference on Thursday where they were attempting to utilise a global media channel to patch up the issues that had created such a nightmare scenario for the company.
With profit warnings sending shares tumbling for most of the year, this issue has only compounded an otherwise pretty dire year anyway for the company.
Compensation sought from Blackberry customers:
It looks like Blackberry will have to compensate to some degree as so many people have been affected it would be a PR disaster if they were seen to not shoulder any of the issues with their own money, there is no doubt this problem has caused businesses lossed revenue.
But the main concern that RIM and blackberry now face is related to their reputation, as Apples new (unremarkable update has shown, when you are delivering quality that is reliable people will flock back and in Apples case pre-order in their droves.
I sense that anyone now looking to renew with a Blackberry will be looking elsewhere to Apple and Android devices.
Mike Lazaridis said in opening the conference call.
“I want to apologize to all the BlackBerry customers we’ve let down, our inability to quickly fix this has been frustrating.”
Wedbush analyst Scott Sutherland said.
“We still believe that most of RIM’s value is in the network and messaging business and this could crimp that value,”
With RIM now in control of the blackberry service in entirety there have been calls for the CEO’s to look much closer at how they dealt with the growing unease and dissatisfaction among users of their devices.
PR disaster made worse:
It has been mentioned by many professionals in the industry that the way RIM has not acknowledge issues or delivered timely apologies has been a PR crisis made worse.
Allan Bonner, a PR crisis management consultant in Toronto, went on to say:
“I think a statement of empathy that wouldn’t cost anybody anything could have been made within hours,”
With Spain’s Telefonica (which own o2 in the UK) stating that they would compensate customers for the outage, analysts expect these companies to recoup costs directly from RIM. It is however still currently unclear if they will be issuing an agreed compensation package as a matter of course.
Time will tell just how badly this issue is going to affect the ailing Canadian company, the problem which is believed to have been caused by a problematic switch at a slough data center, in England caused the backup system to fail and lead onto other issues that slowly went global.
With RIM’s overall share value dipping more than 50 percent this year after a series of poor product launches and profits warnings, the issue that has gone global could not have come at a worse time a sharp contrast to a company that could do very little wrong a few years ago.Anthony Munns