RIM Botches BlackBerry outage communication

Summary:Updated below: Research in Motion's BlackBerry has had an outage since late last night, but the company response was slow. If you dial the BlackBerry support line--877-255-2377--here's what you get: "Please be advised we are currently experiencing a service interruption that is causing delays in sending and receiving messages.

Updated below: Research in Motion's BlackBerry has had an outage since late last night, but the company response was slow.

If you dial the BlackBerry support line--877-255-2377--here's what you get:

"Please be advised we are currently experiencing a service interruption that is causing delays in sending and receiving messages. We apologize for the inconvenience and will provide update as they are available."

No timeline for restoring service. No initial response even as reports, first on WNBC.com, of outages came pouring in. And as Russell Shaw noted as he has covered the play by play--no outward signs of notification from RIM.

A few questions: Is this enough in terms of communication? Should RIM have been on the case earlier? Does it have an obligation to communicate with folks beyond the BlackBerry support line? 

The answers: No. Yes. Maybe. In the end a public statement would have helped--given a 13 hour outage (and counting) you'd think RIM would have something to say.

Or not. But the bottom line is much of the world is addicted to the CrackBerry and they want some communication when their fix is yanked away. What's next? These poor addicts may actually have to talk to each other.

Shaw notes that bulletin board servers are about to blow as complaints pile up. Life may be easier if RIM would communicate better. Shaw also adds some reasoning why RIM has largely been silent:

"Not only does the BlackBerry site offer no service advisory, but there is no acknowledgement of a problem that has been in effect for more than 12 hours now. That lack of notification is beyond slack. But to understand the reason for this, BlackBerry's corporate culture has always been to defer to carrier partners for consumer interactions."

As Shaw notes, RIM needs to post some updates pronto. We're waiting.

Update: Carolyn McCarthy reports that BlackBerry service is back, but hampered by the message backlog. Shaw has advice from telecom carriers. Overall, it looks like CrackBerry addicts have their fix. Now RIM can work on its communication skills. 

Topics: BlackBerry

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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