RIM Botches BlackBerry outage communication

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.

TOPICS: BlackBerry

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. 

Topic: BlackBerry

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  • Don't Like The Service? Seek An Alternative.

    Zero communication. Partners, such as Verizon, only said that their network is fine. The News section on RIM's site said nothing.

    Business is business and must continue. Without communication, business fails. If your internet ISP went down and you could not contact someone, would you continue to use them? I think many businesses will now seek a backup to RIM, if not a more user-friendly alternative.
  • Blackberry outage

    Blackberry ( RIM ) has been very successful and has a great device. It seems people need to just chill a bit , its not the end of the world and we will manage during this outage. I dont think people should realize this is just a part of our world we live in now. Occasionally my electricity goes off as well.
    • Suck up

      This type of response is as stupid as those which come from MacNuts when flaws in their beloved POS are pointed out. It's one thing to have an outage. It's another to refuse to talk to your customers about it.

      BTW, I have NO personal stake in this. I do not use the device.
      • Duh! - say what? NT

      • LOL

        We can all see where your fight is.

        But, thanks for pointing out the superfluousness of your post.

        I have to agree, RIM needs to be a bit more forthcoming here. I have been looking at devices of this sort, and this behaviour will move that one (BB) down a notch or two on my list.
  • This is not the first time.

    I have a Crackberry, I use it everyday and i can tell you that the world did not
    come to a halt for me today but it does really aggrivate me that this company cant
    lift a finger to post something on their website and that they only said something
    after 13 hours and lots of preassure from CNBC. Thats just BS RIM.

    We pay lots of money for the hardware and the monthly service, RIM should have a
    voice and also a fault tolerant platform. I always thought each carrier was
    independent from each other when it came to Blackberry, but apparently not. I
    would offer that this in itself is a bad design. Take a quick look at the TCP/IP
    protocol RIM and learn something from it. If one network is down packets simply
    route elsewhere, the same should apply to sucha critical application, if one server
    is down or one gateway is down services should use a backup server or path.
    There should never be an " All of our resources are in one basket" and they all fail

    • Blissful Peace

      I went kicking & screaming to the BlackBerry. My employer (stupidly) went to the Blackberry despite the fact that 90% of us have no need for 24/7 email. While I am enjoying the serenity of this outage, I sure am glad I have my plain old personal cellphone - it works just fine.
  • Big deal

    Old Techie
  • Much of the world?

    Larry Dignan writes:
    [pre]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.[/pre]
    Much of the world? WTF? I live in a city of over a million people, and I rarely, if ever, even see one of these devices. I don't know anyone with the device. And this is journalism these days? Check your facts please.
    • You're not looking hard enough

      I don't know where you live but you can't even get in an elevator these days without seeing someone using one. They're almost standard issue for company road warriors. I have a Q running on the company's exchange and it works great. It works very much like a blackberry. No touch screen.
  • What outage?

    Who exactly is affected by this outage? I use the Blackberry Internet Service through Cingular (AT&T) and have not experienced any outage at all.
    • check again

      Mine is thru cingular as well. there was at least a partial outage over the weekend, and service has been even sketchier since Tuesday.When I got suspicious at the silence, I powered down & voila! - got a small batch of messages - then nothing.
  • The only thing I noticed ...

    was that I had about 15 emails come in just after midnight, all timestamped at 12:44am. But the sent time in the header is correct.

    Defintely not the end of the world as we know it.
  • Give me a break!

    I'm still trying to get my cellphone to make 5 calls in a row without service being fropped and you crackberries want email service 24 hours a day with no problems....good luck...lol

    The only service in communications I have ever had that was perfect in every means is vonage and now they might be out of business, why? because Verizon noticed they were perfect and we can't have none of that....it could start a trend...God forbid.
  • The worst part ...

    ... is that I was blaming my carrier for the outage -- not RIM.
    M Wagner
    • Faulty fault

      Considering that you chose to blame your carrier first, they must've had some nasties in your history with them to warrant that focus with your wrath.

      As for me, with all the past problems T-Mobile has had with their EDGE network, I never even gave a second thought as to this being a problem with RIM. Even now knowing after-the-fact about the true reason why my 8700 couldn't email (or connect to the web) during the outage period, it's not like I'm apt to feel any guilt for falsely blaming T-Mobile. Non-service is non-service, regardless of who fault it is. I pay T-Mobile, I expect service from them even though it goes through RIM.
  • Less middlemen, less headache

    Why do you need RIM to sit between your email server and your phone? (And charge you money. And cause outage if you fail.)

    My WM 5.0 phone connects to our company's Exchange server directly, all that I pay for is the unlimited data plan from the operator. It is hard for me to see what value would a middleman like RIM add to this.

    On the side note, to show how busy is the entire industry is with shafting customers wherever possible, when I signed up form my data package with my operator, they wanted to sell me a "corporate e-mail package" for an extra 10$/mo. They told me I will not be able to access my corporate e-mail servers without that. It was all BS of course, all I need is a data pipe from my WM to the mail server.
  • No problem with our Q Phones

    We just recently standardized on Q phones as our email/phone/calendar solution.
    They work very well. My sympathies to the Blackberry guys and girls.
  • Weird

    I have no idea what this "outage" is all about. I have been sending and receiving emails, sending and receiving text messages, etc. for the last two days. Maybe my carrier (T-Mobile) has some kind of backup system, or maybe this is really a device problem. I'm still using a BB 7100.
  • Blackberry and other E-Voidance Policy

    Blackberry like many companies have an E-Voidance Policy. You cannot reach them or support using normal Internet communication methods nor will they fess up when things like outages happen. Their contact-us page or link is anything but. More references to non answers or answers only geeks understand. E-Voidance even shows up in the voice mail messages when you call toll free numbers - the recording comes on and tells you to go to a website for the answers. Most of us would like the ease of answers on the web than the hours on hold and three levels of tech support before the getting something fixed or working. If you work for a company who's business is dependant on the Internet check out how easy it is to get assistance. Better yet have your Mom or Dad see if they can get help/support if not you probably have an E-Voidance policy with-out even knowing it. Test your key word support search. If it repeatedly comes up Zero then your support system is broken. Links to Sprint, Cingular,etc that handle Blackberry service should be easy to find.