BlackBerry Outage: Can I Get Reimbursed?

The spreading BlackBerry service outage of the last few days has brought two questions to the forefront: Will I be able to get some sort of compensation for the outage? And… People still have BlackBerries?

As of right now, reports SmartMoney, no U.S. service providers have stated whether they will be reimbursing BlackBerry customers for the downtime. That’s likely because the outage is not related to the wireless service, but to BlackBerry Messenger and Internet browsing, both of which are processed by BlackBerry producer Research in Motion’s own network. And there’s nothing in your wireless contract that says your phone will always operate properly.

From SmartMoney:

But the last thing carriers want is a slew of unsatisfied customers. After all, when a phone stops working, users don’t call the phone’s manufacturer, they call the phone company. And while complaining won’t restore service, it could prove fruitful. Phone companies’ customer service reps can award credits and other restitution on a case-by-case basis, says Charles Golvin, an analyst covering wireless communications for Forrester Research.

Until wireless providers say something either way about reimbursements, Golvin suggests that this could be a good time for customers still months away from their next upgrade to talk their wireless provider into allowing an early upgrade.

“The best advice here is, you never get what you don’t ask for,” he says.

Is Your BlackBerry Out? How to Get Paid Back []


Edit Your Comment

  1. Cat says:

    I grow my own blackberries at home.

  2. Hi_Hello says:

    early upgrade?!

    so you want them to sign another 2 years contract with a company who hasn’t really decided if they will offer some sort of reimbursements or not…

    • Rachacha says:

      Pushing for an early upgrade would allow you to get out of your contract with a BlackBerry (with a single point of failure) and move to an Android, iPhone or Windows Mobile phone that process data differntly that BB, so while you will still have data and voice outages, the carriers can usually find a quick patch/workaround to keep the outage localized to a fairly small geographic area rather than BB that routes all traffic to their servers, and when their network goes down, the entire nation is usually without BB service.

  3. thaJack says:

    I still have a BlackBerry for work. And, to make matters worse… it’s on AT&T.

    • Darraign the Sane says:

      My company was already in the middle of switching switching our AT&T BlackBerries out for Verizon Android phones when RIM up and decided to crap out today. Talk about final nail in the coffin.

  4. Tunnen says:

    On the bright side, I’m finally getting some work done at work without all the interruptions of my office provided Blackberry.

    Of course by “work” I mean posting on Consumerist =P

    • mauispiderweb says:

      See? Landlines.

    • mauispiderweb says:

      Nice that we do the same kind of “work” every day

    • Chasing Headless Chickens says:

      I’m “working” too! My work-provided Blackberry is essentially a paper-weight anyway, even when the network is working.

      • Tunnen says:

        I posted a rant in another comment chain about my useless Blackberry that spends most of its time forwarded to my personal cell yet no matter how hard I try, I can not convince anyone in the corporation to just throw a fraction of the Blackberry cost at me and save the rest.

        Yet at the same time, they keep talking about how the company needs to help keep costs down due to the sagging economy and that employees should try not to waste resources like office supplies….. That cost of scrapping one Blackberry for a year would likely cover all my stationary costs for at least two! *Grumble grumble*

  5. ninjustin says:

    Single choke point. Not good for a struggling RIM. I had to add my work email to my Android phone for the day. Maybe I can convince our CEO to pay my bill instead of shelling out for a BB that is rarely used anyway.

    • Tunnen says:

      The words convince and CEO rarely work in the same sentence.

      I’ve configured my iPhone to work with the corporate email server. I’ve tried and tried to convince someone in the corporation to just pay me $20-30/month and they don’t need to spend the money on a Blackberry and it’s monthly service cost. I know they are spending a lot more then $20-30 on the phone they are providing that I very rarely use. Most of the time I just forward it to my own cell simply because I don’t want to haul two phones around everywhere I go. I’m also not a fan of Blackberries. I also know a dozen or so co-workers in our small office, including our GM that also end up not using their Blackberries.

      I found any cost saving measure in a corporation, no matter how you try to show that it’ll save money from a few hundred to thousands of dollars, will instantly be rejected because it’d take too much work to try to change the current system.

      • Rachacha says:

        My wife who manages IT for her company just went through this. Everyone was on a BB, because they thought it was the best, but she has managed to switch everyone over to an iPhone and no one, not even the diehard BB fans, is looking back. There were a couple of people who resisted, but she gave them an iPhone, asked them to try it out for 2 weeks, and if they didn’t like it, she would re-activate their BB. There were a few hicups, like people wanting to do something on a BB, and finding a workaround on the BB trying to find the same workaround on the iPhone, but once they were told that the iPhone just did it, without a work around, they were happy.

        Total savings in IT support and not having to pay for a BB Enterprise server amounts to several tens of thousands of dollars a year for an office with about 30 people (less than half have company issued phones)

  6. Rocket says:

    My Blackberry is not working.

  7. Phil Keeps It Real [Consumerist] says:

    Holly dingleberries !

  8. Asch says:

    I can’t believe this article. Really? Complaining to a company you know isn’t responsible for a problem so that they’ll buckle and compensate you for something that isn’t their fault?

    … and you guys wonder why companies treat all their customers like trash – it’s because they’ve been conditioned to do it by customers who abuse them.

    • sirwired says:

      I’d call my carrier too. The fact that it’s a subcontractor (RIM) of your carrier (Verizon, AT&T, whoever) that screwed up isn’t the consumer’s problem. I make my payments to the carrier, not to RIM.

    • Bunnies Attack! says:

      Uhh you’re your carrier’s customer. Your carrier is RIM’s customer. Follow the chain of money.

    • nocturnaljames says:

      don’t ever try your own business, you’ll fail miserably with that attitude towards customers.

  9. wynterbourne says:

    Of course people still have Blackberries, but I’m fairly certain that most have them because their employer provides them.

    My wife is an Account Manager for a company within the top 25 listings of the Fortune 500. Her entire department has one. The department she just transferred from all have one. Within the same company I know that all personnel considered “Corporate Management” or above are provided one. All on-site IT personnel are provided one, as are HR representatives, most administrative assistants, on-call WFM personnel, everyone in sales, and anyone with an authorization to work on projects from home.

    IIRC, they employ about 16,000 people and use provide around 2,000 Blackberries.

    They’ve considered alternatives. But at the moment the Blackberries do everything they need them to do and the infrastructure is already in place.

  10. IgnoramusEtIgnorabimus says:

    “That’s likely because the outage is not related to the wireless service, but to BlackBerry Messenger and Internet browsing, both of which are processed by BlackBerry producer Research in Motion’s own network.”

    seriously? browsing is server side for the blackberries? I’m getting flashbacks of old kyoceras and sidekicks….

    • sirwired says:

      This is also how the Kindle Fire works. It’s not a horrible solution to the problem of getting web pages formatted for full size screens re-formatted for mobile use. And as a side-bonus, the images can be down-res’d, saving the carrier bandwidth.

      • IgnoramusEtIgnorabimus says:

        so what happens when blackberry/google/amazon inevitably go belly up? i can barely stand the way that google forces me to use voice commands to get GPS directions and most of the time it has an issue contacting the mothership…

        imagine how much fun those chromeOS laptops will be next time google servers go down and you can’t even access “your” files….

  11. cyberbird168 says:

    I have a BlackBerry work phone as well.. Now I can have an excuses to everyone ….. “Sorry I didn’t get your email at all. BlackBerry network issue.. “

    Some one response: “Your what??? CrackBerry?? the one you have to reboot it every week and keep freezing you up all the time and it is a new Curve too??”

  12. comatose says:

    I have the supposed top of the line Blackberry for work (Torch) because I have to. All I have to say is that everything about it sucks. It’s like “Sony, My First Cellphone” compared to the iPhone or any Android phone, even the ones running like 1.6. Absolutely horrible – can’t understand what the fuss is about and why everyone in business uses them. I believe the myth goes “it has great security and great manageability.” – so what IT SUCKS. I know execs that have sidestepped them and gotten a “beta trial” (as in our corp) iPhone. Those execs using the iPhone never complain about their phones.

  13. SmokeyBacon says:

    Our company offers either blackberry or iPhone as an option and a bunch of our guys switched over to the iPhone because the blackberrys kind of suck. They asked about going android and were told no, so they went iPhone. I am lauging at them because now they don’t have an excuse to ignore emails.

  14. anime_runs_my_life says:

    I’m sure my company will be seeking reimbursement since we have thousands of Blackberry users, and I’ve heard those in my office complain loudly about it.

  15. fruvous says:

    In a sense RIM will be reimbursing all the carriers. Their SLA penalties must be really hight by now.

  16. Cantras says:

    I *like* my blackberry. (I have T-mobile, so crossing fingers against the death star). I like the keyboard, I have no trouble with the menus. It is not any more glitchy than any other phone I have ever owned. When I replace this phone, it will probably be with another blackberry. My mate has an android something or other, and I’ve fiddled about with friends’ phones, so it’s not like I’m holding up the blackberry as the pinnacle of phone evolution. I’m just holding it up as the option I currently like best.

  17. Dano says:

    Best way to get your money back is to stop giving them your money. No point in paying for a service that has several outages a year.

  18. bananaboat says:

    It was nice having email down on my BB. At least I could still carry on private calls and texts rather than conduct business.

  19. wellfleet says:

    I not only have one Blackberry, I have two. I love, love, love, love my Blackberry for both business and personal use. I can type 200 words on my BBerry before anyone can finish 50 words, I have a stable platform and it… just… works. I don’t need apps or games. The information I need, Internet, Twitter and texting/e-mail is blazing fast and not glitchy.

    I love Apple products and own everything they’ve put out except for the iPhone. I appreciate Android devices and their open platform, but I just don’t use that stuff. I’m a heavy business user and BBerry is perfect for me.

  20. anti09 says:

    Might be time to update your stock photos, consumerist. How old is that blackberry? It doesn’t even have a scroll ball