Our take on this weeks Blackberry outage

Well, touchwood, on waking this morning (Thu 13th October), the 3 day server outage appears to be at an end and Blackberry services are functioning.  What an incredibly frustrating 3 days we have shared. Not only have we lost the use of our own devices, we have been unable to provision Blackberry devices for 2 new clients, or 3 existing ones who have upgraded.

What has been of particular disappointment during the outage has been the information coming from RIM regarding the problem.  In a world where communication with clients is key, in the opening 48 hours so little was said on their Facebook and Twitter feeds, or in statements to the Press, you could be forgiven in thinking the problem only affected a handful of clients, and not 3 continents worth of customers.  Only on Day 3 did a page appear on RIMs own site detailing status updates http://uk.blackberry.com/serviceupdate/ . In our opinion - thats just not good enough.  Hopefully lessons have been learned...

So, what happened? Well, as far as we can tell, the central server - so long the absolute strength of Blackberry over its competitors like Apple and Android - failed.  The central server that allows services like BBM, and the absolute security of its email etc suffered a major problem, and subsequently those services were lost.  This could potentially have far reaching effects for Blackberry - especially for consumer customers.  We are reasonably confident that those businesses who value their data, and the services that Blackberry excel at normally, will recognise the value of keeping their custom with RIM, at least until Apple or Android can competently offer the same.  But the more fickle private user may decide that enough is enough - and 3 days to fix a server is really not good enough.

Here at VOOT - we would like to take this opportunity to apologise to all of our customers who have remained patient throughout. Unbelievably - we haven't received a single complaint about this problem from you, our loyal clients.  We would like to thank you ALL for your patience.

Blackberry services cost around £5 per month for the average BIS client - dependent on network. VOOT will personally be refunding every single customer their £5 subscription for this month (by a M&S voucher), for every handset they use, as a gesture of goodwill and appreciation for your understanding that this was a situation well beyond our control...

Wouldn't it be nice if a corporate giant like RIM could do the same?

Nigel Short

Aston, S26, United Kingdom