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 . 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?

Don't get bitten by your bytes this summer...

A cautionary tale for anyone travelling with their smartphone this summer - inspired by a customer who DIDN'T get advised by VOOT and was therefore left with a HUGE bill for data roaming.

Its YOUR responsibility as a customer to check your data package when going abroad - and be warned - emails, Facebook, Twitter, browsing for the weather forecast will ALL add bytes to your bill...

Don't get bitten by your bytes when you get home.

With our BlackBerry® and iPhone packages you can get the access you need, wherever you need it.

  • get enough roaming data to cover your needs
  • from £12 a month per user (excluding VAT)
  • GPRS, EDGE and 3G roaming is charged in per byte intervals, whatever zone you're working in, to keep your costs as low as possible.
  • choose from a world or Europe package to suit your needs
A 75mB bundle of roaming data is available on Blackberry for just £18 - if you didn't apply this bundle and used that data your bill would be over £190...

80% of UK mobile users on wrong tariff

For the sake of clarity - lets just repeat that. 80% OF THE UK'S MOBILE USERS ARE ON THE WRONG TARIFF.

Todays Press was full of the news announced by Billmonitor - an Ofcom approved bill analysis company - that Britons on average spend £195 more per year than they should on their mobile phone bills. Apply those averages to a business - that may have numerous handsets - and it doesn't take a genius to work out that this can add up to significant sums of money.

At VOOT - far from being shocked by these figures - we are delighted that the message appears to finally getting across. We have been telling people this for some time - and demonstrating to our growing band of customers how we can provide independent analysis and a more appropriate tariff for our customers.

While businesses can do their own work on this and purchase direct - we see very few clients who have made this approach work.  Here at VOOT we don't charge a penny to our customers for analysis - and in over 90% of cases we save our customers over 20% per annum on their mobile bills. I think thats another stat thats worth repeating. WE SAVE 90% OF OUR CUSTOMERS OVER 20% PER ANNUM ON THEIR MOBILE BILLS.

So - we can save you money, we don't charge you anything, you get all the benefits of free consultancy while being billed directly by the networks, and we even provide you with ongoing customer service over and above the networks own.

THATS WHATS KNOWN AS A NO-BRAINER. We look forward to hearing from you.