BlackBerry may get e-mail delays bill

2011-10-13 20:00

Ontario - BlackBerry maker Research In Motion faced the prospect of a compensation bill from network providers on Thursday as it wrestled for a fourth day to get the world's dominant mobile e-mail service working properly.

RIM said services were starting to improve in all affected regions, reducing disruption for the millions of users hit by delays and outages this week.

But significant damage may have been done to a business that had its share of troubles already, and a hefty bill to compensate customers could well land at RIM's door.

Spanish group Telefonica said on its website it would compensate customers, in line with Spanish law, and Britain's Vodafone is looking at the issue too.

"We are reviewing our options in terms of compensation," said a Vodafone spokesperson. He would not be drawn on whether such costs might be passed on to RIM, but analysts said there was little doubt the British group and other operators would try.

"In the past there have been outages but they have been limited to an hour here and an hour there and the operators have been tempted to let that go," said Will Draper, analyst at Espirito Santo.

"They have not been happy about it but it is not the kind of thing you go to court over. But this is completely different. This is a three-day outage. This is 10% of your working month, so I am pretty sure there will be compensation claims and I am pretty sure they will try and pass it on to RIM, but my feeling is it will be very difficult to make it stick."

The Spanish Consumer Association FACUA estimated clients would receive €0.23-1.90 for each 24 hours of service interruption. At such a rate, one full day's compensation to all 70 million BlackBerry users worldwide could cost the telecoms industry as much as €133m.

Apple iMessage

RIM is unique among handset makers in that it compresses and encrypts data before pushing it to BlackBerry devices via carrier networks. Apple and other rivals rely on the carrier networks to handle all routing and delivery of content.

But other providers are hitting it with smarter handsets and many with free offerings. Overnight, Apple started rolling out new version of its iOS software, which includes a BlackBerry Messenger (BBM)-like iMessage service.

"Clearly there are issues. And clearly this has come at a bad time - just as Apple are launching their rival service to BBM," said a person at the major European retailer which sells BlackBerry products.

RIM said there had been a significant improvement for services and some users said services had started to work again, although there were still some delays.

RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said in a video posted on BlackBerry's Youtube channel it was too early to call the problem solved and he could not estimate time for full recovery.

"We are seeing steady improvements," Lazaridis said. "We expect to see continued progress, possibly some instability as the system comes back to normal service levels everywhere."

Singapore employees of global news and data provider Thomson Reuters were still having problems on Thursday but colleagues in London, Paris, Amsterdam, Beijing, Tokyo, Jakarta and Bangkok said BlackBerry service was normal.


The outages - and RIM's sluggish communications with its customers - have fanned rising dissatisfaction with Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, RIM's other CEO.

Critics have called for a shake-up, saying the top managers have let the company fall too far behind Apple and other rivals in a rapidly changing market.

RIM shares have tumbled more than 50% this year on a series of profit warnings and product missteps - a sharp reversal of fortune for a company that once dominated its market.

Anecdotal evidence suggested some users of the device are jumping ship.

"We have lost clients. Two clients changed their BlackBerrys for an iPhone yesterday here in our boutique," said a salesperson in an SFR boutique in central Paris. "They are not very satisfied."

But there are those with a BlackBerry in their pocket who sometimes half wish it wasn't there. "It's been a God-send," one user joked in an e-mail to colleagues. "Let's hope the bloody things never work again."

Read more on:    blackberry  |  rim  |  canada  |  internet  |  mobile

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Cope: Zuma must listen to religious leaders

Cope has called on President Jacob Zuma to listen to religious leaders calling for him to come clean on the Nkandla saga.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Monday Sir Lowry's Pass - 13:45 PM
    Road name: N2 Westbound
    HEAVY TRAFFIC over Sir Lowrys Pass - expect delays
  • Monday Somerset West - 13:45 PM
    Road name: N2 Westbound
    EXPECT DELAYS due to high volumes
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy S III 16GB

There are no straight lines in nature. The Samsung  GALAXY...

From R3515.00

I'm shopping for:


There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.