Blackberry maker RIM offers customers free apps after outage; RIM stock continues to drop anyway

Shares of beleaguered Blackberry maker Research In Motion dropped more than 5 percent today after the company tried to make up for a four-day BlackBerry outage by offering customers $100 worth of free apps and technical support. That outage was a quiet killer. But what should they have offered their loyal users? Other than an iPhone or an Android phone, I mean. Your suggestions welcomed in the comments.


  1. “But what should they have offered their loyal users?” 
    A really good explanation both fully technical and a masterpiece of translating the fully technical into accessible language. It is a PR disaster not a “here are a few trinkets all is well again”.  I think they need to go beyond in the explanation and fixes and future changes caused by it. i.e. it has to sound like they really did things and understand rather than some PR person wrote the correct words but the man behind the curtain is still doing the same things.

  2. I think it’s too late to save Blackberry, which is kind of a shame from a “competitive market” perspective. That company is pretty much the MySpace of wireless devices.

  3. I didn’t experience the outage, but if I had, I think the appropriate response would have been a credit for their monthly cell phone bill equivalent to however much service was lost, just like Netflix does.

  4. RIM dominated the corporate market. What the corporate market wants is reliability, so offering games after the outage?

    Not gonna work.

    1. In the end, that’s the real issue, “reliability”. When reliance on a service fails, it will never come back again. RIM is finished. 

      I drove buses in Seattle. There were certain popular routes that were serviced by electric power lines. This service was disrupted via a construction accident. Once the line was back up again, the ridership had fallen. They found a different way to get to work and most of them didn’t want to learn to rely on a system that could “possibly” fail again. 

      This needs to be studied. It’s going to happen again, maybe on purpose. It’s the next phase of cyber warfare. All it’s going to take is one savvy disgruntled customer.

  5. How about not charging them for the whole month.

    How about not charging for just the hours it was out. 

  6. The big problem with this is that it’s $100 worth of free software.  Although there is a cost to software, in the digital age that is a moot point.  RIM pays some money to the developers maybe for their apps? Also everyone I know that still has a blackberry doesn’t use it for games.  I’d say this offer really just benefits EA and Gameloft, not the end user.

    How about RIM just gives all it’s customer’s $39.  (Cost of a cellular data plan for one month).

    If I had a blackberry, I’d also be happy with just a very technical answer of what happened to their systems and how will they prevent this. This is a cop-out.

    1. Great point:

      ” –that it’s $100 worth of free software.”

      RIM can apply ANY worth they want to these apps. I find it disgusting that a company offers it’s own product as an apology, it usually leads to more revenue for them. And the offer is unfair, what if there’s not an app I want? 

      “Oh, I’m so sorry we lost your ring. You can have any one of your choice in our store or catalog.”

      “But I don’t see one I like.”

      “Oh well, too bad, that’s our only offer.”

      If RIM want’s to mail $100 checks,  then the offer has validity. 

      1. “”Oh, I’m so sorry we lost your ring. You can have any one of your choice in our store or catalog.””But I don’t see one I like.””Oh well, too bad, that’s our only offer.””

        Funnily enough I know someone this happened to…

  7. 100 dollars worth of apps, to be downloaded from a crappy App store that just crawls, lags and hangs when I access it from my BB. What a cruel joke for BB users. Thanks, RIM.

  8. I didn’t really miss my Blackberry service much the day mine went down.  It was mildly annoying not being able to access my web pushed services. But seeing as how my Blackberry browser has been crashing for months now, forcing me to power the thing down and rip out the battery at least twice a week on average, I’m used to the thing not really working the way I like.  For me it’s not so much the outage that pushed me over the edge, my annoyance with the device was well established by that time.  I was hoping for the premium editions of Documents to Go to be on that list, that may have enticed me to keep my Torch a bit longer than initially planned as these have been the only apps I’ve actually considered purchasing. Blackberry users just don’t want games.  Also the prevalence of speech activated apps on the list hint at the desire to make the roads a safer place. Trying to make up for poor service by offering potentially life saving tools they had been previously charging for seems wrong to me. Maybe it would have been good PR to make these particular apps free forever.

    1. You mean they offered only certain APPS? You mention:

      “I was hoping for the premium editions of Documents to Go to be on that list,-” It looks like they state All Premium Apps will be available, so you might get the one you want.

      But why only “Premium” apps? They can be as high at $15.

      Why not the entire APP store? Because I could get 100 .99 apps. If I get only premium, maybe 10.

      I don’t have an account. If you can list the most expensive or if premium apps have one price, please respond. They don’t seem to have a Premium App section or search option.

      Also, it looks like all Blackberries don’t support the Blackberry App World software; so the offer is even more limiting?

      Are ‘Super” apps the same as “Premium” apps?

      1. Before coming here to read and comment on this article, I had read a couple of news releases that posted the list from the Blackberry site stating that this selection would be only Apps available for free.  That’ll teach me to read things carefully from the source from now on before running my mouth.

        The Documents to go Ap was pre-loaded on my Blackberry when I got it last year.  I only knew that there was a premium version of the program because I wanted to make use of it and it doesn’t have the full features. I can’t create new documents etc. Kind of like Microsoft Office trials pre-loaded onto new PCs.  To have all the features of the program, you have to purchase the complete program.

        As for searching in App world specifically for premium items, I have no idea.  Some are marked as Free and some cost money. I’m assuming anythign that costs money would be considered premium. Or perhaps the premium aps are the ones that get downloaded most frequently.

  9. I was at Office Depot this evening.  They had a sad little end-cap display of PlayBooks, with a placard reading “Amateur Hour is Over.”  I assume that the RIM marketard who wrote that meant to imply that iPads were amateurish. Now, especially in light of the outage, it’s just really, really embarrassing.  I feel embarrassed *for* them.

  10. They should have refunded their months fee to the carriers and let the carriers decide what to do based on what their users pay for BB services. They should also have explained how they fixed the problem or at least why its  not happening again.

    None of the BB users i know want $100 worth of apps out of that list, my BB can DL 2 apps before it has a memory leak or overflow and needs the battery removed. It would take me a week to get my $100 out of them.

Comments are closed.