RIM being sued over BlackBerry outage

27 Oct 2011

The BlackBerry Bold

Research in Motion is being sued by consumers in the US and Canada for the major outage that shut its service down for a week in the Americas, Europe and Middle East.

The BlackBerry outage prevented users from sending or receiving email, surfing the web and sending and receiving BBM messages.

The problem is understood to have been caused by a failure within Research in Motion’s own infrastructure. A transition to a back-up switch did not go according to plan, causing a large backlog of data.

The company said last week that it would be offering a selection of premium apps worth more than US$100 to subscribers “as an expression of appreciation for their patience during the recent service disruptions.”

The apps will be made available to customers over the coming weeks on BlackBerry App World and will continue to be available until 31 December.

RIM’s enterprise customers will also be offered one month of free technical support. Current customers will be offered a complimentary one-month extension of their existing technical support contract, and customers who do not currently have a technical support contract will be offered a one-month trial of RIM’s BlackBerry Technical Support Services – Enhanced Support, free of charge.

However, a lawsuit filed in California yesterday was brought on behalf of all BlackBerry owners in the US with an active service agreement at the time of the outage.

It accuses RIM of breach of contract, negligence and unjust enrichment.

The lawsuit filed in Quebec, Canada, was brought on behalf of Canadian BlackBerry owners, alleging RIM failed to compensate BlackBerry users with refunds for loss of service.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years