More reports on: Telecom
RIM could face class action suit over service outages news
28 October 2011

Research In Motion could face a class action lawsuit in Canada for the outage that struck BlackBerry customers world-wide, last month.

A Montreal-based law firm, Consumer Law Group, seeking class action status, said in a statement said it was filing the suit, "on behalf of individuals who have BlackBerry smartphones and who pay for a monthly data plan but were unable to access their email, BlackBerry Messenger service ("BBM"), and/or Internet for the period of October 11 to 14, 2011." The suit was filed in Quebec Superior Court yesterday.

According to the firm, the class action involved RIM's failure to take action to either directly compensate BlackBerry users or to indirectly compensate them by arranging for wireless service providers to refund their customers and to take full responsibility for these damages.

Declining comment as it had not received a copy of the lawsuit, RIM said it would formally respond to the matter in due course.

The outage struck 10 October when the company's e-mail, messaging, and web service collapsed across the world, starting in Europe, the Mideast, and Africa. It later spread to the US and Canada. According to the company the outages resulted from a "core switch failure within RIM's infrastructure" and the failover to a "back-up switch" also malfunctioned.

RIM was able to finally restore service on 13 October, and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis offered a video apology to customers. The company further offered its customers $100 worth of premium apps for free, with enterprise users being offered a month of free technical support.

The outage, which is the worst in the company's 12-year history could not have come at a worse time. RIM is facing stiff competition with rivals like Apple and Google eating into its market share.

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RIM could face class action suit over service outages