RIM Apologizes to Suffering BlackBerry Users
To try to make up for last week's email/web and messenger outage, RIM is offering consumers a range of utility software or games by way of apology.

RIM Says Sorry With Games, Apps

To try to put some positive vibe back among its mobile user base, RIM is taking the Sony approach and offering a bunch of software goodies in response to its massive outage last week. At least the damage was largely limited to the consumer side of RIM's business; if it had seriously affected the enterprise side, then RIM could be looking at some very expensive SLA-breach claims.

The problem, which started with a European server issue, became a flood of backlogged mail affecting users globally that lasted some three days and saw the company carpeted across the social media as users swore at their expensive paperweights.

A Nice Shopping List

Sony suffered a far more traumatic outage of its PlayStation Network service, which was hacked back in April and remained down for many weeks. In that case, the offer of free games assuaged much user angst, and within a few months the service was reaching record numbers of users.

However, changing your phone is a lot easier than changing your video games console and software collection, and there's a far wider choice. So, when current BlackBerry owners come to the end of their contracts, they may well be thinking more seriously about a change.

RIM's offer includes the likes of The Sims 3, a poker game or some puzzle titles, or a choice from a  range of apps, including:

  •  Photo Editor Ultimate -- Ice Cold Apps
  • DriveSafe.ly Pro -- iSpeech.org
  • iSpeech Translator Pro -- iSpeech.org
  • Drive Safe.ly Enterprise -- iSpeech.org
  • Nobex Radio Premium -- Nobex
  • Shazam Encore -- Shazam
  • Vlingo Plus: Virtual Assistant -- Vlingo

Will that really keep users in the fold? The apps will be free from the BB App Store from October 19 to the end of the year and have a value of over US$ 100. Some more free apps will be announced at a later date.

Enterprise users who did suffer during the outage will get an extra month's support for free. The full apologyexpression of appreciation can be read on RIM's blog. Also, the BBC now has a piece with RIM's U.K. managing director, Stephen Bates answering users' questions about the outage, iMessage and other issues.