RIM goes as silent as its BlackBerrys – by Warren Kinsella (Toronto Sun – October 16, 2011)

The Toronto Sun is the city’s daily tabloid newspaper. warren.kinsella@sunmedia.ca

A lesson for the mining sector? – Stan Sudol

When disaster strikes, when mistakes happen, what’s the best corporate response? Well, to respond, for starters. Not to pretend nobody’s noticed.

Last week, as you are certainly aware, was The Great Berry Crash of 2011, and plenty of folks noticed. Across Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas, millions of us peered at our inert BlackBerry screens for day after interminable day, cursing. 

Cursing one of the all-time Canadian business success stories, BlackBerry’s Research in Motion (RIM).  Cursing the company’s near-total silence about a system-wide collapse that inconvenienced — or hurt — countless businesses and individuals around the globe.

No e-mails. No instant messaging. No web browsing. For days, our BlackBerrys were great big digital clocks, and nothing more. An apology (of sorts) came from one of RIM’s bosses only after four days of corporate silence. It was beyond maddening — it was pathetic.

Technological failures happen, and a big one certainly happened to RIM. That’s forgivable (maybe). What isn’t forgivable is RIM’s ongoing inability to promptly take responsibility for its mistakes, and to level with those of us who depend on it to provide a reliable service. 

What isn’t forgivable is the failure of RIM — a communications company! — to effectively communicate with its 70 million customers. In just this year alone, RIM has lost more than 60% of its value.

Its entry into the tablet market, the PlayBook, is ridiculed more widely than it is used. RIM’s executives have fled to other tech companies. And the BlackBerry — a technological icon and source of Canadian pride since 1999 — has lost too many users to its surging rivals in the smartphone market, iPhone and Android.

But what makes a bad situation far worse is RIM’s hear-nothing, say-nothing, do-nothing approach to communications.

For the rest of this article, please go to the Toronto Sun website: http://www.torontosun.com/2011/10/14/rim-goes-as-silent-as-its-blackberrys