BlackBerry’s reputation will remain intact in spite of the media fallout following a three day service blackout last week, according to retail staff.
Staff told Mobile that despite service disruptions that plagued BlackBerry customers across the globe and forced BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) to issue a public apology, sales of the popular smartphones will not be negatively impacted.
A Carphone Warehouse staffer told Mobile: ‘The service blackout has not really affected BlackBerry’s brand. BlackBerry is too established. The same thing could happen to Apple and people would still buy their products. No customers even came in complaining, if anything they came in to inquire about when the service will be back up and running again. The operators were good about informing customers about the service disruptions.’
Meanwhile, a Phones 4u staffer said: ‘I don’t think the service disruption will affect BlackBerry sales. Bad advertising is still advertising. BlackBerry was all over the news and everybody was talking about it. So even if you didn’t own or know about BlackBerry before, you soon found out. The iPhone 4 had signal problems last year but it is still the top-selling smartphone.'
The service delays that spanned four continents were caused by a core switch failure at a server in a Slough-based data centre near London. The disruption hit the consumer BIS (BlackBerry Internet Service) rather than the BES (BlackBerry Enterprise Server), as corporate customers were unaffected.
Customers unable to access emails, internet services and BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) turned to social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to vent their outrage.
Unfortunately for RIM, the service disruption also brought to light the fact that even though information sent on BlackBerry devices are more secure because all BlackBerry messages are routed through its own data centers, this security measure also creates a single point of potential failure.
Some staff argued that even though RIM’s core consumer market will remain unaffected, there could potentially be a shift in support from BlackBerry to other manufacturers such as Apple and Android in the business market as businesses look for a more ‘reliable’ service.
A T-Mobile staffer said: ‘I think the service shutting down has affected the brand slightly, even though normal consumers will forget now it's back up and running and will probably still purchase BlackBerrys. However, I think enterprise and business customers might be tempted to switch to a manufacturer that they think is more reliable.
An Orange staffer told Mobile: ‘BlackBerry’s blackout last week did affect the brands reputation because business customers who work with email were badly affected. However I doubt that it will affect the company in the long run because it’s not like they are constantly having problems like this.’