BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) has been hit by lawsuits from angry consumers in the United States and Canada over the four-day service blackout that plagued BlackBerry customers across the globe earlier this month.
Despite RIM issuing a public apology to millions of customers, a U.S lawsuit and a Canadian lawsuit on behalf of BlackBerry owners with an active service agreement at the time of the service disruption is accusing the manufacturer of breach of contract, negligence and unjust enrichment.
The U.S. lawsuit was filed in federal court in Santa Ana, California on Wednesday by Californian resident Eric Mitchell while a Canadian lawsuit, in a Quebec Superior Court, was also filed on the same day.
The service delays that spanned four continents were caused by a core switch failure at a server in a Slough data centre near London. The disruption hit the consumer BIS (BlackBerry Internet Service) rather than the BES (BlackBerry Enterprise Server), so corporate customers were unaffected.
Mitchell claims in the lawsuit that as a result of the service blackout he was unable to use emails and other communications ‘in real-time, without delay, reducing and interfering with his productivity and causing him damage and loss of money’.
Although RIM offered consumers £65 worth of free premium apps in compensation for the service disruption and its enterprise customers one month of free Technical Support, Mitchell, like many U.S. plaintiffs, is now seeking damages, including cash compensation for service fees along with attorneys' fees and legal expenses.