In what I personally can only describe as OUTRAGEOUS, Research In Motion has refused to disclose any details on the subject of this week’s major North American BlackBerry service outage. Canadian reports published today say that the company is not returning media e-mails or phone calls about the outage.

According to a Reuters article on, the outage was caused by a new feature related to temporary message storage and wasn’t due to a security breach. The article quotes officials as defending their complete lack of communication as follows:

“RIM’s first priority during any service interruption is always to restore service and then establish, monitor, and maintain stability.”

“Proper analysis can take several days or longer,” it added, “and RIM’s commitment is to provide the most accurate and complete information possible in such situations.”

Yeah, right! Everyone in marketing and PR who would be putting out press information was co-opted to help the technical people track down the problem.

Pull the other one. 

Even this morning, after some selected (favored?) media outlets reported that there’s been an official explanation/statement, the RIM Press Web site remains silent about the problem. Now I’m not complaining about the lack of a full and complete explanation — that obviously can take time. In addition, details could possibly entail the release of proprietary information or too much detail that could lead to security concerns.

BUT TO SAY NOTHING? That smacks of a lack of concern for subscribers and, worse yet, a lack of understanding of how to manage such events. 

What do you consider the most serious part of this whole disaster?

  • The mere fact that CrackBerries were unavailable to those who consider them a vital communication tool?
  • Or the fact that Research In Motion totally failed in its responsibility to keep in front of this outage by communicating with the press and subscribers?
  • Even worse, how many marriages were ruined by this outage that may have caused a number of CrackBerry addicts to look up from their devices and discover that they had a spouse and children?
  • Or, is my outrage over the lack of information from RIM your biggest complaint? 

I’m still getting scattered reports of outages, and RIM has failed to respond to my query about whether any messages were lost during the outage.

(Disclaimer: I used to work for Post-Newsweek, but have no current connection with the publications — and, NO, I wasn’t fired (GRIN).)