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RIM Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis reports that services have returned in contrite video address
"It's too soon to say that this issue is fully resolved... [But] we're now approaching normal BlackBerry service levels in Europe, the Middle East, India, and Africa," said RIM founder and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis in a video posted at 6:20 GMT to RIM's service update thread.
In said video address, Lazaridis struck a contrite tone. "Since launching BlackBerry in 1999, it's been my goal to provide reliable, real-time communications around the world. We did not deliver on that goal this week, not even close," said Lazaridis.
"BlackBerry systems are operating well globally. BlackBerry Support teams continue to monitor the situation around the clock to ensure ongoing service stability. Some customers in Canada and Latin America who are sending messages to other regions may see intermittent message delays. Support teams are actively addressing this," this same thread reported at 9:00 GMT.
When questioned in a press conference call this morning, Lazaridis indicated now that the system has been restored, RIM will direct their attention to customer complaints and calls for reimbursment. “That is something we are now turning our attention to,” said Lazaridis, in reference to addressing customers' calls for reimbursement.
Co-CEO Jim Balsillie also chimed in on the subject of customer compensation for non-service. “I’ve talked to global CEOs of [mobile] carriers... This kind of discussion was not the priority," said Balsille. He also indicated that these "heads of carriers" were concerned with support, not compensation.
Another question that was broached was whether lack of proper staffing due to recent layoffs at RIM affected the speed of system recovery. “That would not have affected this," said Lazaridis. Another RIM executive indicated during the conference call that Lazaridis had been personally directing the response team and that no one at RIM had been going home during the repair efforts.
This recent service black-out has been the latest setback in a catastrophic year for RIM and BlackBerry, with company stocks falling 60% in 2011. Things have gotten bad enough that RIM investors have recently called for a shake-up at the executive level.
Lazaridis and Balsillie will be able to answer these calls at two upcoming events, the U.S. BlackBerry developer conference in San Francisco this week, where both co-CEOs will speak, and the Web 2.0 Summit on Oct. 17-19, where Balsillie will speak.
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