Well, that wasn’t quick. But at least it’s good news: RIM (NSDQ: RIMM) says that its services are now finally getting restored in all the regions that were affected by the fail in its infrastructure on Monday, which knocked out email, BBM messaging and all data services for millions of customers worldwide. Several questions still remain: what exactly went wrong, and what kind of compensation will RIM be offering for affected users, if any?
After the complaints from users that filled message boards, social networks and media outlets, RIM was very terse in its note detailing the good news: “From 6am BST today, all services across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as India, have been operating with significant improvement. We continue to monitor the situation 24×7 to ensure ongoing stability. Thank you for your patience,” the company noted today in a service update on a page it set up dedicated to the issue.
Today’s update came after an evening in which the CTO for Software, David Yach, provided a short rundown of the state of affairs to journalists in which he cited the backlog of messages as the main reason for the ongoing problems.
Later, RIM’s CIO, Robin Bienfait (great name for a CIO), provided a more detail on a region-by-region basis, and significantly more contrition: “You’ve depended on us for reliable, real-time communications, and right now we’re letting you down. We are taking this very seriously and have people around the world working around the clock to address this situation. We believe we understand why this happened and we are working to restore normal service levels in all markets as quickly as we can.”
That just leaves a couple of big outstanding questions for us:
1) What exactly was the first cause of the problem, and how will RIM make sure it doesn’t happen again, perhaps even more catastrophically than this time around? Yesterday’s comments from Yach revealed that the company still could not definitively say what went wrong and that it was still conducting investigations.
2) What kind of compensation, if any, will affected users be getting? Yesterday, Yach said he did not want to focus on this question, since his chief priority at that time was to get service up and running as quickly as possible. Now that this seems to be underway, customers may well be wondering “what next.” No doubt that RIM’s many enterprise customers will have some degree of SLAs that will cover them in this case, but consumers and small business users may not have this kind of insurance in place.
There could be some financial compensation on the cards, or perhaps offers of some of RIM’s newer services (BBM Music comes to mind) as free services to consumers, at a time when that relationship could use a little sweetener.
Update: Still no word on compensation — although we do have some questions in to RIM on this. But meanwhile, another apology from even higher up. Mike Lazaridis, co-CEO of RIM, makes a convincing and very straight-talking apology for letting down BlackBerry users. He also once more reiterates that the team is working as hard as they can to sort the issue out. Some people responding to the video on Twitter, however, note that their services are still not up and running. RIM’s not out of the woods just yet. Video below.