x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

BlackBerry's maker 'assessing' redress

BlackBerry maker says it will be "assessing" how to compensate partners such as Etisalat and du after four days of service disruption.

Research In Motion (RIM), which makes the BlackBerry smartphone, is "assessing" how to compensate operator partners, including Etisalat and du, after four days of disruption to email and data services.

The UAE's two telecommunications companies agreed to refund BlackBerry subscribers three days' subscription fees after a near-global breakdown of RIM's network.

Other operators, including Saudi Arabia's Mobily and Spain's Telefónica, announced similar schemes, leading to speculation that RIM may face widespread claims for compensation.

Britain's Vodafone Group, the world's largest mobile-phone operator, is reviewing its options regarding compensation, according to Bloomberg News.

Patrick Spence, the managing director for global sales and regional marketing at RIM, said he would be assessing the possibility of reimbursing BlackBerry's partners.

"This was definitely not our operators' fault," he said. "We'll definitely be looking at what we need to do to make this right for our customers and partners. That's something that I'm going to be discussing internally."

Mr Spence said the company's first priority was to restore service fully.

"The traffic looks to be flowing now as it would regularly on a Thursday," he said yesterday.

But Mr Spence acknowledged that there were "sporadic reports" of delays to messages because of the large backlog of data.

An investigation is under way into the technical fault at a UK data centre, which the company says led to the disruption in service.

"We do not believe that it had anything to do with anyone trying to hack into the system," said Mr Spence.

bflanagan@thenational.ae