Consumers sue RIM over BlackBerry outage

A group of consumers upset over the company's recent three-day BlackBerry service outage have filed a class action lawsuit against Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM). The suit, which was filed in Quebec Superior Court by Consumer Law Group, asks RIM to compensate BlackBerry users directly or indirectly by arranging for wireless service providers to refund their customers for the loss of service.

RIM has not yet been served with the complaint and said it would respond to the matter in due course.

The outage, which was the largest in RIM's history, lasted around three days earlier this month in Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa; one and a half days in Latin America and Canada; and one day in the United States.

RIM has said the outages were the result of a core switch failure in RIM's network infrastructure, which encrypts and routes email messages and other data, making it more secure. Although RIM's system is designed to failover to a back-up switch, it did not work as previously tested, creating a backlog of data. This caused RIM to "throttle" service in the affected regions, which then created more disruptions in regions not previously affected, including North America.

In an interview earlier this month with Bloomberg, RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie said that the company is considering compensating wireless carriers a result of the service outage. The company is also providing affected users with free premium applications as well as offering one month free of technical support to corporate customers.

For more:
- see this Financial Post article

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