Why RIM Blackberry may be heading for more trouble over promo gone wrong

Here’s why:

1. It took them a week before expressing regret. A week is a very long time in today’s BB Messenger-fuelled world of communications. In the meantime word has already been spreading around town about RIM’s seemingly slow response.

2. After all this time and it was short of an apology. It was only a “regret”. (You can imagine the internal debate. Executive: “Do we apologize?” Lawyer: “No. We don’t because it would open us up to lawsuits.” Well, in Canada maybe but have you considered that Indonesians apologize al the time for the small infractions and its culturally expected for someone to do so.

3. Trying to inject corporate self-serving message (“It is very important to us to continue to demonstrate that we’re a strong, responsible corporate citizen in Indonesia”) when all the public wants to know is are you sorry, do you take responsibility, are you empathic, why it happened and what you are going to do about it. Nobody wants to hear or care how strong and responsible a corporate citizen you are.

4. Pointing fingers (“We are reviewing [the contracts with Experiential and Hill & Associates], as part of the … investigation to really take a look at the details, [and] relationship, to the event,” he said) As everyone should have learned from BP’s fiasco, it doesn’t matter whether it was your vendor or contractor who is at fault, when you are a big brand and it happened under your watch, you need to take responsibility and not blame, or imply it is the fault of others.

All classic no-no’s in the practice of Crisis and Issues Management from a PR perspective.So what will happen next? If RIM is very lucky things will die down. If they are not then they may be be heading for more trouble as others react against the mistakes they are making. It’s all very unpredictable in crisis-like situations, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t minimize the potential flash points.

via RIM Regrets BlackBerry Promo Gone Wrong | The Jakarta Globe

Research In Motion said on Friday that it regretted the mad rush for the new BlackBerry smartphone on Nov. 25 that left 90 people unconscious and three injured.

“We sincerely regret that many loyal customers experienced frustration and were upset, and that some individuals suffered injuries,” Gregory Wade, RIM’s regional managing director for East Asia, told the Jakarta Globe.

He also said that staff from RIM and others involved in the event had visited hospitals to “extend our support and sympathy to those injured.”

“We are deeply committed to Indonesia and greatly value the passionate support Indonesians have shown for BlackBerry smartphones and popular apps like BBM,” he said.

“It is very important to us to continue to demonstrate that we’re a strong, responsible corporate citizen in Indonesia.”

The new BlackBerry Bold 9790 was made available first in the world in Indonesia and the first 1,000 people at the launch at Pacific Place mall had the chance to buy one for Rp 2.3 million ($255). The half-off discount attracted a huge crowd, some of whom had started lining up the day before.

Wade said the Nov. 25 event had been organized on behalf of RIM by event organizer Experiential and security consultant Hill & Associates.

“We are actively cooperating with the authorities who are investigating this incident,” he said, adding that RIM was also undertaking its own investigation.

He said the company was also conducting an internal review, focusing on preventing a similar incident happening in Indonesia.

“We are reviewing [the contracts with Experiential and Hill & Associates], as part of the … investigation to really take a look at the details, [and] relationship, to the event,” he said….

The Blackberry Bold. Not.

Unspun, ever a sucker for gadgets, drooled over the sleek new Blackberry Bold and finally, on a trip to Hong Kong, decided to junk my Treo for the new phone. (HK sells the Bold much cheaper than Indonesia, at about Rp6 juta, while the ging rate here is Rp8.5 juta, but with exchange rates yoyoing who knows where the deal’s at anymore?)

The phone feels great and is a joy to play with except for two flaws:

1. It freezes every now and then. Pain in the ass but still liveable.

2. It’s a bitch to synch with the Mac using PocketMac. Its not better with the alternativem MissingSynch either.This is a major pain in the ass and something that is not acceptable from a putative purveyor of high end phones.

Unspun‘s been obsessed over the past two days trying to get Pocketmac to work but its been more erractic than a FPI member on alcohol. It would work sometimes, at other times it wouldn’t. Still other times it works partially, to the point that Unspun does not know what’s in his contacts database and what’s not anymore. There are duplications and triplications of addresses and even after deletion they come back like a bad rerun of the Terminator. Each time Unspun synchs he gets the message:

[04:48:49.402] An unexpected error has occurred: Bad device record set.  Check that the OID values are unique across records.
An unexpected error has occurred: Bad device record set.  Check that the OID values are unique across records.

Ever resourceful, Unspun resorted to the Blackberry Support Forums for advice and guidance but it looks like this problem has been around for months and nobody at RIM, the makers of Blackberry, or PocketMac the makers of a series of sunching products for the Mac and PC, have fixed it or even bothered to get with the conversation.

So you ask yourself how is it that a manufacturer that prides itself on selling high end phones an go about ignoring the plight of its customers so easily? This is what happened at Palm and other strong brands who lost their way, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

One indication of whether RIM is listening is to see if they respond to this posting with a comment. if they are not, then they are sleeping and its time to go for other products.