Communication Fail: Blackberry Down Again

Just hours after recovering from an outage  that lasted most of Monday, the Blackberry data network is offline again for many users in Europe and the Middle East. Research in Motion, which makes the Blackberry devices and manages its data network, is compounding its problems with an epic failure in communicating with its users, who are venting their frustration loudly on social networks.

UPDATE: Blackberry has issued a statement providing some additional details on the outage: “The messaging and browsing delays being experienced by BlackBerry users in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India, Brazil, Chile and Argentina were caused by a core switch failure within RIM’s infrastructure. Although the system is designed to failover to a back-up switch, the failover did not function as previously tested. As a result, a large backlog of data was generated and we are now working to clear that backlog and restore normal service as quickly as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience and we will continue to keep you informed.”

Monday’s outage  left millions of Blackberry users in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa) unable to access their e-mail, instant messages or the Internet. Early this morning Blackberry posted a message to its UK Twitter account saying all Blackberry services had been restored. But within hours, users were complaining that the service was down again. Research in Motion was again slow to acknowledge the new problems, forcing its carrier partners to publicly point the finger.

“We are aware that there are still issues with Blackberry services,” the Orange network tweeted. “RIM are investigating and we will update when we have any info.” Soem partners were more direct. “SEACOM is not responsible for the Blackberry service (BIS) outage currently being experienced,” the South African telecom company tweeted.

The company finally acknowledged the new issues at about via its BlackberryHelp Twitter account. “Some areas have messaging delays and impaired browsing,” it said. “We’re working to restore normal service as quickly as possible.” Late Tuesday the company said the problems had spread to include India, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina.

RIM’s sparse updating stands in marked contrast to the steady stream of complaints from frustrated users, mixed in with links to outage reports and jokes.

The importance of social media in managing customer communication is well established. More than two years ago we noted that “Twitter has emerged as perhaps the most important venue for discussion of hosting outages, powering fast-moving conversations in which unhappy customers share information and complaints. Providers ignore this development at their peril.”

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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  1. blackberry

    blackberry is crap its always crashing if it isnt back on wiithin today am gan to fone shop and changing me fone its stupid ya pay ya contrat or 5 quid and ya dont even get the bolt on man AAAAAAAAAAAARGH pissed off big style now 2 days running now get it sorted

  2. Can't even use internet on my phone without being connected to a WiFi network :(

  3. abby

    this is a joke. 2 days i have no service for blackberry services, only texts and calls. whats the point in having a blackberry if its going to crash all the time. waste of time and money. so glad im ditching mine and going for a reasonable and better phone!!

  4. manc lion

    aww what a shame why dont you get a life,ive got a bb and so what its gone down again,it aint life threatening,its not the end of the world ,just shows you how reliant some people are on a bloody phone

  5. USELESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOODBYE BLACKBERRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Another day with limited connection ie none! Managed to get a batch of emails this morning and after resetting all the data options which the outage by default caused to be dropped from my phone, yet again no connection from mid afternoon. Grrrrr

  7. jessie :)

    ive only just got a blackberry and im sick of it already! seriously get it sorted.

  8. stacy :D

    BYE BYE BLACKBERRY!! HELLO IPHONE :) Its not about people reliying on fones, If we pay for something we expect it 2 work, My bb was £500 so I expect it to work!!. Its a joke 2 days its been down and I use my bbm To contact my family!! Bb's are crap!!! I want a fone I can rely on!!!!

  9. Hey guys! Wondering about whats REALLY going on with blackberry... Quite interesting that governments cant play "big brother" on BBM... its a secure line without prying eyes... whats up? Wonder if this BB 'collapse' was orchestrated by the UAE gov? .... ponder... surely a company as big as Blackberry with as many investors and money flying around would make sure things like this wont happen or will be restored quickly... maybe take a look below the surface...

  10. DarkFlamme

    3rd day without service... "wonderful". I'm thinking more and more about getting an iPhone even though I loathe touch phones.

  11. Andy P

    I agree with Stacy were all paying for this service and should be able to use it. If we can't then it's pointless having it. I'm afraid 3 days now without any service and nothing from Blacberry to apologise or inform it's customers what is happening is crazy. This will def be the last BB product I ever have. :-(

  12. venny

    3rd day Omg fix this I'm getting so frustrated ffs!!!!! GeeeeeeeZ!

  13. M-etops / berryaddict

    People. i am not trying to find an excuse for the outage. But we as users are demanding quite a lot these days from our mobile and the networks. Yes we are paying for this service. And yes, the world is going to end when we don't have any means of mobile communication. But since the outage i discovered that talking "face 2 face" of just picking up the phone and talk to some one is just a revelation. I know that the engineers are doing their best in finding a solution and implementing this. I am not moving to Iphone or Adroid, So why threathen with thta. I still read that leaks are found in adroid os. So not trust worthy. I personally don't like the e-mail structure found in IOS from apple. So i am being patient and enjoy the non-mobile data service. Look up instead of down to your phone all the time and see the world pass by. Play with your kid, dog, go out with your family. SIde note to RIM... Get the services up asap. i am getting withdrawl signs. I am a berry addict.

  14. edward

    Where is the ceo to give an update?

  15. steven

    Good luck relying on the i fone! "stacy :D Posted October 11th, 2011 BYE BYE BLACKBERRY!! HELLO IPHONE :) Its not about people reliying on fones, If we pay for something we expect it 2 work, My bb was £500 so I expect it to work!!. Its a joke 2 days its been down and I use my bbm To contact my family!! Bb’s are crap!!! I want a fone I can rely on!!!!"

  16. Ella

    I'm flipping tired of this!! :( I swear down if this happends again ima get a samsung :( RRRGH btw this is on sunday 26 february 2012 RRRRRGH

  17. Abu

    IS anyone else experiencing bis outage since Sunday, February 26 2012? Up till this minute I have no BIS on my blackberry, and my work depends heavily on this!!!