Monday, July 04, 2011

*MY* Open Letter to Research In Motion (RIM)

Ok, so I read this article on Engadget and it was so disappointing I composed a letter to Research In Motion and emailed it to the help@rim.com email address listed on their Contact page.

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Dear RIM,

From 1998-2000, I carried a BlackBerry for work. I could get email anywhere. I remember holding it up under the openings as the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland goes underground while we waited in line so I could keep in touch with the office. I remember driving up the 5 and having it beep every time it came in range of a tower and new email went in and out. It was effortless. Lots of people were just discovering email and here I was, pretty fresh out of college with email on my person no matter where I was. That was awesome.

Then some job changes and I didn't have a BlackBerry again until 2006. I had a Philips Nino, a Windows CE device. No wireless connection, but a large black and white (stylus) touchscreen. Finally in 2006 long after I abandoned the Nino, I got issued another Blackberry. Email again and this time a phone as well. It was a horribly underpowered device. You could install apps on it but they ground it to a halt. I complained enough and the IT gave me a newer hand-me-down and its performance was even worse, especially after I upgraded to the latest operating system. (Which completely wiped out the connection to our network - that was an embarrassing helpdesk ticket to have to submit.)

So when our company announced that iPhones were going to be available, I was one of the first in line to get one. I had seen all my friends who were using the ones they had bought for themselves.

But I've always felt a little guilty. I had a special place in my heart for my 950 and I saw the Palm devices my snooty friends as just an upstart wannabe. The Palm owners were the ones who moved to iPhones and I looked on them for their snootyness because people who buy Apple products have more wallet than brains, right? (That's what they say on CNET. Until the iPhone, anything Apple did, someone else did at a price that was more economical to the general public.)

But in the end, I got one, too. Apple woke a lot of people up (function, style, ecosystem of developers, media, some very slick marketing), but it seems like you've chosen to bury your head in the sand. You've got a lot of brilliant people there and there is probably still a potential future for RIM. (I miss the physical keyboard and the fact that when I was on the BlackBerry, I was on my corporate network and could see stuff behind the firewall.)

Anonymous was right. You guys need to figure out something really, really quick. Please. I'd hate to see you die or go the way of Nokia. I hope that Waterloo won't be an ironic location for your headquarters.

It's not often that I take the time to write a rambling email to a company of which I'm not a customer, but the response to Anonymous was just so disappointing.

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Any what happens? They don't accept email at that email address.

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Thank you for contacting BlackBerry Technical Support. The email you submitted has not been delivered. Please find many alternative support options below.

Are you a BlackBerry Partner or Carrier?
If you are a BlackBerry Partner or Carrier and have a carrier code please contact your partner Support Account Manager as you incorrectly received this message.

Self-Help Options:
BlackBerry Technical Solution Center. All BlackBerry smartphone users have free access to the BlackBerry Technical Solution Center a repository of support information and documentation, with enhanced search capabilities. Easily search for and find the BlackBerry support information you need. (http://www.blackberry.com/btsc/)

BlackBerry Answers. The mobile web site that is like having your own technical support team at your fingertips. Accessible right from your BlackBerry smartphone at mobile.blackberry.com, just type in a question to get step-by-step instructions that should solve the problem. (Note: BlackBerry Answers is compatible with all BlackBerry smartphones carrying a series number of 8000 and higher).

BlackBerry Support Community Forums. Get your questions answered, and participate in discussions on BlackBerry products and services. Visit the BlackBerry Community Support Forum to get started.

Flickr Picasa Facebook and Instant Messaging Applications. If you require assistance with one of our free social networking applications, please feel free to use our online web form to submit technical issues directly to BlackBerry Technical Support at your convenience. (http://supportforums.blackberry.com/rim/)

Are you already a BlackBerry Technical Support Services subscriber?
If you have a technical support services subscription, you may contact us through our online web form (https://www.blackberry.com/besc). If your BlackBerry smartphone has been provided to you by your company, please contact your IT help desk for assistance.

All other BlackBerry smartphone users are encouraged to use one of the following options:
- Contact your Wireless Service Provider. Your service provider fields general questions and provides technical support for BlackBerry related issues and can act as your first point of contact.
- Subscribe to an annual based BlackBerry technical support program. BlackBerry Technical Support Services offers 24x7 technical support and BlackBerry Enterprise Server software upgrades. If your technical support subscription has expired, or you would like to learn more about this option, copy and paste the following URL into your address bar: (http://na.blackberry.com/eng/support/programs/technical.jsp#tab_tab_annual.)

Obtain Pay-Per Incident Support from Research In Motion (RIM). Receive fee-based support directly from RIM, the manufacturer and wireless experts for the BlackBerry solution. If you would like to learn more about this option, please copy and paste the following URL into your address bar: (http://na.blackberry.com/eng/support/programs/technical.jsp#tab_ddetail_subtab_incident)

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Cruddy customer service. It's fine if you don't want to get mail - I was frankly surprised to see an email address listed. But to allow someone to send an email just to send back a "ha. just kidding." is downright STUPID.

So I've changed my mind based just on this. The world doesn't need you anymore, RIM. You served a gap until Apple and Google decided it was time to take over the reins.
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