BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) has started the process of winning back customers that were left unhappy following last week’s massive worldwide service outage – by offering free ‘premium apps’.
Despite millions of users across the world being without services from Monday to Thursday last week RIM has yet to talk about compensation. Its co-CEOs dodged the question during a conference call with journalists to discuss the service outage.
RIM has however decided to offer "premium apps worth a total value of more than $100" free of charge to its users, "as an expression of appreciation for their patience during the recent service disruptions," the company said in a statement.
As of Wednesday this week the following apps will be available free of charge on RIM’s BlackBerry App World:
- SIMS 3 – Electronic Arts
- Bejeweled – Electronic Arts
- N.O.V.A. – Gameloft
- Texas Hold’em Poker 2 – Gameloft
- Bubble Bash 2 – Gameloft
- Photo Editor Ultimate – Ice Cold Apps
- DriveSafe.ly Pro – iSpeech.org
- iSpeech Translator Pro – iSpeech.org
- Drive Safe.ly Enterprise – iSpeech.org
- Nobex Radio Premium – Nobex
- Shazam Encore – Shazam
- Vlingo Plus: Virtual Assistant – Vlingo
The company has promised more to come. The promotion will run until December 31.
The first thing that jumps out about the list is that there isn’t a huge amount there to satisfy an enterprise user. Beyond the games on offer there are a couple that could be useful for a business traveller, particularly the speech translation apps such as Vlingo Plus: Virtual Assistant – maybe RIM is worried about the impact of the introduction of Siri on the new iPhone 4S?
RIM clearly agrees and has added a few extras for enterprise customers; they will receive one month of free Technical Support. Current customers will be offered one month extension of their existing Technical Support contract while customers not signed up to a Technical Support contract can get a one-month trial.
Will this be enough to keep BlackBerry users happy? Not if our survey is anything to go by.
CBR last week revealed that nearly 20% of BlackBerry users were already in the process of moving to another platform before the service disruption, while a further 34% think they or their company should now move away from BlackBerry as a result of the outage.