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Unsatisfied with free apps, BlackBerry customers hit RIM with class action suit

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In the middle of October, BlackBerry users around the world started getting hit with service outages. Customers in the United States, Africa, the Middle East, Canada and other countries were without BlackBerry Messenger, email or the internet in general for a few days. RIM tried to make up for the outage by offering a suite of free apps that it estimates carries a value of over $100, and free technical support. That olive branch is not being accepted by the Consumer Law Group. The group has filed a class action lawsuit against RIM on behalf of Canadian BlackBerry smartphone owners.

The lawsuit covers “all residents in Canada who have a BlackBerry smartphone and who pay for a monthly data plan but were unable to access their email, BlackBerry Messenger service (“BBM”), and/or internet for the period of October 11 to 14, 2011, or any other group to be determined by the Court.”

The Consumer Law Group believes that RIM has not properly compensated users who could not access crucial BlackBerry services even though RIM knows those customers pay a monthly data plan. The complaint aims to force RIM to pay each Canadian customer for the 1.5 days they were without service.

One of the members of the lawsuit pays $25 a month for 1GB of data through Rogers Wireless. He uses BlackBerry Messenger to send messages to friends in Trinidad to avoid high texting fees. Should RIM to be forced to compensate the him, the company would pay out $1.25. The same would go for every member of the class action suit. Therefore even though $1.25 is nothing to pay a single person, that number can increase dramatically if this lawsuit grows in popularity. The suit estimates the number of BlackBerry smartphone customers in Canada “is in the tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands).”

RIM has yet to make an official statement on the matter.

Read [Financial Post]

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