BlackBerry’s email service decided to go out for lunch yesterday and didn’t come back. By that we mean there was a major BlackBerry outage yesterday and thousands upon thousands of people were without access to their wireless email. Given the crowd of people who typically use it (e.g., businessmen and other professionals), there were a lot of unhappy campers (especially given that this is the 2nd major outage in a years time).
So about that BlackBerry outage… Remember the nickname that has been given to the Blackberry? It’s called the Crackberry because so many people become addicted do the device. What happens to addicts when they’re deprived of what they’re addicted to? They go through withdrawals and that’s exactly what happened to BlackBerry users yesterday. The Associated Press quoted one person saying that everyone was in crisis. They said:
Everyone’s in crisis because they’re all picking away at their BlackBerrys and nothing’s happening. It’s almost like cutting the phone cables or a total collapse in telegraph lines a century ago. It just isolates people in a way that’s quite phenomenal.
Another person, a businessman named Stuart Gold was one of many that was mad about another major outage. He was quoted as saying:
I don’t know what happened, I don’t care what happened. They need to save their excuses for someone who cares.
It’s actually quite amazing what an impact one device can have on the World. This critical outage also had the opposite effect. Besides the upset and angry customers, there were those who took the outage as a welcome break. One man who was quoted by Reuters said his life was easier without it because he didn’t have to worry about replying.
While I’m sure it did most everybody some good to step away from the BlackBerry for just a few hours, the underlying thought here is that RIM needs to make sure a major outage like this does not happen again. People want reliability and in a competitive market, people can leave BlackBerry behind for something that might be more reliable than what they’re currently getting like an iPhone or a Palm device. Oh wait, the iPhone experienced an outage not that long ago too back on January 31st! Is any service reliable these days or are we just expecting too much?