Blackberry CEO 'Outraged,' Scolds T-Mobile Like A Child For Simple Sales Pitch To Blackberry Users

from the surely-you-have-better-things-to-do dept

Blackberry CEO John Chen has a lot to worry about. At the moment his company continues a head-first plunge into potential irrelevance, being incapable of offering compelling products that prevent Apple and Google from eroding its wireless market share (don't tell that to the company's loyal fans, though). A long line of executives keep getting shuffled in and out like party decorations on a sinking ocean liner in the hopes that somebody can fix this, but generally speaking Chen isn't having all that much fun, and most analysts aren't too sure the company's fortunes will ever get turned around.

With all of this on Chen's plate, it's curious then to see where Chen's attentions are focused. T-Mobile last week apparently sent a promotion to Blackberry users that simply offered users an iPhone 5S for no money down if they switched to T-Mobile. For a company that has been writing some uncharacteristically (for wireless) hilarious press releases with a CEO who spends much of the day brutally mocking AT&T on Twitter -- T-Mobile's promotion is tame and barely worth attention. Still, it was apparently enough to "outrage" Chen, who took to the company blog to scold T-Mobile as if they were a milk-spilling toddler:
"I want to thank our loyal customers for your commitment to BlackBerry. By expressing your outrage directly to T-Mobile ‎through tweets, calls and comments in the media and on blog posts, you sent a powerful message that T-Mobile could not ignore. Your partnership with our brand is appreciated by all of us at BlackBerry, and draws a sharp contrast with the behavior of our longtime business partner. I can assure you that we are outraged too. What puzzles me more is that T-Mobile did not speak with us before or after they launched this clearly inappropriate and ill-conceived marketing promotion."
Granted T-Mobile (who barely sells any Blackberry devices) wouldn't be trying to poach your customer base if you were creating products and services a broader audience actually liked. The comments below Chen's post are somewhat of a treat as well, with Blackberry fans insisting Chen is "pure class" and "the man" for swatting T-Mobile on the nose like a puppy that has pooped on your favorite slippers. T-Mobile CEO John Legere responded to Chen on Twitter in just the way we've grown accustomed to. All of this faux outrage simply wound up making waves in the press and giving an otherwise entirely-uninteresting T-Mobile promotion -- and Blackberry's ongoing failures -- a huge bath of free publicity.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2014 @ 9:31pm

    Hardly anyone would have known about this if he hadn't got his knickers all twisted up and shouted about it. Way to do promo for your competition. What an idiot.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2014 @ 9:42pm

    Ongoing failures doesn't scan. The current range (Z10, Z30 and Q10) are all exceptionally decent devices, the Z10 having won a number of design awards. QNX is also a very nice OS.

    The only difference if it had been an Apple response, is that there would have been more comments.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Victoria, Feb 20th, 2014 @ 9:56pm

    The point of this piece was...?

    Whining about someone else's opinion? But criticizing them for it? Haha.

    BlackBerry makes some awesome devices. Try one or quit pretending like you know how "bad" they are.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2014 @ 10:14pm

    Re: The point of this piece was...?

    Way to whine about and criticize Karl's opinion there, Victoria. Haha.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2014 @ 10:18pm

    Re: The point of this piece was...?

    Hypocrisy, it's not just for breakfast anymore.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 2:08am

    Blackberry executive-of-the-day whines

    Ah, I see: he's got just enough of a spine to complain about T-Mobile, but not even enough of one to stand up for the privacy and security of Blackberry customers. Good to know.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 2:30am

    I like T-Mobile. They have low prices and piss the big guys off. :)

     

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  8.  
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    Ninja (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 2:33am

    Nokia, RIM... Who is next? They just need to produce phones that offer a good customer experience while making their services available for such users (ie: services that are better than the competition). Is it that hard?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 5:09am

    Re: The point of this piece was...?

    Who is whining?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 5:15am

    This is their reaction to competition in the marketplace?

    Wow, what happened to all those people who take ridiculous amounts of compensation because of their skill in business practice and knowledge of navigating treacherous markets while meeting investor expectations? Competition? Well, that just can not be allowed!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Designerfx (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 5:39am

    you missed the best part

    The best part is, they moderate their blog so heavily as to not allow a single negative or contradicting statement to be approved.

    Everything is "YAY! BLACKBERRY RULES THE WORLD!" type responses that are completely written by blackberry employees or people so delusional there is no measure.

    Not a single apposing viewpoint has been allowed to be posted to the blog.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    xz11111000000 (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 6:04am

    Keyboard

    BBY has real keyboard. The others, not real keyboard. Thor like.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    xz11111000000 (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 6:06am

    Re: you missed the best part

    Another possibility is only BBY fanboys post there and everyone else totally ignores it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 6:42am

    Lord complex?

    He seems to think that his customers are serfs and he their lord. No wonder Blackberry has stagnated if their CEO has this massive an entitlement complex that he forgets the golden rule: you serve your customers not the other way around.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 8:19am

    Re:

    I know people who have had issues with T-Mobile before. I know two people who got new phones and something went wrong (I think both incidents occurred about a year apart from each other). The insurance (though only one of the two people got the extended warranty/insurance but the person who didn't still had their phone covered by the standard warranty IIRC), at least at the time, covered everything but 'water damage'. Both times T-Mobile blamed the problem on 'water damage' when there was no water damage after we sent the phones in. We even demanded the phone without the extended warranty back after sending it in to try and get it looked at by an independent party for water damage and they refused to send our phone back. They wanted us to pay for a new one. Their customer service was terrible. Only after we filed complaints with the BBC did they freely replace our phones and honor the warranties.

    Needless to say the person who did get the extended warranty never got an extended warranty again (and they ended up canceling their service anyways because for some reason they couldn't get reception where they lived though now they are considering maybe re-subscribing if they can sync their cell phones to the Wifi and get service that way, not sure if they did that already. T-Mobile had no problems waving the cancellation fee when they did cancel though after being unable to get good reception to their house for some reason). I believe the warranties now do cover 'water damage' because last time they offered it to me for my last phone they said yes, but who knows if there is some other loophole in there that it doesn't cover that they will try to exploit.

    Other than that overall their service has been pretty good and I don't have any complaints.

     

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  16.  
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    crade (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 8:44am

    Re: The point of this piece was...?

    The proof is in the pudding.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    crade (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 8:53am

    Re:

    It's hard for RIM, they backed themselves into a corner. They were around long before iphone back when all phones sucked, and they absolutely refused to abandon compatibility for them, all their OSes. If you want to write an app for blackberry you are forced to write to the lowest common denominator. They needed to ditch their backwards compatibility obsession long ago in order to be able to have a good customer experience.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Was thinking about it, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 8:53am

    Just this morning I was idly thinking of getting a refurb BB from TMobile. I won't bother now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    Robert (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 8:57am

    T-Mobile's Response

    They're trying to make amends though and have a pretty good trade-in offer going on for loyal blackberry users: Trade in any usable blackberry (even an ancient 3G Curve) and get $250 credit towards a new Blackberry Z10 or Q10.

    How many people will actually take that, I don't know.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re:

    "though only one of the two people got the extended warranty/insurance"

    People actually buy those extended warranties? Consider my mind blown.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 9:06am

    Re: Re:

    Not to mention that they lost the largest selling point they had going (security & privacy) when they started to allow certain governments to eavesdrop on the traffic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    icon
    limbodog (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 9:19am

    From BB CEO: "this clearly inappropriate... promotion"

    In what way is it inappropriate? Can anyone tell me?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Eric Goebelbecker, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 9:44am

    In December Chen announced that Blackberry's only focus is on enterprise clients.

    How many enterprise clients received the promotion? My guess would be none.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Eric Goebelbecker, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 10:06am

    Re:

    What's the market share again? Failure.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 10:52am

    Re:

    I believe his thinking is that it's inappropriate because Blackberry is a dying company and any little thing like this could kill them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    Cynyr (profile), Feb 23rd, 2014 @ 4:33pm

    Re: Keyboard

    so does my phone... I have a bluetooth keyboard for those times that i just might have to compose more than a quick social media post or text on my phone.

    Generally though, nothing I'm doing means I need more than the google keyboard with swiping. Sure it takes longer than a real keyboard, but oh well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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