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By 14 October 2011 | Categories: news

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Both Vodacom and Cell C announced that they will reimburse BlackBerry customers in the wake of service disruptions that have plagued Research in Motion this week. 

Cell C stated that it will give its customers R10 off the cost of their Blackberry Internet/Enterprise Service for the month of October as well as providing them 10 free SMSes for the time they could not use Blackberry Messenger. The company explained that while it had “no role in the service disruption”, it wanted to ensure that “customers are compensated for the loss of service as a gesture of goodwill.” Cell C customers will receive more information about the compensation via SMS next week.

Vodacom similarly stated that it will give all BlackBerry customers affected by this week’s service disruption 20 free Vodacom to Vodacom minutes for use from Monday to Friday next week. “In addition to this we will also be giving affected customers 20 free SMSs for the inconvenience of the past few days,” said the company.
 
As with Cell C, Vodacom pointed out that RIM’s technical problems were out of its hands. “Many BlackBerry users have been denied the service for three successive days, which is unusually long. It is only fitting that we do this as a gesture of appreciation for their patience,” said Portia Maurice, Vodacom’s chief officer for corporate affairs.
 
“We will not be able to do this each time a supplier has a problem, but we do believe this is an exception,” she commented.

The BlackBerry outages, which left users unable to browse the internet, receive instant messages and send and receive emails, have been a sore point for BlackBerry users this week in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America. Research in Motion (RIM) spent much of the week scrambling to try correct the problem, and then issued a statement yesterday reporting that services were restored.

The company explained that the outages were due to a core switch failure within RIM’s infrastructure. “Although the system is designed to failover to a back-up switch, the failover did not function as previously tested. As a result, a large backlog of data was generated and we are now working to clear that backlog and restore normal service as quickly as possible,” RIM stated earlier this week

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