Reuters is reporting today that BlackBerry maker Research-in-Motion was hit with two class action lawsuits yesterday, one filed in Quebec and the other in California, in the wake of the several days of outages that plagued the company earlier this month.
According to Reuters, the lawsuit filed in Canada is on behalf of all current Canadian BlackBerry owners and it seeks RIM "to compensate BlackBerry users with refunds for loss of service."
The lawsuit filed in California, Reuters says, "accuses Research in Motion of breach of contract, negligence and unjust enrichment." The lawsuit is asking for unspecified cash compensation for the outage.
RIM isn't commenting on the lawsuits as of yet. RIM has apologized to BlackBerry customers for the outage, and is offering "... a selection of premium apps worth a total value of more than US $100 ... " to customers until the end of the year. RIM’s enterprise customers are being offered one month of free technical support as well. To some, the compensation offered seems under-whelming.
I wonder if you download the free apps but you also join a class action lawsuit, do you undermine your legal claim for additional compensation?
In other RIM news, the company announced it's going to be delaying the launch of an upgraded operating system to its (disappointing) PlayBook tablet until February 2012. This is now the fourth time upgrades to the OS has been delayed. As noted by this story from the AP, the company:
"... had announced earlier this fall the updated operating system would be available in October with features that include the ability for BlackBerry users to automatically access their email, contacts and calendar on the PlayBook, a function it doesn't currently have. When RIM launched the PlayBook in April it said would add the features within 60 days, but later pushed that back to the summer and then to October."
The news helped send RIM's stock price down about 6% yesterday. It has recovered slightly today.
Robert N. Charette is a Contributing Editor to IEEE Spectrum and an acknowledged international authority on information technology and systems risk management. A self-described “risk ecologist,” he is interested in the intersections of business, political, technological, and societal risks. Charette is an award-winning author of multiple books and numerous articles on the subjects of risk management, project and program management, innovation, and entrepreneurship. A Life Senior Member of the IEEE, Charette was a recipient of the IEEE Computer Society’s Golden Core Award in 2008.