BlackBerry boss defends app compensation but admits carrier payout

RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie has defended the company's compensation offer of free apps not cash for customers impacted by the BlackBerry outage last week, though has admitted RIM may still compensate carriers. "We're very focused on these carriers and making sure they're satisfied with the service operation" Balsillie told Bloomberg, "making sure we comply with all of our agreements with them and making sure we have their trust for the service going forward."

Some carriers had already committed to giving subscribers compensation for the downtime, despite RIM's terms of service for BlackBerry Messenger and other functionality expressly denying any responsibility. It's unclear what form the carrier compensation might take, though some sort of subsidy or payout to not only cover any costs incurred but to leave the operators feeling generally warm and fuzzy about RIM seem likely. Analysts previously estimated that the overall server fiasco could cost RIM in the region of $100m.

As for the promise of $100 worth of premium apps for users affected by RIM's servers failing, Balsillie reckons that should be enough to keep customers happy. "This is our offer and we worked systemically over the last three days to make that" he insisted, describing the deal as "a pretty comprehensive set of efforts." Enterprise customers will also get a month's free technical support as part of the package.


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