Have a BlackBerry question in South Africa? Ask the BlackBerry Buddies

By James Richardson on 23 Aug 2012 03:32 pm EDT

It was only a few days ago we told you how well BlackBerry was currently doing in Africa and coincidentally some interesting news has emerged this week regarding how RIM are helping out the BlackBerry community. It is in the form of BlackBerry Buddies who are now located in a selection of malls in South Africa, primed to serve the BlackBerry nation.

The idea of the BlackBerry Buddies scheme is to assist current BlackBerry users with technical issues they may have with their handsets, as well as sharing tips, tricks and shortcuts to give users the best BlackBerry experience possible. Engaging with customers on a personal level is probably the most a company can do to bridge the gap between themselves and the consumer and if you ask me it is a real step in the right direction in terms of customer service.

In addition to the BlackBerry Buddies being out on site they will also be answering customer queries online. A consolidated support section has been created on the BlackBerry.co.za website and in addition, questions via the South Africa BlackBerry Facebook page will also be tackled.

The BlackBerry Buddies scheme is initially being implemented in five malls:

  • Sandton City - Johannesburg
  • Menlyn Park - Pretoria
  • Mimosa Mall - Bloemfontein
  • Canal Walk - Cape Town
  • Gateway Shopping Centre - Durban

I think this may be one of the best ideas RIM has had in some time. I'm sure it will be a huge success in South Africa and help make the customer feel valued. Would you like to see BlackBerry Buddies in your local mall? We would love to know your thoughts and I'm sure that RIM themselves would love your feedback.

Reader comments

Have a BlackBerry question in South Africa? Ask the BlackBerry Buddies


It's about time that RIM does something like this. Although it is not their idea (unfortunately well utilized by another fruit named competitor), it is a start. If you are going to win back customers you are going to have to do it one at a time! People want to touch and feel the technology. By having a support mechanism in place that assists the user with technological difficulties just makes sense. Bring this type of program to North America. We won't admit that we need it but it would be most appreciated.

I saw this in the forum. It's a great idea in a emerging market.


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Go to EFnet Webchat IRC Portal: http://chat.efnet.org:9090/

Enter a Nickname and #CrackBerry for the Channel.

If Research In Motion cares so much about us here in South Africa, how about putting up some servers here, so that it doesn't take 8 minutes and 6 seconds to load a Google result search page :D

ur browser loading slowly has nuffin to do with the location of RIM's servers. probably ur carrier(network) or ur phone having low ram .... but certainly not RIM;s servers
ps:i live in south Africa too and it does not take me more than 1 min to load google results

If the ping is more than 60 ms, the latiency is noticeably slow. Anymore than 250 ms, it is dog slow and will take a while. If it's between 5066 and 8192, toggle the Mobile Network off/on.

They should do the same here in Colombia!! We have to stop people from jumping over!!! Inwould be a Buddy on my free time!

BB Stores in N America? For sure not a workable plan like it is in India, East Asia.

But a one employee Kiosk set up at the mall (and at larger airports vs. the full blown BB Stores) full time for key/high volume locations and weekends/key holidays for mid-volume locations would be great!

I'd bet it would be easy to get all the part-timers you need with a simple, one time mass BBM spam from RIM!

When r we getting music and video store. South Africa has stuck by RIM through all the turmoil and yet they reserve the best stuff for countries like the US, who by the way are showing them no love.

True. Most of all, we need a accessory shop. Tired of only gettiing these cheap knock off products everywhere. JasunX, I don't think that's a problem with servers being too far. I've never had that issue ever. Using bridge or even wifi.

Absolutely this is a great idea. Remove any barrier you can and increase the brand presence where people are everyday.

A couple of things.
1. Why does my BB9800 drop/lose my home wifi signal each day. I have to reboot the handset to get the wifi to work.
2. I went to Blackberry Buddies at Canal Walk, Cape Town today to try to resolve the above. When I arrived at 10.30am there were already in excess of 12 people waiting. The average time spent with each client was about 45 minutes. I was not prepared to wait 9 hours to get an answer. I suspect that the BB Buddies is a good idea but with one technician on support it is hopelessly undermanned. This type of offering seems to annoy rather than assist BB users. It certainly annoyed me.

Please help me, i recently downloaded Blackberry Messenger v 7 on my daughter's phone and it wont work - i just keep getting a blue screen, I have deleted it and i am unable to download bbm v 6, please can some tell me how to get v6 back on her phone so that she can get connect again. She has a curve. I have tried doing a security clean and nothing seems to work. I have looked on the internet but everypage keeps sending me to the v7 link. Please help. I am paying for a service that she cant use. You assistance would greatly be appreciated.