T-Mobile's caught flack from BlackBerry users over the past weekend for their efforts to woo them over to the iPhone 5s. The "Great offer for BlackBerry customers" campaign went over like a lead balloon for the CrackBerry faithful on T-Mobile, resulting in enough of an uproar that even T-Mobile USA CEO John Legere found himself in the crosshairs.
Just a day after the ads went out, Legere took to Twitter to state that he heard BlackBerry users "loud and clear" and that he would "work with the team" about BlackBerry. Of course, what exactly he's going to work with the team about was up in the air (Legere's not one for treading lightly, but he's also not one for opening his mouth without a purpose).
So while T-Mobile's actual reaction to the reaction is still unclear (aside from "it's probably not a good idea to try and persuade BlackBerry users away from their coveted smartphones"), BlackBerry CEO John Chen wasn't in a mood to wait. As he stated on the corporate Inside BlackBerry blog:
"Late last week, T-Mobile emailed an offer targeting BlackBerry users on its network asking them to switch their BlackBerry devices to a competitor’s smartphone. As we were never told of their plans in advance, I can only guess that T-Mobile thought its “great offer for BlackBerry customers” would be well received. T-Mobile could not have been more wrong.
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.
To the BlackBerry user community, I want to extend our deepest gratitude. Your passion motivates us every day as we navigate our turnaround. And for our loyal customers on the T-Mobile network, know that we have an offer in the works designed especially for you. Watch this space for an update very soon.
Finally, to T-Mobile, I would like to remind you that our long-standing partnership was once productive and profitable for both BlackBerry and T-Mobile. I hope we can find a way forward that allows us to serve our shared customers once again. Notwithstanding the current challenge, we remain very excited about BlackBerry’s future."
It's clear that BlackBerry wasn't thrilled by T-Mobile's marketing push, or that they even had knowledge of it in advance. Not that they would have signed off on it anyway, being that they'd prefer people replace their current BlackBerry with another BlackBerry, not an iPhone.
We know you weren't thrilled by T-Mobile's move (or other previous moves at T-Mobile with respect to BlackBerry), but with Legere working to smooth things over and Chen ripping T-Mobile a new one over the outrage caused, is T-Mobile still a good home for BlackBerry users?