I sincerely hope the person working for RIM who is in charge of the BlackBerry ID registration process reads this rant and does something about it as it has now FRUSTRATED THE HELL OUT OF ME on two back to back occassions wasting 45 minutes of my time and providing a really BAD first impression to two new BlackBerry Bold 9900 owners.
A change from BlackBerry 6 and older BlackBerry Smartphones, BlackBerry 7 phones require that owners login with their BlackBerry ID. For the Rogers Bold 9900 on the version 22.214.171.1241 software it ships with it, it doesn't prompt you on first device startup to login with your BlackBerry ID, but it does when you first try to do something like open BlackBerry Messenger or BlackBerry App World. In other words, you can't get too far on the new 9900 without a BBID. If you aleady have a BlackBerry ID, no problem! You can easily login and you're good to go. However, if you don't yet have a BlackBerry ID, you need to create one, and two for two attempts I've now experienced the BBID creation process to be extremely, extremely frustrating and annoying...
Frustrating Story #1: I got a new BlackBerry Bold 9900 for my girlfriend (Miss CrackBerry). She's a long time BlackBerry user but with all her apps coming from the CrackBerry App Store previously, she's never signed up for a BlackBerry ID. Problem #1 during the registration process... she asks me what's the difference between a Screen Name and a Username. I say good question, and tell her the username is for logging in with her email address, but the Screen Name is public for when leaving reviews on apps (something the registration screen fails to mention, which it probably should so you don't put it in your real name). She says "That's Stupid. I don't want a public screen name. Why is BlackBerry forcing me to do that? I should be able to opt out. I don't want to leave any reviews." I tell her to get over it, and she continues with the process. She fills out the rest of the fields, including the password twice (double checking she did it the same twice) and submits the registration. The page refreshes, and says there was an error with the password, so she fills it in again, again double checking it's right, and submits. Same thing happens. We go through this about 12 times. We know the password is right, but it keeps giving the same freak'n error message. Miss CrackBerry tells me she hates her new BlackBerry Bold 9900 (she loves it again once she types on the keyboard).
At this point, I grab my laptop and google BlackBerry ID Registration and end up on this page on the BlackBerry website where I can actually do the registration on the web. I fill in the EXACT same information on the website as we were entering into the BBID registration app on the phone, but THIS TIME the website gives me an error message saying that the Screen Name was already taken. Ahh HAA! So the app was returning the wrong error message, and of course it was related to the screen name Miss CrackBerry didn't even want to get in the first place. We completed the registration on the web choosing a unique Screen Name, and from there went back to the phone and she logged in with her newly made BlackBerry ID.
Frustrating Story #2: One of our good friends, a mega BlackBerry addict, just came home from a trip to Italy and wanted the BlackBerry Bold 9900 immediately. And I mean immediately. Her flight came in late at night, so she bugged me to buy a 9900 off contract from Rogers during the day so she wouldn't have to wait for the store to open the next day to get it and she'd come over as soon as she unpacked and pay me for the phone and we'd get all her stuff transfered over from her Torch 9800 to her new 9900.
She didn't have a BlackBerry ID. Being wiser this time, I told her to go MAKE SURE she picked a really unique Screen Name as she went through the registration screen on her 9900. She double checked her password, and everything looked all good. She submits the info. The registration page refreshes. There's no error message here, but it just refreshes back onto the same registration screen, with the password fields now blank and needing to be filled in again (the rest of her signup info still showing filled in on the fields). She submits her info again, and again it just refreshes to the same registration page.
Crappy captcha and no hint that the Username should be an email address... awesome!
I grab my laptop, and head back to the BlackBerrry ID registration page to complete the process on the web again. This time I notice that the website registration page doesn't even give you a hint that the Username field should contain your email address. Of course we knew that was the case thanks to the hint in the app, but a first time visitor really wouldn't have a clue here. We fill in all the information exactly as it was in the app, but this time we get an error message saying we filled in the captcha wrong. I'm sorry, but I'm a wizard at reading captchas, and I know I got it right. I try again. Same thing - invalid captcha. And again, I **KNOW** I typed it in right. On the fifth try, apparently I get the captcha right (which I know I got right the four times before), but this time we get the message that the Screen Name already exists. WTF?! The Screen Name she was using was pretty unique.
A couple minutes later, it hits me that with a Screen Name that unique, maybe somehow we had already successfully created the BlackBerry ID account considering we're now getting a message indicating it's taken. We pick up the Bold 9900 again, and back out of the Registration part of the BlackBerry ID app (the page that just kept refreshing everytime we tried to register) to go to the first screen of the BBID app where you can login with your existing BBID. She puts in the username and password she was first trying to create when on the device, and sure enough, she logs in OK! WHAT THE EFF IS GOING ON HERE?! Turns out that she created her BlackBerry ID successfully the first try, but instead of the app saying something like BlackBerry ID Successfully Created and taking you back to first screen to login, it just did nothing and refreshed the same registration page with the registration info still filled in. So here we area continually trying to register the BBID, when it happened to work and the app just didn't tell us. Seriously, it's less a BBID and more a S - T - U - P - I D!
CONCLUSION: Seriously, I can't make stories like this up. And the fact that twice in a row I experienced these kinds of issues has me thinking I can't be alone here. The process was SOOO frustrating for these new BlackBerry Bold 9900 owners, and frankly, I was embarassed. I can only imagine how frustrating a new owner would feel when they run into these kinds of issues and can't even get through the setup process on a new phone. I'm guessing everybody at RIM already has had a BlackBerry ID forever, so the Registration process gets little attention. But man oh man, what a mistake.
FIX THIS NOW RIM. Registration needs to be PAINLESS. You need all the HAPPY BlackBerry Owners you can get. You shouldn't be turning them off before they even get a chance to use their new phone. If you've ever experienced issues with trying to setup a BlackBerry ID, be sure to vent in the comments.
/ End Rant