Thorsten Heins says sorry for todays BlackBerry outage in Europe and Africa

By James Richardson on 21 Sep 2012 11:34 am EDT

We posted earlier today that some areas of Europe and Africa were experiencing BlackBerry outages, here in the UK it seemed with Vodafone only. Hot off the press Thorsten Heins has issued the following statement apologising for the days issues for BlackBerry users in the said regions.

I want to apologize to those BlackBerry customers in Europe and Africa who experienced an impact in their quality of service earlier this morning.  The BlackBerry service is now fully restored and I can report that no data or messages were lost.  Up to 6 percent of our user base may have been impacted.  Preliminary analysis suggests that those customers may have experienced a maximum delay of 3 hours in the delivery and reception of their messages. We are conducting a full technical analysis of this quality of service issue and will report as soon as it concludes.  I again want to apologize to those customers who were impacted today.

Great to have RIM respond to the problem in such a short space of time instead of hiding behind closed doors. Nice job Thorsten - you rock! (and roll this!)

Reader comments

Thorsten Heins says sorry for todays BlackBerry outage in Europe and Africa


problem is not the response but the way people see outages.... already saw like 10 reports of failing company has another outage bad for business type deal.

the BBI is actually insanely complex when i got taught the stuff by RIM it took quite some time to wrap my head around it is quite the work of art when seen in a techie standpoint.

overall was nice for him to address it does help.... sorta

This. Reports are all over - and ever one of them mentions that RIM is already in trouble and this is going to make it worse and it's oh-so-uncertain that they'll ever recover.

Realistically it was a 3 hour delay that affected 6% of the user base - with zero data loss. But you won't see "realistically" in the reporting.

EXACTLY... You should check out the report on iBGR.. One would have though that their entire network blew up after reading their "spun" article.

Anyone who gets their tech news from iBGR is either a moron or an Apple fanboi (if there's a difference)


I don't get my "tech news" (I use the term very loosely here) from iBGR-... I just go there on occasion to see what kind of anti-RIM bullisht they are publishing. Frankly, I think the site is pretty pathetic their lineup consists of 8 out of 10 articles Apple nutswinging articles, 1 is Android (use negative but sometimes pro) and the other is definitely some iBGR spun BS about RIM.

Not surprising. I refuse to go on that site because of all the bullsh!t that is spewed on a daily basis. With how much they bash RIM I'm surprised anyone from RIM actually grants them interviews, but they do anyway.

Is any of it untrue though lol? Even if it was just a small outage - RIM is already in trouble, it is very uncertain that they'll ever recover and a outage (no matter how small) does make things worse.

What exactly was unrealistic about the reporting? The media is just reporting the facts. BGR may love reporting bad news about RIM, but did BGR cause the outage? Did they lie about the outage or about RIM's current situation? Nope. RIM is what is hurting RIM, the media is just covering the train wreck.

I must agree. The infrastructure is super complex yet very functional. It doesn't fail that often anyway. RIM should be praised for keeping such a complex piece of engineering running smoothly almost all the time

Its easy to say right now that they will "report as soon as it concludes", but I doubt we will ever hear of this again. Root cause analysis isn't often presented to the consumer

I'm curious as to why this is such a big deal. Yes, it impacted people.. but it only impacted Vodafone (as I understand) and it only impacted customers in 3 countries (which has also been reported). Apple has outages.. carriers have outages... it happens.. people just need to accept it an move on.

People need someone to take on their frustrations. RIM has been the punching bag for too long.

I think RIM should point fingers to the Xynthea tribe people who live in the asteriod belt, who keep tossing us the occasional meteor that fries our satellites, damages the ozone layer, and is the true cause of global warming. They're the cause of all problems on planet earth! :)

The media is a little too anti-RIM. Hardly anyone reported on the iCloud outage a few days ago in comparison (even though it was similar), yet the press was all over this.

It's not what happens, it's how you handle it. Thorsten understands that RIM's push messaging is not best effort but a reliable and mature service that 80 million people rely on minute by minute! People expect 5-9 uptime (99.999%) -- carrier grade reliability, and can you blame them?

Fortunately, RIM is delivering quality service. It's very reliable and even in the last outage last October, no messages were lost then and now! That is amazing.

I'm sure RIM realizes they need to beef up their service even more. Outages like this reveal just how relevant BlackBerry service still is. Thorsten is doing great by being up front and seeing the problem through till the end -- plus it is an opportunity to give BlackBerry users some love too. Make users feel important by thanking them :)

For those few who manage a global network and never have an outage....please step forward....

I say again....

For those who few who manage a global network and never have an outage....please step forward....


I'm stepping forward and I manage a global network. The network i manage has not yet failed me. Even during maintenance it has no glitches. then ofcourse i woke up...

What are you talking about? It says in the story that it IS NOT like the "same ol'" RIM because he made his appologies instead of hiding away.
Also, if you were refering to service outages, it's the first major (if 3hours can be considered major) outage since last October and IT WAS FIXED IN LESS THAN 3 HOURS WITH NO LOSS OF MESSAGES/E-MAILS/BBMs... NOTHING! It can hardly be considered a regular occurance.
MAybe you should think, or maybe learn about, what you're talking about.


I love all of the bashing when RIM has an outage, yet Apple had iMessage issues recently and barely a peep from anyone. Either we have a bad double standard going on, or people hate when their BB service goes down because they actually use it to get stuff done versus playing Angry Birds or Tomb Run...

The fact it showed up on news channels and websites with the usual doom and gloom kinda p*ssed me off.
It was UP TO 6% of the user base and the delay was 3hours. Nothing was lost. IT's hardly an end of the world senario or anywhere near as bad as last years outage.

Well done Thor for getting your CLEAR appology (no excuses for the media to over extend themselves with lies) out as soon as possible.


No where in the world can anyone expect a 100% performance from any technology base activities. Even humans fail to perform sometimes. Although, no problems in network in Nigeria, I should believe that BB users all over the world will expect this situation once a while. The most important remedy is what the CEO has done. Let us know the problem and not to keep us in the dark. You've done well Mr. CEO.

I'd like to applaud Mr. Heins for responding to this outage at all, given that in the past no announcements or apologies were made by Lazaridis (I refuse to call him Mr) unless the outage was a day or longer.

And while it only affected a small number of users, for a seemingly short period of time, it's things like this that stick in a company's mind...."Oh, another RIM outage".

The perception of issues may not reflect reality, but it's the perception that people remember. And at my company, the people who sign off on budgets have the perception (no matter what I may tell them) that RIM is not as 'stable' because of the outages.

I love my personal BlackBerry, but I will admit that as an IT BES Admin who supports both BB and iPhone, the iPhones are easier to support and there are definitely less points of failure since there is no BES and no RIM network standing between the user and their email.

Media outlets should focus on how bad the iphone 5 really is. Like that map software they butchered from tom tom. Clearly Apple is clueless how to use the mapping in house! At the end of the day the iphone still can't do what other phones can. Elite class pffft..

The new iphone is a fail but the isheep buy it cause it's new.

Will be nice to see Samsung and Apple hammer it out in court again soon. This time the win will go to Samsung.

Media outlets have covered how bad the map software is on the iPhone 5. Where have you been? Every consumer technology site I follow has mentioned how horrible the new map app is.

The problem is BB was built on reliability and security. That is no longer the case. Sure, I was not involved in this outage, but I was in the last 2. I like my 9930 but the last time I had an outage used it as a non smart phone and managed to survive. BTW, it is not only BB that denies outages (this is refreshing that they admitted it) but Verizon also denied the last outage that affected me. I have also noticed there is an increase in not being able to get 3G where it was previously available. I am not normally paranoid but am starting to wonder if there is a conspiracy to drive us to 4G and lose our unlimited plans. I know, I am getting off topic a little so, WHERE IS PB 2.1? Please, no more of the get it in BETA crap.

Telephone systems goes downs as cable tv, as celular networks, satelites, power generators fails, cars even the most expensive, production plants sometimes stops for malfunction or maintenance, goverment computers, even wall street computer systems stops, millitary computers get hack. You name anything, and anything that has to do with technology and interaction among hundred and millions of people will always fail from time to time that is actually normal. Hell if every system in the world would opperate at a 100% with no failure or downtime as people expect, you may actually end up out of work because you won't be needed.

Its always a double edge sword with blackberry.

Blackberry outage and its major news
Google outage and its barely reported.

Yes people got some emails and bbm's late. Imessage decides whether or not to send a message and unless you have a gmail account I found many of my email accts take forever for the emails to come through on android.

Its not like peoples phones were bricks. They could talk and text and surf the web if they had opera installed on their device.

Talking and texting are the core functions of the cellphone and that's all I truly care about. I mainly have a blackberry for the keyboard and 1 handed usability.

This whole thing is blown WAY out of proportion!!! Come on, are you kidding me? I really can't believe I saw on the morning news thing morning TOP NEWS STORY:
iPhone 5 has come out and people have lined up for 14+ hours to get their hands on the new device. More problems for BlackBerry today as this couldn't be worse timing for RIM to be having an outage spread over multiple countries, which they are scrambling to fix.

No wonder people have such a poor perception of RIM, its shitty news story's like this that get the public in a frenzy.

here's a link to the crappy news clip.

How was it crappy? They didn't make the story up. It was a horrible time for RIM to have another outage, wasn't it? The outage did effect multiple countries and I personally hope RIM was scrambling to fix it. Stupid, crappy news! How dare they report facts.

What causes these things to happen? Like when BBM went out I got different stories why it wasn't working? Another question if anyone may know, BBM is most likely going to be better than what it is now. What I'm asking if BB is having issues with there BBM service every so often wouldn't the same happen to the new phones?

And yet here in Canada, those who were able to get their shiny new iPhone 5's but can't use them yet as it seems that Rogers and Telus do not have their iPhone 5 registration services operational. My co-worker who oversees our smartphone deployment came in this morning with one but can't use it as a result of this problem.

Where are the headlines for this? It's likely not even mentioned in any of the news media.

Guess you don't read very much Apple is getting pretty badly scarred by the move away from Google Maps to a proprietary base that is not working well at all in iOS6. It's been hard to avoid the last 2 days surprised you didn't see it

For those very few who manage a global network and never have an outage....please step forward....

I say again....

For those who few who manage a global network and never have an outage....please step forward....


Let me get this straight ... the day the iphone 4s was released we saw one of the biggest blackberry outages ever.

Then today on the official on sale date for the iPhone 5, we see another outage in Europe.

Is this a coincidence or is there some dirty corporate espionage at work ... no better than a launch day to get people really pissed off when their current device has an outage.

Something smells fishy to me.

If you are a businessman or "person who does" as RIM likes to call us and you are away from your office and relying on your BB to receive an email with an order from an important client and an hour later they call you and say "it's unlike you to ignore an order - is something wrong" its embarrassing if not something more that because of this kefluffle with a "maintenance issue" took your email down. This is not a hypothetical it happened to me during the major outage last October and that customer still jokes with me about it.

That the CEO gave an apology is a step in the right direction and that he said he would report back is much better than the last time. I know these systems are above my pay grade but I can't help but wonder out loud why maintenance is not done in the wee small hours of the night - or with the weekend just hours away what happened that required them to preform this "maintenance" in the heart of the business day by a company that is supposed to understand people who do.

Big deal, so service was down to a small fraction of their user base for 3 hrs. This will be forgotten tomorrow. It's not like RIM botched a map app. Now that is news that is rapidly turning into a joke.

Big deal, so service was down to a small fraction of their user base for 3 hrs. This will be forgotten tomorrow. It's not like RIM botched a map app. Now that is news that is rapidly turning into a joke.

RIMM needs to begin suing for improper media coverage.
A few law suits ... then people will be more careful on what and how they report it.

Wow..just watched the news on CTV Winnipeg and they showed the news of the iPhone 5 and how people were waiting in line for it. Then right after they talked about the outage in Europe! like wtf haha no one was even affected in North America yet they just had to add that news right after the iPhone 5 is craaaazy.. RIM needs to release bb10 in december dammit. they just keep losing credibility along the way

Wow..just watched the news on CTV Winnipeg and they showed the news of the iPhone 5 and how people were waiting in line for it. Then right after they talked about the outage in Europe! like wtf haha no one was even affected in North America yet they just had to add that news right after the iPhone 5 is craaaazy.. RIM needs to release bb10 in december dammit. they just keep losing credibility along the way

I'm in the UK and I only first heard about the outage on Twitter. On Facebook, there were several gloating Apple fans plus some BB owners who were threatening to get the more reliable iPhone.
However, a simple search revealed that Apple's iCloud and iMessage services both suffered separate outages WITHIN THE PAST 2 WEEKS. Apple even issued a written apology for the iCloud outage, which had affected email services for about 1% of users.
These huge networks that we now rely on never will be 100% reliable, but there is also this false public perception that Apple is always immune.

I look at this outage and bad press as an opportunity because I'm one of those few people that believe that RIM (or RIMM) will have quite the impact once January 2013 rolls around. I'm even going to say January 14th will be the release date because that's my birthday and that would be a great What type of impact? One that will cause the stock to start to climb. Now I'm not talking great numbers, it's going to take a long time for that to happen and it might not get anywhere NEAR some of those "predicted stock value" numbers.

I've been holding off on buying RIM stock but feel that the bottom is pretty near and when the bad reports from the next few Quarters come out, they aren't going to effect the stock that much because everyone is expecting then to be bad. But when BB10 hits the market, all this BAD press is going to turn into GOOD press.

Think about it. It's amazing how much BAD press BlackBerry gets in the press. We all see it. I hear it on the radio and it frustrates me that they don't have their facts straight. But those same media outlets are going to be chomping at the bit for another "Bad Press" story only to find that it's actually good. IMO, Walls Street will take notice and your opportunity to buy low will have passed.

Now the million dollar question is what will the stock value go to when BB10 hits the market? Uhm $8.00? $10.00? I'm thinking after a short time it might hit $12.00 but I have NO CLUE. But every scenario I just described is going to make me money. That I like. Of course if they go bankrupted then I'm SOL but I just don't see that happening.

Yes Apple went into their iPhone 5 keynote with outage issues affecting their iCloud system meaning iMessage (BBM cheap knock off) and mail server were out for a few days (correct me if I'm wrong - I'm sure plenty will) However no big issue was made of it in the news. Madness as it was definately longer than this blip and every man jumped on the bandwagon of hate.

Lets face it systems are neither perfect or infallible. The fact that 99.9999% of the time its fine is a testament. I could also happily say that Thorsten et al have learned from last years problems and was good to hear an prompt apology and acknowledgement.

If you want a phone with no issues go buy a feature phone (ie non smartphone) no reliance on cloud based systems etc there. If something goes wrong it'll be your carrier.

Lets just move on and focus on BB10

BlackBerry by choice!