October 6th, 2011
I have just spent the last hour in a state of complete and utter frustration, and in an effort to get through to our friends at RIM, I'm using the email I'm sending them as a blog post. I'm sorry I had to go here on this otherwise fun-loving blog, but this is my attempt at crying out to RIM in hopes of getting noticed. Here goes:
I have been referred to this email address through your customer support line. Let me give you a bit of background on this one: I work in sales for Executive House Hotel in Victoria, BC, and we just bought 2 Playbooks to use at the hotel, one for the concierge, and one for the office. Having been branded the 'tech-savvy guy' around this place, I was tasked with setting up one of the Playbooks for the concierges to use. I have struggled with this thing for the past hour on multiple levels, and I want to enunciate as clearly as possible why I have had a horrible client experience with RIM, and why I will not deal with your products or services again. I'm sorry it had to come to this, and I held out lots of hope that RIM could perform for me, but as a company, you (they) have failed me, the consumer, on multiple levels. Let me explain:
First, I've hit a major stumbling block in setup. Trying to access video chat, I was asked for my Blackberry ID, which I just created: ID - firstname.lastname@example.org. Easy, right? When signing in, I started to get hit with a message: the username and password provided do not correspond to a valid Blackberry ID. Please note, I know what the password was, and I was using it. Strange, I must have forgotten my password. When I clicked 'forgot password?', I got hit with the message: 'error, the value you have entered is invalid, please try again'. So I did. Again. And Again. Nothing.
I decided to get somebody on the line to address this problem for me. After doing (too much) digging through RIM's website to find an appropriate number to call (RIM seems to want to steer you towards web resources, which were not helping at this point) I found a number. I was randomly disconnected 3 times trying to get ahold of somebody, at which point I was very quickly quoted a Canadian phone number to call regarding playbook issues, and promptly disconnected. I didn't catch the full number the first time, so I had to go through the whole process again. Not cool. Finally, I called the number, got disconnected while on hold, tried again, and FINALLY got a human on the line.
Unfortunately, said human could not answer my inquiry, and directed me to set up a second BlackBerry ID, for reasons that I couldn't determine. Something about Appworld, and it needing its own unique ID. When I explained my dissatisfaction and asked for an email address to direct these sentiments towards, I was put on hold for an abnormally long period of time, to the strangest 'on hold' music I have ever heard: some new agey percussion/didgeridoo jam which was NOT the right tune to blast in an unhappy customer's ear. Finally, after 5 dropped calls, 1 hour of wasted time at the office, and long distance charges, I got this email address!
Disclaimer: I've used Apple products for the last few years. This being said, I really, really wanted to give RIM a chance before jumping to conclusions. And unfortunately, my experience, from the second I opened the box, has been, for lack of a better word, horrible. Most things about this tablet are not intuitive or user friendly. I had to really scratch my head a couple times to figure things out (even just to get the thing to come back from 'sleep mode'), and somebody who is young and tech savvy shouldn't have these kinds of senior citizen moments when dealing with a product like this. Unfortunately, I am forced to draw the conclusion that RIM is tanking as a company for a reason: these products are not at par with its competitors, and inevitably, Blackberry is on its way out. It's sad, really, because I understand RIM has been a real innovator and serious tech-industry employer for Canadians.
In closing, I ask (beg!) you to get this message through to somebody within RIM with some clout, because here I am, the bullseye within your target market (a 23 year old young professional holding a business degree with at least 30 years of career path with which to use RIM products) who has come to the conclusion that I will never, ever again touch a Blackberry or a Playbook. I've done the comparison, and the playbook does not hold a candle to an iPad. And it makes me sad.
PS the customer service was truly some of the worst I have ever experienced with any company. If you're going to take note of anything, please investigate this a bit, ESPECIALLY the dropped calls, and the strange music.
I really want RIM to succeed!! Please take heed.
Eric Douglas, BCom
Sales & Social Media
Executive House Hotel
777 Douglas St. Victoria BC
Stay Classy Executives, sorry if you took the time to read this rant, and have a look at the iPad 2 here: http://www.apple.com/ipad/
RIP Steve Jobs (1955-2011)