RIM Regrets BlackBerry Promo Gone Wrong
Research In Motion said on Friday that it regretted the mad rush for the new BlackBerry smartphone on Nov. 25 that left 90 people unconscious and three injured.
“We sincerely regret that many loyal customers experienced frustration and were upset, and that some individuals suffered injuries,” Gregory Wade, RIM’s regional managing director for East Asia, told the Jakarta Globe.
He also said that staff from RIM and others involved in the event had visited hospitals to “extend our support and sympathy to those injured.”
“We are deeply committed to Indonesia and greatly value the passionate support Indonesians have shown for BlackBerry smartphones and popular apps like BBM,” he said.
“It is very important to us to continue to demonstrate that we’re a strong, responsible corporate citizen in Indonesia.”
The new BlackBerry Bold 9790 was made available first in the world in Indonesia and the first 1,000 people at the launch at Pacific Place mall had the chance to buy one for Rp 2.3 million ($255). The half-off discount attracted a huge crowd, some of whom had started lining up the day before.
Wade said the Nov. 25 event had been organized on behalf of RIM by event organizer Experiential and security consultant Hill & Associates.
“We are actively cooperating with the authorities who are investigating this incident,” he said, adding that RIM was also undertaking its own investigation.
He said the company was also conducting an internal review, focusing on preventing a similar incident happening in Indonesia.
“We are reviewing [the contracts with Experiential and Hill & Associates], as part of the … investigation to really take a look at the details, [and] relationship, to the event,” he said.
So far, event organizer Erwin, the head of security at Pacific Place mall, Markus, and a RIM security consultant, Terry Burkey, have been named as suspects.
The chief of the Kebayoran Baru Police was also removed from his post because of his connection to the incident.
Indah, a spokeswoman from Hill & Associates, declined to comment on the matter. She also would not confirm whether Burkey was an employee of the company.
“This case is still being investigated by the police, so we can’t comment on it now,” she said.
Wade could not yet say whether the incident would affect BlackBerry sales here.
The company has enjoyed exponential growth in Indonesia, starting at a 9 percent market share in 2009 before jumping to 37 percent last year. It aims for 42 percent by the end of this year.