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Cite consumer act, BlackBerry owners told
Cite consumer act, BlackBerry owners told

Cite consumer act, BlackBerry owners told


Business Day - Oct 13th 2011, 09:02

Blackberry users should seek recourse from the National Consumer Commission after the failure of the data service in the past three days, commissioner Mamodupi Mohlala said yesterday. 

Ms Mohlala said consumers would find protection under sections 55, 56 and 61 of the Consumer Protection Act, which provided rights on the quality of goods, and liability for damage cause by goods. She said everyone who was involved in the value chain could be held liable in terms of section 61 of the act.

Some commentators said consumers might find it difficult to hold Research In Motion (RIM) accountable, given that the network failure occurred outside SA. RIM routes its traffic through two main centres, in Waterloo for North America, and in Slough, southern England, for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Ms Mohlala said consumers who had bought their BlackBerry handsets after April could return them and demand another brand with an equal value, or a refund, because the service promised was not delivered. The consumer commission has so far received one complaint from a BlackBerry user.

The BlackBerry blackout yesterday spread to North America after starting on Monday in Africa, the Middle East and Europe, and continued into a third day. The blackout later spread to India and South America.

It began in areas RIM is counting on for sales growth as revenue in North America drops. RIM said the cause of the blackout was a core switch failure in RIM’s infrastructure. "As a result, a large backlog of data was generated, and we are now working to clear that backlog and restore normal service as soon as possible."  

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