BlackBerry seeks review from OSC and SEC of false return rate claims, says they “will not leave it unchallenged”

Ian Hardy

April 12, 2013 9:38am

blackberryz10-11
Yesterday an analyst out of the United States declared that launch sales of the BlackBerry Z10 were weak and that customers started returning the product. Detwiler Fenton & Co., boldly wrote that “in several cases, returns are now exceeding sales, a phenomenon we have never seen before.”

BlackBerry quickly issued a statement on the claims, noting that “this is absolutely false. Our data shows that return rates for BlackBerry Z10 devices both in the U.S. and on a global basis are in line with or better than our expectations and are consistent with return rates for other premium smartphones in the market today.”

BlackBerry. Means. Business. The company issued a press release this morning and has asked regulators in the Canada and the U.S., the Securities and Exchange Commission and Ontario Securities Commission, for “an immediate investigation” to review these misleading reports. They noted that this news could “harm BlackBerry and our shareholders” and, once again, said that the claims were “absolutely false.”

Thorsten Heins, BlackBerry President and CEO, stated “Sales of the BlackBerry Z10 are meeting expectations and the data we have collected from our retail and carrier partners demonstrates that customers are satisfied with their devices. Return rate statistics show that we are at or below our forecasts and right in line with the industry. To suggest otherwise is either a gross misreading of the data or a willful manipulation. Such a conclusion is absolutely without basis and BlackBerry will not leave it unchallenged.”

The BlackBerry Z10 was released in Canada in February and is now available from every major carrier. The new QWERTY/Touch BlackBerry Z10 will go on sale in Canada on April 30th.

Source: BlackBerry

  • Mariano Gori

    Good for you Blackberry! Prove those naysayers wrong!

    • FuzzyFish6

      It’s not even proving naysayers this time, but they’re fighting back against FALSE and made-up info purposely published to influence the stock.

  • Stupid

    Nobody believes you BB. Well.. Except the crazies..

    In other news. BB quickly regrets calling out DWCO as they release proof of their findings.

    • omegajimes

      So you’re implying that either BBRY which is a multi billion dollar company is flat out lying in a press release, or that a middling analyst has more reliable information than the company that makes the phones.

      I find either of those possibilities highly unlikely and your comment unscrupulous.

    • Stupid

      Do politicians typically get caught in “lies” as you put it. Word things a certain way and you can call someone else a liar and never be proven to be one.

      You think that being a large company makes them more credible?? I rest my case.

    • phreezerburn

      Take a class or two and try again. Apple paid dearly to crush two stories that came out of China Trade which were their reduction in iPhone 5 manufacturing in January by 50% and its very direct impact on Foxconn. When those in position to do so want to make a few hundred million, they merely “give an opinion” and watch the market droogs react as wished. There’s a reason people like George Soros have outstanding warrants in a host of countries and it has nothing to do with j-walking.

  • damndirtyapes

    I hope that Blackberry does persue this matter strongly with the SEC. There seems to be a wild west attitude with the financial centers. Maybe if these analyist are called out on how they obtain their ‘facts’ and their conclusions we can see a more stable marketplace.

    • Stupid

      Most of them have been pretty transparent in the case of BB. Citing how many stores were checked and where. Of course anyone can lie and statistics aren’t perfect but in the end anyone with any sense can see that BB didn’t launch a compelling enough product and market response will be poor.

    • soSad

      no they launched a pretty good device.. maybe not enough wow factor, but it’s coming.. and people will always talk trash when the stock starts to slowly go up cause there a lot of ANALYSTS that short the stock and cannot see the stock rise so they will do whatever they can to drop the stock value even just enough for them… notice how after the news is over and even if they were proved wrong nothing comes out of it afterwards? it’s cause they already benefited from the negative impact it had… and have you used a BB10 device? it’s much better then my android or iphone experience and i heard the OS updates are gonna be awesome!

    • phreezerburn

      The same ones who were on top of Apple’s enormous problems with the iPhone 5 and the resulting mess within the supply chain? Oh that’s right, they weren’t. China Trade posted about Apple’s reduction in iPhone 5 production in January by 50% as heard through contacts within Apple’s supply chain. Dig up how long it took these bastions of capitalism to even mention such. They must have bought into the hype machine at $700+ to be so hesitant but at least they would have recouped through shorting/reporting.

      The pundits are all making their bank from the mobile industry’s big players and like the old PC magazines who never had a bad word for Dell even when their top end notebooks were frying like eggs, not a soul is biting the hand that feeds their kids.

  • Manic Devlin

    Detwiler Fenton refused to make either its report to investors or its methodology available to BlackBerry, even after the Company said the firm’s findings were “absolutely false.”

    Refused because there was no real report with actual data.

    • Stupid

      Some people prefer to refuse in the face of demands simply because they can.
      They have every right to tell BB where to go. If the SEC does even look into it and they do then get a request for proof they can give the info then.
      If everyone caved to pressure and demands by every company it would be ridiculous.

    • soSad

      your nickname suits you well

    • Manic Devlin

      Is that so? Because they even refused to give their “report” to their own clients before SEC complaint. Did you see any leaks from Fenton clients about this report? I thought so, it’s all distortion my friend, eventually with experience you can upgrade yourself from “stupid” to “normal”.

    • phreezerburn

      Hilarious! No really! It’s made of cheese! Swiss cheese! +/-100%

    • FuzzyFish6

      I’m not even sure why I’m replying to a troll, but here it is.

      It’s typical industry practice to ask for research methods to back up their claims.

    • stocktrader

      Jeff Johnston.. the analysts profile disappeared from company website this morning…

    • FuzzyFish6

      It’s still there…

  • hoo dat

    It’s not just the analysts who are at fault here. Of course, being able to report what amounts to malicious gossip as fact with little or no impunity to manipulate the market has a lot to do with it, but it’s also the reporters and bloggers who single source their stories with little or no attempt to verify the story before publishing. I miss the days when analysts & journalists actually backed up their reports with facts, data, and integrity. If this leads to more controls, more stringent report obligations and stiffer penalties then I’m all for it.

  • wildspin

    Analysts are a bunch of crooks, it’s all about the hedge funds playing behind – if you’re in the market just check the size of short sells then you’ll understand why so many gamblers want BB fail.

    • phreezerburn

      Insider Trading within America’s politico is perfectly legal in spite of their direct influence over the very regulatory bodies enriching or afflicting business itself. That alone speaks volumes.

  • Netguru

    These unsubstantiated claims by these analysts have a certain odor to them. I have to wonder if they or their clients are shorting BlackBerry stock. As of yesterday, 156,000,000 shares of BBY (or roughly 30%) of its free float has been shorted. Could it be that these analysts are trying to talk down the stock price so that they can cover their positions?

    • phreezerburn

      No “could” about it. The SEC is a joke and being nailed for anything stateside is nearly impossible. Their current administration is rife with Vulture Capitalists to boot so nothing new there save the animal on the letterhead.

    • Stupid

      I don’t think shorts are that concerned. They could just wait a little longer.
      You will see short interest keep up it’s highs until it’s back around $12 and maybe even closer $10. Which it will be soon because they aren’t selling well at launch and will get worse.

    • FuzzyFish6

      Is this a joke?

      You seriously don’t think an 8+% variance is a huge deal for people looking to short a stock?

      I know you’re trolling, but come on.

    • Stupid

      It was at 30-31% of float the other day.

      So if you are right it should have gone down over the last two days. Right?
      It didn’t. It went up by another half percent today. So I am right.

      Call anyone a troll who disagrees with you or is seen as being “harsh” on a company.

      Research In Motion Limited

      BBRY

      155,699,090
      155,005,574
      693,516
      0.5
      31.5
      2
      67,075,106

    • FuzzyFish6

      What? Their stock dropped by more than 8% yesterday, where do you get your info lol.

      People can disagree, but when you cherry pick (or make up) info to support an obviously biased view to get a reaction from the audience, how is that not trolling?

    • FuzzyFish6

      While your other post is awaiting moderation:

      So you’re talking about the last 2 days but using numbers from March 15 and March 29?

      How does that work? Stop using random numbers you see and plug them into a narrative that supports your trolling, while hoping people won’t look into it or just won’t understand enough to catch your deception.

    • Stupid

      You’re right. Data posted is old. Latest I can find is 4 01 2013 which says about the same. We’ll have to wait for the latest.

      You think short interest will have gone down at $13.50? It was down to $13.64 March 25th and short interest has steadily climbed. That was much more than an 8% drop on March 25th from the prior day.

      I don’t think shorts are going out until it’s back at $12-$10.

    • FuzzyFish6

      Fair enough, thanks for the mature response. I don’t necessarily disagree with your last reply, but I do think Detwiler had a hidden agenda with this report.

  • FlageJan

    i do sincerely hope they take legal action against them, this definitely hurt the shareholders

  • Jed Hubic

    What’s funny is that neither the analysts or BlackBerry are releasing their stats concretely. Seems unfair to expect analysts to release all their info and reports claiming that they are false, when they aren’t releasing their own stats/reports to prove them wrong. Bottom line, it’s all a wash.

    • FlageJan

      BB doesn’t really have to release their data until the next quarter earnings, but the analysts claiming this have to

    • Jed Hubic

      They don’t have to. I’m not saying they are completely accurate but the analytics and measurements are their own, and if BB isn’t releasing their data, what are they going to do? Just tell them they’re wrong, just because. They’d still have to verify data somewhere along the chain, and if BB is just posting “units shipped” that tells me that there’s some stats they’d want to talk about and others they don’t.

    • FlageJan

      BB can release it if they want to they dont have to, analysts do to back up their claims, it’s not a quarterly earnings report, its an analysis which they have failed to release it to the public.

    • Hilman in Edmonton

      It is entirely possible, lets say a store sells 10 units and 6 get returned. This means 6 were returned and 4 were sold, ergo more returns than items sold.

    • d3c1ph3r

      Even based on that logic do you think that is entirely plausible?
      Is the US consumer that ignorant not to try out the product first such that the rate of return is that high? Maybe Canadians and UK folks are that much smarter

    • Hilman in Edmonton

      Anything is plausible. I don’t think Americans are dumber than us, maybe a lot of Canadians are blindly supporting a Canadian company instead of facing the facts that this is a mid range phone at a high end price (not to mention uses a paltry ecosystem)?

    • FuzzyFish6

      How is it a mid range phone?

      Don’t say hardware specs, because then the iPhone5, GSIII, HTC 8X and Nokia 920 are all mid-range phones as well.

    • FuzzyFish6

      BTW, people that down rate me. Please reply and let me know how I’m wrong.

      Lets have a logical discussion.

    • d3c1ph3r

      I also don’t understand how anyone would rate this a mid range phone. Some consumers would say the security associated with BB is priceless. The specs of the other phones are not significantly better. I would consider my Nexus 4 a mid range phone.
      I also don’t buy this ‘paltry’ ecosystem argument. With the ability to draw on Android apps sideloaded, I think they’ve worked around the lack of apps argument pretty well until developers have the resources to completely port their apps…the growth is somewhat astonishing.

    • d3c1ph3r

      I wasn’t trying to put down Americans. I was trying to point out that the return rate mentioned would’ve been seen in countries prior to the US launch.

    • hoo dat

      How is it unfair? The analysts made accusations against BlackBerry and were called out on them. It’s incumbent on the analysts to prove their allegations not BlackBerry to prove they’re false. If the analysts either refuse or are unable to supply evidence to back up their claims then their allegations are rendered moot.

  • WoodenPickle

    I’m confused. Returns exceeding sales? How is that even possible? Are people stealing them and then returning them?

    • kroms

      Say You release a product Jan 1. then the following months sell thousands or a million (whatever the case). Now say after months or continued sales the orders slow down to a trickle. Then the returns start coming in by the hundreds which are now exceeding your output of sales per month.

  • kroms

    Go to any MALL in Canada or USA, swing your head left and right Look at peoples smartphones. What do you see ? That’s right. ANDROIDS and IPHONES .
    Let’s be honest people BB can say all they want, even MS says the same thing about selling there products by the masses but the reality is they are not selling that many that fast.

    • hoo dat

      Logic isn’t strong with this one, Obi-Wan.

  • Dylan K

    I hate to play devils advocate here, but I’ve got over 2 dozen Z10s at my store sitting in the backroom, used, and mostly unsellable. Comparing to the 4 iPhone 5s and a few different Android devices I’d say that claim has some merit. Here’s hoping my store is the oddball.

    • Hilman in Edmonton

      Get ready for the Crackberry minions to lambaste you, don’t worry though as they are just delusional and don’t want to face reality.

    • FuzzyFish6

      And get ready for fandroids to call out the “Crackberry minions”.

      Pot calling the kettle black, Hilman.

  • Stephen

    I was line a line of six people returning their Z10 at Rogers yesterday. Store salesperson said it’s been insane how many people are returning them.

    • Sean-Paul

      this is a load of crap if i have ever heard one in my life.

      this is my scenario as I work for Rogers:
      Z10 sales/upgrades 40+ -> to this day I have not had one come back yet

      S3 sales/upgrades 50+ -> since yesterday I have had about 5 come back (various reasons but mostly because they thought it was confusing to use ((seriously??? lol))
      iPhone sales/upgrades 50-70+ -> the only issue with iPhones is that we do not take them back. during our whole signing the contract situation we tell them that iPhone are exempt from the 15day/30min talk time return policy. (this is the only phone that has this exemption)
      so nice try Stephen but give me facts of what you have seen. thanks

    • kroms

      The last thing we need ………. a ROGERS salesperson.
      Seriously dude, anything to do with Rogers is a load of CRAP.

    • Stephen

      You must work at a store in Waterloo because city has that many suckers

    • Stephen

      You must work at a store in Waterloo because city has that many suckers