This is not the same BlackBerry we are used to. John Chen, the company’s new CEO, is a fierce competitor and means business. He’s on a mission to bring the company back to prominence and is building up his management team to focus on the enterprise.
Sure, the Waterloo-based company has been through the ringer over the past couple of years, but this new BlackBerry has a backbone and firing back and anyone and anything that may potentially get in the way of their new direction.
The latest rant is targeted towards T-Mobile and its latest promotion for its BlackBerry customers to switch to an iPhone. The ad that T-Mobile created stated they had a “Great Offer for BlackBerry customers” that offered up the iPhone 5s for no money down when they switch — which is a pretty compelling offer. T-Mobile currently has the BlackBerry Q10 (Refurbished) and the Blackberry Curve 9315 (New and Refurbished) for sale so its commitment to the brand is not tight. The wording on the ad went against what BlackBerry is declaring to its customers — that BlackBerry 10 is a tool that will help you advance, not a toy, and said “Get the tools to do more.”
Chen took to the company blog to say that BlackBerry customers are loyal and expressed “outrage” when the promotion was launched, stating that this was “clearly inappropriate and ill-conceived marketing promotion.” Finally, nailing the message home, Chen noted, “I would like to remind you that our long-standing partnership was once productive and profitable for both BlackBerry and T-Mobile. I hope we can find a way forward that allows us to serve our shared customers once again. ”
Different BlackBerry. Full message below.
Update: According to Reuters, T-Mobile has heard the calls and will once again work with BlackBerry. The report noted that “T-Mobile US later said it is happy to work with BlackBerry and will by Friday offer speedy and free shipping of BlackBerry devices to T-Mobile customers who order them.”
Late last week, T-Mobile emailed an offer targeting BlackBerry users on its network asking them to switch their BlackBerry devices to a competitor’s smartphone. As we were never told of their plans in advance, I can only guess that T-Mobile thought its “great offer for BlackBerry customers” would be well received. T-Mobile could not have been more wrong.
I want to thank our loyal customers for your commitment to BlackBerry. By expressing your outrage directly to T-Mobile through tweets, calls and comments in the media and on blog posts, you sent a powerful message that T-Mobile could not ignore. Your partnership with our brand is appreciated by all of us at BlackBerry, and draws a sharp contrast with the behavior of our longtime business partner.
I can assure you that we are outraged too. What puzzles me more is that T-Mobile did not speak with us before or after they launched this clearly inappropriate and ill-conceived marketing promotion.
To the BlackBerry user community, I want to extend our deepest gratitude. Your passion motivates us every day as we navigate our turnaround. And for our loyal customers on the T-Mobile network, know that we have an offer in the works designed especially for you. Watch this space for an update very soon.
Finally, to T-Mobile, I would like to remind you that our long-standing partnership was once productive and profitable for both BlackBerry and T-Mobile. I hope we can find a way forward that allows us to serve our shared customers once again. Notwithstanding the current challenge, we remain very excited about BlackBerry’s future.
T-Mobile’s CEO, John Legere, responded by saying he reads BlackBerry lovers loud and clear. More to come soon, I’m sure.
BlackBerry users, I'm hearing you loud and clear. Let me work with the team and get back with you.
— John Legere (@JohnLegere) February 16, 2014