RIM issues BlackBerry update, warns of hoax message

In a service update posted on its website late Wednesday afternoon, Research In Motion’s chief information officer Robin Bienfait said that email on its troubled BlackBerry network was now up and running around the world, but that the company was now dealing with clearing backlogged messages. Seeing that the service has been pretty much completely down since the beginning of this week, there must be a fair few of them in the system.

Bienfait said in the statement that RIM was sorry for the service interruptions which have affected not only BlackBerry users’ email, but also the popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service and Internet browsing. 

“You’ve depended on us for reliable, real-time communications, and right now we’re letting you down. We are taking this very seriously and have people around the world working around the clock to address this situation,” Bienfait said in the statement.

For all countries that have been affected by RIM’s service outages, Bienfait said email should now be working, though RIM are now working to clear backlogged messages. BBM and Internet browsing services are also now working, apart from a few glitches in Canada and Latin America.

The outages are believed to have been caused by server problems at one or more of RIM’s data centers, though clearing the backlog of data which has been piling up all week appears to be as tricky an exercise as fixing the initial problem.

Conscious of criticism which came following RIM’s lack of communication with BlackBerry users in the first half of the week, Bienfait ends the statement with these words: “We will provide regular updates on BlackBerry.com, RIM.com and via our social channels. We are doing everything in our power to restore regular service everywhere and to restore your trust in us.”

Posts on the BlackBerry Twitter feed have been more regular than at the start of the week, though for many users the increase in communication is a case of too little, too late. RIM’s service update page, however, is the best place to go for the latest information.

In another development, RIM has also warned users to ignore a hoax chain message that has been doing the rounds among some BBM users. The message tells users to re-send the message, warning that if they don’t, their account would remain disabled and all contacts would be erased.

RIM told users to ignore the message and not to forward it.

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