Frenny Bawa interviewed by NDTV Profit on BlackBerry & India hassle

for mobile viewing pleasure

Frenny Bawa, MD of Research in Motion in India has said that they have met all their commitments on security interception for the BlackBerry Messenger even as they have conveyed to the government their views on enterprise mails.

Video via NDTV

“RIM Says Talks With India Government Ongoing, Positive” – Source – Wall Street Journal

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  1. Gentlemen,

    Am not sure if this mail would ever reach the intended recipients ie the Senior Management of RIM/BB, but atleast would be glad that I managed to vent out my feelings, and tried to communicate my candid feedback about this Smartphone (Pls read as dumbest phone) known as Blackberry.

    The story of my torture began 5 months back, when I “ditched” my earlier handset provider Nokia (and am still a fan of it) and opted for a BB Curve 3G 9300, opening a Pandora box for self. Till date, am wondering how did I commit this blunder.

    The initial challenges that I faced with the first handset;

    a. There was no keypad light
    b. The track-pad was like a used car, no response (or as some of my friends used to joke, bb’s track-pad is like an old wife…. Where just fingering doesn’t work).
    c. And it often used to show some random “syntax error” (which I never understood).
    d. The 3G services on this model is just a mirage. I cant make video calls (leave this prob, am okay with this).
    To get these resolved, I spoke to the dealer from whom I purchased this, who advised me to visit the service centre. The second part of the torture begins from here :

    My experience with your service centre (New Delhi, India)

    – First of all to begin with, I reside in New Delhi. And by any means, this city is much bigger than some countries too. There is just one service centre for this city. While that’s surprising, am not complaining about that (there are far more serious concerns than unavailability of decent number of service centres in a large City)
    – Customer Centricity : Wow, one should learn about Customer Centricity from your agency, because customer keep standing in the centre of nowhere ?, and keep wondering what is happening around them
    – There was just one operational counter, with one customer taking an average time of 10-12 minutes to explain his problem. So you can calculate the amount of time one has to kill, before he/she is heard.
    – Anyhow, after a lifelong wait, I did get my turn.
    – The person checked the fon, made necessary entries in system and then gave my fon for detailed check-up. The gentleman over there then tried to convince me that some of the problems reported by me are not problem, but mere habit (Now when did habit became a problem, I missed that)
    – Anyhow, after lot of convincing, the gentleman said this fon will go for repair and it will take 5-7 days before I get it back. I asked for a replacement handset, which was never given citing nothing is available in stock. So I practically had to move back to my old favorite Nokia (which was still functioning great).
    – I received the replaced fon after 8-10 days, after regular follow-ups (i was told that last fon couldnt be repaired, and hence, am issued a new fon). I thought that brought an end to my misery………………… sigh!!!!! How wrong I was……..

    My Replaced BB handset

    The phone soon started showing its true color. This time, the problems were more of less a replica of last time. The problems this time round were :

    a. The track-pad was no improvement to its predecessor
    b. This handset too, often used to show some random “syntax error”.
    c. The battery was the new problem. It gets discharged almost at the same speed as the goal made on penalty kick by Christiano Ronaldo.
    d. Did I mention that the keypad light problem re-appeared again????? It did…..

    After my wonderful experience with the New Delhi Outlet, I thought of changing the location. I went to Gurgaon store.

    My experience with your service centre (Gurgaon, Haryana, India)

    – All your stores are amazing in terms of Customer Centricity , similar experience faced. Must be the culture of your associates or RIM itself.
    – Again, only one operational counter, with one customer taking an average time of 10-12 minutes to explain his problem.
    – Once I got my turn, The person checked the fon, made necessary entries in system and then gave my fon for a check-up.
    – To my surprise, I was told that this fon will again go for repair and would take 5-7 days before I get it back. I requested that I be given some alternate handset, to which the response was unavailability again. Now I would be living a healthy life (radiation-free), thanks to your service centre. Alternate option for me is to buy a new handset, a real SMARTPHONE (Not bb)

    I just got my BB back (after a week) and there is no sound in this. The service centre is promising a callback, but nothing has come so far (Despite my calls 4-5 times)…. Will this blackberry ever work???

    Btw, this entire episode brings me to one more conclusion: Your company love its products, and that’s why keep calling the product back (for one reason or some other). The product spend less time with the customer, and more time in service centre.

    This experience has forced me to believe that RIM is in habit of releasing half-baked (infact frozen) products in the market, and that’s bound to happen cause your research is always in-motion. The end product is never released ?

    My apologies if my candid feedback hurted your sentiments. I hope this mail reaches the right eyes.

    Pratyush Bhandoria
    New Delhi, India.

    • Well, after reading about your torrid time with Redington (3rd party hired for servicing and reparing of Blackberry smartphones), i must say this is one odd unfortunate incident which has happened to a customer which is you.

      Well to be honest, if you think RIM phones do have such problems then it should happen with every other customer buying blackberry phones and depending on the feedback and customer satisfaction these would have been stopped by now or would have been on the lines on Micromax, Zen, etc etc. But luckily RIM has shown a growth of more than 100% in sales as compared to last year which actually tells you the story.

      I understand the context on which you wrote this whole experience, but then at the same time you shouldn’t see every 3rd person carrying blackberry phones be it businessmen, executive, celebrities, actors (naming Salam, Amitabh Bachchan, SRK, Barack Obama and the list is endless).

      Well, i believe you must be having a friend of yours who might be owning a Blackberry, is he also facing same problem? (i don’t know but my gut says he ll be 100% satisfied with the phone), request you to check it out, i’m sure your thinking and approach towards blackberry will change.

      i tell you one thing even i was an avid nokia user (used it for around 10+yrs) till i changed to blackberry and now after owning it for almost 1.5 yrs, i can proudly say this is the last manufacturer i have changed for the rest of my life. So you can just see how obsessed i’m with my blackberry phone.

      I know it must be hard for you to take it (what all i mentioned above) but yes its true, and do give a try hands on with any other blackberry phone (try 9780, 9800, be it dummy one’s at the retail sales counter) abd i can bet your perception will actually change.

      Even i stay in Delhi and Redington’s service standards are below par (even i have dealt with them one at okhla now shifted to Lajpat Nagar) as per my personal experience but mind you Blackberry phones are completely heaven unlike what you have experienced.

      PS: Redington are also responsible for servicing and repairing of iphones, HP Motorola and few more.

      • Sahil, I appreciate your love for BB. Trust me, it was only ater recommendation from many ppl, that i opted for BB. I have used two BB handsets in last six months, and the performance is pathetic, to say the least. During my 10 years with Nokia (Different handsets), I never ever visited any service centre. My last 6 months of bb has made me visit their service centre 6 times, and this number is not over yet. Am yet to get my bb back as i write this.

        Irrespective of the fact, that its redington or any other service provider, the process ownership lies with BB. I bought a BB handset, not a redington handset.

        I would also recommend you to just visit one of the service centres and see how many cusotmers are coming back with repeat complaints.

        Am not debating that there are many bb users, but with this kind of product/services, am sure the trend will change soon. Within last one month or so, atleast 3-4 ppl have enquired me about the performance of BB. Point blank, my reply was you are better off without a mobile, than to carry a bb. And lot of ppl in the service centre echoed my feelings.

        Forgot to highlight the fact that once you get your fon back, the wear and tear thats visible on the fon, makes you look foolish to have spent 16 grand on a useless fon.

        I Can just say that this is the last time am using a bb.

        Looking for other options currently.

        To bb, best wishes to them. The way they have kept their sales going, despite sub-standard products and below par service levels, is worth mentioning.

        • Hi there..

          Pratyush I am in complete agreement with bb strom2 has been REPLACED thrice in a year and amazingly all with the same problems which I am facing with my current handset as well..

Written by Shahzoor Ali


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