MTN, Etisalat compensate BlackBerry users in Nigeria

By Lukas Ajanaku, Lagos, Nigeria

Following last week’s global BlackBerry service disruption, telecommunications giant MTN Nigeria and Etisalat Nigeria have announced a four-day and three-day free service to their BlackBerry customers.

According to MTN, the compensation package is coming in spite of the fact that the outage was caused by a server failure from Research in Motion (RIM), the global provider of BlackBerry services.

According to Akinwale Goodluck, MTN’s Corporate Services Executive, the compensation package is for the inconveniences MTN customers experienced during the downtime.

“MTN is a customer-focused organisation and we are aware of the inconvenience our customers suffered during the down time. That is why, in spite of the fact that the three-day BlackBerry disruption was caused by an incident outside our control, we will extend to 4 days, the subscription of affected pre-paid and post-paid BlackBerry subscribers,” he said.’

Etsalat Nigeria said its pre-paid customers will receive the equivalent of three days’ free usage, while monthly bills of post-paid subscribers will be adjusted to reflect the additional three days.

The Chief Commercial Officer of Etisalat Nigeria, Wael Ammar, said: “Keeping our customers satisfied is a priority for us and given the exceptional and extraordinary circumstances, we are compensating our BlackBerry users to demonstrate our care for their loyalty to our company.”

A massive three-day outage of BlackBerry data services occurred in Europe, the Middle East and Africa between Monday, 10th to Wednesday 12th of October 2011. The Blackberry Internet Service (BIS) — comprising Blackberry Messenger (BBM), email and web services — was affected and potentially affected millions, given that Research In Motion's declared subscriber base worldwide about 70 million.

During the outage, messaging and web browsing on BlackBerry were halted across many parts of the world.

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