12-23-09 10:55 PM
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  1. Fuzzballz's Avatar
    Lawyer here. If talking about lawsuits makes you nervous and angry for some reason, which happens to a lot of people, you should look away now.

    I'm not a class-action specialist, but I am wondering if there are any lawyers here who are, and would like to comment on what it would take for them to get interested in a class-action against RIM.

    I'm not advocating one at this time, but I am interested in them. We're just talking here. At this point there's really no way, but I'm wondering at what point it would make sense to file one. How bad would the situation have to get?

    Suppose outages started happening for 24 hours twice a month. That's 1/15th of $30/month or $2. If you multiply that by (let's say) 10 million customers worldwide, you're looking at a total take of $20 million, plus a percentage for the attorneys, for each month that RIM has this theoretical problem. Might be worth some firm's time if outages begin to get problematic for RIM.

    eh?

    If you're not into lawsuits and get enraged at the very thought of suing an upstanding, hard-working company like RIM, there are tons of other threads that might interest you more here.
    12-22-09 08:53 PM
  2. csweeney05's Avatar
    Perhaps you should sue your carrier if your not getting credits for these outages. I have never had an issues with any one of these outages in getting a credit from my carrier for the down time and in every istance it's been more then $2. I usually get a $5 or $10 credit sometimes even the entire month of service. So how can you sue when its really quite easy to get rembursed for the downtime?
    12-22-09 09:10 PM
  3. Fuzzballz's Avatar
    I suppose that's true.. if it's that easy to get reimbursed by the carrier, I guess folks could do that and then let the carriers sue RIM if they want.

    But I'm talking more theoretically than practically.
    12-22-09 09:14 PM
  4. Davec1234's Avatar
    I got a credit today but I'm done with RIM. I don't have time for a lawsuit or the piddly settlement from a class action.
    I'll vote with my $ and go elsewhere.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    12-22-09 09:25 PM
  5. Fuzzballz's Avatar
    True, I would think that the business RIM would lose if their servers were down frequently would vastly outweigh any suits against them. Might be enough to bankrupt the company before any suit could be finalized, actually.
    12-22-09 09:28 PM
  6. latincam's Avatar
    Lawsuits take too long and, no offense to the legal folk, the only winners are lawyers.

    I have a feeling this will be fixed soon. Too many use the service and, in this world, it's too easy to go somewhere else. They either keep us happy or they won't exist.
    12-22-09 09:29 PM
  7. darkone338's Avatar
    As you take a service from RIM without any SLA you dont really have a case under any circumstances. As has been mentioned you claim a credit from your carrier and the carrier takes action based on their SLA with RIM.

    Your figures are a bit skewed as different countries have different tariffs from RIM. In the UK, I pay 5 ($7.50US)/mnth so my daily charge is a little over 25 cents. It ends up costing more to call the carrier for a credit than the money I lost by not being able to use the service for a day
    12-22-09 09:43 PM
  8. danimal1968's Avatar
    True, I would think that the business RIM would lose if their servers were down frequently would vastly outweigh any suits against them. Might be enough to bankrupt the company before any suit could be finalized, actually.
    Here's how class actions work. They inevitably get settled for the company agreeing to provide coupons for discounts to the affected customers, who receive them 3-5 years after the event happened. A mere pittance of those eligible ever claim the coupons. The lawyers get a nice fee, which is the only cash the company has to pay out.
    12-22-09 10:17 PM
  9. Fuzzballz's Avatar
    Thanks for telling us how class actions work!

    But do you know WHY most folks only see coupons rather than cash? It's because the supreme court has ruled that, if you can't ascertain EVERY potential class member--ie., EVERYONE who deserves money--then you can't award money damages at all.

    However, in this case, one could arguably have the carriers provide info for everyone who'd had RIM's service during their downtimes. Not 'fer sure' but possibly. In that case, everyone could get their check for $1.75.

    LOL... as my law school prof always said, "It's easier to steal $1 from a million people than $1,000,000 from one person. Class actions are meant to punish companies for the theft, not really to compensate all those folks for their $1." If there were no class actions, companies would be nickle and diming all their customers all the time, and growing rich because nobody would bother individually suing them for pennies.
    12-22-09 10:23 PM
  10. JRSCCivic98's Avatar
    What surprises me the most is that RIM "NEVER" indicates what caused these outages and why. This happens because they are not in the US. If the company was based in the US, I believe the FCC would be all the way up their a55 by now and the times past due to these issues. The big issues here is that they are based out of country, but do have local branch offices... so, which government and people do they answer to?
    12-22-09 11:08 PM
  11. 1quick1's Avatar
    To me it's more of an inconvenience but I could see business managers/owners who need their phone getting very upset at the fact of the potential money lost.
    12-22-09 11:12 PM
  12. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    I suppose that's true.. if it's that easy to get reimbursed by the carrier, I guess folks could do that and then let the carriers sue RIM if they want.

    But I'm talking more theoretically than practically.
    I could see something like that actually happening. If VZW, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and all the other North American carriers sued RIM to collect what they had to reimburse their customers that could be huge.
    12-23-09 12:22 AM
  13. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    What surprises me the most is that RIM "NEVER" indicates what caused these outages and why. This happens because they are not in the US. If the company was based in the US, I believe the FCC would be all the way up their a55 by now and the times past due to these issues. The big issues here is that they are based out of country, but do have local branch offices... so, which government and people do they answer to?
    I wonder if Canada has an organization similar to the FCC. The outages usually affect all North American carriers. Rogers, Telus, Bell, etc. have these outages, so I am sure that the Canadian customers are just as pi$$ed as the US customers, and the Canadian carriers are probably reimbursing their customers too.
    12-23-09 12:25 AM
  14. travelnursenj's Avatar
    LOL...tech support at Verizon isn't even taking calls or putting in trouble tickets anymore. I even went into the store and the "tech" couldn't even get through to get information, putting the grievance on BB. My phone is going spastic with notification sounds but nothing there...LOL. I know AT&T had issues out here in SAN FRAN the other day but was resolved quickly! I wish they would at least send out some sort of notice, SMS messages maybe so that we can be prepared and not waste our time and energy on calling in for "what the hecks"!!
    12-23-09 12:26 AM
  15. Nathan79's Avatar
    We have the CTRC here in canada...
    12-23-09 12:45 AM
  16. Fuzzballz's Avatar
    I thought Canada was more regulated than the US
    12-23-09 11:30 AM
  17. CanuckBB's Avatar
    I doubt even the FCC could force a company like RIM to disclose the exact technical details of an outage. There is too much proprietary techs involved, and because governments are such large customers, they could also claim national security.

    For all of us who work in the IT industry, we know s**t happens. Systems go down. That's why SLAs are never 100%.
    12-23-09 11:46 AM
  18. berryfit's Avatar
    We don't pay RIM, we pay our carrier. our carriers were not responsible. Any reasonable person who has a problem with the two outages and less frequent occassional outage should probably spend time getting a non blackberry phone than trying to get $2 from their carrier.

    If this is really about how we use our phones, and interruptions, then maybe we should focus more on having PERFECT technology, through a perfect phone. But since technology is far from perfect, you may have to change your phone to one you THINK may work better for you.

    Once again, most carriers and RIM I believe say 99% uptime or something like that. 8760 hours in a year, 1% is 87.6 hours per year of downtime. If it falls within what they claim their uptime is, then your phone is working within guidelines of their claims, not what we think it SHOULD BE!

    But that's just IMHO....
    12-23-09 11:53 AM
  19. Fuzzballz's Avatar
    We don't pay RIM, we pay our carrier. our carriers were not responsible.
    Legally that doesn't really matter. Anyone in the chain of service could be held responsible. A good lawyer would sue the carriers and RIM, and the carriers would implead RIM to pay the carriers' judgment if the carriers were found liable.

    I'm sure there are federal telecommunication laws involved as well.
    12-23-09 12:38 PM
  20. CanuckBB's Avatar
    Unless you have been promised 100% uptime, you have no case.
    12-23-09 03:16 PM
  21. TheScionicMan's Avatar
    A class-action is usually undertaken when there are many claims over the same issue and they consolidate them, instead of having hundreds of individual cases clogging up the courts. I doubt many people that were affected can prove damages that are more than the carrier might reimburse you, so I doubt many attorneys would even look at this, at this point.
    12-23-09 03:36 PM
  22. jlsparks's Avatar
    Hypothetical, if you had a group of initial plaintiffs who were demonstrably harmed by a BIS outage, and they can prove they'd taken actions to mitigate the harm caused (eg: landlines, laptops with broadband cards, etc.), the initial plaintiffs *might* be entitled to reasonable compensation for the amount of the actual loss they can prove, after taking their actions to mitigate into consideration. Assuming the suit would be brought in the US District Court in DC (which would seem logical to me), I'm sure that there are plenty of DC firms who would represent the initial group of plaintiffs. And do so for 33% of the gross received in settlement or at trial.

    Obviously, the larger the class, the larger the settlement of, of course, the larger the fee. Leaving the door open to disreputable firms to get involved, buy ad time, and solicit massive numbers of additional plaintiffs to add to the named, allegedly injured initial group. IMO this is where it all becomes nothing more than a ponzi scheme. Say I represent the 100 plaintiffs who can prove to me demonstrably monetary or physical harm as a result of a 10 hour outage. I draft an agreement, signed by myself and each of the potential plaintiffs, whereby they agree I will represent them, charge them only "reasonable costs", and will be entitled to 33% of the gross of anything they receive in settlement or through a court-directed or jury verdict. Next, I need to hire local counsel in Canada. He or she will conduct all discovery at RIM HQ, depose any necessary deponents, and in return will get 5% of my 33%, plus his costs plus a 10% travel and per diem allowance. The 10% will be factored into the "reasonable costs" I'm going to assess on the initial potential plaintiffs at the conclusion of the litigation.

    So now the potential 100 plaintiffs are going to: a) reduce to 66% any gross settlement proceeds; and b) reduce to 56% any gross settlement proceeds through their reimbursement of costs.

    RIM looks at my initial pleading, decides it's without merit and in its cost/benefit analysis at the legal and executive levels determines it's worth attempting to repel. A year of discover and deposition, multiple pleadings, cross-complaints, amended complaints, motions to compel, etc. later RIM - having paid their $50,000 cap to their liability carrier - through their insurers settles with the initial group for $1,000.000.00 USD gross. That's $10,000.00 per plaintiff, gross. After I take my fee each plaintiff is left with $6,600.00 gross. Finally, I send each plaintiff a bill for their equal share of the costs, ($1,000.00), and each initial plaintiff receives $5,600.00 gross.

    The IRS addresses court awards and damages in Pub 525. Specifically includable as ordinary income are: a) interest on any award; b) compensation for lost wages or lost profits (presumably where the bulk of your settlement is directed); 3) punitive damages; 4) damages for breach or for interference with business operations. Let's assume your effective Federal income tax rate is 28%. After including your $5,600.00 settlement in ordinary income on your 1040 (US) you recognize a $1,568.00 Federal tax liability on your settlement funds. Further, assuming you live in a State where the income tax rate is 6%, you have a $336.00 State tax liability. Deducting the hypothetical tax liabilities from your $5,600.00, you're left with $4,368.00 in effective dollars.

    All hypothetical. I'm not offering legal or tax advice. Just throwing some numbers and thoughts out there.
    12-23-09 04:15 PM
  23. berryfit's Avatar
    and all because they couldnt bbm their friends! lol. i know i know...lose of services, and of course the erectile dysfunction which occured due to no bbm, or internet before sex...the stress, anxiety and emotional trauma causing the husband to beat the wife and the kids are taken to a home where they learn more bad habits from truly bad kids. Dads in jail, moms on crack now and the kid become pick pockets for the homes manager who refuses to give them a second helping of gruel and pronounces...MOOOOORE?!!!

    Damn RIM for all this harm!

    i actually spoke with my wife and kids while the service was down! Damn you again RIM!
    12-23-09 05:11 PM
  24. Fuzzballz's Avatar
    Hypothetical, if you had a group of initial plaintiffs who were demonstrably harmed by a BIS outage, and they can prove they'd taken actions to mitigate the harm caused (eg: landlines, laptops with broadband cards, etc.), the initial plaintiffs *might* be entitled to reasonable compensation for the amount of the actual loss they can prove, after taking their actions to mitigate into
    [snip]
    you have a $336.00 State tax liability. Deducting the hypothetical tax liabilities from your $5,600.00, you're left with $4,368.00 in effective dollars.

    All hypothetical. I'm not offering legal or tax advice. Just throwing some numbers and thoughts out there.
    Thanks so much for that extended analysis. It's nice to see someone who knows about the law. Also keep in mind that, IIRC, legal bills are not able to be written off federal income taxes, so a plaintiff who wins $X and then pays 1/3 $X to his atty still needs to pay taxes on the whole $X! Crappy law, write to your congressman.
    12-23-09 06:22 PM
  25. TheScionicMan's Avatar
    The more likely numbers would be several thousand class members splitting a few million and getting a certificate for $XX off your next BB purchase.

    Save all the trouble and wasted tax $ for when you get some actual damages or a claim.
    12-23-09 06:34 PM
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