Virgin Mobile to refund BlackBerry subscribers

Virgin Mobile SA announced today (13 October 2011) that its subscribers will receive full BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) fee compensation for the days that BlackBerry operation is interrupted.

According to information released by Research In Motion (RIM), the messaging and browsing delays experienced by BlackBerry users around the globe were caused by a core switch failure within RIM’s infrastructure and the resulting backlog of messages in the system.

“We apologise to our BlackBerry customers, on behalf of Research In Motion, for the inconvenience caused,” said Steve Bailey, CEO of Virgin Mobile SA.

Virgin Mobile explained that the refund will be a pro-rata reimbursement calculated according to the number of days the service is interrupted.

In this case it will be calculated as follows: Monthly BlackBerry fee * number of days the service is interrupted / 31 (days of the month).

National Consumer Commission head Mamodupi Mohlala said consumers can use the CPA to return the BlackBerry devices and claim a refund.

Commissioner Mamodupi Mohlala said consumers would find protection under sections 55, 56 and 61 of the Consumer Protection Act, which provided rights on the quality of goods, and liability for damage caused by goods.

Everyone who was involved in the value chain could be held liable in terms of section 61 of the act.


Virgin Mobile has now announced that the refund will take the form of a R50 airtime credit to be applied to all affected customers with immediate effect.

Virgin Mobile CEO, Steve Bailey said, “Rather than a pro rata credit applied to the bill of affected customers next month, we’ve decided a higher value immediate airtime credit would be more useful.  We trust our customers will approve of our decision and again wish to apologise for any inconvenience caused by the downtime of the BlackBerry Internet Service.”

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Virgin Mobile to refund BlackBerry subscribers