With service outages that started overseas washing onto U.S. shores Wednesday, thousands of angry messages have been pouring onto the BlackBerry Facebook page, including "#epicfail seriously unhappy" and "I don't know why I'm paying for a service when it's not being provided!!"
The problem is shaping up to be a public relations nightmare for Canada's Research In Motion Ltd., or RIM, the maker of the device.
The BlackBerry has a devoted following of fans of its shape and the comforting clicks made by its keyboard. But some of those same customers on Wednesday claimed they're through with BlackBerry -- and are switching to Apple's iPhone.
"[I'll] never have another BB" wrote one customer. "This is exactly why I'm getting an iphone 4," wrote another.
RIM has blamed "intermittent service delays" on an specified failure in RIM's infrastructure. At first, the failure caused missed messages and web browsing delays in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, according to BlackBerry service alerts.
Now, the U.S. is being hit with the same problems, according to the latest alert:
We're aware many BlackBerry customers are experiencing intermittent service delays. Restoring full service is our number one priority. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience. We will provide a further update as soon as more information is available.
The timing couldn't be worse. RIM's stock has lost more than half its value this year because of poor financial performance, and the shares are down a further 1% on Wednesday on news of the outages.
Photo: A BlackBerry user in Canada reads about Wednesday's outages. Credit: Paul Chiasson / Canadian Press / Associated Press