RIM maintains silence over unfolding PR disaster -

What's happening over at RIM? Its users were dropped without explanation yesterday in the EMEA region, normally propped up by a data centre in Slough, before returning. Now BlackBerry users have had their online services disappear again.

RIM is maintaining an unhelpful silence. The operators are trying to tell users that it's not their fault, and the problem is definitely with RIM.

It's unknown if the outage has anything to do with an overhaul of the BlackBerry system, as RIM seeks to introduce new features. Either way, users can't use any online services, including email or BBM, reports the Telegraph.

The Guardian's Charles Arthur claims on his Twitter account that the issues stretch as far as South Africa. A service provider in Abu Dhabi, Etisalat also says there there have been "further interruptions".

This kind of disaster is exactly what RIM doesn't need right now. The ailing phone-maker has been trying to convince the world and its dog that it is both a competitor and a differentiator to Android and iOS devices.

There has allegedly been turmoil among the ranks at RIM about questionable leadership and so far the buy-out rumours, which have saved its stocks, have lead to nothing.

RIM's major mistake so far is its policy of silence. Keeping users in the dark won't help RIM's cause and will just disenfranchise customers. A Twitter search reveals a long list of users complaining or claiming they plan to switch devices. 

While it appears to be a technical problem, what could be more ruinous for RIM is how it handles the unfolding PR disaster.

*EyeSee What did one Blackberry user say to the other? Nothing.  - @richardpfranks