Oct 10, 2009

With Perez against them, T-Mobile doesn't stand a chance

T-Mobile Sidekick users have been holding out hope that their data might be recovered. It was on October 2nd that T-Mobile Sidekicks phones were wiped clean of personal data - including contacts, calendar entries, to-do lists and photos. Customer's were outraged (rightfully so) at the telecommunications giant for not fixing the problem. Now T-Mobile's public image is at stake, all thanks to one angry user: Perez Hilton.

The Queen of all Media, Perez Hilton has been publicly documenting his ordeal on blog and twitter account. Undeniably, Hilton's phone is integral to his business. The self-made millionaire has made a living connecting to celebrities and the latest gossip. One can only assume that his 2,000 entry contact list was a who's-who of Hollywood. The loss of his personal data has caused the gossip blogger to write scathing blog posts and start the trending topics on twitter, #tmobilesucks and #tmobilestillsucks.

The situation only worsened for T-Mobile as they announced on Saturday, Oct 10 that the data was gone for good. T-Mobile released the following statement regarding the issue:

"Regrettably, based on Microsoft/Danger's latest recovery assessment of their systems, we must now inform you that personal information stored on your device - such as contacts, calendar entries, to-do lists or photos - that is no longer on your Sidekick almost certainly has been lost as a result of a server failure at Microsoft/Danger. That said, our teams continue to work around-the-clock in hopes of discovering some way to recover this information. However, the likelihood of a successful outcome is extremely low."

While this is an expertly crafted statement, it is not holding well in the eyes of the judgmental public. T-Mobile's public relations staff made all the right moves: they provided their audience with the facts while still maintaining a sense of care and responsibility to their customers.

But Perez Hilton is very vocal regarding the "unacceptable" service. Hilton notes that the ONLY form of compensation T-Mobile is offering their customers, "whom they obviously don't value or respect," is one month of free data service. Perez notes "that's shit!"

T-Mobile must implement and execute some form of crisis management NOW. The C-Suite must devise some sort of respectful compensation package for the affected customers. This should include a new phone (probably a BlackBerry or iPhone, as most customers will probably stay far away from Sidekicks now) in addition to the month of free service. T-Mobile needs to take responsibility for this disturbance and to keep their customers, they must offer an exemplary compensation package.

All I can say now is thank god for my BlackBerry (shout-out to Rogers and Desktop Manager!). And Mr. Hilton - I suggest you go for the Bold.

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