Blackberry: A lesson in customer service. (Italians please pay attention)

A while ago I wrote a post about the Fedex fiasco , I was trying to point out, that even a well oiled machine like Fedex grinds to a halt as soon as it crosses over the border into Bella Italia. Last week, the camera on my Blackberry Playbook ceased to work, I thought another fiasco was about to begin….

 For my birthday, my children bought me a Blackberry Playbook. It is a wonderful device. I use it to read English books, watch films, and to monitor the fat I am losing  I have lost two and a half kilos in the past 2 weeks. When I travel I use the playbook to keep track of my business expenses, price lists, quotations, e mails, gosh the list goes on. To be honest, Mrs Sensible tends to get a tad annoyed with me and the Playbook, because it is normally glued to my hand, as I read yet another book.

Playbook Pecora Nera

Disaster stuck on the 14th May 2013, the Playbook camera stopped working. I was devastated, I could still read books and all the other functions worked, but without the camera I couldn’t annoy Mrs Sensible, by filming her while she paints her toe nails or capture her admitting to one of the few mistakes that she makes.

Mrs Sensible is a bit camera shy.

Mrs Sensible is a bit camera shy.

My children bought the Blackberry Playbook in Meadowhall UK, the receipt is nowhere to be seen. I spent two days deciding whether to contact Blackberry, to see if they could fix it under warranty. The main stumbling points were A) I had lost my receipt, B) would my Playbook get lost in the Italian postal system and finally, C) Would my playbook be sent to Giuseppe Garybaldy in some repair clinic in Naples, never to be seen again.

I decided to phone Blackberry; I ignored the Italian helpline and instead phoned the UK helpline. Paula, one of Blackberry’s technical support staff, answered the phone. She asked me what the problem was. I began by explaining the camera fault; I then started to tell her how I had tried to fix the fault myself. I went into great detail, telling her I had researched the playbook forums and I had tried all the fixes, including holding down various buttons and forcing the playbook to reboot. I don’t think she was too impressed. I promised, I would never again  try to fix my playbook myself.

Paula told me she needed my Playbook to send her a report. She explained how to do this and promised to call me back in twenty minutes. What a nice woman!

Twenty minutes later, Paula phoned me and said it was a hardware problem, she said I needed to send my Playbook to their service centre. I could just visualise good ole Giuseppe Garybaldy with his screw driver and hammer, plus the next six months of asking “have you found my Playbook.”  I told Paula, that I had reservation about sending my playbook to any site within Bella Italia. I think I told her about my driving licence fiasco, and various other problems I have had with Italy. I even offered to pay the carriage, if she would let me send the Playbook to a UK repair centre.

Paula laughed, she said the Playbook needed to go to Germany. Ah the Germans!! I remember them from the sauna  Now that is a different story, the Germans are more efficient than the English. In fact, they make the English look like Italians when it comes to efficiency.  Paula said, she would send me a box with instructions, I was to put my Playbook in the box, complete the form and ask DHL to collect the box. There was nothing to pay; what a nice lady!

Honest I did a google search for German efficiency and this came up

Honest I did a google search for German efficiency and this came up.

The following day, Paula E mailed me and asked “have you got the box?” I had a quick scout around my office and reception, I couldn’t see it.

I asked the accounts lady “I search box, this big, you see?”


I asked the company secretary “box, like this, DHL, errhh you see?”

She gave me a ten minute explanation, which I didn’t understand, but I nodded my head as though everything was as clear as mud day.

I e-mailed Paula to say, sorry but the box has not arrived. As I pressed the E mail send button, I wandered of to the coffee machine, and there on a shelf was my box. Of course it was there, I work in an Italian office and of course, I should expect my box to be hidden.  This is why Italy grinds to a stop; no one knows who moved what or why.

I watch movies while I cook, Please note, the playbook stand in use is not a Blackberry authorised stand.

I watch movies while I cook, Please note, the playbook stand in use is not a Blackberry authorised stand.

I placed my playbook in the box and sent it back to Blackberry. I was wondering, how I was going to cope without my playbook; would the DT’s set in? Would I have to watch Italian television? 24 hours later, DHL delivered a brand new Blackberry Playbook.

Paula phoned me and asked if it had received my brand spanking new Playbook, she asked if she could phone me on Monday to make sure the Playbook was working and to make sure I was happy. What an incredibly nice woman!!

I am not sure where Paula is based, but I sent her, a link to the Fedex Fiasco. After lunch I checked my stats, lots of hits on the Fedex Fiasco and 72 visitors from Portugal. Now if I was a betting man, I would say the lovely lady from Blackberry is based in Portugal.

59 thoughts on “Blackberry: A lesson in customer service. (Italians please pay attention)

  1. Absolutely lovely – adore your writing!
    PS. Mrs Sensible camera shy and your Portugal deductions are my favourite parts – I love how much I feel like I’m in a spy movie when I analyse my stats… where they come from, how they find you… all knowledge is at your disposal! 🙂


    • Thanks, I feel fuzzy all over from the nice comments.

      I love the stats, I want to know what my one visitor from outer Mongolia thought of my life in Italy. And why certain posts attract people from different countries.

      I asked Mrs Sensible if I could post a pic of her painted toe nails and she declined.. So I made a quick google search.


    • I am so glad you found the post funny.

      I am tempted to tell Mr Cretino that, people from around the world are watching his progress. But it might spoil the fun.

      I wonder what sort of culture shock he would have if he worked for Blackberry?


  2. First, congratulations on your weight loss! I’m happy if I get off one pound every two weeks 😉 And now I’m wondering if I should get a Blackberry Playbook, just for the wonderful customer service?


    • It is a fantastic piece of kit, I have about 100 books on it, maybe 10 music albums, 8 films, photos etc.

      I can update my wordpress from it, my e mails. Plus all the boring things like excel, word….

      Even with all the games, music and films I haven’t even dented the memory.

      I dropped it in December sshh! don’t tell Paula, it bounced twice and carried on working. I don’t think Blackberry recommend dropping it.

      Plus you get to deal with great people like Paula from Blackberry. 🙂


  3. Great stuff! I like the sound of Portuguese Paula… and what a service! When my Ipad gives up the ghost, which it inevitably will as I keep dropping it, I might have to check out the Playbook. I’ve only ordered two things to be delivered by courier in Italy and both times have got so fed up waiting for them to arrive that we’ve just gone and collected them ourselves. This tends to cause even more chaos and confusion though…


    • A fantastic service, I was stunned when my playbook arrived almost immediately.

      I wanted something to read books on, I looked at the Ipad, the samsung pad and the new kindle. The playbook was light, small but not too small to use. I think it is fantastic.

      Couriers in Italy are dreadful, I expect to lose letters and parcels with poste italia, but the Fedex fiasco suprised me.


  4. Wow something worked out for you in a timely manner! I like to think I am creative with finding new uses for items, but your blackberry stand is one I either wouldn’t have thought of or would be afraid to try.😊


  5. What a lovely post. I’m glad you told Paula all about your life because I tend to do things like that too, and my mother makes lifelong friends of people on help desks.

    I’m also stunned by the AMAZING service you received. That’s a great advert for Blackberry!


  6. Loved reading your posts. Made my day! The way you approach the situations and write about is commendable. We all became big fans of your blog.


  7. I’ve got ‘I’ve got a wonderful feeling, everything’s going my way…’ in my head after reading that post! Congrats on the fantastic customer service and the weight loss! Very feel good!


  8. The Germans more efficient than the English? Come on, that’s not true!!! try an helpline in Germany, where they only speak German and you’ll scream for good ol’ Bella Italia 🙂 ( i have a few nightmare stories myself about a long time ago life in Germany…that said… Hilarious post, as usual 🙂


    • 🙂
      Paula was very helpful, you are probably correct. I would consider moving to Portugal. The only thing stopping me is the thought of having to learn yet another language..


    • Hi Dean,

      Yes.. lol.. Thank you.

      I didn’t put an e mail address on the site because, I receive enough spam e mail as it is, but I will have a think.

      Also thank you very much for the invitation.


  9. Wow! I’m sending everything to Portugal or Germany from now on. I’m amazed and thoroughly impressed that you cultivated a follower from your help desk. You should get a trophy!
    And thanks for enjoying ‘Impressing Boys’. Obviously, I was not as successful in getting a following.


    • I was completely amazed by the level of service Paula gave. I know I normally suffer from Italian customer service, as in no customer service. But Blackberry are no 1 in my books.

      I fail to see how they could have improved the service, maybe given me a playbook for Mrs Sensible!


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