Sunday, January 08, 2012

Did BlackBerry pull a fast one?

At least one Pittsburgh man wants to know why he was supposed to be able to buy a discounted BlackBerry PlayBook...only to find out he couldn't.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports the man has filed a lawsuit against the company.
Ron Backer, an attorney representing [Frank] Saltpietro, said the companies violated fair trade laws by using the lower prices to lure people into making orders and then canceling the sales while offering the same product at a higher price.
"They didn't say they didn't have it in stock," he said. "They came up with other excuses."
It's similar to a store offering a $300 television for $100 and then telling customers who show up that it sold the five TVs it had marked at that price, Backer said.
"It's a come-on to try to lure people to the store with something you really don't have," he said. "I think the same thing applies to the Internet."
In this case, "it's also a clear breach of contract," Backer said. "They took the order, confirmed the order and then came up with an excuse to not go through with the order."
One lawsuit in Pittsburgh might seem like a fly on an elephant, except that the company has had a rotten year or two. The Wall Street Journal examines what has gone wrong and whether the company can be salvaged.
Investors can't see a future that can't be seen. And RIM has not given investors a reason to believe the company has a strategy to survive. A possible reason is that the company doesn't yet have one. But we're here to tell you that's not necessarily a reason to give up on the stock.
Belatedly and unconvincingly, RIM has begun to do what a company should when faced with a strategic pickle it can't solve: Overhaul its corporate governance so at least investors will be reassured that management is ruthlessly prepared to junk its old business model and seize whatever unexpected opportunities turn up.
In the meantime, RIM, sell the BlackBerry to the people who were promised it at that reduced price.

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