Poor Research in Motion. Even when they do good, they do bad. Case in point: Indonesia. RIM launched the Blackberry Bold 9790 there on November 25th, and over 5,000 interested Indonesians showed up to buy it. Good, right? Not quite. You see, RIM was offering the phone for 50 percent off to the first 1,000 customers, and those 5,000 people turned into a stampede as folks rushed to get the deal. Over ninety fainted, three were injured, the sale was canceled, and now, several RIM representatives – including RIM’s Indonesian CEO – are now being charged with criminal negligence.
Today, police in Jakarta announced that Andrew Cobham, the said RIM CEO, has been barred from overseas travel and faces up to 9 months in prison if convicted of the negligence charge. He hasn’t been detained, though he is required to voluntarily appear at police headquarters, the Jakarta Globe reports. The publication says that a security consultant, an event organizer and the mall’s head of security could also face criminal prosecution for their roles in the event.
Police say that RIM should have known the crowd would be massive. They also say that RIM changed the details of the promotion partway through the day. Originally, customers could only obtain the phone if they had a red bracelet supplied by RIM, but RIM decided to ditch that plan halfway through the day. Waiting customers who had bracelets then became very, very angry when non-braceleted (that’s a word, right?) customers strolled out of the store with a new Bold 9790.
What do you think, Maximum PC readers: should event organizers and company honchos be jailed if low, low prices and limited offers drive massive crowds into a feeding frenzy?