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RIM offers free apps, support following outages

RIM said it is also taking 'aggressive' steps to prevent another major service outage

Following last week's major service disruptions, Research in Motion (RIM) is offering free applications and support as compensation, the company said on Monday.

RIM said it will give away applications worth US$100 to consumers and offer enterprise customers one month of free support to help make up for the problems.

"As an expression of appreciation for their patience," RIM said users will be able to download premium applications such as Sims 3, Bejeweled and Vlingo Plus: Virtual Assistant beginning Oct. 19 from BlackBerry App World. The applications will be available for download until Dec. 31.

The total value of the applications will be more than $100, but availability of the applications depend on what phone and operating system version a user has, RIM added.

Enterprise users will receive free support instead of applications. Current customers will get a one-month extension of their existing technical support contract. Those who don't have a technical support contract will receive a one month trial of RIM's BlackBerry Technical Support Services, according to RIM.

The offerings come after BlackBerry users last week experienced service interruptions and delays over a period of approximately three days in Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa; a day and a half in Latin America and Canada; and one day in the U.S. On Thursday, services finally resumed.

"We have apologised to our customers, and we will work tirelessly to restore their confidence. We are taking immediate and aggressive steps to help prevent something like this from happening again," co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said in the statement, but didn't elaborate on what the company actually plans to do.

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