31 January 2006 by Published in: General News 9 comments

Okay, here’s another dilemma.

I use DHL Express for my overnight shipping needs. I was a loyal Airborne Express customer, and then when DHL merged with Airborne, my account switched over. In the legal business, we do a lot of overnight shipping of things. I’m convinced that we lawyers keep FedEx and DHL in business. Sending stuff overnight has become routine.

I’m also an Internet junkie. That comes from previously owning an Internet service provider, which Susan and I did at one time. Consequently, e-mail has become crucial to my way of life. Because of that, I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a Blackberry (aka Crackberry, as they’re so damned addictive) for some time. The thing that has held me back is that Blackberry just lost a major patent infringement suit that threatens to shut down their U. S. operations entirely if the case doesn’t settle. As things sit at the moment, it’s not looking good for Blackberry. The threat of a shut down is, candidly, the only reason why I haven’t taken the plunge. I didn’t want to spend the money and then have the thing shut down.

Today, I was notified by DHL that, because I shipped with them during a specific time when they were running a promotion, I can get a free Crackberry from them as a premium for having shipped then. Mind you, it was nothing intentional by me–I had a need, and I used my normal vendor. Nothing more, nothing less. Now, I have the chance to get the Crackberry for free, but the threat of a shutdown still looms, and nobody knows when things will change, if at all.

So, I’m now faced with a real dilemma, and I candidly don’t have a clue about what to do about it…..

Scridb filter

Comments

  1. Tony Ten-Barge
    Tue 31st Jan 2006 at 9:30 pm

    Eric,
    Take the “crackberry” Blackberry is going to , has to , throw money at the problem or their whole corporate model goes away . Any way it is free so if they go out of business your not out anything but time . Thinking of getting one myself as I feel tethered to my lap top and cell phone and still people ask why I didn’t get back to them.
    Tony

  2. Tue 31st Jan 2006 at 10:32 pm

    Tony,

    I’m leaning that way. However, I’m also looking into the Treo, which is offered by Verizon. I’ve been a Verizon customer for many years. The freebie is through Cingular, and I’ve not heard a lot of good things about Cingular over the years.

    Eric

  3. Shelley
    Wed 01st Feb 2006 at 5:46 pm

    I find your post very amusing, you being a lawyer. Suck it up, get the Blackberry, some other litigenous person is sure to sue for the users. We all know they will always be able to find a lawyer to take the case.

  4. Christ Liebegott
    Wed 01st Feb 2006 at 6:06 pm

    Eric, What is it about FREE that you don’t understand???

  5. Wed 01st Feb 2006 at 7:54 pm

    Christ,

    There’s actually more to this than meets the eye.

    The issue is this: I have to pay $150 to get the thing, and then there’s a $150 rebate. So, I’m still out of pocket.

    The bigger issue is that it requires a two-year service contract with a different provider from my normal cell phone coverage. So, if I do this, I’m then paying for TWO cell phones. That’s the hesitation.

    I’m actually leaning toward the Treo phone, made by Palm. It does the same thing, and Verizon, my carrier, has them. So I wouldn’t have to have a second account.

    Eric

  6. Wed 01st Feb 2006 at 7:54 pm

    Shelley,

    LOL. Point taken.

    Eric

  7. Christ Liebegott
    Thu 02nd Feb 2006 at 6:27 pm

    Eric,
    Point well taken ;>}

  8. Bob Fugate
    Fri 03rd Feb 2006 at 11:33 am

    Eric, I’m in the telecom business and use both a Treo and a Blackberry so I have a perspective on your dilemma. First, re the Treo, I don’t like it for a number of reasons, including simply that the touch screen is so sensitive that you accidentally give it instructions to carry out whenever the screen brushes your pocket when your pulling the phone out to answer a call, for instance. Also, the Treo is a great camera but for business I don’t like the way you do email with it. So I have a Blackberry too. Re the lawsuit against RIM (the company behind Blackberry), the plaintiff NTP is literally a 5 person patent litigation shell of a company. They have no interest in putting Blackberry out of business, versus getting a large one time fee and probably an ongoing royalty. RIM has reserved ~$500M for settlement and have the resources to pay a bigger penalty, as well as royalties. I think you’re safe ignoring the scaremongers in the news on this one and just going ahead with Blackberry. However, if you want to be sure, this should be decided by ~Feb 24 and announced. As for utility, the Blackberry has been an excellent email and Internet tool but a bit weaker as a phone. However, the newer units are much better as a phone as well. It’s a great tool. The only issue can sometimes be the server behind it, which is the same with a Treo. Companies that can justify the cost get and maintain their own Blackberry server for their internal users. Otherwise, you have to rely on the carrier for this, and I don’t have experience in that context. I have a friend who does, however, with T-Mobile and has had a very good experience configuring his own PC to integrate with his small business’s email server. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions. I’m a finance guy, but our company has people who know everything about all of this sort of thing.

  9. Fri 03rd Feb 2006 at 5:30 pm

    Bob,

    This is fabulous information, and I thank you very much for taking the time to give me your input. A friend of mine works for the law firm that represents the plaintiff in the RIM patent suit, and he assured me that the deal is just about done, which is why I’m not especially worried about the possibility of a shutdown.

    The issue for me now is whether Verizon carries the model of Blackberry that I want. If they do, it’s probably a done deal.

    Thanks again.

    Eric

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