O2 snubs PlayBook over 'customer experience' issue

The U.K. carrier is reportedly sending e-mails to customers saying that after some consideration it will not be selling RIM's tablet after all.

RIM PlayBook
RIM PlayBook Josh P. Miller/CNET

Today is the first time customers in the U.K. can walk into a store and buy Research In Motion's new tablet, the PlayBook. Turns out, not every wireless carrier in the country is enthusiastic about offering it to customers.

U.K. carrier O2 made waves today when it sent e-mails to customers who had previously inquired about the PlayBook saying it "would not be selling" RIM's tablet. The reason, O2 said, is "unfortunately there are some issues with the end to end customer experience," according to an e-mail seen by Engadget.

An O2 representative confirmed the e-mails were sent, but so far has not specified what they see as the "end-to-end" problems with the customer experience.

It's not a great way to start the day for RIM, which reports earnings this afternoon. While it's well known that the company's smartphones are losing ground, especially with U.S. carriers, it's the PlayBook on which the company has pinned many of its hopes. Analysts and press will be listening closely to see if RIM gives any indication of how the PlayBook is selling.

After months of talking about it and showing prototypes, RIM finally released the tablet in the U.S. Earlier this month Sprint began to offer the device to its customers. Verizon is rumored to sell it later this year, but, as of April, Verizon said it was still on the fence about selling it.

This story was updated at 11:04 a.m. with confirmation from O2.

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.

 

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