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BlackBerry compensation is free apps but no refund

BlackBerry wants to make it up to you for last week's smart phone meltdown with some free apps. And, er, that's it.

BlackBerry wants to make it up to you for last week's smart phone meltdown and is talking compensation. Your money back, perhaps? A chunk off your next bill? A handwritten, hand-delivered apology from the BlackBerry board inscribed on jewel-encrusted gold-leaf?

Nope -- you can have some free apps.

BlackBerry phones across the world were cut off from the Internet and popular BlackBerry Messenger service for the best part of the week, and many BlackBerry owners were quick to call for compensation. Research in Motion, the company that makes BlackBerrys, is offering a bundle of apps, including The Sims 3, Bejeweled and Shazam.

The package is a selection of 12 apps from the BlackBerry App World. There are 12 apps in the BlackBerry App World?!

Here's the current line-up, with a few more to come:

  • The Sims 3
  • Bejeweled
  • NOVA
  • Texas Hold'em Poker 2
  • Bubble Bash 2
  • Photo Editor Ultimate
  • Pro
  • iSpeech Translator Pro
  • Drive Enterprise
  • Nobex Radio Premium
  • Shazam Encore
  • Vlingo Plus: Virtual Assistant

Wow. But hey -- there's more: if you're a business customer, you get a free month's technical support! That's right -- to say sorry for your phone breaking, if it breaks again, BlackBerry will totes fix it.

The compensation package will be available "over the coming weeks" and run until the end of the year.

In some countries, including South Africa, phone networks are also offering compensation such as free minutes and texts, or money off your next bill. UK phone networks, who remained close-mouthed about the outage, have yet to offer any compensation.

It's possible this is a starter package, and regional details will be worked out later, perhaps for money off. But we doubt it. It seems RIM is taking a leaf out of Sony's book -- when the PlayStation Network crashed for a month, Sony offered disgruntled customers a package of old games as half-hearted compensation. You'd think RIM would try a little harder, considering nearly two thirds of customers could ditch their BlackBerrys after the blackout.

Are you excited to get your hands on your free apps, or is this a lukewarm, nay, insulting gesture from BlackBerry? Tell us your thoughts down in the comments or on our Facebook page.

Finally, here's BlackBerry boss Mike Lazaridis serving up a big ol' mess of humble pie: