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BlackBerry Tour's return rate is as high as 50% due to trackball issues

Posted: , by John V.

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BlackBerry Tour's return rate is as high as 50% due to trackball issues
Looks like Verizon and Sprint aren't sitting too well with their latest BlackBerry offerings partly because of high return rates. The BlackBerry Tour has graced both carriers' lineups recently, but the Tour's trackball problems has become a black eye for RIM – this issue can greatly impact RIM's bottom line. Owners of the device are reporting frequent cleaning of the trackball to prevent it from clogging or wearing out. When it becomes extremely prevalent, owners just end up returning it to the carrier. Almost 50 percent of the Sprint Tours are being returned while Verizon is “angry” enough about the issue that they're telling stores to expect a shift in support to Motorola's soon to be Android smartphone. Sprint did some investigating and reported that a slight increase in quality control costs of 3 percent or less can compensate for the problem. RIM hasn't really addressed the issue with the trackball, but they do plan on moving away from it and towards optical trackpads for future non-touch phones.

RIM BlackBerry Tour Specifications | Review

via Electronista

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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:43

1. BlackberryUser (Posts: 609; Member since: 26 Jun 2009)

This is why RIM is moving to a trackpad and one of two complaints I have with the Tour. The other complaint is the lack of WiFi.

posted on 17 Sep 2009, 12:06

14. Fanboys Suck (Posts: 609; Member since: 12 Dec 2008)

You commented on this yesterday, and this article affirms the reason for the trackpad. Hit it right on the head!

posted on 17 Sep 2009, 14:51

20. Quemical (Posts: 162; Member since: 14 Jul 2009)

Oh please, trackballs have been standard for years and NOW we are hearing about issues. Suspicious, suspicious, sounds like more VZW hate from PA, Ive NEVER seen a tour with a trackball issue.

posted on 17 Sep 2009, 19:08

23. Fanboys Suck (Posts: 609; Member since: 12 Dec 2008)

I said nothing of VZW Hating... Get a life.

posted on 18 Sep 2009, 23:47

29. BlackberryUser (Posts: 609; Member since: 26 Jun 2009)

I have Verizon, the tour, etc... I have trackball issues with my current phone, my girlfriend has issues on her curve and we had issues with our Pearls. The trackball gets lint, dust, dirt in it and has to be removed and cleaned. The previous phones were easy to clean, I haven't figured out how to remove the trackball from the Tour yet.

posted on 16 Sep 2009, 22:56

2. markemark (Posts: 21; Member since: 19 Jun 2009)

Who supposedly heard Verizon was "angry". Who was quoted in saying this. I'm sure the return is high on the phone since I myself had to exchange it out but I would like to know what higher up publicly released he/she was angry and thus Verizon is going to start backing Android.

posted on 18 Sep 2009, 23:47

30. BlackberryUser (Posts: 609; Member since: 26 Jun 2009)

From today's article, it sounds like this was just an early production issue. Have you had any more issues with your second Tour?

posted on 16 Sep 2009, 22:57

3. WnnaFghtAboutIt (Posts: 149; Member since: 31 Aug 2009)

just look for the veizon tour boxes with the green dot....those are the new/working trackballs

posted on 17 Sep 2009, 17:30

22. JOE.mayfield (Posts: 2; Member since: 17 Sep 2009)


posted on 16 Sep 2009, 22:57

4. YouLostTheGame (Posts: 441; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)

That's horrible. I looked at a Tour recently and was of the same opinion regarding the trackball. It was often unresponsive and needless to say I was unimpressed. I think that if I decide to go with another BB after my Storm it's gonna be one with an optical trackpad. The trackball is pathetically outdated.

posted on 17 Sep 2009, 00:00

5. Arielnyc2006 (unregistered)

I hate the trackball with a passion, I am glad that it is being hased out in favor of the new trackpad.

posted on 17 Sep 2009, 01:18

6. bronxbomber (Posts: 82; Member since: 10 Apr 2009)

no i think people return theses type of devices because A) they realize the data plan is to expensive B) the are to stupid to operate the thing. blackberrys have become very popular but people dont realize the need vs want til after the fact. **not just with blackberrys. but with other pda's as well. i had my bb curve for a little over a year and never had a problem with the trackball. ***

posted on 17 Sep 2009, 06:57

9. BigRed83 (Posts: 144; Member since: 19 May 2008)

I have seen quite a few Tours come back both for performance issues (freezing) and the trackball. A software update is coming soon, as we just had our in house systems loaded with BB s/w to perform updates for store stock and demos. On the trackball, I agree, time to go. As far as people being too stupid to know how to use it, I blame the sales people who cram BB's down people's throat to get their data numbers met. All it does is create longer tech lines with unhappy people thinking they got ripped off, and now they are pissed because replacement units are now available as opposed to their getting new devices.

posted on 17 Sep 2009, 09:47

10. anarkie (Posts: 48; Member since: 28 Jan 2009)

I'm sure the related numbers still signify an issue above the standard. Keep in mind, that the Tour isn't "Hot" tech to the average person. It's actually designed to the same general look and feel of many other BBs. The specs are for us geeks out there to appreciate. But I do agree with your statement about people's lack of forethought and lack of general knowledge. I am a great candidate for my Omnia, being a tech fanatic, while my fiancee isn't as ideal. However, what she needs is a good browser, and a phone I can fix (She has baaaad phone mombo-jombo). No feature-phone offers either of those options, so I got her an Omnia as well.

posted on 17 Sep 2009, 09:49

11. radcloser (Posts: 1; Member since: 17 Sep 2009)

Everyone has an opinion. Here's mine. Regarding the trackball issue with the Tour, it took four 9630's before I got one with a working trackball. All of them including the one with the good trackball have had performance issues. I keep getting the "hourglass" (rotating hand icon) with the entire system freezing up while performing various tasks ie, ending a call, playing Texas hold'em knigs 2, starting an SMS text, turning the backlight on by pressing the space key, etc. I previously had the BB Curve and it was rock solid. No problems. I upgraded for the improved display, EVDO Rev A data and the improved camera. I don't see any improvement in the processor of the Tour over the Curve. In fact, the Tour is far more laggy and frustrating. When I called Blackberry RIM support, they denied any knowledge of trackball or performance issues with the Tour. This only serves to invalidate a customer's concerns and sends a message of "We won't admit we screwed up". Blackberry is losing my confidence. Regarding the "expensive data plan" as mentioned above, you must have Verizon. I used to have Verizon but switched to Sprint. I have no regrets regarding the coverage. I very rarely ever drop a call (maybe once every 3 to 6 months). The price plans blow Verizon away. Verizon offered the Tour for $100 less than Sprint but you end up paying hundreds of dollars more over the life of the contract. The only upside I have have seen with Verizon is customer service. I would give Verizon an 'A' for customer service compared to Sprint which I rate a 'B'.

posted on 18 Sep 2009, 01:24

24. jporterweb (Posts: 25; Member since: 17 Jan 2009)

@BigRed83 - I have to disagree with your notion of the sales people being to blame here. At least in my area. We try to steer people away from Blackberry's if the need isn't there, however many insist on the Blackberry. True I have talked a few customers into it that were on the fence but those are ones that I knew would use the thing and were just concerned about the price. If you Discover what the customer needs then you can steer them away from the bb if necessary, and we do this all the time in my store. I can think of 3 instances in the past week where I tried to steer someone away from a blackberry for numerous reasons... One of them bought it and then returned it 3 days later... Just like I predicted they would. But, the customer is alway right.. Right?

posted on 17 Sep 2009, 06:06

7. jskrenes (Posts: 209; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)

If you set the trackball sensitivity to 80 that seems to alleviate a lot of problems and reduce returns. But there still are legitimate defective units.

posted on 17 Sep 2009, 06:17

8. phoneguru173 (Posts: 54; Member since: 09 Apr 2008)

I really wonder where people come up with their statistics because I have seen very few TOURs returned. I have not had any problems with mine whatsoever! It is faster and more reliable than my Storm - which I also had very few problems with. I only wish I had my Toour Browser speed with my Storm Screen size! And come 9/29, I will with my Storm2!

posted on 17 Sep 2009, 10:16

12. vzw fanman (Posts: 1976; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)

STORM 2 with wifi FTW!!! i have not one complaint about my storm! :-)

posted on 18 Sep 2009, 12:43

25. kiki3931 (Posts: 22; Member since: 25 Jun 2009)

thsi article isnt about the storm you idiot its about the tour! read!

posted on 18 Sep 2009, 16:16

27. vzw fanman (Posts: 1976; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)

i know bro...i'm just saying the storm 2 will blow the tour out of the water.

posted on 20 Sep 2009, 14:33

31. kiki3931 (Posts: 22; Member since: 25 Jun 2009)

why on Earth would you think im a guy? is it because kiki is such a masculine name? idiot! im a chick! so dont refer to me as "bro"

posted on 17 Sep 2009, 11:28

13. Sufcc (Posts: 33; Member since: 28 Jul 2008)

Have not see one Tour yet come back yet with problems. Had the Curve since launch day on Verizon and haven't had to clean it once. I prefer the trackball vs trackpad like what the Saga has. and lol at this article... verizon angry""". Who said that... cause Verizon would not been pushing BOBO for the better half of the year and pushing to get the Storm exclusively and getting a revamp before the holiday season.

posted on 17 Sep 2009, 12:22

15. asears08 (Posts: 24; Member since: 16 Jun 2009)

I lucked out and god a fully functional tour on my first one, but If you check other message boards there are a lot of people who have replaced multiple units due to trackball issues. I love my tour though, best phone Ive ever had.

posted on 17 Sep 2009, 12:23

16. Quemical (Posts: 162; Member since: 14 Jul 2009)

I have never had any problems with the Tour's trackball and returns. The return rate is more likely to blackberrys getting thrown around as free until they see the data plan on the bill.

posted on 17 Sep 2009, 12:39

17. Rampaj33 (Posts: 5; Member since: 15 Sep 2009)

ok so on a serious note i do see a few tours come back weekly due to the track ball issue and the issue at hand is black berry went away from the track ball you could replace I personally pulled one apart to try and replace the track ball and there is no possible way to do it with out absolutely demolishing the phone unlike the curve or the 8800 and the pearl the pearl flie i can even replace without breaking the phone and the tour is costing the companies way to much money to keep swapping them out with out just being able to replace the track ball on the phones. The other issue is that the tour was a inbetween model for rim because they have 2 new phones comming that havent even hit phone arena yet

posted on 17 Sep 2009, 13:30

18. Wifey_Ma (Posts: 15; Member since: 13 Aug 2009)

Wow i think because these phone companies are in such hurries to put out these phones, they cut corners to get em out faster to the public!!

posted on 17 Sep 2009, 13:47

19. The Doc (Posts: 122; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)

must be hurtin VZW....

posted on 17 Sep 2009, 16:53

21. Tanalius (Posts: 1; Member since: 20 Jan 2009)

I work for Sprint, it is a very commen problem, but it's not hard to fix. RIM has released a new trackball/keyboard revision that our techs can put in place in less then 5 minutes. Also, putting a curve trackball in fixes the issue. The return rate for Sprints from experiance is much lower due to our all inclusive data plans and ability to repair the phone quickly.

posted on 18 Sep 2009, 14:42

26. behold--me (Posts: 650; Member since: 22 Jun 2009)

get into the 21st century on t-mo (not being a fanboy here) but they are the only ones who thought of getting a bb with the optical pad. DUH

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