How My BlackBerry Passport Literally Saved My Business

Saturday 11th February 2017 was not a good day. This was the day when my greatest fears were realised when I called a customer I had on my Outstanding Invoices list only to hear the words I had expected but I had hoped I wouldn’t…

Sorry? I’ve already paid?

Ah. Could you give me the account number and sort code you’ve paid to me madam?

Yes, it’s xxxxxx xxxxxxxxx and here’s a screenshot.

You guessed it, they weren’t my company’s bank details, rather the personal ones of the manager I employed. Damn.

So, on Monday 13th February, with an independent witness in tow, he was fired. The scale of his embezzlement then began to surface. What he had been doing was taking ‘deposits’ off customers, gambling with it and then telling me the customer had paid cash and he’d ‘left it at home’ or some such excuse. Thing was, the money always turned up within 48 hours and I really liked the guy, he was good at his job so, when we got to New Years Eve 2016 with just 2 outstanding invoices, things weren’t looking too bad…

In January that changed. He was obviously suddenly chasing his losses (in hindsight) and in the last week of January every excuse under the sun came out as to why I received no payments over 3 or 4 days. At which point I gave him every chance then had to act.

At the time of writing he owes me £12,000 of which he has paid back £4,000. He promises more. The police are waiting. He will be jailed if he doesn’t come up with the goods shortly. Ironically his wife works for the Prison Service. I suspect she will lose her job instantly.

What’s this got to do with BlackBerry and my Passport SE in particular? Well, on Sunday 12th February I decided to run a Windows 10 update on my PC. Which, after an hour, stuck it in a boot loop. In other words, it was knackered and off to the menders. They predicted 2 weeks to sort it out and recover all the data and I’m pleased to say I’m typing to you on it now. It’s the 4th March.

What that means is that as of the Monday 13th February, when I fired him, I had no PC and no access to my CRM/accounting software, which is all online, from that avenue.

Unless I use my Passport…

Of course, my manager had a full diary of customers to give quotes to that week. So I dropped everything and headed out to see those customers in something of a state of shock. Only the satnav on my Audi has had an intermittent fault for some time, if works fine for a bit then suddenly I’m flying across some houses and it’s going bonkers telling me to turn round. I threw away my paper maps a while back so I’m screwed…

Unless I use my Passport…

So as of Monday 13th February it’s just me and my Passport. It’s handling 4 different email accounts (I have another 2 businesses that also need to be kept going) and BBM is my saviour in keeping me in touch with all my staff. I’m belting messages left right and centre whilst on the road to suppliers setting up passwords or telling them not to deal with the thief whilst outside customers houses who desperately want our service. Oh, and I’m also receiving PDF’s by the bucket load from potential replacements from my recruitment advertising t replace him. I also need to access my online accounting software every half hour (at times like these, yes I do!) and find where the hell I’m going next…

Which is supplied to me via BlackBerry Maps. What a brilliant satnav that is. Hasn’t let me down now in over 2 weeks.

So when literally EVERYTHING let me down (a van broke down that week too!) the ONE thing I could rely on was the one thing I carry with me everywhere and at all times. The one thing that could do everything I needed to keep my business afloat and the one thing that could handle everything I threw at it was…

My BlackBerry Passport and BlackBerry 10.


Bigglybobblyboo is a legend almost nowhere at all. He is a founder member of UTB and spends his spare time taking out his anger at the world with a fishfork and a spatula. He is also a Cribbage Master, having won 1 fight online as the other guy refused to turn up out of fear for his life.

  • Steve Partridge

    I’m as big a BlackBerry fanboy as the next, but we would be nieve to believe an Android or iOS device couldn’t have performed as you suggest your Passport did!

    • anthogag

      He doesn’t own Android or iOS. His Passport saved him because he uses a Passport and his Windows PC died.

    • Dave Matthews

      Fair point Steve, and I’m just guessing that the story is one of relevance as opposed to superiority. But I do not wish to put words in Biggly’s mouth.

    • Bigglybobblyboo

      Steve, the iPhone would have been dead by 10.30am on the first morning and where is the Android with the battery life and screen size that would have allowed me to work on the move in the same way as the Passport?

      Not to mention the fact that everything I needed was already included in the Passport. I didn’t have to suddenly go app hunting to find what I needed. PLUS the active frames and multi tasking ability of BlackBerry 10 wa an absolute Godsend.

      No, I’m afraid in this situation nothing comes close.

      • The BlackBerry PRIV. The DTEK60. Probably also the DTEK50. Not sure of battery on that though. Would need to look back.

        • Bigglybobblyboo

          Really Brad & Jeremy? And all those phones have a nice big WIDE SQUARE screen so I can view my accountancy and CRM software on the move easily do they?

          No, they don’t. In this case the Passport was a better solution to the problem. A slab screen would have made life harder. Not impossible, I grant you, but more difficult, as it would have done with a Z30, say, too.

          • Can’t argue with the ease of use of a square screen (as long as it’s big like Passport and not little like a Q10. Lol) but all other functionality you described is present in all BlackBerry offerings. :)

            • Bigglybobblyboo

              No one said it wasn’t. Of course, the wondrous thing about BlackBerry has always been the myriad of choice. Let’s hope that carries forward with TCL on the Android side and BlackBerry on the BlackBerry 10 side (and BlackBerry 10 BBM)

          • Jeremy

            yes, the nice big square screen. I will give it that, but then I may as well pack a tablet

      • alan510

        I had a similar experience on a job. A long story short, I ended up relying on my Passport for an entire two week period. No PC, laptop or tablet available. It worked wonders. Battery life, available apps, ease of use with the file manager etc. Wonderful. I’ve never used an iPhone but there’s no way any Android device can compare. It was truly an eye opening experience.

        • Jeremy

          You’ve obviously never used a Priv… or even the Dtek50. I have a Passport and both the 50 and the Priv. The Passport is great, but I prefer the others. For many reasons.

          • alan510

            Not so Jeremy. I’ve had a Priv for the past year. I’m a writer and the Android OS is fine for some things. But I found the Passport to be much better for writing, editing and managing my files. It was a life saver for me on the job I mentioned in my initial reply.

            • Jeremy

              you said “no android device can compare” that’s total bullshit, I know several people with both devices and prefer the Priv for the tasks you are describing…. say its personal preference if you like but don’t state it as fact. It most certainly is not.

  • Shaun Williams

    Sorry to hear that Biggly,

  • Roy shpitalnik

    Good BB10 story Biggly.