Finding Answers: Help Us Help You

HOW-TO / 07.05.12 / bswanncanada

If you have ever made an appointment with a mechanic for your car, you know the first questions they ask are about the make, model and year followed by simply, “What’s wrong?” If you are like me and don’t know an engine block from a flux compositor, this can be a tough question. However, getting help for your BlackBerry® smartphone or BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet is thankfully much easier than that!

Today I’m going to help you help us, by providing three steps for getting the information we need to get you the answers you need!

Before we begin: Back up, Back up, Back up!

I’ll say it again: back up! (Why the emphasis, you ask? Well, in my experience, swimming pools and consumer electronics don’t mix, so please learn from my mistakes.) We provide you with multiple ways to back up your BlackBerry devices, so before you make any changes to your device (or dive into a pool with your clothes on) we suggest performing one of the following steps.

BlackBerry smartphones:

BlackBerry PlayBook tablet:

Step 1: The Device Model and current software version

Now that the backup is out of the way, let’s get started. The first thing we want to know is the model of your BlackBerry smartphone and the current software version. If you need a refresher on how to find this information, follow the steps below for your device:

BlackBerry® Device Software 5.0 and Below
1. Select “Options” from the Home Screen or from within a folder
2. Select “About”
3. The first line will provide the device model. Example: BlackBerry® 9700
4. The current version of software will start with a V. Example: v5.0.0.0

BlackBerry® 6 and BlackBerry® 7 OS
1. Select “Options” from the Home Screen or from within a folder
2. Select “Device”, then “About Device Versions”
3. The first line will provide the device model. Example: BlackBerry® 9800
4. We require the number that starts with a V. Example v7.0.0xxx

BlackBerry PlayBook tablet
1. Tap the gear icon in the top right of the Home screen
2. Tap “About” if not already viewing that screen
3. The current software version is located to the right of “OS Version”

Step 2: Explain the problem to us

The next thing we need is an explanation of the question or problem you are experiencing. We aren’t asking you to speak fluent nerd (that’s our job) – just provide us a description of what you are attempting, what is or is not happening, and what the expected results are.

If there is an error message or notification, the best thing you can do is record exactly what it says, and if possible the steps taken to encounter it. If one is not available, do your best to describe the steps taken before encountering the issue.


  • “I’ve received an error message when I launch the app ABCXYZ, the error is “unable to launch ABCXYZ, code 123456”
  • “When I select X, I receive a message instead of the app opening. The message says…”
  • “How do I change the password for my BlackBerry ID using my BlackBerry PlayBook tablet?”
  • “I mistakenly deleted the icon for an app I downloaded from BlackBerry App World on my BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. How do I get it back?”

Step 3: Provide us some key information

Last but definitely not least, provide us with a description of what you are trying to do or the problem you are experiencing. I would consider this to be the most difficult step, because you might not know what is and what is not working. Try your best to provide us with a detailed description. If you can’t, we will obviously still do our best to help you out.

Here are some questions to get you going:

  • What features, apps or games are you experiencing difficulty with?
  • When was the last time this worked, if ever?
  • When did the issue first occur?
  • Do you recall making any changes before experiencing the problem?

Lastly, make sure you read our earlier post for tips on where to get help and answers when you need them.

Have a question or comment about this post? Leave a message below!

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