BlackBerry Blasts "False and Misleading" Z10 Return Rate Reports

It was easy to kick BlackBerry when it was down, but now that it's risen from the ashes of Research In Motion (RIM) with a new name, a new flagship phone, and a new outlook on its mobile life, the spunky Canadian company is showing that it isn't afraid to engage in some verbal fisticuffs when necessary. Now apparently is one of those times.

In a recent blog post, BlackBerry and wireless cohort Verizon called into question claims from research investment firm Detwiler Fenton that Z10 devices were being returned in unusually higher numbers. BlackBerry called the findings "absolutely false" and said the research outfit refused to share with the company its report to investors or its methodology.

As a result of the research firm's unwillingness to cooperate, BlackBerry is now asking the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission and Ontario Securities Commission to look into the matter.

BlackBerry Z10

"These materially false and misleading comments about device return rates in the United States harm BlackBerry and our shareholders, and we call upon the appropriate authorities in Canada and the United States to conduct an immediate investigation," BlackBerry Chief Legal Officer Steve Zipperstein said in a statement. "Everyone is entitled to their opinion about the merits of the many competing products in the smartphone industry, but when false statements of material fact are deliberately purveyed for the purpose of influencing the markets a red line has been crossed."

BlackBerry President and CEO Thorston Heins claims the Z10 return rate is "at or below our forecasts and right in line with the industry." Any reports to the contrary are "either a gross misreading of the data or a willful manipulation," he added.