Thousands of O2 customers have been suffering from a service blackout since yesterday. Angry tweets have been pouring into the Which? Twitter accounts – should O2 do more than just restore coverage?
Some are suggesting that O2 should offer compensation, but let’s step back a bit – what’s actually happened?
O2’s network crashed yesterday for ‘thousands’ of its 23 million customers. O2 customers weren’t the only ones suffering – GiffGaff and Tesco Mobile (which piggyback on O2’s network) customers suffered the blackout too.
I’m with GiffGaff and had no trouble with mobile coverage last night, but this morning I had nothing – the world was quiet to me. Problems also started this morning for Twitter user Philippa Waddell (@pilla_uk), who told us:
‘Had full service all day yesterday despite problems reported by others. Today woken up with no service! Two hours in and nothing!’
Outraged tweets pour in to @WhichConvo
O2 has said its doing everything in its power to get the service up and running again, having ‘deployed all possible resources’ and ‘working through the night to restore service as soon as possible’. But the problem is still persisting for many. Chris Coney (@chrisconey) told us:
‘Seems to be getting worse I had signal when I went too bed at 1am, now whole family have lost it. Glorified iPod at present.’
Last night Pete Baggett (@elektromote) tweeted:
‘I’ve had no service since 15:30. If my number’s dialled it comes up as invalid.’
O2 has said that its 2G network is back up and running, with the suggestion that if you turn off your 3G or reset your phone you should be able to access 2G for calls and texts. This interim fix has worked for some of our Twitter followers, but others are still struggling to get their phone back up and running.
I tried everything I could think of, but still couldn’t access any signal, until Philip Wheeler (@PhilWheeler09) shared this tip for Android phones: ‘Go to Settings> Wireless and Networks > Mobile Networks > Network Mode > GSM Only’. Now everything’s fine and dandy, apart from 3G data, which O2 hopes to get fixed later today.
Should O2 offer compensation?
So, should O2 offer compensation for all the trouble caused? Kerry Goding told us that the blackout had affected her husband’s business:
@WhichConvo both me and hubby are! He’s an emergency callout locksmith and can’t receive calls!! Not good for business!!
— Kerry Goding (@Raring2GoSheff) July 11, 2012
O2’s terms and conditions are likely to cover the company for service outages, especially if it does everything in its power to get the problem fixed in a reasonable amount of time. Until we know more about what has caused the problems we don’t know if the issues will represent a breach of contract. In the meantime, keep a track of any costs incurred from the outage, such as paying for access to a wi-fi hotspot, as these could potentially help you in a future claim.
However, at Which? we want to see O2 offer compensation to those who have been hugely inconvenienced by this outage and have been paying for a service they cannot use.
[UPDATE 18/07/12] – O2, GiffGaff and Tesco Mobile have announced how they’re going to compensate those affected.
O2 and Tesco Mobile have identified the customers who were directly affected and will offer pay monthly customers 10% off their September bill and Pay & Go customers 10% off their first September top-up. All O2 customers (not Tesco Mobile) will also be offered a £10 O2 voucher. All GiffGaff customers, whether they’re affected or not, will be offered 10% off top-up credit, or if they buy a ‘goodbag’ they’ll get the 10% extra as credit to spend next time.