Goodwill gesture for millions of O2 customers hit by outage
The mobile phone provider O2 said yesterday that its 25 million UK customers will get up to two days’ credit in compensation as a goodwill gesture after a UK-wide outage that left them unable to get online.
The technical fault, which resulted in the 3G and 4G services going down and also had an impact on many people’s ability to make or receive calls, affected millions of users on the UK’s second largest mobile network. The outage began at about 5am on Thursday, with 3G capability restored at 9.30pm and the 4G network restored at 3.30am yesterday.
By way of apology, O2 is to offer its pay monthly and small and mediumsized business and mobile broadband customers a credit of two days’ worth of charges by the end of January.
Pay-as-you-go O2 customers will get a 10% credit when topping up in the new year. And pay-as-you-go mobile broadband customers will also get a 10% discount on a bolt-on purchase – additional call, text or data bundles that can be purchased at any time.
“We’re very sorry about yesterday’s data issue,” said a spokesman for O2. “We understand how important it is to stay connected, especially at this time of year.”
The outage also affected about 7 million customers of services including Tesco Mobile, Giffgaff, Sky Mobile and Lycamobile, which use the O2 network. It will be up to those providers to decide if they will make any kind of similar offer to their customers.
Sky Mobile has already sent a message to its customers awarding them a free day of data usage to make up for the outage. “We’re really sorry for the issues you experienced on Sky Mobile yesterday,” the company said in a text to all its customers. “We’re giving you a day of free unlimited UK data this Saturday 8 December, so you can catch up on all the things you missed. You don’t need to do a thing.”
A spokeswoman for Tesco Mobile, which has more than 5 million UK customers, said that it would also be offering some sort of compensation to customers.
It is not yet clear whether mobile virtual network operators such as Sky and Tesco will seek some form of commercial recompense from O2 because of the outage. O2 said it would be closely monitoring data services over the coming days and promised to carry out a review to understand what went wrong.
O2’s equipment supplier, the Swedish firm Ericsson, said its software had caused the problem. “A review will be carried out with Ericsson to understand fully what happened,” the O2 spokesman said.