By Lauren Howells.
Mobile phone provider O2 has announced that the millions of UK customers who were affected by its data outage last week will be compensated.
The issue, which resulted in customers not being able to use their mobile data, lasted for nearly 24 hours. Some users reported that they were unable to receive or make phone calls, either, although O2 reportedly said that voice calls had not been affected.
Customers to be compensated through a credit on their account
According to MoneySavingExpert, the way customers will be compensated depends upon whether they are paying monthly or using pay-as-you-go.
Those on O2’s pay-monthly deal and mobile broadband customers should be credited automatically for two days’ worth of subscription charges “by the end of January”. O2 are planning to give pay-as-you-go mobile phone customers a 10% credit when they top-up their phones next year. Pay-as-you-go mobile broadband customers will receive a 10% discount on a bolt-on purchase next year. Bolt-ons enable customers to buy additional data, calls or texts.
Outage also affected customers with other providers who use O2’s network
The outage also affected those using Sky Mobile, Tesco Mobile, Giffgaff and Lycamobile, which all use the O2 network.
Customers on these networks have also been offered goodwill gestures, with Sky Mobile sending a text out to its customers to apologise and offering them a free day of unlimited data last Saturday (8 December).
The disruption began at around 5 am last Thursday and lasted until around 3.30am on Friday for 4G connectivity, although 3G was back up and running at 9:30 pm on the same day.
O2 has 25 million customers. Another 7 million people use the O2 network through other brands, such as Tesco Mobile.
O2 apologised for the issues customers had experienced
A spokesperson for O2 apologised for the disruption.
“We understand how important it is to stay connected, especially at this time of year. We’d once again like to thank our customers for their patience. We’re doing all we can to make sure this issue doesn’t happen again.”
O2 said that it would continue to monitor service performance closely in the days following the incident.
Ericsson, O2’s technology supplier, has reportedly said that it was its software that had caused the issue.
Chief executive of Ericsson UK and Ireland, Marielle Lindgren, said:
“The faulty software that has caused these issues is being decommissioned.”
Ericsson also apologised to customers for the inconvenience.
Will O2 seek damages from Ericsson?
Over the weekend, it emerged that O2 may be seeking damages from Ericsson. According to the Telegraph, the bill could be as much as £100 million.