O2 customers back on the line- but no compensation for loss of connection

19 May 2011

o2logo_mediacentreIf you were an O2 customer in North or East London, East Sussex or Kent yesterday, you may have found your service a little lacking.  For 16 hours, people trying to use their phones in these areas could not make calls, or send or receive texts and e-mails.

The reason was not a technical glitch, or a satellite falling over, it was a good old fashioned smash and grab. Thieves broke in to O2's East London network point and damaged equipment, which led to the service breakdown. O2 said it did not know how many of its 22 million customers were affected, and so are not offering compensation.

The company claim they cannot offer anything to customers because "the nature of mobile services means that it is not possible for operators to derive which customers may or may not have used their mobiles in an affected area". Granted, it might be difficult to track or prove which sales reps, for example, drove through the affected areas and couldn't get a signal, but what about the people who live or work there?

So O2 are copping out of the compensation. But should they have felt the need to offer compensation anyway? After all, they were not responsible for the thieves who damaged the equipment? On the other hand, they are a service provider, and for 16 hours they did not offer a service? What if someone missed an important and valuable call? What if someone died because they couldn't speak to someone (OK this is unlikely, but nevertheless possible). O are we now just a nation of money-grabbers?

Thoughts please...

14 comments

  • Sawyer
    If we received compensation for every occasion that a service isn't available, I may as well contact my broadband provider right now and get them to set up a recurring daily payment into my account. Same goes for Orange mobile internet on my phone. 60% of the time, it works every time.
  • Haggis
    Course they should compensate. Why should a customer pay for a service that wasn't provided? Compensate everyone who lives/works in the affected area on a pro-rata basis. If you're contract is £30 a month, you get £1 back. Simples!
  • Tweedskin
    The airlines weren't responsible for the Volcano/Ash cloud of death, yet had to offer compensation (although your favourites are still fighting that one...) to customers. Why should mobile companies be any different? If you were a business and relied on their network, could you claim for loss of trade?
  • Not B.
    Ofcourse they should compensate, its ridiculous they wont. I work in Canary Wharf, and it was appalling being without reception, booking a cab, lunch meetings, checking emails, it all boiled down to mayhem for me. I don't see why o2 think they arent liable for this, they should be providing a service. Is there any way we customers can escalate this situation!?
  • Marky M.
    Can't wait for when everybody's work is held in the 'cloud'. I wonder if bosses will be so understanding when a deadline's missed and all you can say is "Soz, my 3G connection is down."
  • George
    Why are we making a fuss? No one mentioned compensation when vodafone died earlier this year!
  • Eric
    Not an Investment Banker - the best way to do that would be a complaint direct to o2 and you must exhaust their complaints procedure before effectively escalating your complaint elsewhere. Sadly people want compensation because they know about it and not because they actually deserve it.
  • Kareem
    £30.00 per month contract. 16 hours down time = 64p. What if someone missed an important and valuable call? - Pick up a landline phone.
  • The B.
    @Not an Investment banker - just be glad you're not on Vodafone, you've just surmised the coverage they offer in Canary Wharf 24/7.
  • PlatinumPlatypus
    O2 are responsible for securing their network point = O2 are responsible for the downtime
  • veedubjai
    What if someone missed an important and valuable call? What if someone died because they couldn’t speak to someone (OK this is unlikely, but nevertheless possible). Or are we now just a nation of money-grabbers? Whatever happened before mobile phones were invented & became too common? We had BT Landlines & BT Payphone Boxes. Happy days then, now we have every fucker yapping all day long talking bullshite at unsocialable hours with no manners & etiquette. Did we all die because we couldn't live without it? Simple no. Where does it say on the Services Agreement under the Pay Monthly Mobile Agreement that O2 will be legally held responsible for any compensation when out of service beyond O2's control? Nowhere! If O2 decides there is a case legally then that would be called a gesture of goodwill but this will have to be approved by the legal dept before going official. 2 The Services we supply and what you can expect of us 2.1 The Service isn’t available everywhere in the United Kingdom. It isn’t available in all other countries. It may be restricted to certain areas of those countries where it is available. Not all Mobile Phones will be able to receive the Service. We only agree to provide the Service to Mobile Phones that are approved by us. 2.2 The Service isn’t fault-free; a range of different geographic, atmospheric or other conditions or circumstances beyond our control can impair it. For instance, coverage is affected by things like the thickness of the walls of the building you’re in. It might also depend on how many people near you are trying to use the Service at the same time. For more information about the things that affect coverage, please look at the dedicated Network pages of our Website. You’re entitled to the quality of service generally given by a competent mobile telecommunications service provider, using its reasonable skill and care. 17. Things beyond our reasonable control 17.1 Except for the obligations under paragraphs 5, 6, 7, 12.1, and 12.2 if either of us can’t do what we’ve promised because of something beyond our reasonable control (such as lightning, floods, exceptionally severe weather, fire, explosions, epidemics, war, civil disorder, industrial disputes, acts of terrorism, acts or omissions of others for whom we’re not responsible (including other telecommunication providers), acts of local or central Government or other competent authorities), neither of us will be liable for this. You do realise that you can still call the emergency services on your mobile phone even if their is no local network coverage from your preferred mobile network service provider for whatever reason. Calling 112 on your mobile phone will (in some parts of the world, primarily Europe) connect you to local emergency services, even if you are outside your provider's service area (i.e., even if you are not authorised to relay signals through the cell tower that handles your call), and many mobile phones allow the user to place 112 calls even if the phone lacks a SIM card or its keypad is locked. However, the 112 number does not have (as is sometimes claimed) special properties that enable callers to use it in areas where all cellular signals are blocked (or otherwise unavailable). http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/112/how/index_en.htm http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/112/ms/gb/index_en.htm http://www.o2.co.uk/assets2/pdf/2120%20CPM_TandCs_Booklet_LR_ONLINE.pdf
  • lew
    O2 are responsible for being broken into? And responsible for letting intruders vandalise their equipment? Seriously? 16 hours guys...what did people do before mobile phones existed? sit in a puddle of their own piss, depressed because the bakelite phone is just so damn inconvenient? everyone seems to think that they're somehow entitled a hand-out every time something slightly inconvenient happens to them. Does anyone bill Sky for each minute you can't watch your program because the weather is too bad? You get a powercut in your area, do you demand compensation because it's a service you pay for? Taxi driver doesn't get you to work on time, does he pay you the wages you've been docked? I dread to think what would happen if an actual disaster hit the country, that affected millions of people, more than "I couldn't txt my mates for 16hours"
  • :)
    http://www.o2.co.uk/assets2/pdf/2120%20CPM_TandCs_Booklet_LR_ONLINE.pdf Specifically 2.2... "2.2 The Service isn’t fault-free; a range of different geographic, atmospheric or other conditions or circumstances beyond our control can impair it. For instance, coverage is affected by things like the thickness of the walls of the building you’re in. It might also depend on how many people near you are trying to use the Service at the same time. For more information about the things that affect coverage, please look at the dedicated Network pages of our Website. You’re entitled to the quality of service generally given by a competent mobile telecommunications service provider, using its reasonable skill and care."
  • richard j.
    hello my name is Richard and yesterday i had to call my hossiptal for treatment as i have MS,i could not get to them and now must wait around 2 weeks for another appointment, i think that as i put my trust in o2 to make me feel secure the least they could do is send me a sms when the service was back to normail and a apology to my phone for there era? and to give me a number that i could call with for a emergancy number? Regards Richard

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