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