O2 customers who suffered black out will not get automatic compensation
As you have probably heard by now, O2 had a bit of a problem on Bank Holiday Monday, with thousands of customers losing all signal for up to eight whole hours. It's just too painful to imagine. But to rub salt in the wound of already irate customers, O2 have announced that customers will not be getting a blanket compensation payment, but that anyone looking for redress will have to apply to the telecom company who will look at claims on a "case by case basis".
After a previous outage, in 2012, pay-as-you-go customers were given a 10% boost to their next top-up and every customer was given a £10 voucher. This time, however, O2 says that even pay monthly customers will have to make a claim directly to O2. The difference, according to O2 is that the previous outage (which affected 7 million customers and took 20 hours to fix) was "quite exceptional" and that the same or similar compensation would not be offered again.
So far, the mobile service provider has no idea why this latest outage happened but said service had returned to normal by 11.35pm. A spokesman said: "This [outage] was on nowhere near the same scale, so we will only be offering compensation on a case-by-case basis.
"We will now begin a full investigation to understand the cause, and apologise for the inconvenience caused."
However, just because there is no blanket compensation doesn’t mean that you can’t make a claim. O2 already has rules on customers who suffer from mobile phone "blackspots" where they regularly lose signal. However, it is quite (deliberately) difficult to actually get compensation under this scheme as monthly customers have to prove they have suffered intermittent signal and internet for three months, as well as showing they had lost signal or internet connection seven times in a given day - the "seven times" rule. O2 have so far refused to confirm if customers affected by yesterday's blackout would need to adhere to the "seven times" rule, or whether they would be given a payout equal to one day's contract fee.
Frustrated O2 users took to Twitter to ponder at what point the network is in breach of its contractual obligation to provide customers with a mobile telecommunications.service. We think providing no service is fairly clearly not providing a mobile telecommunications service
So what can you do? Well, you can try taking O2 to regulator Ofcom, who say that you may be entitled to compensation "if you believe you’ve been poorly treated by your phone company." Let’s see if O2 decide to address their disgruntled customers before facing several thousand Ofcom complaints…