Customer anger as O2 blackout continues

Thu 12th of July 2012, filed under Mobile Marketing

O2 service disruption due to network fault

O2 has apologised to customers after network problems reportedly left hundreds of thousands unable to make or receive calls and texts.

Complaints of no network coverage started arriving at around lunchtime on Wednesday, 11 July 2012, with users taking to social media sites to express their frustration.

At 8am this morning, O2 advised that their 2G network was now working again, but 3G was still down and customers were asked to switch it off on their device. GiffGaff and Tesco Mobile users continue to be affected, as their networks use O2's infrastructure.

The company, which has 23 million customers and carries the slogan 'We're better connected', explained that the problem is "due to a fault with one of our network systems, which has meant some mobile phone numbers are not registering correctly on our network".

The seemingly random nature of the issue has added further angst for customers, with some claiming to be unable to use their phone in the same house as another O2 subscriber with full service.

Unhappy customers as O2 works to resolve outage

O2's efforts to fix the problem have put pressure on engineers, with the company's status update website experiencing such high demand that some reported loading problems. Twitter has also been bombarded with complaints, including from a number of high profile celebrities such as ex-England rugby captain Mike Tindall, choirmaster Gareth Malone and former home secretary Jacqui Smith.

As the blackout entered its seventeenth hour, some reports began speculating as to how much compensation people should receive, particularly as O2 users also reported problems sending texts just two weeks ago.

However, O2 has so far claimed that its focus is only on restoring network coverage to all customers.

Connection problems this summer have not been limited to O2. On the same day their troubles began, the BBC website, including the popular iPlayer service, also crashed for around an hour in the middle of the evening. And in June 2012, Twitter was hit by a cascading bug and it too was unavailable for an hour.

Richard Frost, managing editor at theEword, said: "As a GiffGaff customer, it's been very frustrating not being able to use basic services on my smartphone for the last 24 hours. Some people have had it much worse though. Friends of mine believe they may have lost business as a result of the outage, so it'll be interesting to see how O2 tackles the thorny issue of compensation."

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