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O2 services are back. Are you entitled to compensation?

UPDATE: O2 has rectified the network failures that meant thousands of customers didn’t have access to calls, texts or data. 

In a statement on its website the company at 13:30: ‘Following previous updates, our tests now show that all our 2G and 3G services have been fully restored for affected customers. If any customers are still having problems we recommend they turn their phone off and on again. Once again, we are sorry.’

Telefonica CEO Ronan Dunne took to his Twitter account to apologise: “To all our affected customers – I’m very sorry. The network is back. My focus now is restoring your confidence and trust in O2.”

O2 outage

The outages started to occur from lunchtime yesterday with O2 acknowledging the issues from its Twitter feed some 17 hours ago. Users were reporting issues with connectivity and once O2 made mention of the issue, floods of angry messages from customers hit their social channels.  The issue was clearly selective, as some users have reported in with no ill effects being suffered by their devices. It’s not just O2 who have been affected either, Tesco Mobile and giffgaff who piggyback of the carrier’s network have also fallen prey to these issues.

O2 fixed the 2G issue this morning, so customers could make calls and send texts, rectifying 3G problems by lunchtime today – just over a day after the original problem started.

Are O2 customers entitled to compensation?

According to Sophia King, solicitor with Thomas Eggarr LLP, you might not be. “O2 states in its own Pay Monthly Terms & Conditions that “the service [it provides] isn’t fault free”. Like the majority of contracts O2 has what is known as a “force majeure” clause which states that where things go wrong and those events are outside O2’s reasonable control, O2 will not be liable for any loss suffered.

‘So, whilst the disruption will have caused problems for both private and business customers, it is unlikely that anyone will successfully be able to bring a claim against O2.”

O2 may choose to offer compensation to customers as a goodwill gesture, although the company has yet to make a statement but. If it doesn’t and complaining doesn’t work, you can complain to the Ombudsman. 

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