O2 signal failure: How to make a claim for compensation

The provider has said it will look at claims on a “case-by-case” basis

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The Independent Online

On Bank Holiday Monday evening O2 customers in Manchester, London, Glasgow and parts of Northern Ireland were left unable to call or text from their devices for a number of hours due to a complete loss of signal.

Customers expressed their outrage at the service and took to Twitter to complain. Business secretary Sajid Javid was one of the customers affected by the signal outage, and Tweeted O2 to “sort it out”.

O2 has said that it will not be offering compensation to customers affected by the signal outage, and said in a statement: Now that we have reviewed the length and effect of this incident, we are not planning to offer compensation.

“We do, of course, apologise for the inconvenience it caused and continue to invest in our network and services for our customers.”

O2 has previously said it will look at claims for compensation on a “case-by-case” basis.

Has O2 said set any parameters for who is likely to receive compensation?

No. The company has said they will look at requests for compensation on a case-by-case basis, and that only “exceptional” cases are likely to receive any reparations.

Has O2 defined what an ‘exceptional’ case is?

No, but the company has referred to the loss of signal case in 2012, in which seven million O2 customers were left without signal for 20 hours while the problem was corrected, as “exceptional”.

At the time O2 awarded pay monthly customers were directly affected 10 per cent off their bill for one month, while affected Pay & Go customers were given a 10 per cent boost to their top up. In addition, all customers were given a £10 voucher.

Is there a formal process for claiming compensation for the Bank Holiday signal outage?

No, because O2 is not providing compensation for this issue.

How do I make a claim if I want to?

Customers should visit O2’s complaints page, which provides customer service helplines. People will need to make a complaint about the service to request compensation. 

If the issue is not resolved at this stage, you can apply for an impartial review with O2’s complaints review service. You will need send your details, mobile and account numbers, a suggestion of what outcome you hope to achieve and any previous correspondence for the issue by post.

Is there anything I need to prove?

It is not clear if there are any requirements to prove what an “exceptional” case for compensation would be.

O2 has pointed to a point within its terms and conditions as to what customers should expect from their network service.

It states: “The Services are not fault free and speed and quality, for example, can be affected by things like the thickness of the walls of the building you're in, atmospheric conditions, technical issues with the Network and the number of people near you trying to access the Services at the same time.”


Can Ofcom help?

Ofcom cannot handle individual complaints, but it does set out steps for consumers to get help with individual problems, including total loss of coverage, which covers each part of the formal complaints process. It starts with how to try to resolve an issue through the provider’s customer services department through to taking a complaint to an Alternative Dispute Resolution scheme.

The steps are set out here.