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O2 praised by dealers for quick customer response to Ericsson-induced network outage

Manny Pham
December 18, 2018

O2 partners congratulate the network for good crisis management as 32 million lost service

O2 dealers have been relaxed about the Great O2 Outage that deprived millions of customers of service for a day.

Britt Megahey, MD at Barclay Communications, one of O2’s largest Direct partners, said:

“Barclay Communications and our customers weren’t too badly affected by the outage. It was a problem that was out of our control. But with our business support team, we were able to manage customers who were facing problems.

“The advent of new mobile technology such as 5G means minor technical problems are to be expected. But it’s how issues are managed that will set the best communication providers apart.”

The One Point managing director Martin Lauer added:

“For any network to be down is a nightmare. However, voice services as far as we experienced were unaffected. We had some customers that hadn’t even realised there was an outage.

“O2 did a good job in identifying the problem, apologising and giving credit to customers.

“Overall, people are understanding. We haven’t had anyone call up saying ‘this is unacceptable’. The compensation is enough and it gives O2 an opportunity to show that it cares about its customers. It was an inconvenience, but that’s it.”

Citytalk Communications business telecoms solutions specialist Ben Housego said compensation should have gone to a charitable donation:

“The apologies were swift and compensation was offered up almost immediately. However, for a customer on a £13 per month contract, for example, the money back works out at 87p, which is insignificant. O2 should have given that money to a charitable cause, particularly in the run-up to the festive period. A move like that would have repaired some brand damage if there was any.”

O2 will compensate pay-monthly, small-medium business and mobile broadband customers by paying back two days of monthly subscription charges by the end of January.

Pay-as-you-go customers will receive 10 per cent extra credit when topping up, while pay-as-you-go mobile broadband customers will see a 10 per cent discount on a bolt-on purchase.

The O2 data network was down for a whole day because of a software issue in Ericsson equipment on the operator’s infrastructure, with the incident affecting 32 million subscribers. O2 has 25 million direct customers, plus seven million through MVNOs such as giffgaff, Sky Mobile and Tesco Mobile.

O2 was reported as looking to seek £100 million compensation from Ericsson. Japanese operator giant SoftBank and GTA TeleGuam were also hit by the Ericsson bug.

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