MSE News

O2 announces customer compensation after data outage

Millions of O2 customers left unable to use their mobile data for almost 24 hours will be given compensation, the network operator has confirmed. 

O2 said it had finally fixed the issue, which also affected Giffgaff, Lycamobile, Sky Mobile and Tesco Mobile, at 3.27am on 7 December.

It has now announced compensation for affected customers, but if you've been left out of pocket by the outage you will need to make a separate claim. 

See our O2 customers hit by data outage – here's what you need to know MSE News story for more information.

What compensation will be paid?

Customers will be given credit for subscription charges or a top-up, or a discount on a bolt-on purchase, depending on their type of contract:

  • Pay-monthly, small and medium business and mobile broadband customers will be automatically credited two days of monthly airtime subscription charges, which will be paid "by the end of January". 

  • Pay-as-you-go customers will be given a 10% credit on a top-up in the New Year. O2 says it will let customers know when it's available. 

  • Pay-as-you-go mobile broadband customers will be given a 10% discount on a bolt-on purchase in the New Year. O2 says it will let customers know when it's available.

We've asked O2 if there will be a cap on the amount of discount or credit a customer can receive and will update this story when we know more. 

What are Giffgaff, Sky Mobile and Tesco Mobile offering? 

A number of networks piggyback on O2, meaning their customers were also affected by the outage. Check our Piggybacking guide for full info on which network really provides your signal. 

These networks have also announced goodwill gestures to compensate for the disruption:

  • Sky Mobile gave its customers a day of free unlimited UK data on Saturday.

  • Tesco Mobile will be offering customers a free 2GB data bundle in January. 

    If you're a Tesco Mobile customer, you should have been notified about this on Saturday. The data will be added automatically for pay monthly customers, but if you're a pay as you go customer you'll need to top up first, and the data will then be added.

  • Giffgaff has set up a goodwill fund – customers can take their share as airtime credit, or donate it to charity. 

    Customers will be sent an email over the next few days with instructions on how to claim or donate their share - registration will stay open until Friday 14th December.  

I've been left out of pocket – what should I do? 

While O2 has announced it will pay compensation for yesterday's outage, if you feel you've been left out of pocket by it, here's what you can do:

  • Keep evidence. If left out of pocket as a result of the outage, such as if you had to pay for a more expensive train ticket as you were unable to access your Railcard app, keep any evidence such as screenshots and copies of any extra charges you've faced. Then include them in your complaint to O2. 

  • Complain to O2 if unhappy. If you decide to make a compensation claim, go through O2's official complaints procedure (or your network's complaints procedure if you're with a piggybacking firm).

If the complaint's still unresolved after eight weeks or you're unhappy with the outcome, you can escalate it to the Communications Ombudsman, which will assess your complaint independently – O2, Giffgaff, Sky Mobile and Tesco Mobile are all signed up to it. 

What does O2 say?

On Friday, a spokesperson said: "We're very sorry about yesterday's data issue. We understand how important it is to stay connected, especially at this time of year.

"We'd once again like to thank our customers for their patience. We're doing all we can to make sure this issue doesn't happen again."