A gesture for those hit by last week’s big O2 meltdown
O2 is offering those who were hit by last week’s massive outage “the equivalent of three days back” in money – but this not “compensation” and it has not admitted any fault.
The Telefonica-owned operator is to give pay monthly customers 10 percent off their July subscription, which will be taken off of their September bills. Pay-as-you-go customers will receive 10 percent extra on their first top-up in September.
Everyone on O2 will also receive a £10 O2 voucher to spend in store, redeemable via the O2 Priority Moments app or online at www.o2.co.uk/priority.
“We will contact all O2 consumer customers and those small businesses with fewer than 10 connections by the end of the day on Friday 27 July giving full details,” O2 said in a blog post.
“This will be by text message. Other business customers will receive communications through their account managers or our channel partners in the coming days giving full details.”
All kinds of businesses were affected by last week’s outage, which left many of its customers across the country unable to make or receive calls, send text messages or access data services for nearly 24 hours.
The down time reportedly disrupted the monitoring of criminals via electronic tags belonging to beleaguered security firm G4S, which include an O2 SIM card.
London’s “Boris” hire bikes were also hit. Approximately 100 docking stations for the bikes went offline last Thursday morning.
Not actually compensation…
However, a lawyer has pointed out that this is not “compensation” in a legal sense.
Solicitor Sophia King, of leading law firm Thomas Eggar LLP responds to the surprise announcement from O2:
“So, is this an admission of liability?” said solicitor Sophia King, of law firm Thomas Eggar LLP. “Well, no. O2 has specified that this payment is ‘as a gesture of goodwill and to say sorry’; in other words it is not contractual ‘compensation’ which could be properly claimed where one party has breached a contract.”
This means the windfall can’t be used by customers who were lost business or had other problems resulting from the meltdown, she said: “Badly affected customers who attempt to claim for further compensation from O2 are unlikely to have much luck. O2 states in its own Pay Monthly Terms & Conditions that ‘the service [it provides] isn’t fault free’. ”
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