Millions of O2 customers will have woken up to ‘no service’ warnings today, following an overnight service outage.
An estimated 32 million people on the network have been left without online access – with O2 blaming it on a software issue with a third party supplier.
The network issues started shortly after 5.30am this morning with customers taking to social media to reveal they had no connection, even after troubleshooting their devices.
The company then issued a public statement confirming the network is down, adding it’s working to sort the problem as quickly as possible.
O2, which has about 25 million UK customers, said that voice calls were still working but advised people to seek out wifi if they needed to get online while the outage persisted.
And to worsen matters, Giffgaff and Lycamobile customers, both subsidiaries of O2, are also affected by the outage.
“We’d encourage our customers to use wifi wherever they can and we apologise for the inconvenience caused,” said an O2 spokesman
The company said that the problem stems from a global software issue at a third-party supplier, understood to be Ericsson, which has also affected other mobile operators around the world.
Ernest Doku, mobiles expert at uSwitch.com, said: “O2 users affected by this mobile data outage will understandably be concerned and frustrated.
“While it’s positive that voice calls are still up and running, without a projected timeframe for a fix, this is likely a worrying situation for a large proportion of O2’s some 32 million UK customers.
“Customers who are suffering can keep a track of this incident using O2’s own network status tracker and ask the provider to keep them posted.
“In the meantime, O2 customers can still place and receive calls, but will have to resort to using WIFI if they want to get online.”
In total, about 32 million mobile phone users have been affected including Tesco Mobile, Sky Mobile, Lycamobile and O2’s Giffgaff.
So should you get your money back?
Regulator Ofcom said it’s currently working with O2 to identify the root cause. In the meantime, we’ve identified your rights below.
We are aware that O2 is experiencing problems with its network. We are in contact with the company to establish the cause of the problem,” an Ofcom spokeswoman told Mirror Money.
Depending on the circumstances, it may be appropriate for your provider to offer you some money back while repairs are being carried out. You can raise this with O2 over the phone, online chat or on social media now, though be aware lines will be extremely busy.
In more extreme cases, where repairs take much longer (for example it takes longer than usual to access a mast site to undertake repairs), you may be entitled to an additional refund or account credit.
n cases where you have been without service for some time, you may also have the right to leave the contract without penalty. There may be a term in your contract saying you can do this if your provider has failed in its obligations to you or breached a key condition.
Furthermore, if you’re forced to incur any extra charges because of the outage, such as having to pay for public wifi, you can complain to your provider and ask for compensation to cover those unexpected expenses.
If your provider fails to repair a fault by the date promised, or you are unhappy with how long it is taking, you should follow their internal complaints procedure. You can get in touch with O2 here, although it’s worth waiting for the service to be back up and running, first.
If you raise a case but it’s still unresolved, or solved without good reason, you can submit your complaint to an independent Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme after eight weeks.