O2 & Ericsson Bosses Apologise for Disrupted Service

A day-long disruption of mobile internet service for O2 customers has finally come to an end.o2

The data service issues started around 5.30am on Thursday morning according to a statement on the network provider’s website. They explained that 3G services had been restored by Thursday evening, with 4G connectivity back to normal by Friday morning.

However, some users are claiming to still face issues with their phones, particularly with texts. Various different issues have been reported, from messages claiming not to be sent, to messages being sent multiple times.

A spokesperson for O2 acknowledged the issue, and claimed that this was only being experienced by a small handful of users: “A small proportion of customers have reported issues sending text messages. We can see that the vast majority are being sent and received successfully and our technical teams are investigating. Our 3G and 4G data services are performing as normal.”

A joint apology was issued earlier to the millions of customers whose data services were disrupted by the failings of O2 and equipment supplier Ericsson. Mark Evans, O2’s boss, was very apologetic, and assured customers that they were working hard to make things right:

“I want to let our customers know how sorry I am for the impact our network data issue has had on them, and reassure them that our teams, together with Ericsson, are doing everything we can. We fully appreciate it’s been a poor experience and we are really sorry”.

Faulty software was to blame for the disruption, and Ericsson UK boss Marielle Lindgren explained that the software at fault had now been decommissioned. Börje Ekholm, president of Ericsson worldwide, gave more explanation of the cause, saying that their investigations showed that the “main issue was an expired certificate in the software versions installed with these customers”.

The network outage affected the 25 million direct customers that O2 has, as well as a further seven million belonging to providers Sky, Giffgaff and Lycamobile – who all use O2’s network to provide their own customers with data connectivity.

Many businesses faced disruptions in their day-to-day services, with Transport for London’s bus service updates being unavailable for most of the day.

According to consumer expert Helen Dewdney, O2 customers should be able to claim for any expenses that arose from the disruption to their phone service. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 stipulates that services should be carried out with reasonable skill and care, and so gives customers reason to claim back what they would have had to pay for the time they were without their phone.

Customers will also be able to claim for any other costs that resulted from the outage, such as bank charges incurred due to not being able to move money, or the cost of using another service. All these claims would due to the breach of contract between the service provider, O2, and its customers who have paid for a service that they have not received.

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