O2’s 3-day compensation is good enough, I reckon

I see that O2 has now gone on record detailing how it plans to compensate those customers who had no network service last week as a result of that failure.

You get 3 days worth of service credit (equivalent to 10% discount) if you’re a contract customer and a similar credit if you’re on PAYG.

I think this is good enough.

It won’t easily fix their frustration of the millions of customers who had to put up with no signal. But it’s a gesture. An apology. And the operator could do without this kind of financial fix. No operator wants to be having to chuck back contracted/predicted/guaranteed revenue, especially in these uncertain times.

I have to say I’m rather surprised at the scale of the problem. I had hoped it was only thousands left disconnected. Perhaps hundreds of thousands… But apparently 7.4 million customers were affected.

My message for those who were shocked and horrified at the experience is to get a backup. These things do happen. For many I’m sure it was intensely annoying — but for a good chunk of customers, I’m sure the disconnected experience went way beyond novel and into the realms of ‘life critical’ — even if it meant you couldn’t find your friend when you’d arranged to meet, or you couldn’t pay for your parking with the RingGo app.

The extent to which mobile devices are now integrated directly into our lives is only truly revealed when issues such as this one occur. Imagine the inconvenience of trying to demonstrate to a train guard that you had bought a ticket even though you were unable to connect and retrieve it? Or the embarrassment at being unable to pay for your meal at a restaurant because you couldn’t remember your PIN… Details of which are milliseconds away… But in the disconnected cloud.

Yeah. Not good.

I heavily rely on connectivity all the time nowadays — and this is why I deliberately carry two devices minimum, each running on a different operator.

There’s some smart folk at O2. Especially in the marketing segments. Have a look at this paragraph from The Telegraph:

All customers, including those unaffected by the failure, will also get a £10 voucher to spend with O2’s “Priority Moments” loyalty scheme. It hosts special offers for restaurants, cinemas, clothes shops and other items.

Heh. Very smart indeed. An excellent additional gesture — that is also right up the street of the Priority Moments team. If they’ve done their calculations correctly, that £10 voucher could generate them a lot more in revenue (and goodwill). If they get a fair wind, the revenue and value derived from increasing the Priority Moments membership base could go some way to meeting the refund loss.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

1 reply on “O2’s 3-day compensation is good enough, I reckon”

The “priority moments” voucher in particular is ace, a great way to get more people to use that… But good on them to recognise the issue even if their T&Cs would allow them to get away with it.

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