O2 suffers major network outageThousands unable to call or text

12 July 2012

O2 logo

O2's mobile phone network has been affected by a major fault leaving many customers unable to call, text or access the internet on their mobile phones.

According to the network the problem started on July 11 at 1.30pm and affected 'thousands', although overnight more people seem to have suffered the outage.

Some customers have lost all service, while others are reporting that they can't call and text but are still able to access the internet.

The problems have also spread to smaller operators which run on the O2 network including Tesco Mobile and Giffgaff.

Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director, said, 'O2 need to resolve this situation as quickly as possible and make sure they are doing everything they can to keep their customers properly informed about what's going on. We want to see O2 offer compensation to all customers who have been hugely inconvenienced by this service blackout and have been paying for a service they cannot use.  People should also keep a log of any costs they incur to help with any claims for compensation.'

O2 claims that it has restored the 2G network this morning and the 3G service is beginning to come back online. It is advising customers that if they turn off 3G on their phone, they will be able to make calls and send text messages.

Go to our how to complain about mobile phone problems guide for advice if you're affect by the problem and wish to complain.

Go to http://www.o2.co.uk/status to see the latest updates from O2 on the network's current status.

How to turn off 3G

  • Go to the settings menu on your phone
  • Select the wireless and network or mobile network option
  • Select mobile networks
  • Change network mode to 2G or unselect 3G connection

This is not the first time the O2 network has had problems with the operator suffering a shorter outage earlier this year and multiple outages 2 years ago.

Will I get compensation?

O2 hasn't announced if it will be offering any automatic compensation and until we know more about what has caused the problems we don't know if the issues will represent a breach of contract, allowing people to claim for compensation.

In the meantime we would suggest customers keep a track of any costs incurred from the outage such as using a pay phone or paying for access to a wi-fi hotspot, as these could potentially be helpful in a future claim.

More on this...

  • Your mobile phone rights - guide to your rights as a consumer
  • How to complain about mobile phone problems - step by step guide
  • Best mobile phone networks - which networks topped our satisfaction survey?