Customers of UK second largest mobile operator, O2 mobile, were recently hit by a huge data outage lasting more than two days last week. Millions of furious O2 customers endured a day without data services while some have also been unable to send texts.

The 32 million subscribers of the network took to social media to flag problems with O2’s 4G, data services and phone calls. The network snag started about 5:30am on Thursday last week with around 1,662 complaints made before 7am.

How the company reacted to this

At just after 07:30 GMT, the company tweeted the following messages

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Even the CEO, Mark Evans, was not left out in apologising to its numerous customers.

The firm’s 3G was eventually restored by 9:30pm on Thursday, while the 4G services was restored at 3.30am on Friday.

Compensation plan to customers

O2 has assured its 32 million customers that they will get up to two days’ credit in compensation after the data outage. Four other mobile operators – Sky Mobile, Tesco Mobile, Lyca Mobile and GiffGaff were also affected as they use O2’s infrastructure.

Many of them are reaching out to their customers by providing them with compensation. Sky Mobile customers will get a day’s worth of free unlimited data on Saturday.

“We’re really sorry for the issues you experienced on Sky Mobile yesterday,” a Sky spokesman said.

“We’re giving you a day of free unlimited UK data this Saturday 8 December, so you can catch up on all the things you’ve missed. You don’t need to do a thing.”

Also, GiffGaff is setting aside a “goodwill fund” so any customers who felt the data outage “had a significant impact” can register for their share of the fund. while users will be able to choose whether to take a share of the fund as credit, or donate their share to charity.

The Nigerian narrative

In Nigeria it is not uncommon for network subscribers to experience network outage on their Voice or Data network platforms. Complaints by customers often times go unattended to with the company issuing no formal  statement or reasons for the downtime. After the restoration of services everyone seems to move on, forget the pain and economic losses suffered during the downtime, while the regulator look the other way. The Nigerian Communications Commissions (NCC) the regulator in the industry seems to have gone to sleep in penalising operators with poor network service.

Also, government agencies such as the Consumer Protection Commission (CPC) must double down in its effort to make sure that the rights of subscribers are not infringed on by operators and adequate compensation are paid to customers for downtime.

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