Millions of 02 customers are to face more misery as the mobile network says its 4G data services are not expected to be ‘fully restored’ until tomorrow morning.
It comes after a day of fury at the telecommunications firm as up to 25 million customers were left unable to access the internet since the early hours of this morning.
The company also provides network coverage for Tesco, Sky, Giffgaff and Lycamobile – who have around seven million users – bringing the total number of affected customers to around 32 million.
Thousands of O2 mobile phone users faced trouble using their 4G data today (file picture)
The issue is believed to have been caused by Ericsson software, part of which has now been decommissioned.
Chief executive Mark Evans issued a statement on the 02 website this evening, assuring customers the issue would be sorted by tomorrow morning.
He said: ‘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 will continue to work with Ericsson, through the night, who have assured us that a full service will be restored for customers by the morning. We fully appreciate it’s been a poor experience and we are really sorry.’
While Marielle Lindgren, CEO Ericsson UK & Ireland, said also apologised for the outage, saying: ‘Our priority is to restore full data services on the network by tomorrow morning.
‘Ericsson sincerely apologises to customers for the inconvenience caused.’
Customers took to Twitter this morning to express their anger at the outage, with some saying losing coverage was becoming a regular problem – and others unable to use the sat navs on their phone.
Users of Britain’s second biggest phone network started reporting problems at 4.50am – and O2 representatives on social media said they were ‘terribly sorry’.
In a post on social media O2 admitted they still don’t have a timescale for when data services will return for customers.
Social media users were quick to poke fun at the O2 data outage today, as up to 32million customers are left without internet for hours
Some O2 customers were able to see the funny side of the data outage, despite not having internet for hours
People also found the problems affected mobile payment services including Apple and Google Pay, while others urged O2 to provide compensation for the outage.
BBC presenter Dan Walker and rapper Yungen tweeted they were among the millions of customers who have not been able to access internet services via their phone data.
How to complain and claim compensation
There are a number of options available to you should you wish to complain about the outage today.
The best way, according to consumer expert Helen Dewdney – who writes a blog called The Complaining Cow – is to do it in writing.
She argues that gives you a record of your complaint.
02 can be contacted by email or post here:
O2 Complaints Review Service, PO BOX 694, Winchester, SO23 5AP
You are entitled to a full refund for the time you were unable to use your phone, writes Ms Dewdney.
This is according to the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which says that services should be ‘carried out with reasonable skill and care’.
Dan Walker tweeted: ‘Anyone know how long this #O2Down business is going on for @O2? I’m currently having to talk to people and look them in the face… it’s very disconcerting.’
Yungen said: ‘Another couple hours of this nonsense @O2 and I’m changing networks. Smh.’
Other O2 customers expressed their anger online, saying the felt the service provider should have warned them about the outage.
Dipesh Parag, of Northamptonshire, tweeted: ‘Once again O2 disappoints me with no 4G or even 3G in the area. No warning or emails to say it’s down.
‘Hope I get compensation for this as it’s constantly like this. Can’t wait for my contract to end. You stay loyal for nothing.’
Emily-Kate Brewer added: ‘After having several masts down in my area for weeks and not being able to make or receive calls.
‘I’ve now woken this morning to no data. My partner is now having to navigate his own way round London with no sat nav. Really not good enough!’
Wayne Tuckwell tweeted: ‘What is wrong with the network this morning, O2? No data in Gloucester.’
And Annie Bass said: ‘O2 network? Down? Really?! O2, appalling coverage all the time anyway, can’t wait to switch out my service provider.’
Some users managed were able to see the funny side of the outage.
BBC presenter Dan Walker and rapper Yungen were among those affected by the data outage (above)
One person posted a picture of Manchester United footballer Romelu Lukaku with the caption ‘Things more useful than O2 #o2down.’
Another person tweeted an image of smashed chocolate and sweets next to a hammer, writing: ‘Playing Candy Crush whilst O2 is down! The old fashioned way.’
Other suggested the service provider ‘turn the internet on and off again’.
A user called Lucy wrote: ‘O2 is down and here I was trying to convince my mum to let me come home from school but couldn’t.’
An O2 spokesman said: ‘We are aware our customers are unable to use data this morning. Our technical teams are working on the issue with high priority.
‘We are really sorry and working as hard and as fast as we can to fix this.’
It later added: ‘One of our third party suppliers has identified a software issue in their system. Our technical teams are working extremely hard to resolve this.
An O2 spokesman said on its service status website today that voice calls are ‘working OK’
‘We’d encourage you to use Wi-Fi wherever you can and we are really sorry.’
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 checker and ask the provider to keep them posted.’