£100m compensation for O2 over Ericsson software failure

Mobile operator O2 is expected to receive a multi-million compensation payment from Ericsson after a software failure left millions of their customers without data access following a nation-wide outage, according to a Guardian report.

O2’s chief executive, Mark Evans, and executives from Ericsson are scheduled to meet over the next couple of days to discuss the outage and to claim compensation for the loss of business.

The outage occurred between Thursday and Friday of last week, with customers reporting that they were unable to use their mobile data to access the Internet.

The software error also took down GiffGaff, Lycamobile and Tesco Mobiles, and Sky mobile services, which all rely on O2’s network.

The problem also affected TfL’s live bus updates in London and Deliveroo, which also rely on the mobile network.

A source close to the connection said: “Mark Evans will certainly be meeting Ericsson this week for a full review and audit on both sides looking at the Ericsson software and how it was managed. Naturally, included in the conversation will be the subject of damages.”

Although the full cost hasn’t been revealed, the source said that the total bill could be around £100m.

Last week Evans 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 fully appreciate it’s been a poor experience and we are really sorry.”

Compensation for O2 customers

O2 customers that were affected by the outage could also receive compensation.

Helen Dewdney, a consumer rights commentator, wrote on her website, the Complaining Cow: “Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 you are entitled to services to be carried out with reasonable skill and care. It is irrelevant that the problem is caused by a third party problem. Your contract is with O2 and so, therefore, O2 is in breach of contract and you are entitled to redress.”

O2 will be offering pay-monthly customers, SMB business customers, and mobile broadband customers a credit of two days of monthly airtime subscription charges by the end of January. Pay-as-you-go customers will be receiving a 10% credit on a top-up in the new year. Pay-as-you-go mobile broadband customers will also be getting a 10% discount on a bolt-on purchase.

 

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