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O2 Data Network Unavailable For Hours At A Time At Many Popular Summer Leisure Destinations

Capvermell
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I am now at the end of an 18 month O2 contract period on a 100Gb SIM only contract (my handsets is a One Plus Nord N10 5G unit that I bought from Amazon Warehouse for £160 in May 2021) and have been pursuing this issue of O2 data services both being absurdly slow to respond and then more recently shutting off completely for hours in many popular summer leisure locations (all of which have a strong signal strength but who's mast capacity and/or back haul networks are completely and utterly inadequate to handle peak time demand) repeatedly with O2's phone customer services team on 202, then multiple times with their in my experience completely and utterly useless and unfit for purpose CRT or Customer Relations Team, then due to their total uselessness and failure to do anything at all to actually investigate the repeated lack of data service I finally escalated onwards to the Complaints Review Service of O2.  The Complaints Review Service turned out to be even more useless and unhelpful than the CRT team and did no technical investigation whatsoever of any kind of my multiple experiences of lack of any data service in busy seaside and beach locations between 11am and around 5pm and simply deadlocked my complaint and said I could leave O2 if I was not happy.  As a result of this the matter is now with the Communications Ombudsman section of www.ombudsman-services.org

 

Surely multiple other customers must also have experience of the O2 network simply shutting down completely at the busiest times of day at popular summer leisure locations where a lot of people gather in the middle of the day and in my case in the Poole/Bournemouth area while last year my then shiny new OnePlus Nord N10 5G handset worked well on their recently activated 5G cell serving a beach location at Knoll Beach in Studland where mobile services were often previously overloaded and unavailable in earlier years on busy days this year the 5G and 4G cells are so overloaded with traffic they chuck you off on to an H+ 3.5G cell and that then that simply fails to come back with any response to requests for web pages at all.

 

O2's total failure to either acknowledge or properly investigate a problem that it has caused for its own network by selling far too many high capacity data plans on O2 itself and on GiffGaff, Tesco Mobile and Sky Mobile (as its more significant MVNOs) is in my opinion quite disgusting and shocking.  Most but not all calls to 202 now get routed to call centres in Cape Town in South Africa where some but not all of the advisers clearly feel no sense of responsibility at all for the network data overload problem working for an outsourced third party centre handling company in another country on probably very low pay.  But often the UK is no better and one lady in their Leeds call centre couldn't seem to understand that I could be in area that her coverage maps showed I had a strong signal but where no data service was available currently due to the mast cells being completely over contended with data requests way beyond their design capacity.

 

O2 or Telefonica's whole staff training in relation to this issue is quite diabolical since rather than ever admitting data is not available currently because their network is overloaded with too many data requests from customers in relation to cell design capacity they will always suggest the problem must be with your handset and can be easily fixed as long as you carry out a Network Reset. Alternatively they will suggest sending you a new SIM card as the solution as that of course wastes a few more days while it arrives and as with the 72 working hours for their CRT team to phone you back (except that they when they call back they always call for one and a half rings and then hang up so they can mark down that the customer was unavailable) or the 240 working hours for their Complaints Review Service to get back to you deadlocking your complaint but doing no investigation they are all obfuscations techniques designed to prevent Telefonica having to admit it has destroyed the reliability of its own data network in locations subject to seasonal and/or time of day related major surges in demand.  Yet a further obfuscation tactic that O2 has trained its customer service staff in is to always suggest that the problem must be occurring at your home address (even though most customers still use a much more reliable fixed line data connection via ADSL2+, FTTC or FTTP when they are at their home address) and to suggest they have not had any probelms reported at that postcode.  But when you then tell them you are at some beach or other you have no idea of the postcode for they then say they cannot help you without a postcode.  So if you then try and give them your current GPS or OS Grid coordinates using an appropriate mobile location App they then tell you they cannot use those coordinates to find your location.  These are all in my humble opinion quite deliberate further Obfuscatory tactics used by O2 customer services to avoid having to deal with your complaint about lack of data services completely or unaccepably slow data service.  Thsat is of course assuming the customer has not given up as they seem to hope you will do when some of their ruder advisers (especially in South Africa) suddenly cut customers off without warning for no discernible reason.

 

As I live in an area of rural southern Surrey where EE and Three's network appear to be especially poor I am planning to give Vodafone a go via Talkmobile as they can sell me a 25Gb data plan on only a 1 month contract for £12 a month.  I am reluctant to try either EE or Three as their service here at my home with my foot thick victorian brick walls is so bad that I couldn't even use my mobile here as a portable wifi hotspot in the event that my fixed line internet connection with Sky (via BT Openreach's FTTP network) goes down.

 

I can't believe I am the only person who has been suffering with many hour long total data network outages on O2 this summer in peak hour periods at popular seaside and other summertime leisure activity related locations where there is perfectly adequate H+, 4G, 4G+ or 5G data service at less busy and therefore less heavily data trafficked times of the day or year, and where phone calls still continue to work throughout the day even though data services do not at peak times of day, and I would appreciate feedback in this thread from anyone else who has been suffering with the same total loss of data service at peak times of day issue on the O2 network.  Not only do data services go out completely in some peak summer leisure locations but they are also in general getting much slower so that this morning at my home address in Capel, Surrey the local mast could only manage a measly 1.2Mbps download speed and 0.2 Mbps in the mid morning when 18 months ago it could do 4Mbps Download and Upload at about 11Mbps in the mid morning before they redeployed most of the upload bandwidth on the mast to downloading use to stop that giving up completely.  Yet this same mast can return a download speed test result of around 20Mbps at 3am in the morning.........................

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madasaf1sh
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@Capvermell 


To be honest, no I haven't suffered this in any tourist heavy places that I am near such as the Peak District, or the East Coast from Ingoldmells all the way to Whitby and further up the coast to Redcar.. Nor in the North Yorkshire Moors NP. 

 

Same in London the other week in high tourist areas around Oxford Street, where my companies London Office is, apart from a slight slowdown (due again to the surroundings). 

 

 

Nor have I had any drops in service where I live or work....

 

Yes there are places that signal is non-existant but this is due to topology, local restrictions and lack of backhaul. 

 

I appreciate that some areas struggle with Data speeds, but this is down to either the mast been faulty, or local infrastructure, I know for a fact some parts of the South West dont get much faster than 1mbps Broadband... 


I didn't know where Studland was but, from a quick google I can tell its got a NT property, so it could be something that needs to be done in co-operation with them, or they have removed some local infrastructure.. 

 

Have you done any testing with other networks such as EE ?? or Vodafone.. at these locations, as you shouldnt trust any coverage map, as they are a finger in the air guess, I would recommend getting some PAYG sims and testing. 


The Ombudsman service wont do anything I imagine as o2 don't guarantee 100% geographical coverage, nor do they guarantee a minimum speed or offer any SLA. 

 

I would just cancel, after testing other networks and port out... It might also be worth looking at the likes of anywheresim.com who offer national roaming sims across the UK networks... 

 

I dont think where the call centre is based is anything to do with your issue and is a non-starter, and I always get through to a UK call centre... 

- Xperia 1V - o2 and Spusu
- Pixel 8 Pro - o2 and Vodafone UK
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Enlli
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You forgot 3 million Virgin Mobile customers coming on board by the end of this month!

So as you are at the end of your contract I suggest you try a few PAYG SIM cards to find the best for you.

 

This is not O2 and we are all customers here similar to yourself and cannot answer account type queries.
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madasaf1sh
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I always forgot about the Virgin Mobile customers... 😜

 

Add that to the customers on LycaMobile as well which has a couple of million in the UK.... 

- Xperia 1V - o2 and Spusu
- Pixel 8 Pro - o2 and Vodafone UK
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Capvermell
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I also had the same issue for several years with all data access shutting down completeley at peak hours in the middle of the day on O2 at Eastney Beach in Portsmouth, which is on the South Eastern edge of a large town.  Yet repeatedly O2's network could not cope over several years with the additional number of people brought in to the town to use the beaches on any warm and sunny summer day including weekdays but weekends were worst of all with data shutting down very early in the day.

 

This year some time after May O2 finally solved the problem by upgrading a mast that covers the Eastney part of Portsmouth (which may well turn out to be a mast just across the water on the Isle of Wight) to 4G+ instead of 4G and now data services do seem to keep working during the day.  O2 also have a 5G cell somewhere between 2 and 3 miles west of Eastney somewhere between South Parade Pier and Clarence Pier.  At both these pier locations a 5G signal generally shows on my OnePlus N10 handset (it never has done since the start of the 5G transmitter there on the part of Eastney Beach near Fort Cumberland) but when the like Poole/Bournemouth when the town is really busy the capacity of the 5G mast simply isn't adequate so you get chucked off it first on to the 4G mast and then when that is overloaded too on to  the H+ mast.  You stay connected to the H+ mast in Central Portsmouth at busy times but requests for web pages are simply ignored with a timeout error when there are too many people in the town for any mast to cope with the number of data access requests being made.

 

In addition to these repeated no service for data problems in Poole/Bournemouth and Portsmouth over the years I am also fnding virtually all of O2's H+ 3.5G masts covering train line routes in rural Surrey, Susses and Hampshire completely overwhelmed by data access requests for much of the time so that getting a response on single web page request often takes 30 to 60 seconds.  This makes it impossible to do say an oline grocery shop requiring a 100 web page interactions or more to complete a shopping order for 50 items.  But on my home Now Broadband ADSL2+ connections I never have any problems at all getting a rapid an timely response from web pages on the Sainsbury's online grocery shopping website.

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Capvermell
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@Enlli I thought Lycamobile were with Vodafone but perhaps I am confusing them with Lyris Mobile or they changed from using Vodafone to O2 at some point.  It does seem that the directors of Telefonica just keep on taking on more and more customers and more and more data use of their already vastly stretched network with almost no regard at all for any customer detriment in terms of continuing to provide a reliable level of data services.

 

Also chances are you drive everywhere rather than getting the train in which case you probably won't have tested out the real lack of abilities of O2's now very,very overloaded H+ transmitters (many years and years old and not upraded since original installation) that still cover most rural locations outside cities and towns in anger.

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Capvermell
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@madasafish1 You obviously haven't called O2 much in the last year or so as these days there is an 80%+ chance your call will be taken in a call centre in South Africa.  Sainsburys groceries have quite a good and helpful South African call centre but O2's is absolutely terrible and most of the staff seem to dislike their customers, be very unhelpful and also be very difficult to understand in some but not all cases.

 

As to no data service being available where I am having the issues O2's own coverage maps show they should have a good 4G or 5G data service in the areas I am having a problem in and my phone also shows a strong 4G or 5G signal from the cell mast.  But the problem is that data services are simply shutting off in the middle of the day because these masts are over contended by too many customers during peak summer periods in relation to their actual designed maximum data requests handling capacity.  If I try to use my phone in the same locations where I am getting no data service in the middle of the day in the evening instead I can use the internet and data without any problems as the masts are no longer overloaded at that time of day.

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madasaf1sh
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@Capvermell 

 

I called them 2 days ago to activate a sim card, call answered in 5 minutes,  by a lady in a UK call centre... 


Ignore any coverage maps, they are a computer simulation, that don't take into account any buildings are at best a finger in the air guess.. 

 

It will all be down to the provider as in o2's is Capita....

Lebara is Vodafone, and Lyca is O2

 

Have you thought that it might the OnePlus phone  at fault? It might be worth doing a test in another phone if one is available? 

 

Have you tried the below taken from OnePlus https://www.oneplus.com/support/answer/detail/op309

 

- Xperia 1V - o2 and Spusu
- Pixel 8 Pro - o2 and Vodafone UK
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Capvermell
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@madasaf1sh Surely you know that O2 is the main UK mobile brand of the Telefonica group who also run GiffGaff as their cheap online online only support variant UK mobile network.  Telefonica also provide the MVNO network for O2, Sky, Lebara Mobile and quite a few other lesser MVNO networks. Telefonica's main mobile brand in Spain is Movistar.

 

Capita has precisely nothing whatsoever to do with O2 or Telefonica.  Its a large outsourcing company that provides lots of services including in particular call centres to HM Government associated primarily with lousy customer service, long call wait times and the serial misuse and abuse of 084/7 phone numbers long after they were finally banned by the useless regulator Ofcom in summer 2015.

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madasaf1sh
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@Capvermell 

Telefonica now have a JV with Liberty Global to run VMo2 and one of its brands is o2...  They have no connection to Lebara Mobile... that is a MVNO linked to Vodafone.. VMo2 provide wholesale service to LYCA MOBILE and other MVNO's including Virgin Mobile

 

Sky is a JV, as is Tesco Mobile and GiffGaff is an arms length operation by Telefonica UK. 

 

https://selectra.co.uk/mobile/networks/lycamobile

 

Capita has a lot to do with o2 as they provide ALL Call Centre Services to o2 via a BPOS arrangement, 

Capita run the call centres in Durban, and the UK for o2... 

https://www.capita.com/careers/careers-by-sector/contact-centres/contact-centre-locations

 

Virgin Media Call Centres are based in the UK and Manila to a name a couple and are either run in house or the Manila one is run if I remember by Teleperformance.

 

Sorry but your last post is full of inaccuracies and you are talking complete rubbish.. 

 

Just to add EE is owned by BT, who also own PlusNet, Three is owned by Hutchinson Whampoa who also own Superdrug... 

- Xperia 1V - o2 and Spusu
- Pixel 8 Pro - o2 and Vodafone UK
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