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Level 2: Apprentice
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎05-06-2015

Prepaid customers treated as 2nd class customers through denied functionality

Why does O2 treat its prepaid customers as second class customers by deliberately denying them network functionality or by implementing network functionality later for prepaid customers than for postpaid customers?

I don't understand why the availability of network functionality, particularly with no marginal cost to O2, should be affected by whether the customer pays in advance or pays in arrears; the time of payment ought to be a total irrelevance to network functionality. Wifi calling and 4G calling have no marginal cost to O2, whereas eSIM has a potential licensing cost, which is why EE charges £1.50 to its prepaid customers for an eSIM.

One unacceptable consequence is that O2's prepaid customers receive worse coverage and increased battery usage compared to O2's postpaid customers. 4G calling gives coverage for voice calls in the countryside on low frequencies that travel over long distances, and wifi calling allows the receiving (and making) of calls where there's no mobile signal, for example on the Tube, and also causes lower battery usage.

Instead of discriminating between prepaid and postpaid customers, why doesn't O2 much more simply implement network functionality for all customers simultaneously?

Level 49: Rootin' Tootin' 
Posts: 6,888
Registered: ‎26-03-2014

Re: Prepaid customers treated as 2nd class customers through denied functionality

While your points are valid, it is actually worse than that.
o2 only run WiFi calling on a very small list of handsets, so unless you have one of those it doesn't matter if you are a pre or post pay customer...

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Level 2: Apprentice
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎05-06-2015

Re: Prepaid customers treated as 2nd class customers through denied functionality

[ Edited ]

@gmarkj wrote:
o2 only run WiFi calling on a very small list of handsets

They support iPhones, which covers around 50% of UK mobile phone users. They also support a number of Android phones, so a majority of O2 customers could use wifi calling, if it weren't for the unreasonable discrimination against those who pay for the service in advance (as opposed to in arrears).

Level 49: Rootin' Tootin' 
Posts: 6,888
Registered: ‎26-03-2014

Re: Prepaid customers treated as 2nd class customers through denied functionality

Nope, I have never owned one of the phones on the list.
And some of those only work with o2 specific firmware.

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Link to our guide on how to contact them can be found here

Level 2: Apprentice
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎05-06-2015

Re: Prepaid customers treated as 2nd class customers through denied functionality


@gmarkj wrote:
And some of those only work with o2 specific firmware.

That's not the case with iPhones, which account for 50% of UK mobile phone users. There is no carrier-specific firmware for iPhones, only SIM-locking for those who are stupid enough to buy their iPhone from their network instead of directly from Apple.

Level 49: Rootin' Tootin' 
Posts: 6,888
Registered: ‎26-03-2014

Re: Prepaid customers treated as 2nd class customers through denied functionality

True again, but why would i pay more money for a phone that does less?
Vodafone only allows WiFi for monthly customers.
EE same.
Three makes no mention of who can get it.
So it's not just o2 that makes things difficult...

Please note, this is not customer services and we cannot access your account. Do not publish personal details (email, phone number, bank account).


Link to our guide on how to contact them can be found here

Level 2: Apprentice
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎05-06-2015

Re: Prepaid customers treated as 2nd class customers through denied functionality


@gmarkj wrote:
True again, but why would i pay more money for a phone that does less?
Vodafone only allows WiFi for monthly customers.
EE same.
So it's not just o2 that makes things difficult...

This is not the forum to debate other networks' deficiencies, only O2's decifiencies. Vodafone and EE have their own forums where this can be raised.


@gmarkj wrote:
Three makes no mention of who can get it.

Would you expect Three to mantion that customers with mobile numbers ending in an even digit can get it? Or ending with an odd digit? Or customers who live in England? Or customers who live in Wales? No, of course not. Three activates wifi calling as a network feature, so it's naturally available to all customers by default. Three doesn't implement unnecessary and complicated discrimination, deliberating preventing some customers from using a network feature. I don't understand why O2 does this. There is no rational explanation.

Posts: 99,229
Topics: 765
Registered: ‎14-01-2013

Re: Prepaid customers treated as 2nd class customers through denied functionality

@NFH 

Perhaps the forum isn't the best place to discuss this either. This is a customer forum and your complaints should be raised with O2.

You can complain via this route https://www.o2.co.uk/how-to-complain  or better still, google the name of the CEO of O2 and you can email him.

From my own experience, I have been with O2 for years initially on PAYG and now on contract.

I am happy with their service. If I wasn't, I would have changed network a long time ago. 

*The Game Is On*

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Level 2: Apprentice
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎05-06-2015

Re: Prepaid customers treated as 2nd class customers through denied functionality


@Cleoriff wrote:

@NFH 

Perhaps the forum isn't the best place to discuss this either. This is a customer forum and your complaints should be raised with O2. 


It's not a complaint, but a question, which I will repeat:

Instead of discriminating between prepaid and postpaid customers, why doesn't O2 much more simply implement network functionality for all customers simultaneously?

I think that to bother the Chief Executive with such a question is a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Are you suggesting that nobody in this forum, including moderators, would know the answer to this question? There must be a reason for it, which I very much doubt is a secret amongst O2's staff.

Posts: 99,229
Topics: 765
Registered: ‎14-01-2013

Re: Prepaid customers treated as 2nd class customers through denied functionality

@NFH 

Neither the managers or moderators on here have ANY input to O2's practices and procedures.

They are employees and work within the system.

You have made some valid points but if you are expecting a change by posting on here then I fear you will be disappointed.

The only people who can change anything are the CEO and the board of directors.

If they feel the system and business plan works for O2, I doubt anything will change.

As I said, I have been a customer on PAYG and Contract and am now sim only.

I changed due to the fact PAYG was far too expensive to meet my needs.

*The Game Is On*

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