How Did the O2 Outage Affect Its Brand?

A network failure last week saw O2 customers in the UK and Ireland experience a 24-hour outage, with no voice, text or data connection. The network acted fairly quickly to get the network back up and running, but, as last Octobers infamous BBM outage goes to show, consumer perception plays a major part in the significance of these things.

With that in mind, YouGov has conducted a survey of 500 O2 customers, to find out how they were affected by the outage, and how it affected their opinion of the brand. 

The good news for O2 is that 71 per cent of customers still believe O2 is a good network, despite the outage – and 65 per cent accept that all mobile phone networks suffer from outages.

However, only 20 per cent of affected customers believe O2 handled the situation well, and 57 per cent believe that there was a lack of communication from the operator during the outage. 

“To O2’s credit – the problem was fixed in less than 24 hours. And whilst some O2 customers weren’t too happy with the decline in service, most understood that problems like this do happen from time to time,” says Russell Feldman, associate director in YouGov’s Technology and Telecom’s team. “The challenge for all customer-centric organisations is to be transparent and keep communications open – customers appreciate honesty. One only has to look at BlackBerry and how they communicated during its own outage last October to learn valuable lessons.”

YouGov also examined data from its daily brand tracker BrandIndex, and saw O2’s Index score drop by 21 points after the incident, putting it at the lowest level in three years. By comparison, the BlackBerry outage saw the brands Index score drop by 27 points – and its scores scores are yet to recover to pre-outage levels.