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O2 network back up and running, can you claim compensation?

O2 says its phone network is back up and running, and thoughts are turning to compensation.

O2 says its phone network is back up and running. After nearly a day of unreliable service affecting hundreds of thousands of customers across the country, the 2G and 3G networks should now be working again -- and the thoughts of disgruntled customers are turning to compensation.

"Our tests show that 2G and 3G services are now back for all affected customers," O2 told us. Phone calls and texts were restored earlier today, and the 3G data network has now returned to life. O2 has yet to go into specifics about the cause of the network failure, which lasted roughly a full day.

If you're still having problems, try turning your phone off and back on again.

Can you claim compensation? 

Now things seem to be fixed, we asked consumer rights site You and Your Rights whether those affected are entitled to some money back. "O2 provide their customers with a service and those customers rely on that service. It must therefore follow that if O2 fail to provide the service customers must be compensated," the site says.

"Why should O2 customers pay for the two days where they simply could not use their phone? We are calling on O2 to recognise this in their customers' next bill, with some form of discount for the interrupted days.

"There will be some customers who actually suffered a loss due to the problems as they could not conduct their day-to-day business during this interrupted period. Those people should keep a detailed record of the problems that they have experienced and put their complaint in writing to O2."

So there it is: if you suffered extra costs from having to find alternative ways to make calls or access the Internet, make a note of those costs -- such as Wi-Fi charges -- list them in a written complaint to O2, and you may get your money back. You can complain to, but bear in mind that there will be an awful lot of annoyed people doing the same thing so a response could take a while.

The money-saving experts at Money Saving Expert suggest that, "Even if O2 refuses automatic refunds, it will be worth making a claim. If you get nowhere with O2 you can take your complaint to the Ombudsman Services."

We've contacted the network regarding compensation and we'll bring you more as we have it.

Unfortunately, the length of phone contracts mean you're often stuck with your network no matter what. It's unlikely that these problems constitute grounds to leave your contract, but if you're near the end of your deal it may spur you to switch to another network.

Did the O2 network failure cost you real money? Tell me what happened in the comments or on our Facebook page.