O2 announces new changes to phone network and your monthly bill amid coronavirus crisis

O2 has unleashed a number of extraordinary measures to help customers during the ongoing public health crisis caused by COVID-19. Following in the footsteps of a number of other companies, including the likes of Sky TV, Sky Mobile, Virgin Media, EE, Three and Vodafone, O2 has published a number of crucial documents to answer customers’ queries during the pandemic.

The UK network understands that as people lock themselves at home in a bid to stop the spread of the virus, the reliability of the O2 network is hugely important. O2 says that it is monitoring the ongoing situation closely to make the right decisions for customers so that they’ll be able to stay in touch with loved ones who are also practising social distancing.

In order to meet the growing demand as more people stay at home throughout the day, O2 says that it has increased its capacity even further to help handle the extra demand and will continue to do so over the coming days, weeks and months. Increasing the capacity is a costly business, with O2 stating that it is “investing £2 million every single day in our network to make it as reliable as possible”.

Just like Three, Vodafone and EE, O2 has taken the decision to close all shops in the UK to protect the health of its customers and staff. The company states that it will be protecting the base pay of all staff while shops are shut.

Since stores are shut, support phone lines are likely to be much busier than usual. If you have a query about your contract, an upgrade, or might struggle to make your next payment due to the public health crisis, the best bet is to try the My O2 app or online.

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According to the network, “this is the best way to stay in touch and manage any customer service queries.”

And finally, just like the other operators, O2 is offering people the ability to visit NHS resources free of charge. “You can now access NHS websites without using your data allowance and the 111 helpline has always been free,” O2 states with its coronavirus advice for customers.

However, O2 is going further than the other mobile providers. While every other network is offering customers the ability to visit the latest NHS advice and symptoms online without using any mobile data – O2 has added a whole host of other popular resources as well.

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The list includes 22 additional support and advice networks online, which should prove to be helpful to O2 customers during this incredibly uncertain time, including the likes of Citizens Advice, Money Advice Service and charity Mind. Age UK, Samaritans, Anxiety and Scope are also included.

O2 CEO Mark Evans said: “Our customers are the most important thing to us, and we want to ensure that they have the support they need throughout this difficult time. That’s why, further to our announcement last week zero-rating NHS websites, we’re ensuring that additional websites providing financial, health and emotional advice and support can also be accessed by our customers without using any data allowance for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.”

That means even those customers who only pay for a few MBs of 4G or 5G data every month should not worry about racing through their allowance and being left unable to send or receive WhatsApp texts because they’ve been checking the NHS website, mental health organisations, or reading the latest advice for those experiencing financial hardship due to the crisis.

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