O2 was founded in 1985 and was previously owned by BT Group. The network operator was then bought by Spanish telecoms giant Telefónica in 2006.
Like its major UK competitors, O2 offers pay-monthly handset contracts, Sim-only deals and pay-as-you-go bundles. It’s worth noting that customers looking for pay-monthly contracts with the latest handsets are typically tied into a 3-year contractual commitment.
The operator is also the sponsor of The O2 complex in London, previously known as the Millennium Dome. This commercial partnership allows O2 to offer its mobile customers priority access to all events at O2 Academy venues as part of its customer loyalty scheme.
Compare O2 against its rivals
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O2 tariffs and service
|Contracts with a handset|
|Offers 5G data|
|Plan length from||1 month|
|Cost of European roaming||Free|
|Link||Go to site|
How can O2 customers manage their account?
O2 customer reviews
Regulator Ofcom carries out a survey of mobile network customers every year to gauge their satisfaction with their provider. Results from 2020, for which full data is available, shows that 91% of O2 mobile customers told Ofcom that they were satisfied with the overall service they received. This is just above the average score for the industry overall that year (90%).
However, only 79% of O2 mobile customers reported that they felt they received value for money from their carrier. This is below the average score of 83% among all large mobile operators over the same period. O2 would have been the worst performer on this score, had it not been for Vodafone’s customers giving their provider a “value for money” score of 77%. During this time Ofcom received 8 customer complaints for every 100,000 O2 mobile customers, the fourth lowest proportion after Tesco Mobile, Sky Mobile and EE.
Meanwhile, O2 customers using reviews site Trustpilot appear to be extremely unhappy with the service they receive, giving the network operator a paltry overall score of 1.4 stars out of 5. A convincing majority of the 6,100 customers who left reviews (71%) said their experience with O2 was “bad”, with only 16% giving the top rating of “excellent” (last updated: October 2021).
Pros and cons of O2
- Wide choice of plans. As one of the UK’s largest mobile networks O2 offers a large range of contract plans.
- Strong loyalty scheme. O2 customers can access some decent perks, like priority booking for a range of large concerts and events.
- Typically the most expensive. O2’s pay-monthly and SIM-only deals are usually some of the most expensive available.
- Poor customer reviews. While Ofcom says that O2 mobile customers are broadly satisfied with the quality of their service, online reviews elsewhere are highly negative, offering a more mixed picture of the firm’s customer service.
Our verdict: Is O2 any good?
As one of the UK’s largest mobile network operators, O2 provides wide coverage across the country. It also offers a wide choice of contract options both for those looking to buy a handset on a contract and those who need a SIM-only deal. O2 customers can also benefit from some nifty customer rewards, particularly when it comes to booking tickets for large concerts and events.
However, as outlined above, O2 is rarely the cheapest option for any type of mobile plan. It’s also worth noting that its pay-monthly contracts can be up to 36 months, which is a long time to be committed to your mobile operator. If you have the cash upfront, you may be better off buying your preferred handset upfront, as with pay monthly contracts you’ll end up paying more over the long-term.
While customer service reports are mixed, if O2 provides the best mobile reception where you live, you may want to give them a go. Just don’t expect a spectacular customer experience.Ready to compare mobile plans?
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