back to article O2 shocks customers by slashing iPad data allowance

Network provider O2 told customers this week that some iPad data allowances will be cut by up to two thirds from next month. The news that a brace of current deals were for a promotional time period only caught many customers unawares, and some are switching telcos as a result. Customers currently paying £15 a month for 3GB of …


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  1. Tigra 07
    Thumb Down

    Bad o2!

    Although i would usually laugh at this because it involves ipads, i have to say im shocked at just how cheap o2 is getting lately.

    I may well switch to another operator at the end of my phone contract because this just isn't on.

    Even if what they're doing is legal, it's still not right

  2. TeeCee Gold badge

    'There's nothing transparent about what "aligning all tariffs" even means,'

    Oh I dunno, just 'cos they haven't actually written "this means 'screwing our customers'" down in black and white doesn't mean it isn't transparently obvious.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Is this the same O2

    Is this the same O2 that has just done the worst broadband product launch I have ever seen (in ten years, that's quite a few)?

    On launch day, when it became clear that the new tariffs were a much less attractive deal than the previous deals, part of the "improvement" was traffic management down to ridiculous speeds for P2P traffic. There was, and still is, confusion over whether the numbers in the package details were meant to be kbit/s or kbyte/s.

    Maybe they've lost the calculator at O2 head office and they're just picking random numbers for data allowances and speeds and tariffs and wotnot?

  4. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Buy Apple

    get screwed

    1. Vision Aforethought
      Jobs Halo

      Not Apple's fault at all

      Everyone gets to buy an iPad unlocked and can choose their provider and plan. I specially chose Three because they offer a fairly good contract free value package. 1G = £10, 3G = £15 etc. At the end of the month, if you are unhappy you don't have to continue. It is 100% 3G too, so you know when you're connected you will either get quite a speedy connection or nothing at all - in which case, it's time to hit your nearest WiFi hotspot, or survive for a few hours offline by firing up a game of PinBall HD or Meteor Blitz.

      (BTW, non of the other airtime providers offer an honest a plan as Three. I would ideally like to use Vodafone, but they don't offer a contract free package.)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Buy Apple...get screwed by 02

      Nothing to blame Apple for here...this is entire 02 being a bunch of wideboys.

      Not much Apple could do about that.

      1. Bear Features


        Oh I'm sure Apple could do plenty about that if it wanted to. It either knew about it, or knows about ti and either way is happy to let it's users to get screwed.

  5. blackworx

    Surprise surprise

    People with iPads hump their data connection more than people with smartphones. Who'd'a thunk it?!

    1. Zubergeek

      ...and yank that cloth as hard as possible!

      Well yeah, seeing as the iPad was designed specifically for surfing the net. It has no phone capability. Kinda sneaky really: restructure our wording so our customers dont twig what we are about to do, sell them all really expensive gadets that require data connection to be of use, then when no ones looking, pull the cloth from the table breaking as few a cups as possible.

  6. KevDyas

    I've jumped already

    Due to O2's poor 3G coverage and them reducing the data allowance, I have already jumped to Orange who are offering the 3GB for £15 deal and giving customers £10 credit on their account! Much better deal! :D

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Bad deal :'(

      Uhm, no you should have gone with 3, see the comment above.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Could be worse

    In France I'm paying 30 EUR / month for 1GB - and that's pretty much the best iPad deal to be had. I do run up against this limit but it's not a big problem, 2GB would do me just fine.

  8. Steve Evans

    I guess...

    I guess O2 just couldn't resist temptation, especially as the customer has already bent over and lubed up to take it from St Jobs.

  9. DrXym

    2Gb for £15

    God, that's tantamount to daylight robbery. Three give 10Gb for £15 on a 1 month rolling contract. Same price, similar T&C but 5 times the data.

  10. Si 1

    "majority of iPad customers are using under 2 GB per month and will not be affected"

    In other words, they didn't bother to tell anyone and kept it quiet in the hope that their customers wouldn't notice. I think these companies bank on people not caring enough to take the time to phone and cancel their contract.

    Still, there's nothing new about this. O2 have been shafting iPhone owners for ages, what with their 18 or 24 month only contracts and charging for tethering (which apparently is free for any other phone).

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Milk those cash cows..

    ...all that magic is bound to cost.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Horns

      Cash cows

      LOL exactly what I was thinking

  12. The Original Ash
    Thumb Down

    Oh really?

    Shame... My Orange contract expires in around 16 days. I was planning on going back to O2.

    Never mind. I'm sure they have plenty more customers to alienate without worrying about me :)

  13. JasonW

    I'm surprised...

    ... after reading the Mobile Broadband Best Buys group test in May that anyone on O2 managed to get close to either of the new limits.

  14. Drefsab

    Title is loading ████████████ 99%

    This just is underhanded selling someone something based on it being once price, then changing the limits without contacting people to tell them. This basically means someone using their previous limits would find a nice big bill the next month with no notice. What's the betting that O2 will charge a stupidly high price per extra MB and not cap the charges so people end up with staggering bills.

  15. Jamsie
    Thumb Down

    mobile ISP

    minimum length contracts have been increasing from 12 months to 18 (and now increasingly 24 months!) You sign up.... then they adjust goal posts!...

    O2 are not the only mobile sp to do this, voda have done it too.

    With smartphone hardware refreshing at least once a year and company's doing the above more and more... I fear something is going to give somewhere... and we will likely suffer.

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Contracts are crazy now

      Which is why I bought my iPhone 4 from Apple. Ok, I drop a lot of cash upfront but I'm on GiffGaff, so I get the same lousy coverage you get with O2 but with unlimited data (truly unlimited) and cheap minutes and texts.

    2. Joeykins

      contract variations

      Not quite Jamsie; if the goalposts are moved whilst you're in-contract you can legitimately walk away. O2 can "legally" change the allowances as it's a monthly rolling contract rather than a "you agree to stay with us for at least 24 months and in return we'll give you this hardware and this much airtime + text + data" deal.

      Since all the affected customers aren't tied in though presumably they'll just swap to T-Orange/Voda/3, unless they've got more money than sense. Can't see that happening with most iPad owners though... oh, wait...

  16. Alex Walsh

    Three Mifi + Wifi iPad

    Is the way to go. Got my mifi, now I just need the iPad ;)

    1. Psycho Flump


      HACKED Three Mifi and wifi iPad. That way you can have a bunch of sims and swap and change as per the telcos level of annoyance at any given time :)

  17. Anonymous John

    "we aligned all tariffs"

    Aligned down, not up.

  18. kevin biswas

    Mobile telcos are all scumbags

    And there is no way I would ever give any of them my bank details or a signiture on a contract. PAYG all the way for me.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Typical O2, bait and switch

    I'm hoping the network share by Orange, T-Mobile and 3 will result in the best network with attractive pricing. It's as if O2 don't want to keep their customers!

  20. nsld

    naughty and possibly not legal

    When you sign up to a rolling monthly contract you are agreeing to automatically renew the product every month. When the product changes significantly (as in a 30% drop in goods for the same money) then its questionable that O2 have the right to continue autobilling you as they have effectively made a significant change to the offering signed up for.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    You have Entered the Garden of Eden...

    to be handed an Apple by GOD!

    so dont be supprised if he then royally screws you over for accepting it...

    its not his fault you failed to read the small print in the EULA when you switched it on!

    and for those that missed the important bit, it was displayed for 1/100 of a second during the screen flicker as it powered up... you blink you missed it.

    its all your own fault from there on in.....

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Utter FAIL

      While I'm not an Apple fan, you seem to have missed the point entirely in your need to put them down at any opportunity. Not only have you not read the article properly, you also failed to notice any of the other comments. 2 x FAIL for you.

      This is an O2 blunder, not an Apple one.

  22. RegisterThis

    Not surprised ...

    In the mobile industry and not surprised! Most operators data networks are already creaking under the load!

    Apple is partially to blame in the sense that unlike the traditional handset manufacturers who knew there were network limitations (because they also sold network kit like Nokia, Moto, SE etc,) and arguably held back to some degree on producing devices that would make those demands on them - Apple went for it regardless of whether the networks could support their device. Of course now it is free for all with large screen mobile data devices being *the* gadget to have and everybody producing them. Gone the phone, enter the mobile browser.

    On the other hand, the greedy network operators were quite happy to piggy back on Apple, using Apple's bling to attract new customers in and drive up revenue despite the customer experience being worse.

    Its a bit like Apple designing cars that can go 250 and encouraging people to try ... when in reality the roads are pot-holed and unsafe -- except that the roads department also own the car dealerships and happily sell those cars to go on their crap roads.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A spokesperson from O2 said:

    (Delete as applicable)

    a) we didn't do our sums right

    b) we did our sums right and cynically went for some headline grabbing offers but thought it would be cool to omit the usual required caveats*

    c) we did our sums right but Apple will cop the flak so who cares?

    d) this is UK telecoms!! Did you expect any better?

    *(the size of data allowances may go down as well as remaining woefully inadequate)

  24. Anonymous Coward


    The gits did this to their pay-as-you-go mobile broadband (which, unfortunately I use) a few months back. All of a sudden the 3gb "promotional allowance" (of which there was no mention) became 2gb.

    You usually get notice of promotions before they go live - O2 appear to have invented the idea of a "retrospective promotion"...

  25. Rab Sssss

    @ac 10:12

    You mean apart from the screen you have top up on everytime you want to? For about 3 months...

  26. Anonymous Coward

    3G Coverage

    Given O2's shocking 3G coverage, I'd be surprised you can actually use that amount of data. I've been with O2 since the days of Cellnet when they did have one of the best networks. But they must have been underinvesting for years as the network has fallen over a fair few times, transfer times are poor and 3G coverage is laughable.

    I have a T-Mobile 3G dongle. Now I thought it was common wisdom that T-Mobiles network was bad, but having used the dongle all over the country for the past 3 months it seems their coverage is better than O2. And I mainly use my dongle when I am away from the larger urban areas.

    Come January I'll be off to Voda or Orange for the business mobile I guess.

  27. John Tserkezis

    You signed for it, you have only yourself to blame...

    "30-day rolling contracts"?

    That's akin to a blank cheque. What did the idiot users THINK was going to happen?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      I'd much rather be on a monthly rolling contract and get screwed over then be able to change providers than be on an 18 or 24 month contract and be stuck to it.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps a sign for the good, bear with me on this...

    I've always believed that the reason that mobile operators are so uniformly awful is that they try to differentiate themselves with their appalling advertising campaigns rather than with the service that they offer. Furthermore, I assume that they do this because they find that it works: man on the street is more easily swayed by advertising than a difficult to assess variation in network coverage, or network performance. As the product being sold, sufficient bandwidth for voice calls and a few texts, was basically the same across the networks, so was the price (once you stripped away all the marketing flummery).

    The sudden rise in data usage is however disruptive. People want to consume more bandwidth than the network operators are prepared (or can afford) to let them for the typical monthly bill they've been used to, and O2's actions seem indicative of this. Perhaps this means that the operators will begin to compete on something useful: data allowances and prices, rather than who can spend the most on advertising to appeal to the market segment that they think currently most exploitable.

    It would also be nice is something similar could happen to the banking / home insurance / car insurance markets too!

  29. ZenCoder

    This type of thing really annoys me.

    I want a separate piece of paper or email stating in large print telling me that next month I'm going to be paying more or getting less.

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