O2 Network Failure Shakes Small Business Confidence

More than one in four small business owners would consider switching to a rival mobile network provider after O2’s recent single failure.

The survey by officebroker.com, who work with thousands of small firms each year, found that 28% of small business owners and sole traders had lost confidence in the telecoms giant and would consider switching.

More than half (51%) said they would be heavily inclined to switch to an alternative network of the failures were repeated.

The results come after key features including incoming and outgoing calls and text messaging failed for more than a day – leaving hundreds of thousands of users without their number one means of contact.

Interestingly of those polled 82% said their mobile phone was their number one number for business calls and as such a loss of signal for a prolonged period could significantly hinder their business.

Of the 200 business owners polled one in five (21%) said they still had faith in the network and would not consider moving to other providers.

One small business owner said being without his primary form of contact for his business had left him struggling to stay on top of urgent tasks.

He commented: “As a small business owner working in a fast paced industry it’s essential that I am reachable at all times – something I primarily do using my mobile. Having been out the office for several hours I noticed that I’d received no calls or texts regarding an urgent project and started to worry.

Thankfully the problem on my phone now seems to be resolved but there’s no doubt that my confidence in O2 has been knocked – if the same happened again in future I’d be tempted to look elsewhere to ensure my business dealings could continue smoothly.

Chris Meredith, head of UK sales at officebroker.com, said the results show just how much of a reliance business owners placed on their mobile devices.

He said: “There have never been more ways to communicate with others, whether it be email, Skype, even over Twitter or Facebook but it seems for the majority of small business owners the mobile phone is still the method of choice.

They often spend long periods of time out of the office and often work unconventional hours, so it makes sense that many want to be and expect to be contactable at all times, so when this breaks down it can immediately set pulses racing.

“Many work to tight schedules and by not being able to make contact with colleagues, suppliers and clients they may be missing deadlines and ultimately losing out on money – even if the fault lasted less than two days.

He concluded: “It seems the majority of those polled are willing to give O2 a second chance but our data indicates that if the same were to occur again in the near future there would be a high likelihood that they would look elsewhere which would be extremely costly for the firm.”

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O2 Network Failure Shakes Small Business Confidence
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