Dunne: latest outages won’t affect O2’s Christmas sales

Written by: Paul Withers
Dunne: latest outages won’t affect O2’s Christmas sales

UK CEO claims firm’s portfolio and loyalty services will help it ‘stand out’ on the high street

O2 says recent network outages will not affect its Christmas sales, claiming its portfolio and money-saving offers will see it “stand out” on the high street.

The comments were made by O2 UK CEO Ronan Dunne, who was discussing the firm’s third-quarter financial results.

Responding to questions from Mobile News regarding the busy Q4 period, Dunne claimed O2’s rivals are still playing catch-up in terms of additional value being offered – something he claimed customers are seeking more than ever in the current climate.

Dunne highlighted loyalty services such as Pay & Go Go Go, which adds additional minutes, data and texts the longer you remain on O2, and its Priority Moments service, which has so far saved customers more than £8 million since its July 2011 launch – have been a major attraction for customers to joining its network.

Dunne said: “Even though we had a network outage and made a mistake, our competitors continue to see the customer experience provided at O2 as better than that offered by them. Customers will be wondering what their operator can do to help them over Christmas and we’re as well positioned as any and better positioned than most.

“This will be another Christmas during which customers will be saving as much as they can. That’s why Priority Moments is so important because if you have to spend £200 on presents, we may be able to save you £70.”

Loyalty

“This makes us stand out from the crowd,” Dunne continued. “Customers tell us the reason that O2 has a higher brand consideration than any other is because of Priority and the way we reward loyalty with things like Pay & Go Go Go.”

Dunne also said O2’s long-held strategy to offer the same value across both prepay and contract is a major point of differentiation in the marketplace.

This, he claimed, allows customers to choose the option that suits their own financial position and preferences without forfeiting minutes, texts or data based on their decision.

Dunne claimed O2’s product portfolio caters for all ends of the market – particularly for smartphones, which now range from less than £100 to more than £500.

This, he said, has helped the firm strike a good balance between prepay and contract customers across its total base – 48 per cent and 52 per cent respectively.

Dunne said: “Many operators are saying that if you want to get the best value, you need to transition to contract. A lot of prepay customers now want to get access to smartphones, so we’re ensuring our portfolio has attractive entry-level smartphones. But if [they] want a higher value smartphone, they can still get the same value by switching to a contract and spreading the cost over 24 months.

“In the current economic climate, not too many people are willing to spend £300 or £400 up front on a smartphone. That has resulted in a nice balance in our net customer additions and reflected that we continue to have the best-in-class churn in the market.”

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