Has O2 lost the plot?

3 May 2012


On a recent holiday in Barcelona, I left my iPhone 4S in the back of a taxi. As soon as I returned to the hotel I contacted my provider, O2, to report the loss. I pay £10 a month for insurance from O2, which includes accidental loss, so I assumed I would be covered.The adviser I spoke to confirmed this and said I would be sent a new phone when I returned to the UK. They also stated that, as the phone was lost, I wouldn't need a crime reference number.But when I got back to the UK, O2 changed its mind. I was told I wasn't covered for accidental loss, because my phone was lost in a public place.I now can't claim for theft either as I don't have a crime reference number. The only option O2 has given me is to wait until my contract renewal date in July - or fork out £499 for a brand new phone.It's a total joke. The only reason I paid all that money was so I'd save time and unnecessary stress.
Jonathan Mathias/London


It is a complete mystery to Moneywise how O2 can charge a customer for insurance against accidental loss, and then refuse to pay out when the phone is lost accidentally.

Jonathan seems to have a clear-cut case but O2 says its smallprint states that accidental loss doesn't include losing a phone in a "known public area". It's a clause we find ridiculous and we went to the O2 press office to find out more.

Sarah Taylor, spokesperson for O2, says: "The customer used his handset and left it on the seat of a cab, which would be excluded for leaving the handset unattended, as stated in the terms and conditions."


She also says the terms and conditions of the policy state that you need a crime or loss report from the local police to make a claim - a vital point that was missed by the adviser Jonathan talked to.

Because he was given this wrong information O2 has agreed to send out a new phone and waive the £75 excess fee, although Taylor is keen to stress that this is an exceptional case.

"In these unusual circumstances we are sending him a replacement phone. We apologise to Mr Mathias for giving him the wrong information when he first called," she adds.