UK iPhone carrier O2: no Safari support

I’ve never met anybody who sings the praises of O2, the phone network Apple have disappointingly chosen to exclusively offer the iPhone in the UK. Once upon a time I was an O2 customer, but the experience was so bad that not even the iPhone will tempt me back. I was an ‘online’ customer, which meant suffering their awful, error-riddled website, because no in-store representative could even talk to me about my account, and I refused to call their premium-rate customer support number to talk to an incompetent call centre buffoon.

It doesn’t fill me with confidence that even after the iPhone launch has been announced, O2 have such disregard for Apple’s customers that the left-hand navigation on their website is missing when viewed in Apple’s Safari web browser (the browser built-in to the iPhone). If you do get an iPhone in the UK, don’t expect to use it to check your bill online*.

Even more annoyingly, when I filled in their contact form to report this issue, I received the following email:

Thanks for getting in touch.
We’re really excited about the iPhone – for the most up to date information we recommend you visit or
If your query doesn’t relate to the iPhone, please reply to this email and we’ll help you further.

…so, essentially: “Nobody will read your message. If you really want us to read it then try to remember what you typed in our online form, and type it up again in an email.” – thanks O2, how helpful of you.

o2 website, broken in Safari

* I’ve just installed a beta version of Safari 3, and discovered that the problem doesn’t happen. Safari 3 will only be on a very few web developer’s Macs at the moment, so most of the world still sees the broken site – and it wouldn’t even be a hard thing for O2 to fix.

8 thoughts on “UK iPhone carrier O2: no Safari support

  1. I suspect I’m in a minority, but my experience with O2 Online has been pretty reasonable over the last few years. Certainly a more stable network than T-Mobile, which I’m now bound to after giving in to the temptation of, guess what, unlimited data.

    If I wasn’t only 6 weeks into the new contract, I’d move back in an instant. FAIL, as the saying goes.

  2. O2’s web site does indeed suck. From what little I’ve seen of the other 3 operators web sites, they’re the worst.

    I’ve been with them for 5 years though. Also haven’t had a phone upgrade for a couple of years. I wonder if they’ll upgrade my iPhone plan a bit?

  3. Try, using Camino.

    I got the popup advising me to upgrade my browser (a recent *trunk* version, no less), on every page while surfing their site, but Camino seems to display the content correctly other than that.

    Note that seems to be down at the moment; surf to VersionTracker, or MozillaZine for a recent version of Camino.

  4. I can see the left sidebar on my iphone just fine. Safari 3 is closer to the version in the iphone that version 2 is. Also, Safari 3 has been available for Windows users for a while now. So it’s not just limited to developers on macs. In fact, I know plenty of mac and pc users that have Safari 3 installed who aren’t developers.

  5. O2 didn’t upgrade my iPhone plan, but their customer service line is at least now free for their customers.

    Their web site is still howlingly awful though. I get the “upgrade your browser” nonsense when visiting in Camino too. I e-mailed them about it. Their reply? “The browser you’re using isn’t supported on our website. This is why you’re receiving a message to upgrade your browser.”


  6. Gotta love the Blue Chips!

    Looks as though all they want you to do is press BUY, not enough product detail O2.

    [edit: removed spammy link to an online phone store – Paul]

  7. This update from Paul Boag’s website:

    “Well, the iPhone 3G has now launched in the UK and O2s website continues to fail users. This time Apple was forced to turn away customers from their stores because they were unable to register them with the O2 site. The reason why: The O2 website would only work in Internet Explorer. This provides us with yet another lesson to learn… Consider who your target audience is and what requirements they have. In particular consider their accessibility needs to make sure you never turn away people wanting to give you money.”

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