10/12/2018 17:15 GMT | Updated 10/12/2018 17:21 GMT

O2 Should Donate Refunds From Data Outage To Charity, Says Comedian

"How do we make that happen please?"

One O2 customer came up with an interesting way for the phone company to make up for its mass data outage last week.

On Thursday, O2 customers were unable to use their mobile phone data due to an expired software certification through its supplier Ericsson. Over the weekend, O2 sent customers a text message apologising for the issue, which said: “You’ll receive a credit for two days of your monthly airtime subscription charges by the end of January.”

Comedian Angela Barnes, who’s appeared on both ‘Mock The Week’ and an upcoming episode of ‘Just A Minute’, took to Twitter to ask whether her ‘refund’ could be given to charity instead. “Hi @O2 I’m a customer and I’d prefer to donate my outage refund to charity,” she wrote.

“I reckon if even just 1 million of the 32 million customers you are having to refund were up for that, something really good could come out of what happened. So how do we make that happen please?”

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The tweet was shared almost 2,000 times, with hundreds of comments – lots of people wanted to get involved. There were also plenty who took the opportunity to remind Angela that she could just donate money to charity directly.

She replied: “I just think if O2 have an option to divert the donation to charity directly, then more people would do it and a charity could get a big Xmas boost.”

The comedian told HuffPost UK she hadn’t heard from O2 at the time of writing.

“It was a tweet I did just thinking aloud really,” she explained. “If O2 can just give customers the option to say ‘yes please donate’ or ‘no, give me the refund’ then more charities could benefit. I believe giffgaff have done that for their users so it must be possible.”

She added the donations “could make a big difference”.

O2 said it wouldn’t be donating refunds to charity on this occasion, as the process for issuing refunds has already started.

A spokesperson told HuffPost UK: “Many of our customers have expressed a wish to donate their credit to charity. As a committed partner and supporter of UK charities including NSPCC, War Child, RNIB and Nordoff Robbins, we recognise the importance of choosing a charity that resonates personally.

“As a result, should customers wish to donate their credit, we encourage them to donate directly to a charity of their choice.”