The mobile phone network 02 gave away hundreds of free mobile phones in January 2007 by mistake, due to a blunder on their website. The mistake cost 02 approximately £100,000!
News about the website blunder spread like wildfire via email and internet forums, which resulted in hundreds of orders being placed in a very short period of time. Visits to the 02 website took advantage of an out-of-date link which, when coupled with a certain combination of keystrokes, resulted in a prepay phone being added to an order at no extra cost.
02 sent out about 500 handsets for free before the error was spotted, the handsets including Motorola W220s (see below) and Samsung E900s and X830s.
An 02 spokesman said: ‘The orders were made via an out-of-date link to our online shop for a Sim-only tariff that was no longer available. A few hundred phones had already been dispatched before the fix was in place, but all other pending orders were stopped and as no payment had been made, they were not fulfilled.’
02 is currently the leading mobile phone network in the UK with over 18 million customers; with many more customers in other countries.