Millions of 02 customers turned up late for work this morning, all with the same excuse: they overslept because their alarm failed to go off.
"It sounds like a lame excuse," said O2 customer liaison officer, Tom O'Byle. "And in many ways it is. However, handsets tend to get the current date and time from the network, and when that goes down, their clocks very quickly go out of sync."
With the accurate time easily accessible, mobile phone manufacturers have long let lapse accurate time keeping on the phone itself. In some cases, the phones were becoming hours out of sync after a mere two hours of network downtime. This led to alarms failing to go off at the correct time.
"Missed trains, missed connections and just failing to get out of bed," said O'Byle. "There's been a litany of lateness."
Additionally, with no network access, those O2 customers could not ring work to warn their bosses they would be late. They could not access the train times app to get the time for the next train, nor ring a taxi as a last resort.
"They were stuffed basically," said O'Byle. "It shows how much we now rely on our mobile phones."
O2 have not admitted it, but many suspect that LulzSec brought the network down as a follow up stunt to bringing down NatWest, pointing to the fact that O2 bank at NatWest.
"It's not true," said O'Byle. "We've not been hacked. It was just a technical glitch. As soon as we know what that technical glitch is, we'll fix it and have everybody back up and running."
Until the network is back up, O2 are advising customers to get some change for a telephone booth and a watch. However, they will not reimburse customers for either of these additional expenses.