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O2 scraps data charges for mental health and financial support sites

By Jamie Harris, PA Science Technology Reporter

O2 is temporarily allowing customers to access more than 20 support websites without using any of their existing data allowance amid concerns for mental health during the coronavirus lockdown.

A total of 22 sites offering mental health and emotional support, financial advice, assistance for elderly and disabled people and bereavement support have been given a zero rating.

It comes after all UK network providers pledged no data charges for accessing NHS Covid-19 advice online.

  • citizensadvice.org.uk
  • moneyadviceservice.org.uk
  • stepchange.org
  • samaritans.org
  • mind.org.uk
  • rethink.org
  • anxiety.org
  • youngminds.org.uk
  • mindout.org.uk
  • ageuk.org.uk
  • thesilverline.org.uk
  • themix.org.uk
  • childline.co.uk
  • alzheimers.org.uk
  • macmillan.org.uk
  • asthma.org.uk
  • bhf.org.uk
  • diabetes.org.uk
  • scope.org.uk
  • rnib.org.uk
  • actiononhearingloss.org.uk
  • cruse.org.uk

Citizens Advice, Samaritans, Mind, Age UK, Childline, Macmillan and Scope are among the list of 22 support services people can visit online without using up their data.

“Our customers are the most important thing to us and we want to ensure that they have the support they need throughout this difficult time,” Mark Evans, chief executive of O2, said.

“That’s why, further to our announcement last week zero-rating NHS websites, we’re ensuring that additional websites providing financial, health and emotional advice and support can also be accessed by our customers without using any data allowance for the duration of the Covid-19 crisis.”

Meanwhile, industry body Mobile UK said network operators “already have more than enough capacity to handle the different demands expected due to Covid-19” and “extra capacity is being added as the situation requires”.