21202 on O2 – Who Knew?

This is a small snippet about a very useful service. I was in my local O2 store on Saturday with a friend who was signing up for an iPhone. He had a final question before he completed the purchase – “How do I check my balance?” As far as I was aware, the only way to do this was through O2’s painful, non-iPhone optimised website. Using it is a chore – many steps are required to get your account information.

But the sales assistant simply said, “Send a blank text to 21202”. I was surprised, as I’d heard nothing about this service. So I tried it, and discovered you can’t send a blank text on the iPhone. So I added a space in the message field – it sent, and I received a text back like this:

As you can see, the text lists minutes and texts used, plus recent charges.

I’ve done a little digging and it seems the service was quietly launched in April. It is not available to business and corporate customers, or accounts with multiple handsets using shared bundled minutes.

There’s more information available at Mobile News.

The Good

Lists minutes and texts used
Lists recent charges
Reminds you of your billing date when the tariff refreshes
More detailed information (including data usage) available via the WAP link

The Bad

Wap URL doesn’t work on the iPhone’s Safari
Information is potentially 48 hours out-of-date (unlike, say, 3’s 333 service which is real-time)

Obviously, this is only available to certain O2 customers, and it doesn’t cater to iPhone users who would like more detailed information. But as a quick check on your balance, it’s good enough. Nice one O2. Now how about you tell your customers about it?

  • chrsfrwll

    Nice one, thanks. It certainly seems to work ok, and quite speedy too (even if potentially 48 hours OOD). However, I’ve never really thought I’d get anywhere near my tariff limits (as confirmed by my return text) and so doubt I will use it very much. Stored the number though.

  • http://www.allaboutiphone.net Matt Radford

    I agree, I probably won’t use it much as I’ve 1200 minutes per month. But once 9 months have elapsed and I can drop to 500 mins, it’ll be a bit more useful.

  • http://www.allaboutiphone.net James Burland

    Excellent tip, thank you.

  • http://www.bitchinrocphotos.com MrRob

    There is a typo in the wap url o2 send, if you change the capital “O” to a small case “o” all is good …