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Giffgaff

 In a nutshell  
 

Last updated October 2013

Giffgaff is a virtual mobile network, using the O2 network to supply its services, giving it 99% coverage of the UK population. Giffgaff offers cheap calls and flexible plans.

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Summary

Giffgaff is an online-only business with a community that provides the majority of member support (hence its slogan - the mobile network run by you!)

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User questions

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Why have giff gaff sent me a text telling me if i dont cut down on my data usage they are going to bar me from buying the 20 unlimited always on data goodybag?

Asked by Mccauley ohara from England on 6th Jun 2016
Now how is that unlimited data? I will be changing service providers effective immediately. I wouldnt recommend them to anyone.

Reply by syd from middx on 8th Jun 2016
i agree 100%

gifgaff is rubbish

Reply by Reece from England on 1st Aug 2016
Im suprised you could even use it, its that sloww!



Giffgaff user reviews

Love this product? Hate it? Please share your experiences to help other people choose the product that's best for them. Please do not review this product if you have not used it, and please ask questions in our User Questions section above. Please do not use swear words or offensive language, and please, no advertising!

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Average rating from 21 reviews:

Reviewed by Aida Yzelli from UK on 29th Jan 2017
Giffgaff!
What a useless network. Atempted 11 times to connect with my relative who is on giff gaff monthly contract and could not be connected. What a waste of money for people on giffgaff contract.

Again useless network.
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Reviewed by paul chuckle from uk on 13th Dec 2016
giffgaff wow buy one 5 voucher get free calls for ever get pals on network you get a years worth of free data which don't work log in so you can share problems with the biggest idiots ever online every phone problem solved with a sim clean or phone switched off then on.its 02 pay and go but called giffgaff with the internet so so so slow (40 mins to download weather app update) took 3 secs on 3.
Rating:

Reviewed by Decan from Hall Green, Birmingham, UK on 8th Nov 2016
Outside on my house, which is in a valley, O2 signal is OK to great. However where I live its rubbish and calls have been dropped mid call. This is frustraying so finally I've asked for my PAC code. However if I lived in another area I would consider going back to them.

Just a quick pointer to people who have network problems with giffgaff (and another reseller or selller of mob services).
i) Coverage maps available online often use an "average" coverage. As you only need medium coverage to complete a call, people with high coverage (near a mast) are not affected badly by companies presenting average network coverage. However people further away are. They do not actually recieve average signal, they receive weak signal, which has atendency to drop calls. Accordingly use of avergae coverage by mobile networks falsely sells an image of coverage adequacy for people in weak coverage areas.
ii) ee shops have mast maps (for their network), so its worth seeing if you are in line of sight to a mast. Carphone warehouse has some sort of industrial app which shows customer feedback on coverage.
iii) Using a combination of all these things, I decided to buy and test a couple of the cheapest PAYG Three and EE sims to see which of the two had reasonable reliability of signal ie before enbering a contract I checked the adequacy of the network. Your don't to port your number for this. Just go into a mobile shop of vodaphone, ee, three, 02, ask for a PAYG sim and their cheapest top up card, swap sims in your phone (assuming you've already had it unlocked) and call a few people to see if the conversation quality is adequate. Don;t forget to try it at home as well. There's very little call/ data on PAYG sims so becareful it will run out VERY quickly. Don;t sign up your card details for these PAYG sims, just pay overthe counter for it. Then choose the a combination of best signal quality for best price, not customer service quality as well.
Good luck.
Rating:

Reviewed by r brown from uk on 31st Oct 2016
Great phone service but very poor data.
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Reviewed by rolf harris from great britian on 18th Jun 2016
Not worth it the internet is to slow don't waste time or money go to another network.
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Reply by T35 from UK on 29th Jun 2016
Did you check the coverage in your area before signing up? (https://www.giffgaff.com/coverage-and-service#coverage) The great thing about giffgaff is that your not stuck in a contract or fixed term deal so you can leave anytime you want. In some areas the giffgaff signal is not great (but not because of giffgaff themselves but because of the O2 signal which giffgaff uses).

Reviewed by Peter from UK on 13th Jun 2016
The sim deals are good value, especially if people you know are also on the network, but that's it. The customer service is almost non-existent. I bought a phone off them which was faulty. It was returned for fixing but came back with a new fault (as well as the old one). Returned it again and it came back with another new fault (as well as the first two faults). They would not offer a refund, simply another 'fix' so I eventually got a refund off my card provider.
They rely on customers to provide forum based support, however the customers have a vested interest in responding in order to earn payback points. as with any system like this, some replies will be helpful, but most simply give a stock reply without reading the post properly. They cannot be contacted by phone, only be agent message on the website. The responses are polite, but often do not seem to have read the query and unfailingly stick to the company line.
Rating:

Reviewed by Arthur from Uk on 5th May 2016
Tried giffgaff. all the hype how good they are I found at home poor signal poor signalling when in town and about Internet slower than a snail 2g not 4g not even 3g when a page loads any photos or pictures load a line at a time slower than old 56k modem in 80s avoid the Internet is useless.
Rating:

Reviewed by carl janiszewdka from england on 18th Mar 2016
Hmm what can i say ...if u want to use the web dont use giffgaff slow or it wont work at all ....
i live 17miles from the centre of london ...
RUBBISH.
Rating:

Reviewed by Jeff from UK on 24th Feb 2016
I joined Giffgaff in January of 2012 back when they were offering unlimited data for 10: Bargain! I thought they were a great provider and so I stuck with them for years to come.

End of story.

Oh, but wait!!!

In 2015, they decided to jack up the prices to 20 and limit 4G to the first 6GB before reducing it to dial up speeds, this was the final straw for me; I signed up to 3 and moved my Giffgaff number to them, I then started paying 15 for TRULY unlimited data and free roaming in many countries including the USA and Sweden (two countries I frequent a lot), this later increased to 20 a month but I would rather pay that than switch back to the demon spawn known as Giffgaff; I've never looked back since!

Three is like a frozen egg, you just can't beat them! Giffgaff is a different story, they are useless money grabbing thieves who's idea of fixing a phone is turning it off and on again.

Three: 5 stars
Giffgaff: 0 stars
Rating:

Reviewed by t mercer from uk on 28th Jan 2016
I have a dispute with GiffGAff it concerns the illegal use of my data which was used to rob me of money from my phone account.
They will not process or progress the complaint with out me sending endless further account information. They then quote various obscure legal; text from the data protection act to justify this!
The data protection act (i thought) was to protect the consumer not shield the crooks!
Rating:

Reviewed by Alex from Uk on 10th Jan 2016
Stayed with them for a week before moving away. Very little signal, even on major motorways and in towns. Data rates were never much better than dial up. Even with signal calls rarely got completed.

Stay away. Not worth it.
Rating:

Reviewed by d from uk on 4th Jan 2016
no support.
Rating:

Reviewed by Jeff from UK on 5th Aug 2015
Internet connection is very slow at home in Bedfordshire and in Central London.
Their facility to logon and switch your account from one SIM to another is very useful if the SIM gets lost.

There are at least 2 suspicious reviews below (check the dates and the style of review).
Rating:

Reviewed by yen from NW England on 16th Feb 2015
Been on giffgaff for longer than I can remember, since 2009 I think. Ok, this network has gone belly up only once I think. Ok, you don't have anyone to call - true, touch whatever. I was on the big VF & had probs quite a lot. Its a boon for myself this network - like a Monthly contract but not.. so its a total advantage for me. At moment you can get 500 min + 1gb of data on 4g for 12 quid, the usual free txts too. Simply recommended not i can say !!! For anyone having probs I feel they're the type who think the Sony Z3 Compact is rubbish...
Rating:

Reviewed by Jose from Spain on 16th Jan 2015
I love giffgaff, it is cheap, with no contract and good value to use it as the main telephone number. Network works perfectly as they use O2 in the whole country. I have got my simcard using this promotion https://giffgaff.com/orders/affiliate/josan plus 5 pounds for free. I advise to order your sim with them, it is for free!
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Reviewed by philip from great britain on 24th Nov 2014
giffgaff seemed ok but now it is very slow and even basic programs take ages to download
It is 2g not 3g
You will do much better by looking else where!
Rating:

Reviewed by Lee from Wales on 18th Oct 2014
Joined GG after 2 years with EE.
They might offer good value and people on the community GG website are helpful but most of the time all they tell you if you have a problem 'to switch the phone on/off' I think people would try that first!
Anyway have been with them for a month and the signal quality on 2G is good although sometimes texts get delayed or calls never get through.
But if you want a 3G data connection then look elsewhere as this is pretty much non-existent even in big cities or towns. And if you do manage to get a 3G signal then do not expect fast speeds, all I would say is that my speeds when on 3G are slower than my dial up internet connection of the 90's!
yes it says they cover '99%' of the UK but more than likely that is 95% 2G and 4% 3G
My saving grace is that it only lasts a month.
Rating:

Reviewed by Bearuk from UK on 12th Sep 2014
Hate it.

If you're after a cheap deal giffgaff looks good. Unfortunately there is no real support. Giffgaff support is nothing more than a fanboy site. I feel fortunate I never managed to activate my SIM as I might have trapped myself within the mess that is giffgaff. I tried to activate my SIM, but the website threw me back to the start every time. Thats when I discovered the only support is a knowledgebase (no help there) and a forum (the suggestion, try another browser. They know where they can stick that answer).

Unless you are absolutely penniless, or possibly stupid, wouldn't you want the security of knowing you can call - or even email - your mobile network provider for help? I know I do, which is why I am relieved I didn't complete my sim activation.
Rating:

Reviewed by michael mould from england on 21st Dec 2013
just activated the giffgaff sim card and it took 5 mins they sent text to install software, clicked install got all my setting instantly, STRESS FREE, asda take note that's how its done
giffgaff 5 stars

asda 0 stars
Rating:

Reviewed by Grattus from England on 25th Nov 2013
I moved over to giffgaff on a recommendation from a friend when it became apparent that Vodafone had poor internet reception in the area my new home is located. They use the O2 network and so far I have had no problems at all, connecting on the internet everywhere I've been and never losing a "normal" phone signal. They offer a very good range of deals giving everyone a choice, whether they want lots of call minutes, texts or internet time and the value is second to none. The only problem I experienced was due to their internet only contact. I had a problem with my pc keyboard that wouldn't allow me to input the date in the format required so couldn't initially register my sim but having overcome that slight hiccup I have had three months of hassle free service for a fraction of the price other suppliers charge. Understand they are now offering phones too. I hope to have them as my mobile supplier for many years to come.
Rating:

Reviewed by Terry Deacon from UK on 25th Nov 2013
I've a user of giffgaff for a number of years. I expect to continue being a user for the foreseeable future.

As stated, giffgaff is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator, like Tesco Mobile, that piggybacks on the O2 network. It offers no contracts; being a purely Pay As You Go operator. You either need an O2 locked or an unlocked mobile to use its services.

It's pricing structure radicalised the UK PAYG market by offering a relatively inexpensive tariff - 10p per minute, compared to AT LEAST, 25p per minute by 02, Vodafone etc. Giffgaff's popularity lies, however, with its "goodybags". As at November 2013, it's 10 monthly goodybag, for instance, offers 500 cross UK network minutes, unlimited texts, 1GB of data and free giffgaff to giffgaff calls (which, incidentally, lasts 3 months per top up). It's lowest top up is only 5.

To slightly contradict S21, giffgaff is not quite an online-only business as you can buy top up vouchers in retails shops for 02 and use these to credit your giffgaff account. But the vast majority of business is conducted online with your account.

What really stands giffgaff out from the rest, is the fact that it is community based, in so much that its users are called "members", instead of customers. These members help the company operation by giving customer service support and aid in marketing and sales. Members get can rewarded by recruiting new members. In fact, in June 2013, giffgaff gave out nearly 2 million to its members. It was a surprise recently to learn that giffgaff is actually owned by the Spanish telecommunication giant, Telefonica.

Giffgaff is innovative by actually encouraging suggestions and ideas by its members. One of the best, and one that I have had to use on a couple of unfortunate occasions, is that if you happen to lose your sim card, all you need is another new sim card and it will almost-instantaneously transfer your number and credit on to it, whilst blocking the mislaid one.

I recommend giffgaff to all.
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Links

Giffgaff website

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