Product Type: GiffGaff in Telecommunications Services
Newest Review: ... plan. This basically means that you can get a contract phone from Giffgaff or pay monthly for your calls. Personally I've been avoi... more
A more consumer and purse friendly network.
Member Name: rockinrach08
Date: 22/07/11, updated on 05/09/12 (98 review reads)
Advantages: cheap prices, no issues, ethical, great service, saved £150 in 18 months
Disadvantages: Not suitable for those that don't like to use the internet, or those in areas with poor o2 reception
-- About GiffGaff --
GiffGaff is a sim only, pay as you go phone network. They pride themselves on being a lot more simple than the larger networks and let customers have a stronger say in how things are run. They do not have any call centres or expensive stores to take care of, and so they pass the savings on to you, the customer. They manage this by having an online community. If you have any issues, from joining to using to leaving, you can ask in the community and receive some helpful advice from its members and staff. I should point out, that they do employ about 16 people, its not completely run by members. But, there is a lot more consumer involvement than other networks which is enjoyable. You can also make money by posting on their forum which is paid out periodically throughout the year. It may not be huge sums but it is a nice little incentive to keep the community aspect alive.
Ethically, they liked to keep waste to a minimum (for example, when you receive your sim, the welcome letter is origamied into an envelope and only one bit of extra card). They also like to get involved with charities. To me, the lack of waste was the most impressive. Normally when you receive a SIM you get loaded with marketing material about how great the company is which ends up being thrown out.
It should be noted, that the company does not sell phones. They state that they believe that there are already enough handsets out there. Even as someone who likes to keep relatively up to date with phones, I still agree with this completely.
Being pay as you go means that you do need your own phone. Phones these days, especially smartphones, can be expensive which can put people off joining the site. However, even if you buy your own smartphone it can still save you money.
-- Prices --
I think one of the most attractive part of joining GiffGaff is the money you can save. They have a price comparison on their site, but as an idea, here are the prices you can expect to pay:
Calls/ video calls/ texts to other giffgaff users: free
Calls to other mobiles: 8p (per minute)
Mobile internet (up to 20mb/day): 20p
On their own, these prices are great. But, it gets better! They also offer 'goodybags'. These are like bundles where you pay a certain amount and get things such as free minutes, texts and internet. From just £5 you can get unlimited (and thats truly unlimited, there are no caps) texts for a month.
The goodybag I am currently using is £10. For this, I receive 250 minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited mobile internet. Yep, unlimited texts and internet and no, there isn't a sneaky fair usage policy. A great plus to the company, when they say unlimited they mean it!
On comparison to my old deal:
18 month contract at 35/month (free phone, unlimited texts (3000/month) some minutes) - £630 (not including extra charges)
£300 phone + 10/month (over same time frame) - £480
That is a saving of £150 in a year and a half while getting more for my money.
Other goodybags follow the same unlimited texts and internet, with increasing minutes up to £25 which offers 1,500 minutes.
There are prices for everyone, from those that use their phone for a few texts per month or thousands. Though you may not get a phone it is a great deal. So, if you're expecting the newest phone that is minimally improved from your last phone this may not be for you. But if you want to save some money and perhaps go for a cheaper phone, this could be great for you.
I am using the money I am saving to pay for a perfectly decent, second hand phone. Which I am more than happy with.
-- My experience --
Once I found the company, I ordered a SIM from their website on the Sunday evening and it came through the post on Tuesday. I wanted to transfer my number over from o2, so once I had activated my SIM (you have to top up £10 - I got myself a £10 goodybag) I filled out the form to transfer my number the next day. So far, switching over to giffgaff had gone swimmingly. The next day, my old sim became inactive, and within a few hours my number had transfered over (though it can take up to 6pm).
Giffgaff run on the o2 network, so you get the same reception as you would on o2. In my case, this has always been great and was an improvement from when I was on vodafone. This includes a remote town near me, in which you can only get a reception on o2.
I have been on the community, and made an introduction post. I haven't had to ask anyone for any help but I look around just in case I can help someone. I do love the community feel and you can get help from a range of people who may have different ideas. Which is better than someone in a call-centre reading a script, in my opinion. Obviously, this isn't great for those that are not computer savvy which is a bit of a letdown. Not a personal letdown as I manage fine. But I can imagine others possibly having a problem with this.
My experience on giffgaff has been great and there have been no problems. Joining was easy (a case of ordering the sim and activating it online). The community is great and people are really helpful.
-- Joining and Using --
To join, visit their website at: giffgaff.com and order a SIM. Once you receive it, go back to the website to activate it. This is also when you will register to the site which allows you to post to the community. You can top up online or by purchasing top up cards in store (you can also use o2 cards).
You can use the SIM in any unlocked phone or a phone locked to o2. You can get microsims from some members of the community (you can sign up before you activate your sim).
If you want to transfer your number, ask your current provider for a PAC (pronounced 'pack') code. Once you have this: sign in, go to 'My giffgaff' and select transfer my number. They will then take you through the process.
-- Payback --
On top of the above perks, you may be thinking it can't get better, or wondering about the company using its members to help. Well, they do offer those who help members with rewards such as money or phone credit. Which I believe is a great way to reward members. I like the whole concept.
They also run competitions from time to time.
-- It may be for you if... --
You want great value on your phone usage. With great prices and the option of 'goodybags'. Especially for those that use their mobile internet a lot. Also, if you like to consult the internet with your problems and receive help from members rather than dealing with a call centre.
-- It may not be for you if... --
You need a phone with your package and are not prepared to wait or save up for one. Or if you are not great at using the internet.
-- Overall --
I would definitely recommend this network. They may not be for those looking for the latest phone but if you are looking to save a bit of money and get a great deal, they are definitely worth considering. I have had no issues with them and if I did have any problems I can just go to their community and ask and get some helpful responses. I prefer this to phoning up a call centre and dealing with them. The business concept to me just suits me perfectly.
With cheap prices, no issues and a nice ethical outlook... I can't recommend it enough.
Summary: Perfect for me.