Giffgaff is a mobile telephone network running as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) using O2’s British network.
FAQs and Things To Know About Giffgaff
Owned by O2’s owners Telefónica, this mobile network began on 25 November 2009. At launch, the first product was a prepaid SIM card providing all standard 2G and 3G mobile phone services, charged on a pay as you use basis. After their initial phases, they introduced bundles of minutes, texts, and data, called “goodybags”. The idea for bundles emerged from the community forums. In June 2012 it was announced that customers would be able to set goodybags to renew automatically once a debit or credit card and subsequently when a PayPal account was saved on their platform payment profile. Voucher payments are accepted for manually purchased goodybags.
In 2011, Giffgaff also introduced new data-only tethering plans called gigabags to their lineup of product plans. Giffgaff has since stopped gigabags plans, as their goodybag plans now allow members to connect to other devices within their data allowances without tethering restriction.
What is giffgaff SIM?
Giffgaff is a mobile telephone network running as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) using O2’s British network that offers:
- No contracts, so you’re in control
- Competitive plans packed full of calls and data £5 free credit when you spend your first £10
- They have members, not customers
- Free calls and texts to other giffgaff numbers.
- Speeds: Giffgaff’s service is based on O2’s network with an average connection speed of 15.06Mbps. According to a network speed survey conducted by OpenSignal ( 1st Dec 2017 – 28th Feb 2018 )
- Roaming: Giffgaff offers inclusive roaming in 37 locations in the EU and beyond.
Giffgaff’s mobile phone service is based on O2’s network and the company offers 99% population coverage across the UK. Giffgaff implemented 5G on the 20 October 2020 on selected golden goodybags using their new 5G sim following a successful member trial of 5G.
giffgaff’s flexible, no-contract plans are called goodybags and offer a generous mix of data, minutes and texts. They also include free giffgaff-to-giffgaff calls and texts.
You’re free to change or cancel your plan anytime, so you can choose a different goodybag should your needs change.
There are six plans available, starting at £6 per month. The most popular plans include:
- £8 p/m for 2GB data, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts
- £10 p/m for 6GB data, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts
- £15 p/m for 15GB data, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts
How do I track my giffgaff SIM?
SIM cards are sent by standard first class post – no tracking is available.
If the SIM has not arrived by the sixth working day you should raise a support ticket to request another.
What top up voucher is for giffgaff?
Just pop over to the voucher page to buy a goodybag with a voucher. Alternatively, you can dial 43430. You should take care to avoid redeeming credit from a voucher if the intention is to buy a goodybag from the credit.
- For starters, you’ll need a giffgaff top up voucher. You can buy these from most supermarkets and corner stores.
- Then, dial 43430. This is an interactive service where you can redeem vouchers to add credit to your account and buy goodybags over the phone.
- You can use O2 vouchers on giffgaff. You can then Dial 43430 to redeem your voucher or you can go Online and redeem your voucher.
How to top up someone else’s account:
Go to / and click on Top-up a different giffgaff number, just click on the link Top up a different giffgaff number and then enter the phone number you wish to Top-up. Credit can only be added from a debit/credit card, not from airtime credit. You can also Top-up a different number with a voucher :-
Call 43430 and press option 1
then press 2 to top up a friend’s number and follow the instructions to use a Voucher Code.
This will deposit the Top-up to the specified number. They must log in to their account if they want to purchase a Goodybag with the Credit on their Account or do it by phone from their handset. Members can also then use this Airtime Credit buy a Goodybag with Airtime Credit Balance from their phone.
Buying a goodybag from credit by Phone. Dial 43430 from the handset. At the main menu Press 2 to buy a Goodybag and choose to use your Airtime Credit for the Goodybag purchase and follow the instructions.
Transfer airtime credit from your own giffgaff account to another giffgaff number. Buy a goodybag for another giffgaff number, unless you have the login details for the corresponding giffgaff account
Beware: When you start the process to topup another number, you will see this message and link:
Looking for a monthly plan?
Then instead of buying credit you should try one of our monthly goodybags.
Find a goodybag
Do not use it, as it will add a goodybag to your own giffgaff account, not the number you want it for.
You can: Topup another giffgaff number using a voucher by dialling 43430 from your phone and selecting option 1, then following the voice prompts.
Topup another giffgaff number online using a debit/credit card, paypal or voucher, using the instructions below
Go here: https://giffgaff.com/top-up then:
Click “Topup a different giffgaff number”
How long does a giffgaff goodybag last?
- In March 2014 Giffgaff announced that it would add a line of 4G LTE goodybag for all their members to buy starting from April 2014. In 2020 goodybag currently includes unlimited minutes and texts to standard UK numbers.
- Full speed data allowances range from 500MB to Unlimited. Prices listed are between £6 – £35 per month and are reviewed periodically.
- In August 2020 the Company launched its 9GB Golden Goodybag, to compete directly with its own 6GB Goodybag product, both priced at £10. To be eligible for purchase the member must register a bank payment method and agree to recur their purchase each monthly anniversary. There is no ongoing commitment and the recur can be switched off or canceled at will.
- On 20 October 2020, giffgaff introduced the Unlimited golden goodybag priced at £35 month, recurred from a bank payment method. At the same time, they announced 5G access for customers on both golden goodybags products using their new 5G sim.
After goodybags with unlimited internet allowance were introduced, complaints were made to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) from customers who were refused further sale of unlimited plans. The reason given by Giffgaff for their disconnection was a clause in the terms and conditions stating “[We may disconnect you] if you do anything … which we reasonably think adversely impacts the service to other Giffgaff customers or may adversely affect the Network”. The complaint was not upheld by the ASA who concluded that unlimited internet was advertised correctly. Giffgaff noted that their customer service agents had used the clause above incorrectly and promised to rectify this.
Giffgaff have since removed the goodybags in question and replaced their unlimited internet allowance with an “Always On ” data allowance. This means that users will get 80 GB of full speed data usage but after these 80 GB, will be speed-limited to 385 kbps between 8 am and midnight every day.
On 20 October 2020 Giffgaff implemented their new 5G Unlimited golden goodybag product but only to those using a recurring bank payment method, thus excluding the many customers who rely on top up vouchers or airtime credit.
Is Giffgaff good?
In November 2010, Giffgaff won the Forrester Groundswell Award and was later nominated for the ‘Marketing Society’s Brand of the Year’, losing to the department store John Lewis
In December 2010, Giffgaff won the ‘Most Innovative Community Award’ at the Social CRM Customer Excellence Awards. Two years later, Giffgaff was named the Best MVNO at the Mobile Industry Awards. In 2014 and 2015Giffgaff won the Which? best telecom services provider award. Giffgaff was a runner-up in the Best Utilities Provider of 2018.
In 2019, Giffgaff rated the best network by mobile network customers. Since 2016, Giffgaff has won the uSwitch Network of the Year, for 4 consecutive years.
They also won three other uSwitch awards in 2019 for: Best SIM Only Network, Best Network for Data, and Best PAYG Network.
But as recently as a month ago, a person posted this complaint on the community page. He complained about the concept of truly unlimited data saying:
“Are giffgaff going to introduce a proper unlimited data plan soon . As i’ve just done my maths and it seems it would be better for me to leave as the deals with other networks are now properly unlimited for less than the £25 always on goodybag and as i’ve tried that goodybag in the past and been told I couldnt have it anymore as I used too much data for two months because I was between homes and am now in the same situation due to conditions beyond my control . Ive been with giffgaff for years so not happy to be considering leaving but I don’t have other sources of internet so use my phone for everything”.
To this another replied, saying:
“unfortunately not as only about 5yrs back they stopped unlimited data your best bet a smarty or super drug unlimited for twenty quid”
Is Giffgaff on Apple?
In May 2014 Giffgaff announced that they were now an official Apple carrier, which was closely followed by another announcement that they would soon be stocking iPhones in their online shop – this would unlock options on iPhones that would have normally been locked for users, including tethering and voicemail options.
iPhone devices went on sale from 4 June 2014, to accompany a wide range of manufacturers including Samsung handsets. Refurbished devices have become a purchase option, with a giffgaff 12 month warranty included.
What are some advantages of being a Giffgaff member?
The word Giffgaff is an old Scottish word for ‘mutual giving’ and the company maintains that ethos, as much as possible.
- Giffgaff has no customer service phone lines. Non-account specific problems are raised via an online community system and are answered by other Giffgaff members in exchange for “payback points” (a virtual currency). Account-specific queries are directed to “agents”, who are contracted by Giffgaff Ltd. to administer account matters. If neither of these avenues resolve the issues, there is a dedicated complaint team, who respond to complaints by email and a dedicated voicemail phone number, written replies can take up to five working days to receive. Giffgaff offer payback points to members who recruit other members, suggest ideas on their crowdsourcing platform (giffgaff Labs), as well as those who provide customer service to the giffgaff community. Payback points can be exchanged for real money, airtime credit, or donated to five charities (new 2020) nominated by members and paid out biannually in June and December. Giffgaff promised to match their members charitable donations, pound for pound.
- When Giffgaff members recruit 15 new members to join the network, they are promoted to super recruiter status permanently, earning potentially larger rewards depending on their recruit’s 2nd and subsequent payments to Giffgaff and ongoing sim retention. Super recruiters are also eligible to receive other benefits, such as dedicated email support, marketing materials, phone calls with employees, and visits to Giffgaff’s HQ.
In May 2013 the mobile service ran an online and television advertising campaign with the strapline “Don’t be scared” which spoke about zombies converging on a village. Although the commercial appeared after the 9pm watershed, the ASA received 105 complaints. The ASA did not uphold the complaints, stating that it was not in breach of any BCAP rules.
In October 2013 the mobile ran two adverts in an online campaign with the strapline “Different takes guts”. The commercial featured a crowd of people dressed in white in an empty swimming pool throwing guts at each other. The ASA upheld the complaints that the content was in violation of BCAP rules for harm and offence and also BCAP rule 5.2 because the advert was not suitably age rated. It was recommended that the advert not appeared again.
In August 2014, Giffgaff ran three adverts in an online campaign with the strapline “At home with your parents you’re not the boss” which revolved around the story of siblings being subjected to awkward situations with their parents, one of which was reported to the ASA and featured an adult son walking in on his parents as they were engaged in sexual intercourse. The ASA upheld the complaint that the content was in violation of BCAP rule 4.1 for harm and offence and recommended that the advert not appear again in its current form.