Giffgaff is known as a network that does things a little differently. It doesn’t have high street shops, it doesn’t do long-term contracts, and it doesn’t even have a customer service team.
Instead, it’s based completely online-only, and everything is community-led. Customers get in touch with fellow members of the giffgaff community to solve their phone plan woes, and even buying a handset through giffgaff works on a peer-to-peer lending basis.
Rather than taking out a long-term contract, on SIM-only plans you can buy ‘goodybags’ of calls, texts, and data to use in 30 days.
Giffgaff launched in 2009 in Slough, Berkshire, as a subsidiary of Telefonica (the company behind O2). At the time it only offered pay-as-you-go plans, but it launched its famous goodybags shortly afterwards.
In 2014 it introduced 4G plans, though these didn’t become standard for goodybags until the year after.
On giffgaff, you get a free SIM card, which is technically pay-as-you-go - but the pièce de résistance comes in the form of those ‘goodybags’ that you can purchase. Each lasts 30 days, and gives you a bundle of calling minutes, texts, and data to use in that time. That means you can change your allowance every month if you want to - or, if not, you can set one single goodybag to auto-renew when it runs out.
There’s a huge range of them, from a 100MB data bundle all the way up to ‘Always On’ data, texts and minutes that technically never run out. There’s also the special ‘gigabags’ of just data, with no texts or minutes.
Since it shares O2’s network, giffgaff coverage is pretty good - around 99% of the population can get 3G. 4G, however, isn’t quite as widespread.
Of course, there are always black spots when it comes to mobile coverage. Use a coverage checker to make sure you can access giffgaff where you are before you commit to anything.
For most customer service issues, consult the online community.
For queries relating to your account, log on to My giffgaff and ask a question at www.giffgaff.com/support.
To log a complaint, go to www.giffgaff.com/support/complaints.