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It may seem strange that this is the first thing mentioned when talking about a mobile provider, but giffgaff’s approach to customer service is very unique, key to its appeal and also a huge point of difference. There is no official hotline you can call if you need help, or an address to write to. The first port of call for assistance is its official forums, ‘staffed’ by fellow customers who use their own experiences to help resolve any issues. The very active forums show customer satisfaction and participation is high and giffgaff offers incentives to those who regularly reply to customers.
Despite not having a high-street presence, giffgaff still offers a very respectable range of handsets across premium brands, including:
All giffgaff phones come unlocked, meaning you can switch SIM or provider at any time.
giffgaff handsets need to be purchased with a SIM deal, known as a ‘goody bag’. You can change your tariff at any time, giving you a lot of flexibility. The pay monthly option for handsets lets you pay it off, usually over a 24-month period, with your data charged separately.
As of October 2020, giffgaff has started to offer 5G deals through its golden goody bags initiative. Goody bags last one month. This means, when you’ve used up all your data, you can choose a new goody bag plan or even find a new SIM provider altogether. You can also choose how much of a down payment you want to make on your handset, making it ideal if you want to budget.
giffgaff’s SIM-only deals are known as ‘goody bags’ and they come with an allowance of data, texts and calls. There are, at present, seven SIM options to choose from. All offer unlimited calls and texts, but only one offers unlimited data. All of them also offer free calls to other giffgaff phones.
Goody bags can be set to automatically renew every month. Or you can manually select a new plan for the next 30 days. The SIM itself is free to order and ready to be updated with a goody bag of your choice. You are also free to cancel giffgaff contracts at any time.
You can monitor the status of your SIM-only plan through the giffgaff app. It also makes it easy to select and activate a new goody bag for the month.
giffgaff has gained a reputation for being very good value for money. Because giffgaff is able to save money on running call centres, it’s able to offer lower prices than a lot of its competitors.
Given its shorter contracts, giffgaff often runs promotions on its SIM cards, so be on the lookout for some great deals.
The provider also runs a payback scheme. This is essentially an incentive scheme for keeping its helpful forums running. Every time you refer a friend or help the giffgaff community, you’ll be rewarded with points. One point = 1p, so for 500 points you’ll get £5 back.
There’s no cap on the number of points you can earn, and they are paid in cash, credit or charity donation twice a year. It’s a clever way to build a community and reward customers who dedicate time to the brand.
giffgaff doesn’t own its own network but ‘piggybacks’ off O2. O2 offers 98% UK coverage, but you can use giffgaff’s coverage checker to make sure your area is included. Being on the O2 network means you can also top up using an O2 credit voucher if you find yourself at the end of your goody bag.
A brand that is doing things differently, giffgaff labs let customers put ideas forward, vote on which should be implemented and then, finally either have them implemented or rejected by giffgaff themselves. Again, it’s a smart way the brand has built a community. Past changes that have come from customer input include paying out payback through PayPal.
giffgaff has positive Trustpilot reviews, with 63% of reviews rating giffgaff as an Excellent provider, and only 19% of reviews ranking it below an Average rating.
Customers cite the ease-of-use of giffgaff’s account management system, the provider’s useful recommendations and notifications about potential savings, and the variety of customisable goody bags as reasons for positive reviews. Many also note that they have never experienced any issues whatsoever with the provider despite being customers for many years.
giffgaff offers great flexibility by allowing you to switch up your plan or cancel it altogether at any time. So you won’t find yourself tied into a long contract that no longer fits your needs.
And while it doesn’t have a call centre you can ring if you have a problem, the community of fellow users should be able to help you if you do have an issue.
Last updated: 22 December 2020