back to article Giffgaff admits to billing faff, actually tells folk to turn it off and on again

Telefónica's self-service mobile operator Giffgaff has said it will refund users after a billing cock-up. Giffgaff customers (or "members" in Telefónica hippy speak) draw from two pools of money. One is a comparatively expensive airtime credit, while the other is a bundle of minutes, texts and data called a goodybag. The …

  1. Semtex451 Silver badge
    Pint

    Oy

    Without wishing to sound like the erstwhile 'Shill', lay off my mates at Giffgaff.

    Dey is cool and down wid da kids innit.

    (I'm a very old kid and IMHO they ought to be El Reg readers least detested cellular network)

    1. PabloPablovski

      Re: Oy

      Innit tho..

      The hippies actually do a pretty good job, IMO. For my basic needs, they're cheap as (4GB/unlimited calls / & texts / £10 at the mo'), reliable and easy to deal with. The top up / goodybag thing is a bit confusing at first, but in practice it works pretty well. This sounds like a programming failure - don't' think it affects me cos I never use the small top up fund I started out with.

      1. Jay 2

        Re: Oy

        I'm on the same bundle. Rarely (never?) do I bust that and need to top up the slush fund. Overall there are cheaper deals to be had elsewhere, but I'm fairly happy with them.

    2. FlossyThePig

      Re: Oy

      Another old kid here and GG suits me as I rarely make calls on my phone. Occasional text message and receive calls. Wifi used for all things data. My balance is automatically topped up by £10 when balance drops below £3 (top up restricted to 3 times a month so not a major problem if phone nicked). No need for Goody Bags from GG but I remember buying real ones when I was a nipper.

    3. Tinslave_the_Barelegged

      Re: Oy

      > (I'm a very old kid and IMHO they ought to be El Reg readers least detested cellular network)

      Must agree, sadly to all of that. We have no mobile signal here*, so phone use is occasional. A tenner of credit lasts months, and doesn't "expire". Some international calls are astonishingly cheap, and with family in Australia, the US and South Africa, it makes phoning them, when we are out and about and have a signal, almost a pleasure, from the cost point of view anyway.

      However I must also admit that I didn't know Giffgaff was allegedly hip. Do hipsters really say "Champion!" when they express approval, the way the Giffgaff voice does?

      * - in other news, I wonder how that Home Office 4G rollout will do around these parts. Nearest 4g signal is tens of miles away.

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        Re: Oy

        I make about £20 a month out of giffgaff.

        I work at a school, they have lots of international teachers etc. They all come to IT for help setting up their phones, skype, etc. to call home.

        I don't force it, but I hand out giffgaff SIMs. Every time they activate one, I get cash which gets to my Paypal eventually.

        And lots of them do stay on giffgaff because of the "PAYG / Monthly" thing so they can pick and choose and be short of money and knock down their package without obligation. Nobody ever calls for support, so they don't notice giffgaff's is only online.

        They really need a "big bundle" though, that I can tether for mobile broadband. 9Gb isn't enough and even the unlimited package is subject to a tethering limit.

        I also activate a lot of their cards for things like GPS trackers and GSM gate openers. Run it down on PAYG over a year from about £20, or stick it on the £5 a month one if you want guaranteed service.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's the point of Giffgaff today?

    With o2 PAYG 3-2-1 tariff, 3p calls, 2p text, 1p per MB Data - o2 itself is cheaper than giffgaff today for credit based accounts.

    In terms of bundles, there are better 30-day tariffs elsewhere where the data isn't second-tier "restricted' to o2. Giffgaff have an extremely iffy policy regards EU roaming, which really needs to be tested through the courts.

    This sounds like - pretty much, the nail in the coffin, for anyone still using them.

    1. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: What's the point of Giffgaff today?

      With o2 PAYG 3-2-1 tariff, 3p calls, 2p text, 1p per MB Data - o2 itself is cheaper than giffgaff today for credit based accounts.

      Same with Three who started 321 pricing first. I don't use masses of data and minutes because normally I am within WiFi range at most locations. Bundles/bolt ons/add ons etc. are normally time restricted and run out after 30 days. I had an issue years ago with applying an bundle to a PAYG Sim on Orange. It took about a week to get the credit back as the customers service folks in India kept telling me it had been applied. I still couldn't make calls though and had to visit an Orange store to call them using their phone.

  3. Enemy of the State

    Sheeple

    Wow, no one is commenting on the actual story, instead you've got the giffgaff fanboys bigging them up for the prices on their goodybags.

    What about the fact that it's taken them 2 whole years to even realise that they've been overcharging customers for all that time? Or the fact that if it were not for an actual customer highlighting it to them, it'd still be happening?

    But no, you carry on licking arse the only way you know how - the giffgaff way.

    Awesome, slurp slurp...

    1. William Templeton's monobrow

      Re: Sheeple

      What you'll find is that all the posts criticising giffgaff will get down voted (like this one invariably will)

      Some people will defend giffgaff with their lives, no matter what they do, and all for a bit of payback. Selling their arses for a few quid a month.

      Their 'community' is a joke btw, mindless numbskulls answering customer service questions ffs. How anyone gets satisfaction from them is beyond me.

      And there are now work from home staff, they used to be members of the 'community', but 2 of them are SO illiterate and unprofessional that no way should they be employed in those positions. P & D, you know who you are! Another one is the nastiest piece of work should you ever have the misfortune of interacting with her, yes S, i'm talking about you.

      Not only that, their customer base, and themselves, are quite happy to allow an openly homophobic member to continue posting on their forum, yet they banned others for sarcasm. If anyone is interested i've got the actual homophobic hate thread and posts that he uploaded.

      giffgaff, run by you. As if.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sheeple

        As well as a homophobic member they had someone suggest that young people should be paraded through the streets and pelted with vegetables. That is not the kind of person I want in a community.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Posts by William Templeton's monobrow 1 post • joined 29 Jun 2018

        Coincidence, obviously.

        1. William Templeton's monobrow

          Re: Posts by William Templeton's monobrow 1 post • joined 29 Jun 2018

          No coincidence, i registered to comment on this article. Problem?

          I could quite easily have taken the cowards way out and posted anonymously....oh wait, that's what you did.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      * Posts by Enemy of the State 2 posts • joined 29 Jun 2018

      Coincidence?

      [edited to add link to Enemy of the State profile: https://forums.theregister.co.uk/user/89727/]

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: * Posts by Enemy of the State 2 posts • joined 29 Jun 2018

        3 snipes about single posters who just joined - posted by ACs.

        Coincidence, obviously.

        My experience of Giffgaff was awful, coverage was rotten, I noticed the odd charges and at the time they banned tethering. Dumped 'em and went with a EE PAYG contract, which actually worked as sold and didn't attract EU roaming surcharges that Ofcom should be paying attention to.

        The fact that GG is owned by telefonica, who also own O2, $orkplace has $large contracts with O2, but O2 coverage is nonexistant in our particular location and their helldesk are wilfully clueless doesn't engender any sympathy towards them. The point about mobile phones is they're meant to be used whilst mobile, not just in city centres. The only company with worse coverage is Vodafone and it's only slightly worse.

        1. Paul 5

          Re: * Posts by Enemy of the State 2 posts • joined 29 Jun 2018

          Where I am, the O2/GiffGaff network is better than EE, but I expect the situation varies like that in many places outside London. I reckoned the GiffGaff tariffs seemed quite reasonable for things outside of the normal UK call/data/text bundle that the rest of the networks compete on. Was thinking of switching. But what are these EU roaming surcharges you mention?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Paul 5: EU charges

            With giffgaff they apply the strict letter of the regulation on EU roaming. You get inclusive roaming to EU locations, but not to Isle of Man, Norway and Switzerland. These used to be charged at EU rates, but are now charged at giffgaff's Rest of the World rate, which is £1/minute for outgoing or incoming calls.

        2. david bates

          Re: * Posts by Enemy of the State 2 posts • joined 29 Jun 2018

          Pretty much my experience. O2's horrible network and platform with another even more horrible platform nailed on top.

          Issues? Why not see if the man at the bus stop or the checkout lady in Morrisons has the answer for you! Sometimes cheap ends up quite expensive.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: * Posts by Enemy of the State 2 posts • joined 29 Jun 2018

            "Why not see if the man at the bus stop or the checkout lady in Morrisons has the answer for you!"

            Isn't that what the "major" networks have effectively been doing for years, assuming you can actually get through to their "customer support"?

            I've used Voda and Cellnet (and successors) as a corporate customer and Orange/EE as an individual customer for years (since the days of the Motorola D520 on Orange and something I forget on Vodafone, maybe a Nokia 6150 or similar. Yes I'm a dinosaur).

            In that time my experience suggests there's little to choose between their hell desks and little to choose between their appalling GSM/PCN/3G coverage in the faraway parts of the UK where I find it handy to have a mobile. Specifically, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, all the way up as far as the frozen wastes of Cheshire and beyond, e.g. M4, M40, M6 up as far as Lancashire, M56 as far West as Chester.

            More recently I've even ended up buying an unlocked dual SIM phone (one SIM on a legacy Orange contract, one on GiffGaff). So unlike the typical commission-based double glazing/mobile salesperson, I have no vendor/operator religious ties, and if the likes of Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U were to vanish forever, I wouldn't be bovvered, but maybe I'm out of touch.

            The staff at El Reg know I almost always post as AC, simply because it should help focus the discussion on the content not the messenger. But occasionally the messenger is as important as the message.

            "i registered to comment on this article. Problem?"

            If only I could remember the Rosie/BilliePiper comment in the Doctor Who episode early in the Eccleston era: something along the lines of the world is being taken over by idiots and all you folks are yammering on about is cheap SIM tariffs... reminders welcome.

            I haven't even looked at the GiffGaff forums but am sadly unsurprised that any random Interweb forum degrades into unpleasantness (not just at GiffGaff) when all and sundry are free to post any garbage they fancy (me included, this site included, though in general this site does OK as regards behaviour and content).

            My 2p.

        3. pabc

          Re: * Posts by Enemy of the State 2 posts • joined 29 Jun 2018

          My experience of Giffgaff was awful, coverage was rotten - ditto. and when I did have coverage my 4G speeds, in the center of a major city were dialup like.

          The only good thing was that I could dump them in a month. Terrible.

    3. Paul 195

      Re: Sheeple

      I suspect the reason it took GiffGaff so long to notice is that in practice it will have affected very few users. Most GiffGaff users who require data will already be using a goodybag for it, and this problem explicitly only affects those users who were using airtime credit to pay for data and switched to a goodybag part way through. if you want to abuse customers perfectly happy with GiffGaff as "fanboys" that's fine, but the fact is most of who use it find a perfectly adequate way to purchase usage of what is these days a commodity service; mobile telephony and data. I wouldn't put my "love" of it any higher than that, and since no GiffGaff user is tied to them with a contract, anyone who doesn't like it can terminate the relationship whenever they want.

  4. OrliePaulie

    Wow, internet pioneers can't use internet

    Pretty basic error that they've been unable to properly measure and bill for internet access when they purport to be online experts. When I was with them I found their claim that you could use their site without charge to be erroneous, too.

    They really are a joke these days. The signal and internet connection are poor, and their forum is overrun with idiots posting about their dinner. That's why I left.

    1. Enemy of the State

      Re: Wow, internet pioneers can't use internet

      Not only is the forum overrun with idiots, the staff are too.

      Primary school children have a better grasp on grammar and literacy.

      And they call them 'educators'......you couldn't make this stuff up!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wow, internet pioneers can't use internet

        Primary school children have a better grasp on grammar and literacy.

        Says the person starting a new paragraph with an 'And'!

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Wow, internet pioneers can't use internet

          "Says the person starting a new paragraph with an 'And'!"

          And so it came to pass that not being able to defend their icon in any other manner, the Giffgaff loons set about masturbating in public over spelling and grammar issues.

        2. Enemy of the State

          Re: Wow, internet pioneers can't use internet

          "Says the person starting a new paragraph with an 'And'!

          Says the person who hasn't got the balls to post under his own username, and also doesn't know what he's talking about.

          For your perusal...take your pick, they all say the same thing.

          http://www.thewriter.com/what-we-think/style-guide/and-and-but-why-its-okay-to-start-a-sentence-with-a-conjunction/

          https://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2012/01/05/can-i-start-a-sentence-with-a-conjunction/

          https://www.writing-skills.com/hit-or-myth-you-cant-start-a-sentence-with-and-or-but

          Apology in writing please.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      * Posts by OrliePaulie 1 post • joined 29 Jun 2018

      Coincidence, obviously.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Predictably crap from Giffgaff

    I was with them and I didn't like them. The tariff looked good but their forum support is a joke.

  6. CynicalGeek
    Thumb Up

    I got a whole penny back. Made sure they paid it into my paypal account. Not sure how much they'll pay for that transfer.

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