Back in early 2010, after seeing a random targeted advertisement, I signed up to a new mobile network that had just entered the market, giffgaff. At first I was very sceptical about the company as I had never heard of them before and none of my friends were able to tell me anything about them either. I activated my first SIM card but decided that I will only use it in a spare mobile phone as I was still tied into a contract SIM.
About the community
After a few months, a mate of mine stated that they had just joined giffgaff too, however they had a few issues using the SIM card with their phone. I talked him through his issue with what knowledge I had however, I logged into the giffgaff website to look for a telephone number for their call centre but I never found one. Instead I discovered that all customer enquiries were dealt with through an “ask an agent” form system or I could visit “The community”.
I took a look at the community and visited the Help and Support section of their forum and was able to instantly find the information I was looking for. Whilst doing so, I noticed a forum topic where a giffgaff member asking for help with their internet settings, having already faced this issue in the past, I proceeded to answer the members question and thought nothing else of it. A few weeks later I received an email from giffgaff stating that I had earned some payback points. Curious with this email, I had a quick look at the website to find that I was being rewarded for helping in the community.
I started helping out on the community in my spare time and after a few months I realised that I had earned around £190 which I redeemed to my PayPal account the following December (just in time for a Christmas food shop).
What about the pricing
Since I joined, the pricing structure has changed slightly however, compared to the rest of the market, giffgaff remain one of the cheapest mobile networks out there.
Pay as you go rates
|Network||Calls (per minute)||Text Message (excluding MMS)||Mobile Data (per MB)|
(50mb for £1)
(500mb for £5)
|Price per month||Data||Minutes||Texts|
|£6||500 MB||Unlimited||Unlimited||Get a SIM|
|£8||2 GB||Unlimited||Unlimited||Get a SIM|
|£10||6 GB||Unlimited||Unlimited||Get a SIM|
|£12||10 GB||Unlimited||Unlimited||Get a SIM|
|£15||15 GB||Unlimited||Unlimited||Get a SIM|
|£20||80 GB||Unlimited||Unlimited||Get a SIM|
|£25||Always On*||Unlimited||Unlimited||Get a SIM|
*Speed restrictions apply to our Always On data. After 80 GB of data used you’ll experience a reduced data speed of 384kbps from 8am to Midnight. You may notice that activities which require high amounts of data, like HD video streaming, will be slower. Traffic Flow and Fair Usage while roaming applies. A 4G ready phone and coverage required to access 4G data speed.
The extra benefits
Every time you top-up your phone by means of airtime credit or a goodybag, you’ll get 3 months of free calls and texts to any other giffgaff users, perfect for the family.
Getting a phone from giffgaff
For some time now, giffgaff have teamed up with RateSetter to provide a contract mobile phone service with a difference. All phones are unlocked to all networks and if your not already a member with an active goodybag, then all you need to do is purchase your first giffgaff goodybag with your phone then you’re free to join another mobile network if you wish. However, with giffgaff’s cheap rates, you’ll probably stick with giffgaff too.
A bit more on Payback
The payback system run by giffgaff is brilliant. Members are able to earn themselves cash or free credit by introducing others to giffgaff or by helping out in the community like I did. For each new member you refer to giffgaff, you’ll earn yourself £5 worth of payback (the new member must activate their SIM card by purchasing airtime or a goodybag to the value of at least £10 to qualify for the bonus). If you’re able to get more than 15 new members to join, you’ll automatically be enrolled to the Super Recruiter Programme where you can earn up to £22 per introduction.
The payback you’ve earned yourself will be sent to you in June and December. You’ll need to have used your phone within the three months before this payment is made to qualify. You can choose to have your payback added to your giffgaff airtime credit or you can have it paid out through PayPal (you’ll need to earn at least £10). If you’re the giving kind, you can decide to donate your Payback to charity (if you do, giffgaff will match your donation).
The community is a great way to earn extra payback for yourself, whether you’re able to help other members, create great content or come up with a brilliant new idea for giffgaff, you can get rewarded for your contribution.