Giffgaff have always impressively ploughed its own furrow - unique, flexible and customer-centred. Specialising in SIM-only deals, giffgaff uses the network of its parent company O2 and offers 30-day bundles known as goodybags.
Find out more about what separates giffgaff from other mobile networks. From pros and cons and customer service to network coverage and pricing, we shine a light on giffgaff and help you decide whether it’s the network for you.
What’s good about giffgaff?
- Offers cheap 30-day plans
- Easy to switch between wide range of monthly ‘goodybag’ allowances
- No need for a credit check if you're just getting a SIM
- Unlimited data on some plans
- Earn cash or credit through Payback points
- Giffgaff is a virtual network and runs on O2’s network
What’s bad about giffgaff?
- No customer service team
- No long-term plans available
- 4G data is capped at 20GB on unlimited data plans
- Handset ‘contracts’ are really peer-to-peer loans and work out quite expensive
Rather than typical mobile contracts, giffgaff specialises in SIM-only deals. These deals come with an allowance of data, minutes and texts and last for 30 days - think of them as one-month SIM plans. Giffgaff deals range from 500MB of data right up to unlimited data - and most plans include unlimited minutes and unlimited texts.
If you do want a new phone, giffgaff offer handset ‘plans’ which are essentially phone loans with a giffgaff goodybag tagged on the end. Choose how much you want to pay upfront and how many months to keep paying for - find a rate right for you. However, this can be an expensive way of buying a new phone.
Giffgaff plans won’t be for everyone - particularly if you want to buy a new phone through a long-term mobile contract. But what they do, they do very well, and you’ll be pushed to find cheaper and more flexible SIM deals.
As giffgaff is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) which uses the O2 network, customers benefit from 99% population coverage across the UK.
Before you order it’s important to check you can get a signal in your home area using giffgaff’s coverage checker - as well as areas you are likely to frequent, such as your route to and place of work.
As O2’s coverage is just behind Three but ahead of EE, giffgaff mobile users should benefit from about 99% population coverage indoors. As with most networks, you may experience some gaps in service in rural areas, but in towns and cities you shouldn’t experience any connection problems.
Giffgaff do not offer traditional mobile contracts which include a handset but specialise in SIM-only deals. This means you’ll need your own phone in order to take out a giffgaff plan. While its SIM-only 30-day ‘goodybags’ are reasonably-priced and extremely flexible, it’s not the cheapest option if you want a subsidised phone and can’t afford to buy a phone upfront.
Giffgaff offer a decent range of data allowances and most plans come with unlimited texts and calls. If you already have a phone and just need a SIM plan, it’s a good and cheap option.
Where you can get a handset with a giffgaff plan, these are essentially phone loans with a giffgaff goodybag tagged on the end. Be aware there are cheaper ways to buy a new phone.
Giffgaff’s value for money all depends on the flexibility you require and whether you need a handset in your plan. If you own a phone and like the idea of switching your plan every month, giffgaff is a great network. If you do want to include a new iPhone in your mobile deal, then look elsewhere.
Giffgaff customer service
Giffgaff does not have a dedicated customer support team; instead it relies on its community of users to provide help. While this won’t be for everyone, according to Ofcom's most recent customer service report (2017), giffgaff scored highly for customer satisfaction and customers were more likely to say they would recommend it to a friend.
There’s no official customer support to speak of but giffgaff’s community of online users do a pretty good job of answering queries.
Giffgaff’s extras and benefits
Giffgaff is something of a no-thrills network. While you do get to change your plan every 30 days and tether your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot, the only real perk is Payback points. This means you can earn points by bringing friends to giffgaff or helping out on the community. You can then trade these points for cash, credit or a donation to charity.
If you’re looking for extras from a mobile network on things like social media streaming and event tickets, it’s probably best to look elsewhere. Giffgaff keep things very simple and very stripped down.
Giffgaff is a little different to most mobile networks, as it only offers 30-day SIM-only deals. That’s great if you like the flexibility of changing your plan every month, but not so good if you don’t own a phone and need a subsidised handset as part of a mobile contract.
There’s not much in the way of perks and the lack of a dedicated customer support will put some people off, but you can tether your phone on all its plans and it’s one of the few networks to offer unlimited data (though be aware 4G data is capped at 20GB on unlimited data plans).
If you own your own phone and are looking for cheapish SIM-only deals, giffgaff is a good option.