|Founded||Slough, Berkshire, United Kingdom (25 November 2009)|
|Headquarters||Uxbridge, Greater London, United Kingdom|
|Mike Fairman (CEO)
Mark Bowden (CFO)
|Products||Mobile telecommunications products and services|
Giffgaff (stylized "giffgaff") is a mobile telephone network running as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) using the United Kingdom O2 network. Owned by O2's owners Telefónica, Giffgaff was launched on 25 November 2009.
Within 2010, its first year of operation, Giffgaff won two industry awards, the Forrester Groundswell Award in November, also the Most Innovative Community Award at the Social CRM Customer Excellence Awards. In November, Giffgaff was nominated for the Marketing Society's Brand of the Year, but lost to the department store John Lewis.
In 2014, Giffgaff won the Which? best telecom services provider award.
Products and services
At launch, the first product was a prepaid SIM card providing all standard 2G and 3G mobile phone services, charged on a pay as you use basis. After launch, bundles of minutes, texts and data, called "goodybags", were introduced. The idea for bundles emerged from the community forums.
In June 2012 it was announced that customers would be able to set goodybags to renew automatically once a debit or credit card was saved on the site.
On 17 October 2012 Giffgaff added data-only goodybags, called gigabags, to their lineup of products.
In May 2014 Giffgaff announced that they were now an official Apple carrier, which was closely followed by another announcement that they would soon be stocking iPhones in their online shop – this would unlock options on iPhones that would have normally been locked for users, including tethering and voicemail options. iPhone devices were on sale from 4 June 2014.
Giffgaff has no customer service phone lines. Non-account specific problems are raised via an online message board system and are answered by other Giffgaff members, in exchange for "payback points", which are exchanged twice a year for cash via PayPal or account credit. Account-specific queries are directed to "agents", who are employed by Giffgaff. If neither of these avenues resolve the issues, there is a dedicated complaint team, and responding to complaints can take up to five working days.
As of September 2015, all of Giffgaff's 'goodybags' come with 4G data included at no extra cost. If the user doesn't have a 4G ready device or is not in a 4G area, the device will connect to O2's 3G service.
After goodybags with unlimited internet allowance were introduced, complaints were made to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) from customers who had their internet access disabled. The reason given by Giffgaff for their disconnection was a clause in the terms and conditions stating [We may disconnect you] "if you do anything...which we reasonably think adversely impacts the Service to other Giffgaff customers or may adversely affect the Network". The complaint was not upheld by the ASA who concluded that unlimited internet was advertised correctly. Giffgaff noted that their customer service agents had used the clause above incorrectly and promised to rectify this.
In May 2013 Giffgaff ran an online and television advertising campaign with the strapline "Don't be scared" which featured zombies converging on a village. Although the television advert appeared after the 9pm watershed, the ASA received 105 complaints. The ASA did not uphold the complaints, stating that it was not in breach of any BCAP rules.
In October 2013 Giffgaff ran two adverts in an online campaign with the strapline "Different takes guts". The advert featured a crowd of people dressed in white in an empty swimming pool throwing guts at each other. The ASA upheld the complaints that the content was in violation of BCAP rules for harm and offence and also BCAP rule 5.2 because the advert was not suitably age rated. It was recommended that the advert not appear again in its current form.
In August 2014 Giffgaff ran three adverts in an online campaign with the strapline "At home with your parents you're not the boss" which featured siblings being subjected to awkward situations with their parents, one of which was reported to the ASA and featured an adult son walking in on his parents as they were engaged in sexual intercourse. The ASA upheld the complaint that the content was in violation of BCAP rule 4.1 for harm and offence and recommended that the advert not appear again in its current form
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