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Giffgaff has doubled your data: is it the cheapest Sim-only provider around?

We look at how the popular provider compares with rivals in the value stakes

Mobile phone provider Giffgaff has announced, as of today, that it will be doubling the amount of data on three of its ‘goodybag’ packages.

The goodybags set to be increased are:

  • £10 goodybag – currently comes with 3GB and will be increased to 6GB
  • £12 goodybag – currently comes with 4GB and will be increased to 10GB
  • £15 goodybag – currently comes with 8GB and will be increased to 15GB

Existing customers don’t have to do anything – the new data allowances will be applied to all bundles recurring on or after 14 August. It sounds like a no-lose situation, but is Giffgaff really offering great value, or simply keeping up with the competition?

We survey customers of the biggest mobile networks on their experiences, including value for money. Read our guide to the best and worst mobile networks.

Can anyone beat Giffgaff’s Sim-only offering?

We compared Giffgaff’s Sim-only offer with other major mobile network providers and found that it was indeed cheaper than (or in one case, the same price as) those offering comparable 1-month Sim-only contracts.

Package GiffGaff Asda Mobile iD Mobile O2 Plusnet Utility Warehouse Vodafone*
6GB £10 £12 (5GB) £12 £19* £10 £15 (5GB) £17 (5GB)
10GB £12 £20 (12GB) £14 £21* (18GB) £12.50 (8GB) £20 N/A
15GB £15 £25 £16 (14GB) £25*
£25 (20GB) £22 (20GB)
All prices correct as of 13 August 2019 and are available on a 30-day/1-month contract. *Packages have been doubled. Offer lasts until 4 September 2019

O2, Giffgaff’s parent company, charges £19 for 6GB, whereas Giffgaff charges £9 less for the same amount of data. Even at higher data allowances, O2 customers pay more, with a £10 monthly difference between it and Giffgaff for the 15GB Sim package, although O2 is currently offering its own double data offer, which lasts until 4 September.

Many providers offer Sims cheaper when you take out a longer contract (typically 12 to 24 months), but even when taking this into account, Giffgaff comes out well. Consider that a 15GB package on a 12-month contract with O2 still costs you £8 more per month than a one-month contract with Giffgaff.

Find out more in our guide on how to get the best Sim-only deal.

The benefits of a no-contract Sim

Giffgaff, like other mobile networks, only offers 30-day Sims. This means that customers’ contracts roll from month to month and you have the freedom to leave with just 30 days’ notice.

Typically, no-contract customers are not subject to annual inflation-linked price increases on their mobile bills, either. And. although you may think that would mean increased costs, many 30-day contract providers have some of the cheapest deals around.

For example, Three offers 4GB for £10 on a lengthy 24-month contract, whereas Giffgaff’s offers give you 2GB more – charging the same price for 6GB with no contract.

No-contract Sims can also be useful on a temporary basis, for certain occasions like going on holiday, where some providers offer better value than others.

Read moreThe sky-high roaming costs holiday-goers face this summer.

What if I don’t use much data?

Although Giffgaff has doubled the data on these packages, its lowest data packages did not receive a boost.

The latest research also shows that the average user needs less than 3GB per month. If you are someone who doesn’t use mobile data often, it might be worth looking at the smallest data packages.

Other providers such as Asda Mobile (2GB for £7pm) and Tesco Mobile (1GB for £7.50) also offer cheap low-data packages and are well worth taking a look at.

Read our guide on how to keep track of your data to make sure you don’t pay expensive out-of-bundle charges.

What if I’m a high data user?

Giffgaff has a couple of packages for high data users. Its £20 package has actually also seen an increase from 20GB to 40GB of data.

There’s also a £25 ‘Always On’ bundle that offers unlimited data, but this uses traffic management to handle congestion and also throttle your speeds after you’ve used 40GB. If you are a high data user, other packages such as Three’s unlimited package, which costs £20 and will be 5G-ready when the network launches, are potentially worth looking at.

Giffgaff fined for overcharging customers

Ofcom, the telecoms regulator, has fined Giffgaff £1.4m for overcharging around 2.6 million customers. A billing error meant that customers who had purchased a goodybag were using their top-up credit when they should not have been.

Ofcom’s fine has been reduced by 30% because Giffgaff admitted the fault and reported it as soon as it discovered the fault. Giffgaff has refunded £2.1m to customers as well as paying the fine.

If you think you are affected by this, see whether you can claim your money back using Giffgaff’s billing issue checker tool.

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