Mobile phone provider reviews
Giffgaff mobile review
By Hamse Yusuf
Article 4 of 13
Giffgaff is one of the smaller mobile networks but is growing in popularity. Should you sign up? Read our Giffgaff mobile network review for our expert verdict.
How good is Giffgaff? 2020 Which? mobile network satisfaction survey
Before signing up for a new phone deal, read our Giffgaff review to see how it did in our regular mobile phone satisfaction survey.
We spoke to more than 4,000 real customers from 13 of the biggest phone providers including EE, O2, Vodafone and Three. They told us exactly what they thought of their phone company, from the customer service on offer to the value for money they get.
In this in-depth review of Giffgaff, we'll:
- give you a full breakdown of how its customers rated it for key factors, including customer service, value for money and incentives.
- report quotes from real Giffgaff mobile customers on their experiences.
- tell you whether it's a Which? Recommended Provider.
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How good is Giffgaff's mobile coverage?
Giffgaff is a 'virtual' provider, which means it doesn't own its own phone network. Instead, it uses another provider's infrastructure – in this case O2's – and offers 2G, 3G and 4G coverage.
You can check coverage where you live by using our free interactive mobile network coverage map. Simply enter your postcode into the map and it will tell you how good O2's signal is in your area, as well as comparing it with the other providers.
Giffgaff works in a different way from most networks. It doesn't offer traditional phone contracts – instead it sells monthly pay-as-you-go Sim cards that you top up with credit or bundles of texts, minutes and data (it calls these 'goodybags').
Goodybag prices start at £6 a month, giving you 500MB of data with unlimited minutes and texts. Spending more gives you more minutes, texts and data. Costs outside your monthly allowance are reasonable – calls to UK mobiles and landlines are 25p a minute (free to other Giffgaff numbers) and 10p per text – although the cost per minute continues to creep up over the past couple of years.
You're free to change to a different goodybag each month, or stop completely. Customers receive a monthly email summarising their recent usage and recommending the best goodybag to buy for the next month. You can do this online or by buying a voucher in selected shops, and you can set up goodybags to automatically recur each month.
You can also buy a phone from Giffgaff if you want. But, again, this works in a different way from normal. You buy an unlocked, Sim-free handset that you pay for on a monthly basis through a finance deal and then combine this with a goodybag of your choice. But, as the phone is unlocked, you're free to switch to a deal from another provider at any time.
As mentioned above, Giffgaff is an online-only provider and doesn't have any of its own shops. If you need any help or advice, you need to get this via the FAQs or forums on the Giffgaff website.
Complaints about Giffgaff
Telecoms regulator Ofcom regularly publishes information on the number of complaints it gets about the main mobile providers. Unfortunately, Giffgaff's market share is too small for Ofcom to release these figures.
In July 2019, Ofcom fined Giffgaff £1.4m for a billing error which led to more than 2.5 million customers being overcharged.
Find out how other providers fared in our guide to the best and worst mobile networks.
Recommendations you can trust
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