back to article Giffgaff says some subscribers yakked for 9 days a month

It was harsh economics, not popularity, that put the kibosh on the unlimited tariff from giffgaff, as some customers were costing the company £500 a month. Not that giffgaff was keen to admit the obvious motivation behind the shelving of its £30 "goody bag" which allowed unlimited calls and text messages as well as the …


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  1. Zebulebu

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again...

    Stupidest. Company. Name. Ever

    What fucking muppet came up with this? It''s like combining something from the worst of the dotcom era (clickmango anyone?) with something that twat Danny Dyer would say on one of his TV football hooligan vehicles.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: I've said it before, and I'll say it again...

      Shut yer giffgaff, you toilet.

    2. Giles Jones Gold badge


      Giffgaff is a gaelic term that means mutual giving.

  2. Joe Montana


    Termination costs obviously differ depending on where the call is due to be routed, so perhaps they should provide different size bundles depending where the calls are going etc...

  3. James Thomas

    Well, duh

    Why else would somebody get an unlimited call package if they weren't going to use a lot of minutes?

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Well, duh

      Exactly, and...

      "any operator considering a similar offering now knows the average use and can price appropriately"

      ...any operator who couldn't have guessed these facts won't stay in business long enough to take advantage of the information.

  4. The Fuzzy Wotnot


    Hmmmm, I appreciate they set up some tariffs and they have their own guidelines on fair use or not as the case may be. However human beings are greedy little sods and as the old adage goes, "Give 'em an inch and they'll take a mile.", must surely have come up in discussions at GiffGaff towers?

  5. Andy Johnson

    They already have Fair Use

    One of my friends was thrown off Giffgaff for using too much data on their unlimited data plan so it shows they already have a fair use policy, they could have applied that to the unlimited calls whilst still pleasing the majority of users.

    1. Paul Shirley

      he was kicked off with good reason.

      Recently dickheads have been kicked off for a couple of reasons:

      One cretin decided to ignore the difference between paying for unlimited data on a bundle and using the very explicitly capped (100Mb/day) free data. Strangely he get kicked off. Maybe the idiot should learn to read.

      Some have persistently ignored the absolute ban on tethering of any kind, hammered the service and not surprisingly been given the heave ho. Some of these halfwits have openly admitted it on the forums or even attempted long self serving justification for their actions.

      1. Andy Johnson

        He shouldn't have been kicked off

        He was paying for unlimited data, not taking advantage of the free offer.

        He didn't tether either. He does use a lot of data with videos/podcasts/email/surfing.

        Interesting how you said he was kicked off for good reason when you don't have a clue....

    2. Dr. Mouse


      I use a lot of data on giffgaff, for a phone user anyway. Say, 2GB/month at the top end. I have never had so much as a warning.

      One thing I know people have been kicked off for is tethering, which is against the T&Cs. They do look for unusual usage patterns. I don't really see how you could do more than 2GB/mo on a phone without tethering.

    3. Giles Jones Gold badge


      Without a goodybag you can do 100MB a day data. The unlimited data requires a goodybag with unlimited data.

      Those getting warnings are doing on average more than 100MB a day without a goodybag.

  6. Andy ORourke

    Shock Horror

    A company promises something it can't possibly ever hope to deliver and then finds it too costly to keep it's promises.

    Well, now giffgaff kow what the * is for!

    As in "Unlimited text messages *"

    "* Subject to a maximum of 3000 messages per month"

  7. The Indomitable Gall

    Better figures...

    Why use the worst case? The cost of the tarriff is surely the average?

    "the average was over 5,000 minutes (three and a half days). Assuming a termination rate* of four pence a minute (to mobile numbers)"

    So 5000 costs giffgaff £200, obviously unsustainable for a £30 bundle.

    This way there'll be no talk of a minority of freetards, cos we're actually talking about a majority.

    1. Paul Shirley

      termination charges are supposed to balance

      In theory the outgoing termination costs should roughly be balanced by incoming termination charges and close to zero cash should transfer. Works well when everyone's actually paying some notional price for their minutes.

      Breaks down badly with unlimited deals but even on a 5000min user there should be some incoming calls and it shouldn't cost giffgaff £200.

      giffgaff giving into the user demand for unlimited minutes caused the problem, after 12 months glacial user growth they're desperate to buy new customers and this was one attempt. As usual no one at hq thought about the consequences. Its a company run by marketing people and they're piss poor at planning or implementation.

      The immediate problem is giffgaff choosing to lie about the problem. They didn't need to say any more than the package was unprofitable, with a nod towards excess use. No need to give away figures or enough to really help the competition. It wasn't exactly news to many of us that it would be unprofitable, all the clues were there in forum postings from the flock of freeloaders it attracted. But giffgaff just decided their loyal cult members wouldn't notice a lie, they've fallen for their own community fairy tale.

      Still, this shitstorm is doing well at covering up the technical faults many users are currently suffering from. I at least got my credit card unblocked in only 10min after giffgaff's broken payment system triggered fraud protection. They've not yet bothered telling other affected users to call their card providers, still telling them to carry on retrying, the action that gets the card blocked.

  8. Chris Miller

    An unlimited voice plan

    ... is like an all you can eat buffet, where one in 10 customers eats all the food, one in 100 takes his chair home too, and one in 1,000 unscrews all the fixtures and fittings and loads them into a van as well.

  9. Andy Hards

    How the fuck

    Can someone talk for 9 days a month unless they are renting out thier phones on a per call basis or using it for cold calling by people working in shifts?

    I know my misses likes to talk a lot etc etc but come on. I use about half my allocation cos it works out cheaper than going over the once or fwice a year that I do go over but some people. 13000 a month? Must be business use, no? And I would have thought that would not be included.

    1. Mike G

      Not surprised

      You'd probably be amazed how much nonsense numpties feel the need to tell everyone about e.g xfactor bla bla bla, office gossip bla bla. Then there's the hours to put in while driving, and the hours while in the quiet coach of the train. It all mounts up for people that can't stfu.

    2. TIMMEH

      How indeed

      I'd imagine a lot of those must have been small businesses/self-employed people saving on phone calls. What's the average, around 7 hours a day talking? even with a whole house sharing one phone that's ridiculous.

    3. Paul Shirley

      must be business use?

      Business use isn't actually barred by giffgaff T&C's. Reselling is, running a business using it isn't.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Not surprised

    Neither am I ... after all one of the mobile phone companies (forget which now) ran a radio ad about a year ago in which a teenage girl was describing her ideal phone network and the answer was somewhere where she could call he best mate and chat all evening while they watched TV and it wouldn't matter if no-one said anything for 5 mins.

    Also, don't forget that when T-mobile first setup as 1-2-1 and initially had the USP of free off peak calls they were surprised by the amount of free calls being made as parents of teenage girls suddenly realized that £10/month was a pretty good price to (a) allow their daughters to spend all night and all weekend on the phone while (b) leaving their landline free for people ot call them

  11. Doug Glass

    Typical Corporate Response

    They offer something they know some people will jump all over. Some people jump all over it. The company acts surprised and ends the offer because some people did what the offer told them they could to. Typical business intelligence.

    1. Trygve

      Typical Human Response, more like...

      Someone, somewhere, offers a great thing that many people appreciate.

      Then a tiny handful of knob wipes turn up and shit all over it like baboons with dysentery.

      People offering the thing stop offering the great thing and learn that they should always assume that each and every person is a thieving turd who can't be trusted.

      1. Ian 35

        Tragedy of the Commons

        "Someone, somewhere, offers a great thing that many people appreciate.

        Then a tiny handful of knob wipes turn up and shit all over it like baboons with dysentery."

  12. Alan Edwards
    Thumb Up

    2 gig a month?

    Easily. Put the SIM in a Dell Streak, iPhone or similar (so it's not tethered), start streaming internet radio when I start work and listen to it all day, plus occasional hammering of email and Google Reader. It's about 100 meg an hour, so it'd burn through 2 gig in a couple of days.

    A tempting idea, actually...


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