back to article GiffGaff boots freetards off mobile network

People-powered mobile phone network GiffGaff is debating how best to curb excessive data use, while kicking off a few customers considered to be really taking the biscuit. GiffGaff has always offered unlimited data with its "goody-bag" tariffs, which start at a tenner a month, and unlike competing networks it has never imposed …


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  1. nichomach


    ...connecting a smartphone to a TV IS tethering, in the sense that you are not consuming the content being downloaded on your phone but on another device that's using the phone as a means of accessing it?

    1. James 139

      Not necessarily tethering though, tethering is where youre using the mobile as an internet modem, either cabled or wi-fi, with the other device accessing data via it.

      If you connect your phone to the TV via a video connection, be it HDMI, composite or USB, then its not tethering.

      1. nichomach

        Giffgaff do make it clear that...

        ...Goodybag data use is for use on your mobile phone and that it cannot be connected to any other device:

        "5.13. In addition to our standard terms and conditions, all usage must be for your private, personal and non-commercial purposes. You may not use your SIM Card:

        a) In, or connected to, any other device including modems, dongles or any other way to connect to a PC (unless you are on a gigabag plan)

        b) fraudulently;

        c) in such a way that adversely impacts the service to other giffgaff customers; or illegally"

        They don't specidically use the term "tethering", so it isn't limited to *just* connections to a PC.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          I think you are missing the point.

          If you connect a mobile to a TV, all you are sending to the TV is the VIDEO signal.

          It is still 100% exclusively the MOBILE that is using the bandwidth.

          When you connect your PC to your monitor, it doesnt send the picture via the internet, does it?

          1. nichomach
            Thumb Down

            And you are still...

            ....connecting "to another device" - it's got nothing to do with whether that signal goes over the internet. You are still breaching the Ts & Cs - you want a plan that allows that, then get one of the fixed amount Gigabags that GG offer, which are still very reasonably priced.

            1. Spudbynight

              Connecting to another device?

              Surely then that also includes the following :



              Bluetooth Keyboards

              You could probably include cases as another device which is connected.......

              ....just saying.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: And you are still...

              By your definition, I could be banned for using headphones.

              1. nichomach


                You are still consuming the content on the phone.

                1. Anonymous Coward

                  Re: "You are still consuming the content on the phone."

                  Er, no, you would be consuming the content on the headphones.

                  1. Spudbynight


                    If you play music on your phone and use headphones are you consuming the content on the phone or on the headphones?

            3. Anonymous Coward


              so now you are saying that a phone operator has the power to put in its T&Cs how you connect your phone to consume content? When you run a TV screen off your phone, the only thing the TV is consuming is the battery and video signal. it does NOT influence the consumption of data. GiffGaff T&Cs only stipulate against mobile DATA connection. I don't understand why people find this so hard to comprehend. Whether you watch iPlayer on the train on your phone or connected to your TV at home, you aren't 'connected to another device' in terms of DATA usage.
              1. D@v3

                Data usage

                The thing is, if you are connecting to a TV, while not strictly tethering, and the TV itself isn't consuming any of the data. You will not be using the same amount of data, as you would be if you were not connected to the tv. For example. Not connected to the TV... Emails, youtube, spotify, web browsing... all (fairly) data light activities. Connected to TV....streaming iPlayer, downloading vids from love film / netflix... all much higher usage activities. And yes, of course you /could/ perform those higher usage activities while not connected to a TV (or other type of external monitor), but you are unlikely to, due to the issue of trying to watch a film (or similar) on your 5" screen
                1. Wize

                  How about...

                  ...for the sake of arguments sake, we forget about watching it on a TV. We have phones now with quite high resolutions. Watching the same resolution video stream on the phone's screen will chew the data up at the same rate and will still get you into the same amount of trouble.
                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  As stated in T and C

                  D@v3, I don't think anyone's saying that there are not ways to use a lot of data by streaming the content your phone downloads onto another device for consumption. The thing is that the T and C do not restrict that usage. It's clear they intend to restrict the usage of their SIMs as modems, and they would probably prefer that you didn't stream ipayer onto your TV all day, but unless they have restriced the iplayer streaming (which the passage posted above does not show that they have done) then they should allow people to stream iplayer onto their TV. Rather than removing people for violating terms related to devices connected to phones, they changed their T and C so that the service is for limited internet use (without an expressed limit, apparently) and then started to remove people who exceeded the limit.
          2. Giles Jones Gold badge

            Tethering is routing the network traffic of a device through your phone. Your phone then becomes a 3G modem and therefore you're using your phone for mobile broadband which is a different use case and more bandwidth hungry.

            1. nichomach

              @Giles Jones - Which isn't the point

              ...since as noted above tethering is specifically not mentioned but connecting to another device is.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Number6


      I have watched an iPlayer programme on my phone before now. Admittedly I wouldn't make a habit of it, and it wasn't one where the video was that important (the audio stream had most of the relevant content), but that once it was convenient. However, it was connected over Wifi at the time, given that 3G coverage is non-existent in my hou-se, and even GSM is almost so.

      1. nichomach


        If you are consuming the data *on your phone*, then there isn't a problem under a GG Goodybag - only if you connect that phone to another device.

    3. En_croute

      No, the TV is not processing the data, the phone is using the data. The TV is simply a second Mini-HDMI connected moniter.

    4. Giles Jones Gold badge

      It is tethering. The phone data package is intended to be used by a phone. The second you link your phone to a more powerful device then you're tethering.

      Giffgaff have another goodybag package for people wanting tethering or tablet browsing.

      But of course we all know that Android users like to boast about using their Wifi hotspot functionality against the T&Cs of their operator.

    5. Chad H.
      I think it comes down to where the data is being processed. If you are using an iPlayer app embedded on the TV, then the mobile is not consuming the data - the TV is, as that is where the data is being processed - the phone is just routing it if you're doing something like the iPad screen sharing stuff, then thats being consumed on the mobile device, rather than the TV.
  2. LarsG


    stick to unlimited, how on earth can they be surprised that people who sign up for unlimited data use unlimited data?

    Then they change the rules!

    They must have had their heads in a dark place if they couldn't see this coming. Where was their business plan?

    1. nichomach

      They're not changing the rules...

      They're applying them. Data usage on goodybags has always been exclusively for use on the handset as their Ts & Cs have made clear, and has always been dependent upon not adversely affecting other users. A handful of people are taking the mick, and GG are doing something about it. Good for them. As someone who's a GG customer, and has been for some time, and who sticks to those rules, that's fine by me.

      1. Craigness

        What rule?

        They're not necessarily applying the rule you posted above. That relates to the SIM being put in or connected to another device, and it's specifically a PC that they mention, not a TV. If someone sends video to a TV from a phone then the TV is no more connected to the SIM than a pair of headphones is if they send audio to a pair of headphones. Did they ask the 1% what they were doing with their SIM card, or did they just cut them off? What if they have projector phones, is that Ok with you?

  3. AlgernonFlowers4

    Forked Tongues!

    Why is El Reg labelling paying GIffGaff customers Freetards?

    Failing to understand the meaning of the word unlimited is no excuse for GiffGaff or the author of this article!!

    1. nichomach

      Failing to read GG's terms and conditions

      is no excuse for publishing ignorant and inaccurate rants either, but they seem to be letting you get away with it. GG allow unlimited data usage on goodybags for use *on the handset*. Connect that handset to another device which will be accessing the data and you breach the Ts & Cs, end of. If you want a tariff which allows that sort of usage, they offer Gigabags of varying fixed sizes which allow usage in dongles, tablets, laptops, tethering, whatever you want.

      1. AlgernonFlowers4

        Giff Gaffe?

        Why would I read GiffGaffs T&C's when I'm not even with them?

        1. nichomach

          Then don't

          spout a load of ignorant crap about them? Not hard, is it?

          1. Craigness

            Why would he read them when you didn't?

        2. QuinnDexter

          Failing to have a clue what you're talking about does not excuse your post

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Connect that handset to another device which will be accessing the data and you breach the Ts & Cs, end of. If you want a tariff which allows that sort of usage, they offer Gigabags of varying fixed sizes which allow usage in dongles, tablets, laptops, tethering, whatever you want."

        So don't plug in your headphones if you use streaming music services then, as that is another device under the T and C so bye bye account!

        "GG allow unlimited data usage on goodybags for use *on the handset*."

        Plugging your phoneinto your TV is still using the data on the handset, the data is then changed before its sent to the tv so its not the data you got from the internet, its called decoding.

        "is no excuse for publishing ignorant and inaccurate rants either"

        Might want to look at the accuracy of your own rants, and your staunch defence of this might make people dig a bit deeper into why you are defending so militantly.

        1. nichomach

          I'm defending this, since

          I AM a GiffGaff customer who uses data on my handset and would like to keep the service that I have. Like the vast majority of us. I've made that abundantly clear. I'm forced to wonder why you're so staunch in your defence of people who are abusing that service and endangering its provision for the rest of us. Got caught, did you?

          1. jonathanb Silver badge

            Then don't call it unlimited

            The Oxford English Dictionary defines "unlimited" as


            Pronunciation: /ʌnˈlɪmɪtɪd/


            1 not limited or restricted in terms of number, quantity, or extent:

            offshore reserves of gas and oil are not unlimited

            Mathematics (of a problem) having an infinite number of solutions.

            2 (of a company) not limited.

            But it seems the marketing people at telephone companies have a different idea of what "unlimited" means.

            1. nichomach


              On GiffGaff you are NOT limited in terms of number, quantity or extent of your *consumption* of data. You *are* restricted as to the means by which you may consume it.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Means and limit

                You're right about restricting the means by which the data is consumed, but the terms do not exclude people who connect a TV to their phone and send the pictures to the TV. It's obvious from 5.13 that tethering is not allowed, but that section does not ban audiovisual cables. You're also wrong about the quantity of consumption not being limited. Just read the article - it says that they've limited the consumption!
                1. nichomach

                  The article is incorrect...

                  And the section in the Ts & Cs states "in or connected to any other device"; it goes on to state "INCLUDING modems dongles or any other way to connect to a PC", but the word "including" is not exclusive. In other words, modems, dongles and other ways to connect to a PC fall within the category of prohibited devices, but that category is not restricted to those.
          2. Craigness

            Read it again

            If you did read it then you'd see that section 5.13 refers to SIM cards being used in modems and sending internet packets from the SIM. It does not rule out using a headphone connection to send audio data from the phone, or using an HDMI connection to send video data from the phone. What if your phone comes with a hands free kit, which is only any use when "connected to the SIM" (via the headphone socket). Should those users have their contracts torn up?

            This "unlimited" service is being abused by the people who are limiting it, not by people who plug headphones, amps or TVs into their phones. If they want to limit the service then they should have the balls to sell it as a limited service. End of.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      RE: Forked Tongues!

      You're assuming that they failed to understand the meaning of the orginial terms when they offered UNLIMITED DATA, a.k.a. unlimited bandwidth use, as a means to gain subscribers. They understood completely what "unlimited" means, and I have no doubt that once they had atttracted a large number of people under contract they planned this move to kick off those who took them at their word and used their devices with no thought to how much data they were consuming. Why should should the consumer have been worried about their bandwidth use? Unlimited means exactly that. Check the dictionary.

      What people didn't read was the fine print which states that GG had the "right" to unilaterally change the terms any time they wanted, and without recourse by the consumer. But, to do that and not look like the orge they ae, they had to denigrate those who took the original contract at face value, hence the term "freetard". That term is totally misleading, and in fact is slander. The customers who took them up on their offer of unlimited data were PAYING for that plan. How could it be free? How the data is used AFTER the packets arrive at the phone in no way increases the bandwidth. But, "journalists" acting as corporate shills, and folks who assume that someone else using their plan the way it was offered somehow affects their own use of the service, want to "name and shame" those who do understand what "unlimited" means? The CULPRIT here is GG, who deliberately oversubscribed the bandwidth they purchased from O2, KNOWING that in the near future they would pull the rug out from under them, along with a spat of name calling to make the consumer look like the guilty party.

      The shills I understand. Why some consumers want to behave like North Koreans and behave like everything GG or the shill says is true.

  4. Steven Davison

    It can't be that difficult to regulate speed someone gets... T Mobile's new tariffs are 'unlimited' in the same way. You get X amount of Meg, go over that, and your speed disappears.

    This change forced Tesco to change all their marketing for TMobile to show the fair use figure as the data allowance, to prevent them giving misleading information to customers...

    My suggestion to GiffGaff is to :-

    Publish how much data the individuals in the 1% are using....

    Publish their 'fair use' limits

    Allow users to *easily* see how much data they are using...

    Meanwhile, someone (Ofcom, OfFT, whoever) should start looking into the disproportionate (IMHO) costs for Broadband usage over the mobile network... surely bandwidth is not that expensive these days...

    1. 2-Part Return

      "Allow users to *easily* see how much data they are using..."

      That. That right there.

      Especially when the best provider you can get in an area offers a 20gig fair usage, at ~£30 per month, throttles anything that streams, such as YouTube. Then phones up threatening to kick you off after you go two gig over the fair usage once in 9 months.

      I was under the impression "fair usage" provided some leeway and took usual usage into account, but no, apparently those gigabytes downloaded in the early hours of the morning were having a serious detrimental effect on other users. Yeah.. right.

      I should probably call them once a week to find out how much data I've used, I couldn't find it on their site.

      /unintentional rant about O2

  5. CraigRoberts

    Unlimited Limits

    That's the problem with "unlimited" data plans when they're not actually unlimited. Companies shouldn't be able to use the word unless they mean it. Why not be open and honest - 100MB, 500MB, 1GB, 10GB per month?

    If I was one of the 1% and they gave me that warning, I'd want to know what the limit of the "unlimited" plan was - how can you be in breach of contract if you don't know what the contract is?

    Or is this the law of diminishing returns - bollock the top 1% now, then the next top 1%, then the next... Slowly bringing everyone's data usage down and reducing costs, but still maintaining the phantom "unlimited" plan?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward Absolutely agree - you see this time and time again with ISPs offering 'unlimited' plans. Sooner or later they have more customers than their equipment/data plans can handle so the heaviest users get demonised and expelled. It's cheaper than buying upgraded equipment.
  6. David Gosnell

    Speaking as a happy gg customer

    The way I see it, it's unlimited like the speed on derestricted parts of the Autobahn is. That's to say, go as fast as you like, but if you start making a nuisance of yourself by bashing into others, don't expect the authorities to turn a blind eye. Usual analogy disclaimers apply.

    As for the "freetard" bit, well don't tell anyone, but many of us end up effectively not spending anything to get the service as described. That may well have been what the author is referring to.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How useless.

    The least they could do is tell you what percentile of data usage you're in. And why not real-time? This is technology we're talking about. Even that wouldn't be that helpful without some sort of measure of "disproportionality". And should you manage to come up with such a measure you could even build a billing model on that, offering near-free access to that "long tail". That "people's network" idea should extend to showing at least just what the network and you are in for, if not the rest of your fellow people's network people.

    1. ArmanX

      It's a lose/lose situation.

      If a company advertises "unlimited data," then scolds the top 1% of users for using 30% of the data, everyone is up in arms: "It's not really unlimited! I should be able to stream Netflix every second of every day!"

      On the other hand, if a company is up front about having a cap on their data, and are very clear about how much data is allowed before you are cut off, billed extra, and/or publicly humiliated... everyone is up in arms. "They are just trying to rip people off! See how much they're charging for overages? And they sneak it in, right there in bold print!"

      And finally, if a company decides to continue to allow everyone to use as much as they like, but up the charge on everyone a bit to pay for it... everyone is up in arms yet again. "It's highway robbery! Next thing you know they'll charge me to breathe!"

      They can't win. Meanwhile, it sounds like this company is actually being fairly sane about it, and not hiking charges or imposing strict cutoffs. Maybe not entirely fair to some, but still, sane.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So they're now just as bad

    as any fixed-line ISP in their lack of transparency with regard to limits.

  9. Richard Wharram

    Giffgaff user here

    And last month, when I didn't really use Youtube or iPlayer, I didn't even top 1gig, even though I use the internet all the time on my phone. Was usually between a gig and two with some light video usage. Streaming video is the killer for most users.

    I suppose if you tether and download you could rack up a fair amount too but never needed that. It's nice to know I could use it in an emergency even though it's a bit naughty but unless you're forced to why would you?

    Back to the streaming video, if they put in speed-limits after a certain amount of usage that would likely kill the video. Whatever the reason that would piss off the user no end. Unhappy customers with no contract = byebye.

  10. Growly Snuffle Bunny


    I seem to remember reading somewhere on the GiffGaff site that although they called their data allowance 'unlimited' there was a limit beyond which they reserved the right to let you know/kick your arse/tell you to go away. For some reason the figure of 150GB/month sticks in my mind. That's an awful lot of data...

  11. nichomach

    Seriously, though

    I LOVE all the downvotes from people who aren't GG customers, who this in no way affects, but who are very eager to see a service that I use and pay for ****ed up by people not abiding by the conditions of the service....

    1. Craigness


      How do you know they're not abiding with the T&Cs? I've looked at GG before, but didn't join at the time. If they treat honest users like criminals then I'll never join. Can you show in their T&C what the limit is?

      1. nichomach

        There isn't a limit;

        there are restrictions on how the service may be used, not how much. I posted the relevant section above. I don't think we'll miss you.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "There isn't a limit; there are restrictions on how the service may be used, not how much. I posted the relevant section above. I don't think we'll miss you.


          and so there is a limit there then.

          Defintion 2 from of restriction (from the american history of langauge)

          "2. Something that restricts; a regulation or limitation."

          Not the word LIMITation?

          You CANNOT say there isn't a limit but there is restrictions, as the restrictions limit (see what i did there) what you can do.

          1. nichomach

            Logic fail

            It is perfectly possible to say that there is no limit on how much of a product or service is consumed, thus making *consumption* unlimited, but that there are restrictions on the means by which it is consumed. You can post as much irrelevant American bullshit as you like, you'll still be wrong.

            1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

              Proof nichomach, or shut the fuck up

              Do you have proof that the 1% *ARE* actually breaching the T&C of their contracts of are you falling for GiffGaff's bullshit about people using the product GiffGaff sold to them? Never make assumptions based on your own prejudices, wherein lies the path to ruin, for example, I have a 50GB cap on the internet connection that I pay for, are you suggesting that I am somehow stealing from the other customers of my ISP if I use that limit? Glad to see you used the fail icon... all yours
              1. nichomach


      're an idiot. If you have paid for 50GB your position is no different to that of a GG Gigabag customer who has bought and uses a 1GB Gigabag. HOW yous use that quota is entirely up to you; phone, laptop, PC, steam-powered difference engione, who cares? It is NOT analogous to that of someone who buys a service that is unlimited by quantity but IS clearly and explicitly limited by class of device. Someone who breaches that restriction is AB-using the product that GiffGaff sold them. Clear now?
                1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart


                  Once again you are making the assumption that if somebody uses an unlimited connection as an unlimited connection that they are doing something wrong. Do you have proof that this what the 1% are doing. You've got you head so far up your own arse you are in danger dissapearing altogether.
                  1. nichomach

                    @Krakenfart - Unless you have evidence

                    that GiffGaff are lying, then I would take their assertion as being the requisite evidence. The problem (which you appear resolutely determined to fail to grasp) has nothing to do with the connection being unlimited in terms of consumption, and everything to do with, and try to grasp this, less than 1% of users breaching the terms of service and AS A CONSEQUENCE occasioning much higher usage than those who abide by those terms. The service is unlimited in quantity, but restricted as to means of access and purpose of use.
                    1. Craigness

                      That's not how truth works

                      I was told that by a visitor from the planet Sdraytem just last week. If you can't prove I'm lying, it must be true, nomatter how unlikely. Do you really believe all of the 1% breached the tethering restriction and were found to be in breach? And it's not unlimited if heavy data users can be disconnected just for using data! I'd love a customer like you :-)
                      1. nichomach


                        You are asserting dishonesty or other wrongdoing. It is down to you to adduce evidence of that. That's how truth works. I would further note that the Ts & Cs do not solely restrict users from tethering but provide other grounds for asserting a breach of terms.
                        1. Craigness

                          That's not how truth works either

                          Like I said, I'd love a customer like you.
                        2. This post has been deleted by its author

                        3. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart


                          "You are asserting dishonesty or other wrongdoing. It is down to you to adduce evidence of that." Eh No! I think that the law of the land is quite explit in this instance, innocent until proven guilty.
                          1. nichomach


                            Yeeeeeeeeeeeeees, you are asserting that GG are guilty of dishonesty or other wrongdoing. They are innocent until you adduce evidence or testimony in support of their being guilty. Innocent until proven guilty. See how that works?
                            1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
                              Headmaster "you are asserting that GG are guilty of dishonesty or other wrongdoing" I never said any such thing, now you are misrepresenting what I said, however _you_ did assert that the 1% were doing something wrong but you consistently fail to produce any evidence except some heresy from GiffGaff, See how that works.
                              1. nichomach

                                I think the point at which

                       start indulging in word-salad ("heresy"? I wasn't aware that articles of faith and canon law applied to telecoms providers!) is the point at which I just hand you some more carpet to chew and leave you to it.
                                1. Keep Refrigerated


                                  The problem with using an arbitrary percentage to determine who are infringing on others rights, is that the underlying number constantly shifts. That's aside from it being an interestering percentage point for GiffGaff to pick (perhaps an attempt to create some loose connections in people's imagination to... oh... I don't know).

                                  Rally against the "less than 1%" of GiffGaff users if you must, kick them off the network... keep doing it and before long, you will find yourself crossing over into the "less than 1%". What will you say then? But I only use it for email synching, web browsing, social networking, occasional youtube use... "That's too much!" - the mob will scream! Far better to have some actual usage statistics so you can hold your service provider to account and ensure they're not just downsizing.

                                  Of course, I expect the next rally cry to be against the 1% of people in rural locations being subsidised by the 99% for the letters and parcels they get to send at the same rate as everyone else - it's completely unfair!

                                2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart


                                  I have quite a low opinion of your intelligence nichomach, however I think it is quite clear from the context that that is a typo for "hearsay". Just so you don't get any more confused that you presently are, here's the definition: "Unverified information heard or received from another; gossip; rumour".

                                  1. nichomach


                                    that'll keep me awake at nights, Krakenfool. Here's a thought; next time you abuse the English language, correct it, don't blame other people for your error. A typo? Really? In which you manage to lose the 'a' from 'hear', insert an 'e' to transform it into 'here', and then omit the 'a' from 'say'. That's one heck of a 'typo' you've managed there, sport. Not that I'm implying that you simply used the wrong word due to ignorance and a tendency to pomposity, no, sir, not I...

                              2. James 139


                                the ACCUSED, in this case the 1%, is innocent until the ACCUSER, in this case GiffGaff, proves they are guilty. It doesnt work the other way around, since the accuser isnt being accused of anything. The assumption that GiffGaff are accusing people of tethering, or in some way improperly, using their phones hasnt been demonstrated, let alone proven, and until it is, it is utterly irrelevant to the issue. However you want to view it though, the 1% are probably in violation of Term 11c, in that it might "adversely affect other users".
                                1. nichomach

                                  @ James 139

                                  Actually it has been demonstrated, since they've stated as much on the forum thread linked to from the article. On the basis of their testimony, and absent any evidence to suggest that they are lying, that 1% contains a significant number of people who are breaching the terms and conditions of service. Krakenfart asserts that GiffGaff's statement is "bullshit"; that is an assertion of dishonesty or wrongdoing, but one for which he adduces no evidence or testimony to support it. Craigness asserts that they are lying as well, yet offers no evidence to support that assertion. If GiffGaff state that there is abuse of their network, that is something of which they can have direct knowledge (not hearsay, despite what Krakenfart states); that is evidence. A bald assertion that they are lying from someone with no direct knowledge of whether they are or not, and without any physical evidence or testimony from someone who has such direct knowledge is, well, nothing. It's just noise. You see?

                    2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
                      Trollface "Unless you have evidence that GiffGaff are lying, then I would take their assertion as being the requisite evidence". Oh Boy, not only are you on the slippery slope, you’ve fallen right off the edge and into the abyss.... How many wars and atrocities have occurred in past history because somebody’s "assertion" was accepted as being the "evidence"? How long ago did you have your frontal lobotomy? I'm not the only person to ask you this, HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT THE 1% HAVE BREACHED THEIR T&C'S. I'll answer it for you, YOU DON'T, all as you know is that the 1% are using their connection as it was advertised i.e. as an unlimited connection. Not unless you are actually an employee of GiffGaff (other than in PR) and you know something that the GiffGaff users don't, It wouldn’t be the first time a company has put spyware on the phones it sell to joe public????? This has gone on long enough, you're one troll I'm not going to feed any more (I extend my middle finger in your general direction).
                      1. nichomach


                        Given that you appear willing to assert that GG are dishonest on the basis of, so far as may be ascertained, not so much as the merest whiff of evidence, whereas I am basing my presumption on the statement made by representatives of the party with direct access to the data in question, I'm sticking with the position that absent evidence to the contrary GG are telling the truth. Frankly, however many shrieky caps you use, your position appears to boil down to "THEY'RE LYING! BECAUSE I SAY SO!". Frankly, you'd have struggled to get Dreyfus convicted on that. Hat-tip to the marginal intellectual honesty of labelling your troll post accurately...
        2. Craigness

          Limited intellect

          You didn't answer my question "How do you know they're not abiding with the T&Cs?" It's impossible to say that people were booted off for violating terms rather than exceeding the unpublished limited if you don't know that they were actually violating the terms. Using an unlimited amount of data is not a violation of the terms you posted above, yet the people removed from the service were identified as the top 1% of users, not the top 1% of terms violators. If they published a limit then it would be reasonable to end the contracts of people who exceed it.

          1. nichomach

            I take it that your title

            is a strking example of an honest self-assessment? You asked a compound question; I answered the final part of it. Had you bothered to investigate, you would have discovered that GiffGaff have already determined that the problem users are breaching the terms and conditions of service, and have said as much on their forums. They are understandably cagey about the technical means that they use to determine that, and they are not instantly kicking people off - they are warning them and offering them transition to tariffs or service which more appropriately meet their actual usage.
            1. Craigness

              that title refers only to you

              I know the difference between knowing something and believing what I'm told. Do you think that tethering is only done by the top 1% and that all the top 1% tether? Q. How do you know they're not abiding with the T&Cs? A. You don't, but you don't care.
    2. Paul Shirley


      What makes you think the down voters aren't gg users? I am a giffgaff user, have been since they started. I wish I could down vote you more than once. The giffgaff community is a hive mind that ruthlessly stamps on any deviation from its rose tinted opinions. I can see how you might have mistaken that for universal support for giffgaff's shambolic management, manipulative community management and business practices rapidly matching every other provider for sleight of hand and general 'screw the customer' attitude. A company that openly states it does not need to comply with EU law and had most of you supporting them!
      1. nichomach

        @Paul Shirley

        Then I'm afraid that your experience is significantly different to mine. I have never had a problem dealing with GG or the community. I bought and buy my goodybags specifically for their advertised use; *mobile* calls, texts and internet access. I use mine for email synching, web browsing, social networking, occasional youtube use and have never had a problem. My support for their position isn't based on what the community thinks, but rather on my own experience of and appreciation for their service. Your mileage has obviously varied, but that's *your* experience (and I note that you studiously avoid stating what your problem with them was).
    3. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Very late to reply

      but they advertise truly unlimited no fair use policy so how can any one be selfish, spoil it or abuse it by using their phone as a phone. If they want to watch HD vid 24/7 that is included, otherwise it is false advertising.

  12. Magnus_Pym

    1st law of supply and demand

    If the supply is unlimited and free the demand will be infinite.

    It's all fine postulating how these people use so much data and guessing that they are breaching the T&C's but when a resource is free you will find people are ingenious in their over use of it. When Cable first went in in our area cable-to-cable calls were free and unlimited. Some people used them as baby monitors while spending an evening with friends down the street. I new someone who had an un-metered water supply who used to leave a tap running 24/7 into his 50 m2 Koi pond to 'keep the water fresh'.

    I wonder how much data a permanent skype/facetime call would use? What about sufferers of tweetarrhea with pics/video. What about Mr 'Oh I just leave News24 on all day just in case'? somebody somewhere is downloading whole movies, watching the first 5 minutes, getting bored and downloading another one.

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      The maximum demand would be the speed of the connection x the number of seconds in the month. That is not infinite.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        maximum demand

        max demand can be infinite, it is max *supply* that is subject to physical limits.
  13. Dazed and Confused

    Sod the telly

    You don't need to connect a phone to a telly to pull down gobs of data, I regularly see the kids pull over 2.5Mb/s for long periods watching videos on WiFi and iPlayer onto my SII will often pull 3.5Mb/s.

    You don't need to be feeding some external higher res device.

    At home the O2 signal isn't good enough for them to trouble GiffGaff by watching videos over the phone link.

    1. nichomach


      ...and GiffGaff won't have a problem with that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yes they will

        "in December it changed its terms and conditions to allow disconnection of heavy data users, and has now started applying those new rules"

        But their advertising still says their "Mobile Internet" is "truly unlimited".

        You didn't read the article, or the T&C!

        1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
          "in December it changed its terms and conditions to allow" No, in December GiffGaff changed the product it sold, its a bit like buying a car and having the manufacturer come back to you later and saying "sorry you're using too much petrol, we're putting a smaller engine in the car"
          1. nichomach

            You do realise that...

            ...Goodybags are not an open-ended contract, right? That you buy them month by month, they're not even a 30-day rolling contract? To borrow your metaphor "Last month, the base model of this car had a 1.6ltr engine. This month, we have added a 1.4ltr engine as the base model. You can buy that, buy a different spec or buy a different manufacturer's car.". I presume you would not ban a car manufacturer from adding a model or variant to its range or removing one? Same thing. It most certainly does NOT involve taking something away that you have already paid for.
          2. SirMuttley

            Except it's not like that.

            Giff Gaff is not a contract tariff. You buy a new goodybag every month, in other words you buy a new product every month. Therefore each month you are to abide by the T&Cs that exist at that time bought it. Your anology would make sense if you bought a year's worth of usage in advance, but you can't do that with giff gaff.
        2. Craigness

          One thumb down

          for telling the truth. I wonder who that was!
        3. nichomach

          @ AC 11:45

          The article is wrong; the Ts & Cs do not mention "heavy data usage". So yes, a thumbs-down. Read S 5.13 and point to the words "heavy data use" or anything that even resembles them.
  14. Jimbo 6


    99% of the people are subsidising the greedy 1% ?

    Where have i heard that before ?

    Occupy GiffGaff !

  15. Reaps

    Are you all too dumb to understand "unlimited", read a dictionary

    Main issue is stupid advertising regulator can't read a F**king dictionary and allowed everyone to get away with fraudulent advertising.

    Unlimited should mean "UNLIMITED", no stupid hidden Sh*tty fair use clauses.

    If there is any sort of limit, then it is NOT UNLIMITED, full stop, no weaseling, no argument, no fraud.

  16. BarryMc
    Paris Hilton


    There will always be a top 1%.

    At what point do you accept that the top 1% are ok, and don't need to be kicked off?

    Paris, because she's like totally in like the top 1% or like whatever.

  17. Vince

    or how about it not being tethering...

    So this nonsense about headphones being a tethering scenario.... what nonsense.

    Headphones do not process the data received over 3G, the phone has a DAC, it converts this and the headphones receive the audio signal from that.

    Your TV does not process the data, but the result of the data...

    Your laptop receives the IP Packets sent on 3G. That is tethering.

    Now about this limited unlimited... for the 'n' amount of revenue received how much data is feasible while still giving margin, when calculated in a sane way. Then take some away, to give margin. Problem solved. Now publish *that* amount.

    If network has capacity and you have used the guaranteed allowance you can..

    A) Offer customers "best efforts" option of low priority data when capacity allows. Send them a text so they know they are at that point ... and maybe warn them beforehand too.

    B) Offer a paid option of more data with the paid priority again.

    For example, my phone downloads podcasts daily. It does it at 3am. Network has capacity spare, no major cost to provider for me using it, so i should be able to get good speeds and even if I do not, i don't mind since it is downloading for later.

    If i needed data NOW I would be able to live with what is available on best efforts, or pay to get it PDQ.

    The sooner we get away from the nonsense of unlimited with limits the better.

  18. Bodhi

    "I LOVE all the downvotes from people who aren't GG customers, who this in no way affects, but who are very eager to see a service that I use and pay for ****ed up by people not abiding by the conditions of the service...."

    No, I think you are being downvoted as you are struggling to tell your posterior from your elbow. Connecting a phone to a TV and watching iPlayer on it is NOT against the T's & C's of GG, as it is not connected to another device which can use its data connection, all the TV is doing is displaying what is on the screen. Pretty much the same way as using the data connection to download maps for the satnav whilst the phone is connected to a BT headset - the TV/BT Headset/Headphones are completely immaterial.

    By your reckoning GG customers would have to turn off their data connection when their phone is on charge, as it is connected to another device (the charger), and god help them if they use USB charging......

    Plainly anyone can see this is a load of nonsense.

    1. Richard Wharram

      Bodhi ?

      Long-term Sony fan by any chance? :)
      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

        Probably a Bodhi Linux user...
        1. Richard Wharram

          I'm aware of Bodhi Linux...

          ...but I also have experience of the name from elsewhere (that pre-dates the distro) so I thought I'd ask :)
        2. Frank Butcher

          lala land

          comment so very true

          If they stopped using the word unlimited.. then shock horror .. they'd be just like every other ISP. Their ISP USP would be SOL. Is 3gb OTT? YMMV. What would a reasonable allowance be?

          *I dont even own a mobi so no dog in this race

    2. nichomach


      Since a charger not only does not consume data but does not even have the content of that data output to it.
      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The BS is entirely yours, nicho

        As you stated earlier, "You may not use your SIM Card: a) In, or connected to, any other device including modems, dongles or any other way to connect to a PC (unless you are on a gigabag plan)". It's not about consumption or display of data, it's about connecting SIMs to other devices. Using a pair of headphones does not connect the SIM to the headphones and using a charger does not connect the SIM to the charger except, in both cases, physically. If you think that consumption devices like headphones and TVs are restricted by the clause above then it must be by their physical connection to the SIM, in which case chargers fall into the same category of "restricted" devices. Connecting the SIM to a laptop by opening a data socket connection between the two is entirely different, and that is what the clause refers to. If they want to stop people connecting TVs or headphones to their phones, they will have to change their contracts.
      2. Bodhi
        FAIL The TV doesn;t consume data either, it consumes a video signal. This is just as immaterial to GG as the charger is. However by your logic it is still a device connected to the phone, so is against the T&C's. @ Richard....Yes....Yes I am :) I am now trying to figure out which Freddy you are :)
        1. Richard Wharram


          *ziiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip* :)
  19. Andy 115

    Technically difficult?

    To throttle after a certain amount of usage?

    Are they having a laugh? O2 do just this themselves when I hit my limit....

    Who owns GG again?

    Left hand, meet right hand.....

  20. technohead95

    Why advertise as unlimited?

    I fully understand why giffgaff have done what they done, 1% of users using up 1/3 of the capacity is very disproportionate. However, why do they advertise themselves as unlimited if it is clearly not? Why not set an upper limit on data usage where those 1% are exceeding. This would at least show the service as what it is actually doing. If you want to allow users to occasionally have months of very high usage while other months are low then why not set an annual bandwidth cap. Any service that uses unlimited is just asking for abuse and thus I do not think the term should be used.

    1. KenSweep
      So allegedly 1% of GG users are using a third of the bits the other 99% use. Some of the users here who are part of the 99% don't like how the 1% are taking up their 'capacity'. With these figures though, it's incredibly unlikely any one of these 99% is within the same transmitter as one of the 1% whilst both are trying to use data at the same time. That'd really be the only time the 99% are impacted by the 1%! if you agree with that, then what it comes down to in fact is that the 1% are costing GG money instead of gaining them profit. So surely GG needs to make a decision on whether to absorb this as an overall business cost, as part of cost of being allowed to market freely as truly unlimited mobile data, or not? I udnerstand 90% of Dropbox users are on free basic accounts - yet they still make a profit overall. So what's GG's problem really?
  21. Muscleguy

    It's Classic

    It's a classic Poverty of the Commons situation and such will always happen without regulations and control. It's why humans invented regulations and controls on usage. The only people who bleat about the necessity of such things are those who fancy themselves one percenters and want to go fill their boots at everyone else's expense.

  22. Ben Norris

    time to stop calling them abusers

    the top 1% are using what was offered. It is long past time for ISPs to stop offering something that they can't deliver and whining when early adopters try to make use of it. In any other kind of business you wouldn't get away with it. There would be outrage if I sold cars which I took back when people tried to drive for more than 4hrs a week!
  23. Anonymous Coward

    Tethered or not tethered?

    Now now then, children. Stop squabbling! How's about we agree on this as a definition as to what constitutes tethering and what doesn't: If the attached 'device' can request the content from the intarwebs itself, then that 'device' is tethered. If the attached 'device' can't, then it's a peripheral and not tethered. Therefore a laptop using the phone as a modem is tethered, as the laptop itself is requesting the content from the intarwebs and using the phone as a conduit. Speakers, headphones, external monitors, USB powered dildos etc. are not tethered, as they are not requesting the content from the intarwebs themselves. They are having it pushed to them from the phone. QED Thank you and goodnight!
  24. Andy Hards

    3 offers proper honest to god AYCE UNLIMITED

    While I have set up Giffgaff for a few mates who know even less than me, I have been with 3 for years and they boast about how unlimited their current unlimited plan is. It is really UNLIMITED. Just saying.
    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Not according to the December change to the terms mentioned in the article.
  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They Should Do The Decent Thing

    AND KICK THEIR FREELOADING ASSES OF THEIR NETWORK! I don't give a shit if they describe their service as unlimited or not, lose that 1% of selfish morons and they free up 30% of the bandwidth for everyone else.
    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's not a free service

      They are not freeloaders. They paid for unlimited use and used a limited amount of data (well, non-infinite).
      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        OK so they are not freeloading

        But they are selfish morons.
  26. Mike G

    ha frickin ha

    Always like to see greedy selfish leechtards that take the piss torrenting and warezing and fuck-knows-whatsing with their 'interwebs' getting a massive HOOF IN THE BAWZ. There is no way anybody that gets throttled or capped is using their bandwidth for stuff that isn't illegal, unethical or just plain tarded. Anybody that downvotes me is quite clearly a bearded torrenting porno fiend.
  27. Anonymous Coward


    There is a 'natural' usage profile; 'limited' caps the upper end of that profile, Suppose there is a potential market for a service who are worried about the costs of over-use. In that market 'unlimited' attracts those customers and 'limited' is in effect a cap on the lower bound. It might appear that setting a very high limit would be an option: capping ultra-high use whilst not discouraging uptake. But when people have paid £x for 'upto' nGB they tend to think they need to 'get their money's worth'. So a high limit will flatten the usage profile. Before I worked at home all day, 1GB a month was more than enough on my broadband dongle. Now that is not enough; but 3GB is usually more than enough: come the end of the month I tend to download more just to use up more of that 3GB.
  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Issue caused by vendor selling 'Unlimited'...

    ...which is marketing-speak for 'a lot', despite it having a specific meaning in the real world - that is, unlimited = NO LIMITS. If you sell 'unlimited' then it should be unlimited. Therefore you can understand why it's users (including the 1% who take 30% of all bandwidth), are pissed at being labelled as being at fault. If you 'accidentally' built a business model on selling unlimited data, but then finding you fucked up your cost model because some people are taking advantage of it, and it costs you more than you expected, then quite frankly the company doing so can fuck off. Don't go blaming users who have the audacity to use what they have bought, when it's your failure to build a suitable infrastructure and cost model.
  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward This always happens - 1% of the users use 50% of the traffic - so 99% of the users are paying more or suffering slower speeds as a result. If it's a network for it's users the fairest thing would be to kick off the 1% of excessive users each month and you would probably sign up many more normal users as you could reduce your prices and be more competitive.
  30. A n o n y m o u s
    Why don't networks just be honest - offering 'unlimited' is 'unrealistic' - they should say it's £x per Gb or include xGb data in your plan and that's it. Since when did your electricity company give you unlimited electricity - it's all metered these days.
  31. Matt_payne666

    32gb sd card....

    and a bit torrent client... download to card, remove card... job done, bandwith consumed, no tethering... of course, generally to use that much data easilly you have tethered...
  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward These networks play fast and loose with the term "unlimited" until they realise a tiny minority use the majority of their network.
  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward Networks should be honest and up front with exactly what you are getting and equally users should not 'abuse' the service - but if the networks did their bit first people could not abuse the networks. I would rather have xGb I can do what I ilke with than 'unlimited' that is not unlimited and can't be used for this that or the other.
  34. zb

    Pareto Principle

    Have they never heard of the Pareto Principle. (also known as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Quoted from It is pretty obvious from experience even if you have not heard of the theory.
  35. Kay Burley ate my hamster

    Oh please!

    There is clearly a limit if they are complaining people are using too much. They can't seriously give someone a second chance without telling them how much is too much! Thanks El Reg for forewarning us about this bunch of cowboys.
  36. Paul Shirley

    giffgaff history

    Apologies for the shitty formatting, the Reg has screwed up big time. Might help some understand how gg painted themselves into this corner, especially the attack drones swarming here from the mother hive who presumably weren't with giffgaff when this happened ;) giffgaff launched before completing their billing platform, that meant they could not charge for data. For marketing reasons they offered free data for the 1st 6 (or was it 9?) months, with the clear understanding they would then start charging. So far no problems, people got slapped for exceeding the stated limits but it went smoothly enough. Then O2 decided they preferred building new infrastructure to supplying the missing support to giffgaff - not really surprising after OFCOM ordered them to sort their network out or lose the licence. Became obvious whatever contracts giffgaff have gave them no power to compel O2 to deliver. Still wasn't a problem, they extended the free data offer every time O2 postponed delivery and I assume O2 had to swallow the costs. Everything carried on as usual. Then giffgaff asked users what the really hated about other networks: number 1 answer, the word unlimited not meaning unlimited. Around the same time they needed to decide data pricing. And that's when it all went very wrong. Seems a simple choice really, just don't use the word unlimited, instead of devious FUP limits just be open upfront. But they still had a problem, O2 still hadn't delivered the billing support... and carried on not delivering. And they still needed to look like a really good deal to suck customers in. So gg basically just gave away data, closely tied to actually buying voice minutes and hoped averaged over all users it would work out. The problem is the market is shifting toward smartphones and the dumbphone users supposed to dilute the averages are a vanishing species. More important, giffgaff don't seem to have the balls to backtrack lest they frighten off the low data users that actually are profitable. Strangely they did have the balls to screw over their lowest users in another attempt to subsidise the data hogs, with rate rises last year that disproportionately apply to PAYG users. Explained away as a way for all users to share the pain, I still fail to understand how increased SMS rates affect their bundle users unlimited SMS allowance! giffgaff are trapped by their own past problems and mistakes and visibly losing their headline 'community' focus in favour of more traditional shitting on their customers.
  37. davtom
    Stop The obvious way forward is to move away from the incorrect use of the word unlimited. Provide a limit and stop drawing customers, especially those ultra-consuming ones who are not desired, with fake promises of unlimited. Anything that says "subject to fair use" ought to be banned in the context of saying something is unlimited. What is reasonable is subjective. So remove unlimited and apply a reasonable limit that would cause customers in the top 1% to have to pay more. It would then be possible to allow tethering with no penalty. Simples.
  38. Paul Hayes 1


    The sooner people realise that an "unlimited" Internet connection is a technical impossibility and the sooner the marketing muppets stop using the word the better if you ask me!
  39. pedromap

    no one understands the real issue hare no matter how you slice it

    Lets have a look at this issue from a logical stand point shall we here is a statistic for your consideration: I. ## 1/3 of total monthly data usage on the entire network II. ## Used by 1% of users III. ## Smart phones consume from 1-8 GB by themselves on a max. average IV .## Laptops use at most 10-50 GB of data per moth depending on speed and connection types V. ## feature phones do to pass the 5-500mb threshold depending on features and connectivity hardware.. Real Conclusion It is not Logical to state that those figures of 1/3 of total network usage for only a 1% of users is not tethering and it is clearly stated in the T's and C's that for tethering you should use a gigabag [a.k.a data only goody bag] another feature suggested by us the users and approved by the network. so I defy any self proclaiming IT Expert to find another reason or theory for this 1/3 data usage per 1% users, i am eager to hear such reasons and theories. I gave everyone the figures now make the calculations for yourselves, or ask a mathematician to run those figures for you. regards pedromap
    1. Vince

      We're still talking about this because?

      Er OK pedromap here's a way...

      I have a Motorola Atrix. I download Podcasts, several. Daily and Weekly ones. My Atrix has a linux install built into it, and connecting it to a screen (which is not tethering no matter how many times morons say it is) means I get access to full desktop Firefox among other things.

      Using said firefox I can watch BBC iPlayer, I can download lots of stuff, browse full fat web pages, and many other things, all legitimately, and none by tethering. I can EASILY (and do) sail past 10GB a month.

      OK sure, the Atrix is unusual in this regard (today, but give it time...)

      Yes it is undoubtedly true that "some" will be tethering or otherwise doing things against the T&Cs, or are just using as much data as they possibly can because they can - in the same way some people download never ending "linux ISOs" if you believe them but somehow never have time to watch, sorry, install them.

      So there are really only 3 issues:

      (a) Some users can legitimately use a lot of data without breaching the terms and conditions, and as it stands, those users are not only complying with the terms of service, giffgaff right now are obliged to provide that service in return for the consideration (the money paid) otherwise they are in breach of the terms to the customer.

      (b) Some users are using the service against the terms they signed up to. This is not a point for debate, you're either compliant or you are not. If you are doing anything accepted as tethering by anyone sane (eg except morons who think chargers or headphones are suddenly tethering). then you're in breach and should (as per your terms) be disconnected.

      (c) Giffgaff like many many before make these problems for themselves. If they could not bill for the data, they could have said, for 'x' per month you get 'y' amount of data, and said NOTHING about the fact it was unlimited - some will work it out and get lucky, many won't, and anyone accidentally using over the agreed limit will have a nice experience too. Once they can bill, give it a month, let people know what they used and if more than allowed either tell them they'll have to reduce in future, or pay 'n' for more data.

      If they're able to bill for the data, then the problem never crops up unless someone set a limit that was also unsustainable (this person therefore needs to be redeployed to a different area of the business since financials are not for them).

      However, giffgaff started with "data is free, use as much as you want" then continue with "unlimited data". Given they're offering "unlimited" that's what they should be providing (subject to you complying with your side of the bargain).

      They are of course entitled to change the offer - I'm not sure why there is such a debate. They've got the right to change things, various notice periods may apply (generally quite short since nobody has a long term contract), and once said notice period is over, if the offer isn't like the old one, you can moan as much as you like, but you weren't offered the service for any duration beyond that which you had paid for it.

      Meanwhile for the majority of people, this is indifferent "news" because they're not using an amount of data outside the agreement that causes a problem, and even if they were tethering (not that it makes it OK) they don't use enough to cause any concerns. So in the same way that 1% will be using all the data if those numbers stack up, I suspect that same 1% will be crying themselves a frikking river of upset over something they're not obliged to receive for more than 'd' days, and that doubtless a good number of them will be using a service they haven't paid for (no, sorry, "I paid for unlimited data and it doesn't matter how I use it" is NOT a valid argument because actually you did not. You paid for unlimited data for specified purposes).

      OK, so now where is the IT news?

      1. pedromap

        fair enought 10gb on a linux machine.

        how ever there is a big difference between 10GB on one data consuming device and

        and the same 10GB on two data consuming devices, not the amount but the way it is used, it is very clear that 10gb on one device costs less bandwidth then 10gb on two devices, that is what was the discussion was about ..

        what i was trying to explain and making a mess of it, was not about the amount of data itself, it was about how some users use that data, so to make myself clearer its OK any amount of data as long you don't connect two separate devices on that unlimited goodybag, to connect two devices together and use data the new gigabags where devised for such purpose...

        nobody simply understands the principle behind the rule of no tethering and the over usage of resources:

        1 - 1KB of data usage when connecting unlimited a goodybag mobile phone to a second device is already over the limit just because someone connected two devices together, and that is tethering by definition and a clear breach of terms and conditions for that goodybag, no matter how this is explained no one outside of giffgaff will ever understand the real issue here.

        2 - 20 GB on one device only ie the smart phone is OK as long as the smartphone itself was never used as a modem device and I know the tech staff @ giffgaff never handout bans without any reason #### As once i read a user of the forum complaining of being barred and when he confronted the staff member on a public forum it was discovered later that user was using a mobile broadband usb device with a unlimited goodybag ## i will not publicly name that user and will not post that discussion here

        in conclusion if i may enlighten every one once and for all, not the AMOUNT of data is the HOW you get the data that is important.

        and @ Vince it is a pleasure to meet a fellow Linux user i was starting to think i am the only one in the UK and about my numbers i was trying to demonstrate usage patterns not amounts of data by themselves, however it looks like i explained this badly on that post...

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Bandwidth costs money.

    Carriers have to use revenue to provision that bandwidth.

    That revenue comes from their subscribers.

    Any carrier that promises true unlimited bandwidth while pricing competitive to a market that no longer offers unlimited bandwidth is going to attract the people most likely to consume it, and drive them into bankruptcy.

    Therefore, the 'unlimited bandwidth at cheap prices' model is unsustainable, and they need to stop pretending it can be offered.

    And those of you whining about 'but they said....' need to realize tanstaafl.

  41. lostinspace

    oh for fucks sake how hard can it be. Just put the amount of data on the contract and be done with it! You gert x tetxts, y min and z data a month, and then you can use that data how you like. All this smoke and mirrors so ISPs can offer "unlimited" data is a farce.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "All this smoke and mirrors so ISPs can offer "unlimited" data is a farce."

      Yes but if they told the truth, then they'd lose customers.

      And people on here question why others don't trust giffgaffs proclamations?!? Innocent unless proven guilty isn't relevant - evidence is. And if giffgaff won't provide that evidence, then people are likely to be suspicious of giffgaff's motives. Just because someone claims/denies something, doesn't make it so.

      The bottom line of the discussions on this long thread is that giffgaff doesn't provide the value required by its customers, ie a low cost but decent download allowance for use at the subscriber's discretion (eg tethering/non-tethering) in conjunction with a phone service. Having to buy a separate SIM for tethering only is just farcical.

  42. James 100

    As a long-term customer...

    I've been a customer of theirs since the outset - long before "goodybags" were even thought of - and I'm quite unhappy about this. They have repeatedly and specifically stated that the unlimited data on goodybags is indeed unlimited - so they have no basis for whining about someone exceeding a limit they lied about!

    So far, they've been very honest and quite transparent about most things. If they were to come out and say "OK, we said 'unlimited', but these guys have been using over 3 Gb/month, so we're making a big loss on them", fair enough - indeed, they did exactly that in the past with the "unlimited calls" Goodybag when some people were averaging over, I think, 3 hours per day. If they can't afford genuinely unlimited usage, say so and set a limit instead. If they said, for example, "up to 1 Gb/month", I'd be fine with that - but please, no telling me "unlimited - unless you use it lots, then we'll make up a secret limit and punish you for exceeding it"!

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