back to article Giffgaff goody-baddy-bag billing faff: Ofcom fines operator £1.4m for overcharging folks by almost £3m

UK comms watchdog Ofcom fined Brit MVNO Giffgaff £1.4m today for overcharging around 2.6 million users to the tune of around £2.8m. An error in the Telefónica UK-owned firm's billing system – as we reported at the time – led to the screwup which meant anyone who bought the budget firm's "goodybag" bundles of calls, messages …

  1. Blockchain commentard

    Well, that's a bit of a gaff !!!!!!

    1. BebopWeBop

      giff it over

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Well actually it's pronounced "jiff"

        1. 's water music
        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Well actually it's pronounced "jiff""

          Bastard! ------------------------------>

  2. Stratman

    Overcharge by £2.8 million

    and get fined £1.4 million. Here endeth the lesson.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Overcharge by £2.8 million

      I was thinking the same, except it says that they’ve refunded most of their customers by now. So the fine is on top of that money that they gave back, which is more than any interest they would have received. So not quite as bad as it sounds, really.

      1. Confuciousmobil

        Re: Overcharge by £2.8 million

        Refunded most of their customers?

        I, my wife and two children used to be with GiffGaff but left when they reduced our data allowance as they now did 4G.

        Their 4G speeds were far lower than 3G speeds so I moved us all to providers who were cheaper and provided decent data speeds.

        GiffGaff have made no attempt to contact us and I am sure there are plenty like us. So they’ve made a donation to charity for us? Aren’t we the lucky ones...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Overcharge by £2.8 million

          Then contact them if you want the money.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Overcharge by £2.8 million

          So you haven't logged in to your account page since the error occurred? When I did, it immediately told me what had happened and asked me what I wanted to do with the credit...keep it or give it to charity.

  3. David1

    Forgive them.

    So they had a bug in their software: bad but not deliberate fraud.

    I will continue to use them because they work well for me.

    1. TWB

      Re: Forgive them.

      Like you I used them for a bit and had no problem.

      I only moved away from them as my ISP offered a slightly better deal.

      1. CountCadaver Silver badge

        Re: Forgive them.

        I looked at them, but Tescomobile were cheaper and still run on O2

        My grandads PAYG mobile is on O2 as they charge 3p per minute vs 8 on tesco and 45ppm (!!!) on Virgin mobile, no wonder he thought mobiles were expensive to run, virgin made a killing out of him before he finally after years asked me to find something cheaper and only as his 18 year old mobile battery burst....

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Forgive them.

          For my use pattern, GG is cheaper than TescoMobile.

          My problem with giffgaff and any MVNO is busy cell areas. For instance if you are at a gig, major sporting event or very busy urban centre, the network cells have a finite capacity and priority for GG is last in the queue. So at a recent stadium gig my phone had no network access at all, no data. Sometime even voice wouldn't work. But my friends O2 business continued to work fine. Sometimes going in and out of aircraft mode would get me in for a few seconds, but nothing useful.

          However, in normal day to day situations GG works just fine.

          1. CountCadaver Silver badge

            Re: Forgive them.

            I use quite a bit of data, tesco wanted £15 a month for 12GB with 5000 mins and 5000 texts, at the time giff gaff were more money so hence I went with Tesco.

            Only left O2 due to the price differential, otherwise was generally happy with O2, they made a mistake a couple of years ago and their support staff weren't much help, so I complained and as an apology they said "oh we'll give you 50% off your contract till it ends as an apology as checking the transcripts the serice was severely below our expectations of staff performance"

            I was chuffed, even more so when I realised the contract still had 18 months to run.......

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So 2.6 million got overcharged by £2.8 million.

    So just over a pound each? Or is my maths funky?

  6. <script>alert('the register');</script>

    For the next 18 months we're going to see a law firm you've never heard of with sponsored posts on all socials telling us gifgaff might owe us money.

    1. MrMerrymaker

      We might, but as a Giffgaff customer, this was actually refunded to us ages ago. Surprised it didn't seem to make much news then.

      So should this advert happen, of course, blame the predatory firms who would advertise that, and blame whatever site carries such an ad.

  7. Disk0

    The fine is not a deterrent then

    Just taking a cut. Got it.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So...they fessed up about the error, refunded people wherever possible..offering to give the offset to charity for people who haven't replied...

    ...and OFCOM STILL fine them, even though they did the right thing?

    ...yet the likes of Vodafone still swindle millions from the taxpayer every year and are never challenged?

    Something is very wrong with OFCOM...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      OFCOM don't have jurisdiction over tax matters, maybe write to Rishi Sunak. But George Osbourne is alledged to have lobbied foreign governments to reduce Vodafone's oversea's taxes, so your luck might be out.

  9. ShortLegs

    Hang on, whilst i give them credit for fessing up, i dont recall them fessing uo to overcharging me TWICE what i used for six years. My refund came to about £8. I was using a goodybag worth each mon, and often topping up by a tenner when i exceeded voice mins or data. Over 6 years thats a f@@k load more than eight quid.

    Been a customer for years, will continue to do so as im happy, but that leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

  10. Securitymoose

    Run by you?

    So we must have ripped ourselves off then? That'll teach us.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There has got to be serious issues with giffgaff's systems and management for them to be overcharging for nearly 8 years and only owning up when Ofcom intervene.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      I'm just as surprised the customers didn't notice!

      1. Who Gives A

        They did but giffgaff ignored them until Ofcom finally intervened!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "acting quickly to refund 2.1 million customers"

    That's 'swift', as in '8 years'... a new El Reg 'time to fix' conversion unit?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who was effected and why seems a bit vague; I have had 4 GG SIMS on the go for years, none seems to have been affected, even if they had, the apparently minor losses incurred would have been swamped by the savings made over using any other network.

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