Mike is an android man, researcher of all things good and bad, likes all wheeled sports, loves gadgets, enjoys all music, into home automation, likes samsung, voted brexit, enjoys talk radio, has a brompton bike, is a hard worker, a passionate self-educator, crazy about drones, a gambler, blogger for over 15 years, enjoys gardening, microsoft over apple, investor in stocks and cryptocurrency, a homeowner, a futurist, married for life, has family all over the world, a cat man do, loves beer, travel & life.

27 Responses

  1. blank CB says:

    Maybe you have misunderstood giffgaff. The giffgaff “Our Offer” page says ‘”You can buy a goodybag by debit/credit card _or from your airtime balance_ if you have enough credit.” So when you activate your SIM, just buy £10 (or more) credit, then go to My GiffGaff and buy a £5 goodybag from your £10 airtime balance, leaving £5 airtime balance left in case you want to do something other than texting, or spend the £5 on another goodybag next month. Or just spend your £10 credit on a £10 goodybag.

  2. blank Mike says:

    Mmmm, okay, so if I buy a £10 credit only, then I can then use that same £10 on a goodybag wiping out my £10 credit. The credit is then effectively the 100 minutes. Is that correct? If true, then it’s still not clear. Why not just offer the goodybag then as it contains calls, text and data? (except of course the £5 giffgaff goodybag), which is just text.

  3. blank Tom says:

    CB is right, buy £10 topup, you can then use that £10 to buy a goody bag, or leave it as phone credit as you choose. It really is a better deal!

  4. Hi Mike,
    Thanks for taking your time out to talk about giffgaff. We welcome all feedback, good & bad.

    The clarity around the process is not that clear, and we are looking to make it clearer, as well as allow customers to activate with a goodybag.

    As you say you can purchase airtime and convert to a goodybag, and should you need extra credit for out of goodybag usage (MMS, international etc.) you can currently top-up £15 and convert £10 for the goodybag.

    I can assure you the reason for the current top-up on activation is a technical constraint which we will be changing shortly and by no means trying to rip-off customers. As I mentioned there should be some more clarity on the website as this process isn’t the most intuitive.

    Many thanks for you feedback, and as a mobile operator that listens to it’s customers we will be making the chnages and appreciate your comments.

    Thanks again,

  5. blank Mike says:

    Hi Anthony,

    I am impressed that you replied especially since I have written about my experiences of other mobile service providers in the past and they seem to be too big for their boots even to care about the blogger/user or even offer a response or some feedback. I am definitely interested in the whole idea, especially since I tend to buy phones outright and prefer to have no contract or set limits. If you make things clearer on your website as you have said you will or even make goodybags an activation method, I am definitely onboard.

    For now though I am happy to edit the post, admit I misunderstood the idea or process, ‘strike out’ all references to giffgaff being a “rip off” as you are clearly not and give an example of how I understand things now.

    Thanks for your comments and honesty,


  6. Hi Mike,

    Anthony just forwarded to me your blogpost. Thanks for doing such a detailed analysis of our activation process. It’s one of the areas where we are constantly looking to improve based on our customers feedback as it is a quite complex process.

    On the top-up page you printscreened we do mention “You’ll be able to change your credit for a goodybag once you have activated” (this appears on a box on the right of the image you posted which I understand you’ve decided to crop). I can send you a full print screen of that page if you wish.

    It is quite a complex page as we tell our members that they can buy a goodybag for (£5-£35) or top-up (from £5 to £30) or redeem a voucher (also on that right column)and at the same time, due to a technical constraint we’ve had to require a top-up on activation and could only give a goodybag as an optional feature. As you can see, we have way too many messages to put together so I understand that people can miss some or a few of them.

    We are currently looking into improving the activation process and I would appreciate if you can give us your POV on how to make the messages clearer and with the appropriate prominence.

    That’s what makes giffgaff different from other networks. We want to learn and improve based on our customers feedback.



  7. blank Mike says:

    Hi Kim,

    Thanks for your comments.

    I would say you need to banish “complex” from your website. The process needs to be as simple and as clear as possible. I read your website, thought it was a fantastic idea, signed up for a free SIM, got the SIM card in the post, checked out the goodybag options on the packaging and immediately thought I would go with the £10 option, and was eager to activate, went to the giffgaff website activation page, only to be confused by the message that I need to ‘buy credit’ or ‘buy credit and buy a goodybag’.

    Everywhere on your web site, the front page, ‘our offer’ page, the ‘about us’ page, even the ‘top-up’ page the goodybag is focused on more than the actual credit or top-up you need beforehand. That was all I was pointing out. Even the packaging of the SIM card is focused more on your goodybags and not the actual credit you need before hand.

    I have gone back to activate the SIM card, and in small print on the right side of the activation code block it says:

    You’ll need to top-up £10 to activate your SIM. You can do that either by:

    * Using a UK debit/credit card
    * Otherwise, you can buy a top-up voucher, then come back to this page to activate your SIM.

    If you topped up when you ordered your SIM, there’s no need to top-up again.

    I didn’t top-ip when I ordered my SIM, which brings me to my next question. How can I buy a top-up voucher before I activate the SIM, since I don’t know my number? Also as the SIM is not activated, there is no way of calling 43430 and as I am not a registered member yet, where would I register for giffgaff? From what I can see that has to done in the Activation area, so the choice above is not quite clear either. There shouldn’t be a choice. You have to activate and buy a minimum of £10 credit, which can be used to buy a goodybag.

    It’s the words on the next page “You’ll be able to change your credit for a goodybag once you have activated.”, which I think should appear more on the website and packaging to make it clear. That was my original point, that those words were not visible anywhere.



  8. Thanks Mike. I appreciate your feedback and agree 100% with your comments.

    We will soon allow our members to activate with a goodgybag only so fortunately there will be no need to add extra layers of messages around the site and envelope.

    With regards to buying a voucher prior to activation, we explain how that works on a link to that page. We tell you there where to buy a giffgaff voucher and that you will only be able to redeem it online on the top-up page (so 43430 won’t work as you mention). Again I agree this is not simple, so we’re also looking on ways to improve this page.



  9. blank suhail says:

    yey, i thought GiffGaff was a scam but now i now i can convert it yepeeee!

  10. blank Khairul says:

    As a current giffgaff member, and as part of giffgaff’s philosophy to promote the business, I can provide any of you with a free SIM, on which you will receive £5 free credit after you activate by means of your own purchase of credit and/or a goodybag (giffgaff have now enabled the option of activation via goodybag purchase only). If you’re interested, just send your name and email & postal address to khis001(at)gmail(dot)com.

  11. blank mattjarvis says:

    As I only come back to the uk for a week here and a week there, this is the perfect sim. I was surprised to still have unlimited internet after 2 months away.. all in all over 12 months, I’ve spent £15 with this company and used it for 3 weeks in the uk with constant internet! While I’m abroad I still get the unlimited texts too… No other company provides anything like this- is so perfect for people in and out of the UK, at least. 😀

  12. blank Francois says:

    Since I was bored I thought I’ll search for something other than positive feedback for I see you have been slightly longer with giffgaff and could see your point regarding the goodybags. I signed up to a 2 year contract and luckily I cancelled before my 14 days was over. I had too much hassle with the network I was with only because they got everything so wrong, all the add-ons was wrong, minutes etc. Luckily I read an article and changed my mind about staying in a contract after reading the deals giffgaff does. I have not regretted joining them since beginning of August this year.

    It’s great to see that staff from giffgaff actually reads and does make the effort in replying to blogs etc.

  13. blank Alex says:

    This is no longer true. I signed up today and there is an option for just GoodyBag 🙂

  14. blank Anonymous says:

    If that is the case, then perhaps I should update the post.

    However, are you sure it’s just a goodybag on it’s own or do you still have to buy a minimum £10 in the beginning as well? (top up)?

  15. blank Alex says:

    Nope I just got the goodybag and I was away 🙂

  16. blank Cheeky says:

    The person who wrote that is an idiot, I have been using this service for over a year and been uying goody bag only and using it happily every month which is great value for money and was never forced to buy a top up to use a goody bag. what he is on about I dont know.. he should get his facts right before slagging a successful and fair network like this one.

  17. blank Anonymous says:


    Firstly there is no reason to call anyone an idiot. I
    could write back and call you an idiot for not reading all the comments,
    but I won’t do that that. The post was written based on experience and
    at the time of writing everything stated in the post was true, else why
    did Giffgaff themselves change the way it works. Read’s Kim’s response. She accepted there were some problems, but changes were going to be made. Read the other comments, and you’ll see many have verified the changes to the Giffgaff service. I
    too have been using Giffgaff for a long time now, over a year since I posted the above post and they have listened
    to their subscribers and made changes. That is what makes a great company like Giff gaff


  18. I didnt buy ctedit I just bought a goodybag when activating my sim. Credit was £0 but i have 250 UK minutes and unlimited free texts and web. Plus things in general are cheaper like 16p to send an MMS. No other network is that cheap if I wanted to buy credit for MMS for example. I think you’ve misunderstood how giffgaff works.

  19. blank mememeleona says:

    i’ve never bought credit? , i’ve only ever bought goody  bags, you dont have to purchus credit to get a goody bag. 🙂 sO YOU’ve obviously done something wrong i’ve been with giff gaff a few months now maybe longer and its been the best network so far 🙂

  20. blank Peter Ebenezer says:

    Ive been with giffgaff since February.

    So far their network has gone down 3 times, MMS went down twice, ‘Goodybags’ have not carried over when you have pre-purchased the next one meaning no way of phoning/texting from your phone for around 18hours during the first of the month (has happened the past two months in a row.)

    Such a shame. I love the idea (No need to phone India all the time, just pop on the forum) but them fixing technical faults takes at least 12hours a time and The ‘Agents’ are pretty rubbish and just seem to send canned responses. Meaning your only hope for a fix is the community, people just like you ,who also don’t have the means to actually fix it and just adds to the confusion during times of network failure.

    Ive removed my referral links from my social media pages and forum signatures as I dont want my friends in the same position as me a few weeks after they activate their sims.

    If you are planning on joining giffgaff I would recommend looking in the ‘community’ forums and discover some of the downtime issues and bugs you will come across.

    When the network is fine and the goodbag systems work its an outstanding network. When (not if) the network falls on its arse and your goodybag/credit goes missing every month or so for anywhere between 5hours and a day, its a real pain in the arse. 

  21. blank Darren Kent says:

    You’re an asshole. There’s fuck all wrong with Giffgaff.

  22. blank Anonymous says:

    Firstly Darren, the post was written on the 5th of June 2010 and at the time of writing this it was exactly the case. GiffGaff changed a number of things and now it is fine.

    Secondly, the only asshole here is you for not reading all the comments from folks including GiffGaff.

  23. blank Anonymous says:

    This needs to be updated. I never had to purchase credit. 

    As regards to the “This bit is important” with o2, they don’t state that you need to top up at least once a month and £10 or more (usually £15) to get free calls to other o2 numbers. Where as with giffgaff, it’s £5 every three months. 

  24. blank Anonymous says:


    The post was written back on the 5th June 2010. If you send me the details that you would like changing, I will gladly make the changes to the post, but until then I would hope people who visited this 2 year old post would have some common sense and realize that perhaps the facts are no longer relevant. At the time of writing this post everything was relevent and Giffgaff themselves commented that they would be making changes, and they did and I made the changes to the post. I am no longer a Giffgaff customer and as such do not know what the current contracts or facts are pertaining to their existing offers.


  25. blank MissAlexandria says:

    Is it plus £3 for BBM? So If I bought the £10 goodybag plus added £3 so topped up £13 In a top up shop and got a voucher to top up my phone… Would I get the £10 goodybag deal plus BBM???? Also does anyone know if the signal is good on this network???

  26. blank mutleydude says:

    DUDE   why do we have to pay for calls and texts  when they are suppose to be free unless you are on giff gaff  if thats the case its not free like they say it is  what a load of rip off merchants  go stuff your self giff gaff  from a would be user 

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