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Giffgaff review 2012

This is an archived copy our old review of Giffgaff last updated in 2012. Much of the information in this review is likely to now be out-of-date. Please see our Ultimate Giffgaff Review for the latest information and to leave your own comments and ratings.

Giffgaff is probably the UK’s cheapest and best mobile network. It offers far better value than the main networks such as Orange, Vodafone, T-Mobile, O2 and 3 and is also cheaper than other virtual networks. In fact, Giffgaff’s prices show that it’s the cheapest mobile network in the UK. Part of this is due to it being partly member-run but this aspect also ensures that it has some of the best customer service in the industry due to its responsive customer forums and online help system.

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One of the most amazing thing about Giffgaff is the incredible value offered by its goodbag deals. These offer unlimited texts for only £5/month and unlimited data for just £10/month (you get free minutes and texts too). And don’t forget, what makes them even cheaper is the fact that all calls and texts to other Giffgaff numbers are completely free too.

As Giffgaff runs on the O2 network it has a solid backbone for 2G and fast 3G communications and no sacrifices have been made for its low cost. However, perhaps the best thing about it is Giffgaff’s “payback”. Just by participating in the community forums by posting questions or answers, you can get rewarded in cash or phone credit. Many users earn as much as £20 every month from Giffgaff which can be much more than they spend on their phone especially as the prices are so cheap.

Many many people now fancy Giffgaff as the standout mobile network in the UK. When you consider its broad coverage, unbeatable prices and payback scheme, it’s clearly the best of all mobile networks.

PAYG Pricing

At a glance

Calls: 15pTexts: 5p Data: 20p/day (20MB)MMS: 16p0800: 0p0870: 12p


Giffgaff is a virtual network and therefore it’s much cheaper on PAYG than other mobile networks. In fact, it manages to be cheaper than all the other networks. Calls are only 15p per minute while texts are a bargain at 5p each. Even better, all Giffgaff-to-Giffgaff calls are completely free at all times and all 0800 calls are always free too. What’s more, internet is only 20p for 20MB which is many many times less expensive than other networks and its international rates are rock bottom too. Texting EU or North American countries is only 8p and it’s also only 8p/min to call. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Except it does. Giffgaff also offers several “goodybags” that offer PAYG customers contract-style value (or better) without any expensive and restrictive tie-in. These range from just £5 to £25 and offer everything from unlimited calls to unlimited data and up to 1500 free minutes.


Giffgaff’s goodybags start with their £5 offering that provides truly unlimited texts. Calls to other Giffgaff users are also always free.

The £10 goodybag gives all users not only unlimited texts but also a massive 250 voice minutes and unlimited internet. And that’s unlimited data with no fair usage restrictions either.

The £15 goodybag gives all the above but with 400 minutes instead of 250 and it continues all the way up until the £25 offer which provides you with 1500 minutes as well as unlimited texts, unlimited internet and, like all the others, free calls to Giffgaff users. These are the best deals available.

A really interesting goodybag is the Hokey Cokey goodybag. This was an experimental offering from Giffgaff for several months but eventually got added to the permanent line-up. It costs just £5 and comes with 300 texts and 60 minutes of calltime but has a fantastic twist – for every minute you get called, you get an additional minute of credit absolutely free. This means that if you ever run out of minutes, you just need to get a friend to call you and you’ll be able to make free calls again. In trying this out, we were amazed at how quickly the bonus minutes added up. Just using our phone normally for a month we usually found we ended up with more minutes than we started off with when using the Hokey Cokey goodybag. It was effectively unlimited calls and all for just £5/month.

The latest goodybag to be introduced is the data-only goodybag or Gigabag. As you can’t tether or use non-mobile phone devices for data with a normal goodybag, this is a special product designed especially for tethering to a computer and for use in tablets such as the iPad. It comes in various sizes and offers the best value data packages in the UK with 3GB costing just £12.50. If you need to use a micro-SIM with Giffgaff (for example on an iPad), you will have to get it specially through our Giffgaff micro-SIM order page as they don’t offer them directly.

Price comparison

To compare Giffgaff’s latest pricing with that of other networks to show just how much cheaper it is, please check out our conclusive mobile price comparison table.



2G coverage: 99%3G coverage: 80%

Coverage map

Giffgaff uses the O2 network. Please see our Giffgaff coverage page to learn the network coverage in your area. For more information, compare it with other mobile phone networks’ coverage.

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Get your free Giffgaff SIM with £5 free credit included through this link. You can also click the banner below:

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We can also send you a free Giffgaff micro-SIM for an iPad, iPhone or other device. You will, of course, still get the £5 bonus credit. You can also get a micro-SIM through the banner below:

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by Jon M