23 May 2017 ~ 2 Comments

TPO leads the pack for monthly bundles

With 4G finally becoming ubiquitous in the UK and smartphone-ownership at a new high, we thought it was time to take a look at the best value rolling bundles currently available on the market. We’ve always been a site that aims to save you money and PAYG rates simply don’t offer the value of SIM-only monthly bundles for the majority of users’ needs any more. In this post, we’ll be taking a look at the best priced monthly packages currently available on the UK market.

We’ll be rounding up the offers with at least 2GB of data per month. Why this size of bundle? 2GB of monthly data is plenty for the average customer’s browsing habits and, we think, is also at the price point that offers the best ratio of allowance to hard-earned cash.

It’s almost the weekend, so we’ll start off right away with the good stuff. In our opinion, the best choice for almost everyone is the TPO 2GB Goodness Plan which comes in at a bargain £6.99. For this, you get a generous 600 any-network minutes and completely unlimited texts too.

TPO have been featured on this site a few times before and we’ve seen them consistently offer some of the most competitive monthly bundles on the market. Since they launched 4G last year, we’ve been happy to recommend them as an ethical and price-conscious choice.

TPO operates on the Three network (rated most reliable in the UK) and boasts 98.5% coverage and they also have great in-house customer support so you’re not compromising on service. They save money by avoiding flashy billboards — this also means that 10% of everything you spend with them goes to any cause or charity you choose, at no additional cost to you. Grab it while it’s hot!

Another offer that is worth mentioning in this round-up comes from iD Mobile. While it is a new network and doesn’t have the greatest of reputations, they do have well-priced deals with a £7.50 bundle that lasts 30 days and gives you 2GB of 4G data, 500 mins and 5000 texts which is as good as unlimited for all but the most dedicated finger-tappers. They also run on Three and allow data rollover which is a plus.

If you don’t have Three signal where you live, you might have no choice to go with an alternative MVNO. The next best offering is Giffgaff and, surprisingly, they are really not competitive at all. While price hikes have been a trend over at Giffgaff over the last two years, it is quite a shock how far off the rest of the top end of the market they are. If you want a monthly data allowance of 2GB you’ll get unlimited texts but will only have 500 included minutes. Worst of all, the goodybag costs over 40% more than TPO coming in at a pricey £10/month.

But, to summarise, TPO offers by far the best price and comes with strong credentials and customer feedback. For just £6.99 a month, 2GB of data, 600 minutes, unlimited texts and knowing that you’re supporting an ethical network is about as good as it gets. TPO also love it when you spread the goodness. When you refer a friend to their service, you and your friend get £5 credit, completely free. That means they not only get to enjoy all the great TPO perks you do but you both get to support good causes with your phone together. You can find out more about this and other rewards when you sign up.

So if you want the cheapest 2GB rolling bundle and the feel-good factor of helping some great causes, what are you waiting for?

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13 October 2014 ~ 1 Comment

How do the giffgaff goodybag changes affect you?

One 24 September, Giffgaff implemented their long-discussed new range of monthly goodybag bundles. The reactions have been incredibly varied but mainly negative. But if you’re a Giffgaff user, what exactly do the changes mean for you?

goodybag changes after feedback

We recently discussed the background to this price increase Goodybag change, but let’s go into some details about what actually happened and how you’ll be affected. Here’s what’s new:

  • £12 goodybag: reduced from unlimited data to 3GB but minutes have increased from 250 to 500
  • £15 goodybag: existing users with a SIM activated before 21 August 2014 can keep the current offering with unlimited data and texts and 500 minutes. New members will only get 5GB of data instead.
  • £20 goodybag: discounted to £18 until the end of march next year.
  • £12.50 gigabag: discounted to £12 goodybag permanently
  • Goodybag renewals: finally users will be able to buy another goodybag before their current one expires in the same month if they’ve used up their allowance.

So will you be affected? The most obvious difference that has concerned the most people has been the removal of unlimited data at the £12 and £15 goodybag options. Of course, if you’re an existing customer, the complaint about the £15 goodybag is irrelevant as you’ll still be able to buy it as long as you activated before 21st August. But you do have to be very careful as it’s only available as long as you purchase it at least once every two months.

However, for people who made the most of the £12 goodybag, they’re going to have less data or have to spend more. To be fair, this was one of the cheapest deals going in the UK and spending just an extra £3 a month isn’t such a big deal as it brings the allowance more in line with other competitors. And if you still want to pay just £12 3GB isn’t a bad deal at all and should last most people fine. It’s also an improvement in some cases as the data is now tetherable.

Giffgaff have actually run some statistical analyses to see how this will affect their users. And they found that, in fact, 79% of members on the £12 goodgybag would be unaffected by the price change as they currently don’t even use more than 3GB a month. As for users currently on the £15 goodybag, only 17% ever actually use more than 5GB of monthly data so an even smaller proportion will be affected. Again, if they do desperately need unlimited data, the price increase is only £3 extra and it comes with plenty of extra minutes too.

They have also emailed each member with a summary of their usages of texts, minutes and data for the last four months so they can easily see what time of user they are. Helpfully, Giffgaff have also calculated which goodybag is the best value for money for you so you don’t have to crunch the figures yourself.

But why change at all? Giffgaff claim that they’ve been witnesses increasing frustration with data speeds in user forums and that this is necessary to safeguard a reasonable user experience expeically before the 4G launch. They were the cheapest offering which attracted lots of users who just wanted to rinse the unlimited data for all its worth which negatively affected other users. It’s a bit of a cop out, but it does at least make sense. At the same time, Giffgaff have also introduced traffic management called Traffic Flow which limits bandwidth use during certain peak times. Where members are using more than their fair share of network resource during the busiest hours, a 300 kbps restriction will be introduced for the remainder of the peak period. A peer to peer speed restriction of 100 kbps during peak hours will also be introduced for these users but all restricts will be removed at the end of the peak period.

So that’s the basic summary of what’s going to change for all Giffgaff’s goodybag users. Are you a Giffgaff user and do you regularly buy a goodybag? Did you take part in this consultation and what was your take on it? How did you think Giffgaff dealt with it? And have you been affected and if so what’s your opinion now it’s in action? Please share your thoughts below.

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07 October 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Giffgaff goodybag changes

It’s now been a couple of weeks since Giffgaff implemented their latest pricing changes so it’s time to reflect back on what have been the biggest alteration to their goodybag offerings for several years.

It had been quite a while since the last big price increase and, since they market themselves as “the mobile network run by you”, Giffgaff were very careful to at least make the pretence of allowing their users to have a significant say in the changes. However, it was clear that no matter what the consensus was, something was going to have to give as the unlimited data offerings were economically unviable especially with 4G on the horizon and more and more people owning 3G handsets.

For months there had been issues with people “abusing” unlimited data goodybags for cheap prices which was costing the network a lot of money and adversely affecting other users both on Giffgaff and their parent network, O2. Tethering and detecting it was also a confounding factor. As a result, Giffgaff needed to reprice goodybags and began a user consultation on 6 August 2014. They’d previously been discussing similar issues in the community for several months.

After listening to member feelings, they offered three options. All removed truly unlimited data for every goodybag except for the £20 one. The main difference between all the choices was the amount of included data available which was ratcheted down with a corresonding increase in free minutes included.

goodybag options

Unsurprisingly, the community voted very strongly in favour of the highest data allowances on offer and much of the discussion was vehemently against any removal of the unlimited data option on the £12 goodybag. As one customer put it:

I for one will not be casting my vote for option 1, 2 or 3! This is a load of crap! The main appeal for me in leaving my old network and signing up to giffgaff was to receive unlimited data usage at a reasonable price. That’s how you batted the hook and reeled a lot of people in. And now your moving the goal posts and that sucks! You tell us to modify our usage habits to improve the experience for everyone. We do this and what reward do we get? A thank you email and a proposed price hike! Thanks giffgaff! Thanks a lot!

Nevertheless, unsurprisingly the changes were steamrollered in. As of 24 September 2014, the goodybag changes were live on the site and the old goodybag were no longer available for purchase. Of course, Giffgaff is still one of the best value options available but that’s small consolation for those who now are paying about £3 more every month.

Thankfully, following the initial consultation Giffgaff took on board more feedback to make the changes not quite as harsh. But the net result was that the following new goodybag range was implemented.

new goodybag range

Stay tuned for another post detailing exactly what has changed. And in the meantime, please let us know your thoughts and opinions on this matter in the comments below. Thanks for reading 🙂

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