13 January 2016 ~ 3 Comments

Are TPO’s new plans the best yet?

sim only tpo

Charitable virtual mobile network, The People’s Operator, have launched a stunning new range of SIM-only plans for 2016. Available as a range of bundles we’ve compared them to some of the alternatives and it’s pretty clear they are some of the best deals currently available and maybe ever in the UK market.

So far this year, TPO have been signing up new customers at a ridiculous rate. And they’re not planning on slowing down – not content with offering such cheap deals, they’re also pulling out all the stops with an exclusive 50% off special offer for your first month. Here’s the current options available:

tpo plans

As you can see, these bundles are shockingly good value. For example, if you pay just £7.50, you will get a mighty 1000 inclusive minutes as well as 3GB of mobile data and completely unlimited text messages.

If you’ve only got £5 to spend, you still get a hell of a lot. TPO’s cheapest bundle includes unlimited SMS, 300 minutes of voice calls and a whole 1GB of mobile internet.

Ordering a SIM is completely free and you can get started in moments. You even get to keep your existing phone number very simply.

Here are some of the benefits TPO advertise for their SIM-only offerings:

tpo benefits

Are these the best offers currently available? Do you know of any superior SIM-only plans currently available? And would you consider joining TPO for these deals?

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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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