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GiffGaff UK Scraps Unlimited Mobile Broadband Data Plans

Thursday, September 11th, 2014 (8:13 am) - Score 12,308

Customers of mobile operator GiffGaff look set to be disappointed when it removes the “Unlimited Internet” component from two of their top interchangeable monthly SIM-only (goodybags) plans. The allowance will, effective from 24th September 2014, instead be replaced by a capped quota of just a few GigaBytes and a new Traffic Management change will drop some speeds to just 300Kbps (0.3Mbps).

At present GiffGaff offers a range of so-called ‘goodybags’, which start at £5 per month (60 UK minutes, 300 UK texts, 20MB Internet, free to other giffgaff numbers) and rise to £20 (2,000 UK minutes, unlimited UK texts / Internet, free to other giffgaff numbers). The latest change concerns the top three goodybags that all include unlimited Internet usage.

GiffGaffs Current Top 3 Goodybags

£12 per month
250 UK minutes
Unlimited UK texts
Unlimited Internet
Free to giffgaff numbers

£15 per month
500 UK minutes
Unlimited UK texts
Unlimited Internet
Free to giffgaff numbers

£20 per month
2,000 UK minutes
Unlimited UK texts
Unlimited Internet
Free to giffgaff numbers

Unfortunately both the £12 and £15 goodybags will lose “unlimited Internet” and instead see it being replaced by a capped 3GB (GigaByte) and 5GB allowance (oddly existing users of the £15 service will continue to get “unlimited Internet“, but those on the £12 option will not). On the upside the £12 service will now come with 500 UK minutes and the top £20 package will retain “unlimited Internet“, while also dropping in price to £18 per month (this will last until 31st March 2015).

Back to the bad news and Giffgaff, which has previously disconnected heavy data users from its service (here), has also confirmed some changes to their existing Traffic Management (Traffic Flow) policy.

Traffic Flow Changes

To protect your data experience, even during the busiest hours of the day, we will add the following Traffic Flow measures to all of our unlimited data goodybags:

a) Where members are using more than their fair share of network resource during the busiest hours, a 300 kilobits per second (kbps) restriction will be introduced for the remainder of the peak period. This speed will ensure that members are able to use the internet but with less impact on other members.

b) A peer to peer speed restriction of 100 kbps during peak hours will also be introduced for these members.

Any speed restriction will be removed at the end of the peak period.

In addition to these changes, we are also kicking off a project to improve our video optimisation capability. This will have two key benefits to your experience – it will reduce the amount of data which is used to stream a video on giffgaff, meaning that your data allowance goes even further. In addition, it will reduce the load on the network and protect the network experience.

In a short statement Giffgaff, which is one of O2’s Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO), said, “We do understand that unlimited data is popular but it does create network problems that we are seeking to address with these changes.” But the changes don’t stop there and Giffgaff also intends to introduce a few new features to its service on the same day. Firstly, members will now be able to purchase a new goodybag before their current one expires.

Secondly, a new system of text usage notifications has been introduced to help inform customers when they’re running low on an allowance. In the case of data, customers will receive a text message to let them know when they’ve reached 80% and 100% of their inclusive allowance. Giffgaff will also send a message if you reach 100% of your minutes allowance.

Leave a Comment
21 Responses
  1. Avatar Alex Ward says:

    Not so people powered now, is it!

    Shame really, I was thinking of returning to them later this year but it seems they’ve grown to be too big for their own good.

  2. Avatar Andy says:

    It’s about time mobile networks addressed the “issues of unlimited internet” and stopped using it as an excuse to charge people more money for a reasonable amount of data.

  3. Avatar DanielM says:

    Giffgaff is never had unlimited data, it’s just always hidden behind policies

    Monthly its limited to around 20GB

    1. Avatar DanielM says:

      Giffgaff Never had**

    2. Avatar adslmax says:

      In the case then ASA should fined Giffgaff for mis-sold

  4. Avatar TomL says:

    ASA fine a large company for not using powerless guidelines… Pfff

  5. Avatar ted leaf says:

    giffgaff are usless,they lie through their teeth,their stupid agent message system is awful,on purpose,they ignore legit requests,do not have “unlimited data”as others pointed out,you will be lucky if you get 20 gb per month,they will cut you off from data services for “unusual activity”if you manage to move more than 3 gb in any 24hr period etc etc,their forum and “help community”is full of idiots who are dumber than the devices they try to use,and any posts that slag off gg are removed/edited.
    i have been cut off from data 3 times for 48 hours at a time in the last month,because of “unusual activity”,i.e actualy daring to use their network to move more than a few pics or emails.
    a complete set of charlatans and thieves,who’s “staff”still have salaries paid by O2,showingthat it is just another arm of O2 and not a seperate company as they try to make out,glad i have gone back to three today,my gg package runs out this saturday,will never use their network ever again,except to try an “experiment”soon and see how clever theirdetection system is,not very,i suspect andwill then use to try and move 100’s of Gb of data about.
    its no more than they deserve,another bunch of two faced liars in charge of a network…..

    1. Avatar Richard Cranium says:

      You have no idea pal… And please learn a better command of the English language, as your wording
      Is terrible.

  6. Avatar onephat says:

    I’m with three now but never had any issues with GG. I think they’ve done the right thing kicking the heavy users that spoil it for the rest off us off their network.

    1. Avatar Chris says:

      mobile operators are 10 years behind on progress. They still live in a word where 20 gig usage is apparently really high unacceptable usage. They also seem behind on the trends given fixed line isp’s throttling and FUP’s now long out of fashion.

      Instead its called upgrade your capacity when it fills up. Heavy user’s arent to blame, they using the service within the spec’s its sold, the isp is to blame for not providing sufficient capacity.

  7. Avatar Richard says:

    onephat is spot on.

    1. Avatar DanielM says:

      The problem is he doesnt have a clue what he is on about. networks use Capacity (in mbps or gbps) not how many GB is used.

      a user using 100GB a month could do less harm than 1 using 50GB a month.

  8. Avatar Chris says:

    So the question is will the ASA be consistent or do they allow mobile isp’s to have different definition of unlimited?

    Fixed line isp’s are now no longer allowed to kick people off for heavy usage if they advertise unlimited and also excessive throttling is not allowed which 100kbit most definitely is.

    So a complaint will be filed by me to the ASA this week but will they be consistent.

    As others have already stated giffgaff was never really unlimited anyway but at least they tried to hide it better.

  9. Avatar zemadeiran says:

    I am currently a GiffGaff customer and this is a real kick in the stomach to say the least.

    Hi we are GiffGaff, thank you for your loyal community support and help over several years here is a big “fuck you” from the team to show how much we care…

    OFCOM are really a bunch of sly bastards with no scruples who live in providers pockets.

  10. Avatar dragoneast says:

    “O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!”. Sadly modern marketing (in everything) has adopted Walther Scott’s dictum as a principle.

  11. Avatar Chaoss says:

    I was just on the phone, 2001 called and said that they want their internet speeds back!

    Seriously though, 300kbs what the *bleep* are they thinking! it’s 2014 not 2001

  12. Avatar Anvers says:

    “Giffgaff, which is one of O2’s Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO)”

    Isn’t just one of “O2’s” (aka Telefonica UK) MVNO’s it’s owned by them. Having tried it the internet has a real “retro” feel like using dial up ! LOL

  13. Avatar kahina says:

    Better they stay how they are before , if the change we change too

  14. Avatar Mike says:

    Well this all sucks. I found this page after googling giffgaff and their Internet speeds after noticing it performing terribly. It’s now barely usable for me! It used to be great. On occasion the speeds do pick up a little but when attempting to watch a video on YouTube it’s all gittery and unwatchable because of this even though it’s completely buffered? This must be something to do with the video optimisation they are trying out. Everything about the service that I used to love now sucks big time! Giffgaff, the network controlled by the customer. Yeah right!

  15. Avatar S says:

    Gg internet is v bad for me most the time. YouTube will not play videos and websites will not load. It’s not really worth buying the ‘unlimited’ goodybag because the speed makes it near impossible to actually use more than a few gig in a month. I regret moving to gg

  16. Avatar Lee says:

    Hmmm So whats the current solution to those who want what they are paying for as advertised true unlimited data. Do ANY of the current batch of sim only deal providers offer a true unlimited data plan, if so please let me know

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