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Giff Gaff: the mobile phone network with a difference

Giff Gaff brands itself as "The mobile network run by you". Users gain rewards by running parts of the business - like answering customer questions or promoting the network. This saves the company money, and they pass the savings back to the user. A great idea in theory - but does it really work?

In short, yes. Giff Gaff has a higher than average customer satisfaction rating with its users, has been nominated for a number of awards, and won the Forrester Groundswell Award and the Most Innovative Community Award at the Social CRM Customer Excellence Awards.

The company was founded by Gav Thompson, who had been the head of brand strategy at O2. Giffgaff is an old Scottish Gaelic word which means "mutual giving" - something that is reflected in the company's business model.

Giff Gaff is a SIM only mobile provider that operates using the O2 network. It is compatible with smart phones and you don't have to change your phone number to make the switch. Just ask your old network for your PAC code and fill in the online form at giffgaff.com/support.

There aren't any contracts with Giff Gaff. For £10 you get:

  • Unlimited texts
  • Unlimited mobile internet
  • 250 UK minutes
  • Free calls and texts to anyone on the Giff Gaff network

The payback scheme is one of the most innovative dimensions of the Giff Gaff business model. Members (i.e. users of the Giff Gaff network) can promote the service through Facebook, Twitter and other sites, and for every SIM activated they receive 500 payback points (£5).

How to join

  1. Order your free SIM through the Giff Gaff website (giffgaff.com). It should normally arrive within three days.
  2. You may need to unlock your handset in order to use the SIM (although they also work on O2 network locked phones).
  3. Activate your SIM online and make your first top up (minimum £10).

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