Has GiffGaff become too popular for its own good?

Is GiffGaff's £10 per month deal for unlimited mobile data and texts proving too popular? Activating a new SIM on the network is proving difficult for many.

Is GiffGaff's £10 per month deal for unlimited mobile data and texts proving too popular? Last week, we tried to activate a new SIM card with the company, but couldn't. GiffGaff's web login was broken, which meant you couldn't create a new account or top up an existing one. Which set us wondering -- can Giffgaff cope with the number of users it's getting?

A site outage can affect anyone, but last week's problem was far from an isolated case. It's the second time we've seen an issue like this with GiffGaff's website in recent weeks, and the support forums are full of complaints from users waiting for their SIM cards to be activated for long periods of time.

Looking at the most recent additions to this thread, users are complaining that they still have no service anywhere between seven and 46 days of activating their account.

A related issue is that there is no-one you can phone at GiffGaff if there is a problem -- you have to post a message to the forums and wait for a customer services rep to pick it up. This thread warns of a 48-hour delay before someone will get back to you, due to the extra number of requests they've received because of the wider problems. Users also complain on the forums that they've been told the reps don't work weekends, compounding the problem.

GiffGaff says it's working on its capacity issues. CEO Mike Fairman said in a post last week that the company would be investing "big time in extra capacity for the website and member services". In the same post, he admitted that the company's BlackBerry service would not launch until January, having originally been slated for November, and pushed back to December once already.

All this was enough to put this Craver off using GiffGaff for now -- especially after he found a T-Mobile deal that offers unlimited data for surfing and emails for just £7.71 per month.

Were we right to be put off? Fellow Craver Rich Trenholm has been using GiffGaff for a while , for example, and is quite happy . What do you think -- have we just scratched the surface of GiffGaff's problems, or does its service beat the other networks into a cocked hat? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook wall.

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About the author

Jason Jenkins is the director of content for CNET in EMEA. Based in London, he has been writing about technology since 1999 and was once thrown out of Regent's Park for testing the UK's first Segway.

 

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