I know I waxed lyrical about how amazing giffgaff is on this page. But in the interest of fairness, here’s a few annoying things about giffgaff:
1) I don’t have any proper nano-SIM cards.
Those are the cards used by the iPhone 5 and newer iPads. What I CAN do is cut the micro-SIM cards down manually to the size of a nano-SIM card. I’ve done this a few times before (for my parents especially) and so far there hasn’t been any problems. [Note we can check to make sure the SIM card is working BEFORE topping up]
Note that giffgaff does actually offer proper nano-SIMs but I didn’t manage to get any before I came home for the summer holidays. It is possible to use a makeshift SIM as above, get a nano-SIM in the UK, and transfer the service to the new SIM card. See this for an example.
2) You can’t choose your phone number.
giffgaff assigns you your phone number after you top-up, not before. So you won’t know your phone number until it’s too late. Sorry :( Hope for a good number, and may the odds be ever in your favour.
3) It’s a bit more hassle.
giffgaff is entirely managed online. You top-up, buy goodybags, check your credit, etc. all online. If you just want the company to take money from you every month without any hassle, it can be done with giffgaff, but you need to turn on a few settings (goodybag recurrence or auto top-ups). Most importantly…:
4) Customer service is entirely online.
Customer service is done solely online, so if there’s a problem, you need to contact them through their system. They are usually very fast (a few hours), but if you like to call a customer service number (and get put on hold, then transferred between departments….), giffgaff might not be for you.
5) Their service went down a few times in 2012.
It went down at least twice: once was went O2’s network (which giffgaff uses) had quite massive problems throughout the UK, and once when a water pipe burst somewhere in their data centre. If I remember correctly, phone service never went down but 3G was down for a few hours in those occasions. There could have been more outages but I don’t remember x_x
6) No phone+contract option.
A lot of network are offering cheap phones with 12/24 month contracts. giffgaff doesn’t do this. I don’t consider this a bad thing since these plans normally end up being more expensive than just buying the phone outright, but you might think differently.
Overall, I’d say these are just small problems, and giffgaff provides so many amazing benefits that it’s worth it. But at least keep these in mind before you use giffgaff.