Giffgaff offering 2p/minute calls and 1p texts with £5/month “labs” goodybag

September 6th, 2010

The O2-backed “people-powered mobile network” Giffgaff has launched a new £5/month “goodybag” tariff which offers calls for 2p/minute and texts for 1p each.

The “people-powered” network Giffgaff has just launched a new tariff, dubbed the “Giffgaff Labs Goodybag”, offering by far the cheapest Pay As You Go calling and texting rates in the UK. Calls are charged at 2p/minute for calls and text messages at 1p per message. Previously, the cheapest calling/texting rates have been held jointly by Giffgaff’s standard tariff and ASDA Mobile both of whom charged 8p/minute and 4p/text. Giffgaff’s new tariff cuts the call/text charges to just a quarter of that.

The “catch” to the new tariff is that, unlike other Pay As You Go tariffs, the “Labs Goodybag” has a standing charge (or “line rental”) of £5/month. You’ll pay the flat rate of £5/month on top of the cost of the calls and texts.

The tariff will be available for 3 months after which Giffgaff say they will review it. If the tariff is discontinued after 3 months, you’ll be switched to Giffgaff’s standard Pay As You Go tariff or a Giffgaff Goodybag.

Who are Giffgaff?

Big Bubble
Creative Commons License photo: h.koppdelaney

Giffgaff is a virtual mobile network which runs on the O2 network. It’s essentially a subsidiary of O2 (O2 own Giffgaff) which doesn’t use the O2 brand name. According to Giffgaff, their unique selling point is that their network is “people-powered”. This means that Giffgaff members answer support queries on the Giffgaff forums and promote the network by telling their friends about it. Giffgaff members are rewarded with extra credit or cash for contributing to the network.

Another key difference between Giffgaff and traditional mobile phone networks is that they don’t provide you with a mobile phone. You’ll have to provide your own and it’ll need to be unlocked and compatible.

If you’re not a Giffgaff member, they’re currently offering you a free SIM card.

How much would I expect to pay each month?

The table below shows how much you’d expect to pay on this new Giffgaff tariff. For example, if you make 200 minutes of calls and send 50 texts in one month, it’d cost you £9.50 per month with this new tariff.

Texts Minutes
0 100 200 300 400 500
0 £5.00 £7.00 £9.00 £11.00 £13.00 £15.00
50 £5.50 £7.50 £9.50 £11.50 £13.50 £15.50
100 £6.00 £8.00 £10.00 £12.00 £14.00 £16.00
150 £6.50 £8.50 £10.50 £12.50 £14.50 £16.50
200 £7.00 £9.00 £11.00 £13.00 £15.00 £17.00
250 £7.50 £9.50 £11.50 £13.50 £15.50 £17.50
300 £8.00 £10.00 £12.00 £14.00 £16.00 £18.00
350 £8.50 £10.50 £12.50 £14.50 £16.50 £18.50
400 £9.00 £11.00 £13.00 £15.00 £17.00 £19.00
450 £9.50 £11.50 £13.50 £15.50 £17.50 £19.50
500 £10.00 £12.00 £14.00 £16.00 £18.00 £20.00
550 £10.50 £12.50 £14.50 £16.50 £18.50 £20.50
600 £11.00 £13.00 £15.00 £17.00 £19.00 £21.00
650 £11.50 £13.50 £15.50 £17.50 £19.50 £21.50
700 £12.00 £14.00 £16.00 £18.00 £20.00 £22.00
750 £12.50 £14.50 £16.50 £18.50 £20.50 £22.50
800 £13.00 £15.00 £17.00 £19.00 £21.00 £23.00
850 £13.50 £15.50 £17.50 £19.50 £21.50 £23.50
900 £14.00 £16.00 £18.00 £20.00 £22.00 £24.00

How does this compare with other tariffs?

If you’re an existing Giffgaff customer and you normally spend more than £7/month (85 minutes, 170 texts or some combination of the two) on Giffgaff’s standard tariff, you’d save money by switching to the “labs” goodybag.

It’s worth comparing the prices here with the best buy SIM-only tariffs (see the best buys for smartphone users) as moderate-heavy users will find they provide a much better deal than Giffgaff. For example, £10/month buys you 300 minutes and unlimited texts on Vodafone. On Giffgaff, you’d be paying at least £11/month just for 300 minutes (and a lot more if you’re a heavy texter and include the cost of texts).

One key thing to note is that almost every single SIM-only tariff offers unlimited texts. If you send a lot of texts, you’ll find it much better value to use a SIM-only tariff which doesn’t charge for texts.

How do I check Giffgaff coverage in my area?

As Giffgaff use the O2 network, use the O2 coverage checker.

Where can I sign up for Giffgaff?

You can get a free Giffgaff SIM card here.

Can I keep my existing phone number if I switch to Giffgaff?

Yes. You’ll need to ask your existing network for a PAC code and then to provide this to Giffgaff. See our detailed guide to PAC codes for more information.


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Ken Lo

I'm a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology. I've been blogging at Ken's Tech Tips since 2005 with the aim of demystifying mobile technology for the rest of us.

Before writing about mobile technology, my background was in space & atmospheric physics. I have also worked in software development. Nowadays, I help companies to explain mobile technology to their customers. Please check out my portfolio or get in touch for more information. I'm also on Google+.

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