I was pretty excited to join up with Giffgaff – my contract with O2 is up, and I’ve decided that rather than tie myself to 18 or 24 month commitments I’d rather save money and buy my next handset outright. So the proposition of Giffgaff was quite exciting – a tenner gets me all the minutes I could ever need, unlimited texts and unlimited data. Awesome, I think, I’m on it.
It took around four days for the free sim card to arrive, along with instructions on how to activate it – it all sounded very straight forward. I did this on Saturday morning, even with a hangover it was pretty easy – pop the activation code and SIM card number into a form, top up with a £10 goodybag and then wait around half an hour (but on rare occasions up to 24 hours) for confirmation of your new number etc.
So, that was a bit over 72 hours ago – and logging into my Giffgaff dashboard reveals the same message about activation. I took some time to peruse the community – after all, that’s what the network is supposed to be about – there’s lots of excellent users who advise and help their fellow users there, but aside from disparate and inaccurate updates there’s very little news of this problem from the Agents (people who can access your account details) nor the mysterious technical team who have some kind of firewall to protect them from end users (as a former technical support worker I can understand the desirability of that!).
As well as the community forum you can seek 1:1 support through raising a ticket with an agent – I did this after the 24 hour was exceeded but alas the only updates I’ve had have been “It’s with our technical team” and “It should be working tomorrow”. It’s all rather frustrating for me, let alone the burgeoning list of people like me, many of whom seem to not have an alternative of just sticking with their contract a while longer. I’m glad I didn’t cancel O2 just yet, that’s for sure!
Given how crotchety I can be for fairly trivial misdemeanors in customer service I’ve been surprised at how relaxed I’ve felt about this, maybe it’s because I still have use of my phone – but I find myself reluctant to give up on them just yet (helped by the fact I’ve a couple of friends who use it with no problems, and maybe because they sponsor The Big Bang Theory on E4 (sic)). I am starting to lose my patience though, not because there’s a problem, problems happen – but the lack of information, timescales or just ongoing acknowledgement is very poor customer service.
I’m finding myself increasingly tempted to go for a sim only deal with 3.