GiffGaff's Grown Too Big For Its Own Good, Leaving Users Out In the Cold In Biggest Gaff Yet

By Sam Gibbs on at

GiffGaff’s feeling the strain of its low cost user-powered business model. It left some customers without a connection for three weeks and managed to mix up users’ numbers for days, in its biggest gaff yet.

Following on from its outage in November, GiffGaff’s become too popular for its own good it seems. Customers who were left high and dry without service flooded the MVNO’s forums, with one user complaining that their phone had been cut off since before Christmas, over 22 days and counting.

Other customers have had trouble buying credit and goodybags, the mainstay of GiffGaff’s offerings. It seems the network is having some serious growing pains. Talking to The Register GiffGaff said:

“Due to the big rise in numbers of new customers, this has had some adverse affect on our current customers being able to carry out transactions such as topping up or purchasing a goodybag, as all transactions go through the same channel."

GiffGaff went on to blame the whole shebang on traffic numbers, which overwhelmed the company’s site.

“Recently, some members have experienced service disruptions caused by our website’s capacity to handle a sharp growth in member numbers. This impacted the site’s overall stability which unfortunately created issues around functions such as topping up, SIM activations and porting your mobile number to giffgaff.”

GiffGaff’s proved just a tad too popular for its own good it seems, and has pulled advertising and halted its BlackBerry roll out. It also recently introduced measures to try and curb "excessive" data consumption by data hogs.

The network insists that it’s doing everything it can to help its customers and will implement upgrades and plans to sustain its wealth of users into the future. Considering GiffGaff is owned O2 and operates on its network, you would have thought it’d have a bit more backing. Still, GiffGaff’s promised compensation of between £10 and £50 to users who complain enough are being impacted by the issues – so hopefully that’ll sate irate users. [The Register]