GiffGaff Users Furious Over Cash-for-Phones Loans Spin-Off

By Gary Cutlack on at

Mobile network GiffGaff has made a bizarre move into the peer-to-peer lending world, with some of its users suggesting the new GiffGaff Money loans side business is not a particularly moral thing for a community-focused business to get itself into.

The thinking behind GiffGaff Money does appear a little strange. GiffGaff says it's been working with RateSetter to offer its customers loans to buy phones since 2013, with this move coming from successes there. It means there's a potentially odd situation brewing where GiffGaff lends its users money to buy the expensive phones it sells, borrowing from one division of the company to pay the other.

Although, looking at it another way, it's not really much different from paying Vodafone £36 a month in return for a "free" mobile phone on a 24 month contract. The only difference between GiffGaff's loan approach is that it's at least being upfront about the fact that subsidised mobile phone contracts are little more than rebranded personal finance agreements.

The network's own forum users, though are suggesting GiffGaff is selling its soul, and that it's a "new low" for the company. One amusing comment, responding to the suggestion that GG could be turning into a Virgin-like empire, said: "I love the idea of giffgaff Atlantic, but hope the reliability of their aircraft is somewhat better than that of the phone service!" [The Register]