Note: This thread is from 2018. The most recent update to this issue can be found here, in an announcement from Ash Schofield, giffgaff's CEO. We've left the original post intact below.
We are in the process of refunding a group of members who have been affected by a billing issue we had with our system. This issue is now fixed and we’re currently working to make sure every active member wrongly charged gets their money back. We’re also getting in touch with members who are not currently with us to refund them as well. Following our investigation into this issue, we know that 90% of the affected members will be refunded £5 or less.
I’d like to take you all through what happened and what we’re doing about it.
giffgaff members who have been using mobile data on their airtime credit, bought a goodybag, and then continued to use mobile data, have continued to be charged from their credit after the goodybag was bought, instead of the goodybag’s data allowance. Since identifying the issue, we have worked to fix it, which is in place and we can happily say this won’t happen again. We're getting in touch with every member we know is affected to make sure that they have a refund, whether they're still with giffgaff or not. Please keep an eye out for an email or text message from us with more detail on your specific situation. We would like to apologise to everyone who was affected by this.
Recently, we discovered that we had an issue with our billing system that involved mobile data use. If a member started using data from their airtime credit, bought a goodybag while doing so, and kept using their phone without interruption, then the data they used would continue to use their credit rather than the active goodybag they had just bought. This would stop once this data session ended (for a number of reasons, such as putting their phone into airplane mode or timing out from not using it for a while) and the next session would use their goodybag. In that interim period, however, it was possible that members would be using their credit.
This was an error on our side that we're happy to say is now corrected - there's more information on the technical aspects of how this issue worked in our thread in the Service Updates forum if you're interested in reading further.
We've put a detailed plan in place to reimburse those affected. The issue was introduced in 2016, when we made a change to our billing systems, and so we have a significant amount of members to refund. We've been able to identify each account that was affected, and by how much, and we're going to make sure that money is returned.
We’ll be offering the refund by a method that makes most sense for each member affected, as well as the option of an alternative method of refund where appropriate. Members will be offered the ability to take the refund to their airtime credit, or for those that have left giffgaff, to their PayPal account. If these two options aren’t appropriate for certain members, we will also give them the option to take it as a cheque.
If you're affected by this issue, we'll be contacting you directly, either through the email address that we have associated with your giffgaff account or as a text message to your giffgaff number. You'll have until 23:59 on August 15th to tell us how you'd want us to reimburse you, and we'll make sure we send it through to you as soon as possible once you've made your choice. If you don't let us know by that date, we'll default to giving it to you as airtime credit.
If you have any questions, we’ve created this Knowledge Base article that gives detail and answers to popular questions about this refund. If you have a question that we’ve not covered, please ask, and we’ll expand the FAQ based on your questions to make sure everyone has access to as much information as possible.
I'd like to sincerely apologise both personally and on behalf of all of giffgaff to those members who have been affected. Please keep an eye on your email and text inboxes so that we can sort this out for you.