Should helpers make more of an effort to find the cause of the problem by troubleshooting and asking questions rather than posting an agent link straight away
I think they should. Many times we see a question that is so ambiguous it cannot be answered except by asking questions. And then, somebody comes along with a blanket "you'll need to ask an agent about this", usually without even giving a specific agent link. You can be sure that the member needing the help asks the agent an equally vague question so it probably wastes a lot of the agent's time.
We'll probably never get rid of the "ask an agent, even if you're not sure its an agent matter" brigade altogether, but putting the "generic ask" link in the swearword filter would at least ensure they had to find an appropriate category.
adding credit then finding they've lost a a penny or a few pence and can't convert to a gooybag, There should be no possibility or reason why this should happen
It's not possible to prevent members adding credit before buying a goodybag, which is the primary cause of this problem.
What's needed here is education -- a categoric instruction on the topup page itself would help:
Do NOT do a topup if your intention is to use the full value of the topup
to buy a goodybag. Instead, go to https://giffgaff.com/buy/goodybag
and buy the goodybag without topping up first.
That could potentially solve the problem not just of pennies disappearing but of members forgetting to buy the goodybag afterwards.