**Update/Edit** - Blackberry is now live!
Please see this blog post for details.
--the giffgaff team--
We sat down yesterday to review our launch readiness for Blackberry and I’m afraid I have some bad news for the Blackberry fans amongst you – we’re going to delay launch until early January.
We looked at three things to make our decision...
1) Website response times – despite an upgrade to one part our system the response times have not reduced as much as we’d like. We’ve identified other bottlenecks that we need to fix over the next couple of weeks.
2) Capacity to take on new members – we have lots of capacity to activate new members – less so to service them in-life. Theoretically we have enough but it would be tight.
3) Member service query resolution times – these have not dropped to a level that we’re happy with –we need more time for the extra agents we’ve recruited/are recruiting to be trained and get up to speed.
Our view was that we could take a risk and launch Blackberry but that the downsides for existing members of us either being more successful than we planned (with volumes of Blackberry plans sold) or it generating more Ask an Agent queries than planned made the risk not worth taking.
So now, during December we’re going to invest big time in capacity for the website and member services. We’re going to recruit more agents and we’re going to double the transaction processing power of the website – these are both going to be expensive, but ultimately necessary to deliver a great customer experience.
So, apologies for the delay – but I hope you can see that we’ve taken the decision with a view to putting members first. We’ve also learnt valuable lesions about capacity management which we’ll take forward into next year.
Finally, you’ll see in the next few days some of our web advertising re-start. You may think that this is contrary to everything I’ve said above but please be reassured it isn’t. Our decision to stop web advertising in November has now had the desired impact of reducing new member activations – with Christmas postal delays and the natural lag between SIM dispatch and activation we need to start filling our pipeline of SIM orders now so that we can boost sales back up in January (when, of course, we’ll have all that extra capacity)
Firstly, apologies for the delay in response on this thread and topic.
Over the past few weeks, we've been very busy both working on putting through improvements in our systems, and keeping an eye on how they are managing the load. We've seen a few wobbles here and there - meaning that we've been keeping an eye right up to the wire on whether we could make early January.
One of the major pieces of work in progress has been putting a new one million pound piece of kit in at one of our service providers. This work should be finished pretty soon, giving us a lot of extra current capacity to handle transactions (and future proof us a fair amount as well, all being well).
When it became clear that we were likely to have to delay from our previous early January announcement (which has been very recently), we then wanted to work out when was the next more likely launch window. So, here it is.
As a result, we think now that sometime in February should be the time we can push the button on Blackberry launch.
We don't want to give a specific date in February, to give us the option to flick the switch the moment we are ready, rather than force the situation or frustrate people for not making it again.
We know that giving this month window will frustrate some of you, who have been very patient in waiting for Blackberry Services. We haven't made an official announcement thus far, because we have been working towards getting out BB as soon as we possibly can.
For those waiting for Blackberry, we absolutely want you to have it too, and as soon as possible. There have been some very passionate debates on this here.
What we absolutely can't do is risk jeopardising the service for all existing customers in any launch, so all our decisions have been made with this in mind at every stage.
Thanks for your ongoing patience - touch wood, it shouldn't be long now.
--craig_t, on behalf of the giffgaff team--