Please note: As more and more people are staying home to isolate themselves during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, our community is open for those of you who want to stay connected emotionally while we are distancing ourselves physically.
As well as the guidelines below, giffgaff and our community would like to ask that you stay consciously kind to one another, and remember that the unique pressures of staying at home might mean that people are quicker to argue. Please do your best to keep our community a calm and reassuring place to be, and remember that often it is better to be kind to another person than win a debate.
For more information on giffgaff's response to COVID-19 coronavirus, have a read of this post by Ash, the gaffer and CEO.
Updated 01 May 2020
Welcome to the giffgaff community.
This page is here to set out the Community Guidelines which are made up of two parts: Part A - Code of Conduct; and Part B - The Rules.
The Community Guidelines explain what is and isn’t appropriate for our community in detail, but the long and short of it is this: the giffgaff community and its members are respectful to others, genuine and committed to improving giffgaff for every member.
Or, in the words of one of our members: “Just be good.”
A. Code of Conduct
The Code of Conduct is to help all new and existing members keep the community the brilliant place that it is today. Think of this as ‘best practice’ and though we don’t expect everyone to always follow the Code of Conduct to the letter, we do expect that people respect the spirit of what’s intended by the Code of Conduct.
- Be constructive. The Community is a place where members are encouraged to take part by sharing their thoughts and opinions. When disagreeing, look for common ground and add to the conversation rather than try to stop it.
- Be polite and show respect, even when disagreeing. Respond to the idea, not the person.
- Be welcoming. It may well be someone’s first day and first post in the community.
- Approach conversations honestly and assume the same in others. If you believe someone is posting in a manner that is disingenuous in order to make a point, please flag the post rather than confronting them publicly.
- Consider the consequences of your words and your actions and take responsibility for them. Sometimes it is better to be kind than to be right.
- Stay on topic when posting in an existing thread. Going off on a tangent for a bit is ok, but completely changing the topic should be avoided.
- Search to see if a topic already exists, or if your question has an answer.
- Say thank you with a reaction icon at the bottom of a post if someone has helped you or shared a great post. Set a Best Answer if you open a thread in the Help forum – you’ll be helping someone else.
- If you see someone looking for help in a language other than English, please use an online translation tool to help them out such as Google Translate.
- Allow people their own time to respond and time for threads to develop. Don't expect immediate responses.
- When responding to a query in the help forum, ensure that you have your full answer ready before submitting your post. Please don’t post a one-word response and then edit in a longer reply later.
- Keep your post relevant to the area you are posting in - submit help queries to help etc.
- Only post content that you have permission to post from the original creator.
- Use the ‘Flag’ option in options (the three dots present on every post) to flag any inappropriate content that goes against either the Rules or the Code of Conduct. The Educators role is not to actively moderate content; we therefore rely on community members to report this content to us.
B. The Rules
We’d love to get by with just the Code of Conduct but there are some things that we have to make sure are followed to the letter to keep out the worst behaviours. As such the points below are the absolute minimum we require from everyone who takes part and if you see anyone breaking these Rules, please use the “Flag” option present on every comment. These behaviours are also the most likely to cause us to reach out to discuss the situation, remove comments or even revoke a member’s access to the community entirely.
Please Do Not:
- Do not insult, harass, bully, demean, defame, deliberately offend or otherwise attack other members of the community or staff. We will not tolerate racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, any other form of discrimination or any behaviour intended to make people feel actively unwelcome on the forum. Note: this includes “ironic” and “comedic” uses. If you feel you have been a victim of any of the above behaviour, please flag the content and contact the community staff. Our terms on this.
- Do not deliberately circumvent the language-filter on the community or use language intended to offend or insult others (this includes creating offensive member names).
- Do not use more than one account to interact on the community. This includes as a means to gain extra Payback, award Reactions or Best Answers or to avoid a suspension. (Sometimes accidents happen and we’ll always discuss any issues with this first, but if you’re unsure please ask the community or staff if something is OK.) Our terms on this.
- Do not violate the website section of our Terms and Conditions.
- Do not post content that contains nudity or is pornographic in nature.
- Do not post unsolicited advertisements for any products or services. This includes affiliate or referral links (with the exception of giffgaff’s own, which must only appear in forum signatures or your community profile page). This rule is in place to prevent scams using the community simply as an audience for advertising. If you directly benefit we are more likely to remove the link/post. If in doubt, consult with the community staff.
- Do not advocate any illegal activities. Any comments seen as promoting or advocating illegal activities will be removed.
- Do not discuss or post about any specific or individual moderation action taken by staff. The community will be unable to help with specifics as they will not have the context and as we will not discuss these situations publicly, the conversation will not be constructive. We will gladly discuss actions taken by staff directly with the people affected, in private. Conversations about moderation in general are permitted but not as a way to discuss a specific situation.
- Do not impersonate other community members, giffgaff agents or giffgaff team members.
- Do not tout for SIMs, Reactions (formally Kudos) or Best Answers by asking or posting links in the body of your message or through Private Message. A small message/banner in your signature or profile page is, however, allowed: for SIMs you can include a direct order link and for Reactions (formally Kudos) and Best Answers a reminder for members to award them where they feel they have been earned
Photography board Rules
- Copying another person's work (written or graphic) without their permission is a potential breach of copyright, something that won't be allowed in this board, and certainly questioned and removed by a member of staff. If posting images or other content that is not your property, these must be marked as such, and the actual copyright holder must be noted with said content. Ignoring this rule will have your picture removed.
- Images from third party sources must include a link or reference back to the original artist/copyright holder with verifiable terms of usage.
- Showing appreciation with a Reaction (formally Kudos) is what we love seeing but please abide by all of our community guidelines.
How our staff enforces the above
We respect the Community Guidelines in our interactions with members and expect members to do the same when interacting with staff.
We rely on reports via flagged posts to take action and to discuss situations with members.
We approach any enforcement of the Rules and Code of Conduct primarily through private discussion. Any action we take will be prompted by or to support discussion. Any enforcement action by community staff taken is open for discussion with that member of staff.
We will respond to private messages and e-mails as soon as we're able (usually within a working day or two and rarely more than a week) but due to the volume and different types of messages we get, we can't always guarantee that we'll get back to every message or e-mail we receive. We prioritise conversations around education and questions from members but if you haven't heard from us and you were expecting a response, please don't hesitate to let the person in question know. Also note that the best place for help with your SIM, phone and service is still from our members in Help & Support.
We believe in treating people like adults. This means that we talk and ensure both sides understand the situation fully and that people accept responsibility for their own actions and the consequences those actions have on others.
We expect members who are contacted by staff to listen to the feedback and to treat any advice given with the same importance as the Rules and Code of Conduct.
We look to improve conversation and will take the action that is most likely to lead to that result.
Though we have tried to make the Rules as unambiguous as possible and the Rules apply to all members equally, we treat people and situations individually. History of previous behaviour, context of the conversation, the people involved and their relationships to one another are all factors that we can and will consider.
Any breach of these guidelines may result in the editing or removal of posts/threads, or may result in a suspension from the community altogether and may have a negative effect on your payback.
We can suspend (“ban”) a member from the community if:
They are clearly acting in a way contrary to the Community Guidelines and/or breaking the Rules
If conversations about behaviour that goes against the Community Guidelines have not yielded a positive change in that behaviour
If they have blocked communication or are completely unresponsive to discussion
Suspensions can be either time-based, indefinite or permanent:
Time-based: these suspensions are intended to correct behaviour and give members some time away from the community to reflect. The time is dependent on the situation and the ensuing conversation with the member. This can range from a few hours to weeks.
Indefinite: the member is suspended without an agreed-upon time of return. This happens when we need to discuss a situation and the person’s response will dictate the length of the suspension. We look to resolve these rapidly by lifting the suspension, setting a time-frame or making the suspension permanent. In cases where a decision cannot be made with the member, we will declare the discussion “deadlocked” and we will refer the member to escalate the situation further to get a resolution.
Permanent: the member is suspended with the expectation that they will not be granted access again. Permanent suspensions are imposed for very serious breaking of the Rules or for repeated offences where temporary suspensions have not prompted a change in behaviour.
In the majority of cases, suspension from the forums will not affect the use of giffgaff mobile services, nor will it stop payback being earned for recruitment. We reserve the right to restrict the use of such services in extreme cases.
Previous suspensions (temporary, indefinite or permanent) may be overturned at the discretion of giffgaff.
Suspended members will continue to have access to read the community and knowledge base as well as the ability to raise cases with the agents.
In the event of disputes or clarification on any of the guidelines the Community Management Team have the final say. We will not discuss individual details of any of our moderation decisions on the public forums.
The process for disputes is as follows:
- Discuss the situation/issue directly with the staff member who took the action. This is likely through Private Message on the community or in the case of suspension through the community e-mail address (we will also reach out to the person in question via e-mail to initiate this contact).
- If you wish to escalate further any discussion or dispute you may have with a decision or a member of our Community Team, please request that they refer you to a manager or contact another member of the community team.
- If this is unsatisfactory, you can find our complaints process and how to raise a case on this page. This in turn will create an official agent case that will be reviewed and escalated to senior management in the community team for review. The senior community staff will provide a detailed report on the results of the review to the agents which will then be checked over by the agents before the decision is communicated. Note: while the official complaints process is live, we will not respond through other channels or discuss the situation further to avoid confusing the issue and creating more content to be brought into the review. Our complaints & code of practice.
- Should this process not satisfy you, you may be entitled to raise a complaint to the ombudsman. Please follow their guidance here: Ombudsman complaints service
Updating of the guidelines: Please note these guidelines are subject to updates without notice. Please subscribe to this thread if you would like updates for all changes as any edits/tweaks made will be called out in a new post here.
For any major changes, we will announce them in the Announcements section. We urge members to check these guidelines on a regular basis.
The Code of Conduct & Rules were originally published: 1st of June, 2018.
The Code of Conduct & Rules were last updated: 23rd of September, 2019
(Please see replies below for full edit history of the guidelines.)