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Blackberry Launch Update #2

Started by: gaffer
On: 07/12/2011 | 18:40
Replies: 1205
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by: gaffer
former giff-staffer

on: 07/12/2011 | 18:40 edited: 01/02/2012 | 14:48

**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)

 

Regards

 

The gaffer

 

--

 

Update: 24/01

 

Good morning,

 

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--

Mike, former CEO and gaffer
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Message 1 of 1,206
by: stealthybigboss
on: 07/12/2011 | 18:41
Smiley Surprised. ok thanks for info
Message 2 of 1,206
by: syorksdeano
on: 07/12/2011 | 18:42
Thanks for the update.....cue the rants
`Please give me kudos if my reply was helpful.'

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Message 3 of 1,206
by: neil40
on: 07/12/2011 | 18:42
It is for the best.Better to make sure everything is running correctly before this big launch.
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Message 4 of 1,206
by: thaiba1
on: 07/12/2011 | 18:44
You've been sayin it since august I understand that there's things to be done but its best if you stop giving dates because a day before the given date you start apologising just give a date when you know for definate please
Message 5 of 1,206
by: rxfleming
on: 07/12/2011 | 18:45 edited: 07/12/2011 | 18:47

This is just ridiculous.

 

You should have planned all of the above, BEFORE you started to launch blackberry. Who is your service delivery manager? Can they not PLAN a project? These constant updates are beginning to remind me of the 'boy who cried wolf'. 

 

I am leaving to join Vodafone. I'm done waiting on you giffgaff.  What a disaster.

Message 6 of 1,206
by: syorksdeano
on: 07/12/2011 | 18:48
Well I for one am slightly annoyed that this news couldn't have been given a lot sooner, but on the other hand I can see the point of delaying the launch and given the problems today with the site then tomorrow would brought the site onto it's knees.
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Message 7 of 1,206
by: ii
on: 07/12/2011 | 18:49

Getting silly now Smiley Indifferent

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Message 8 of 1,206
by: matt1111
on: 07/12/2011 | 18:52 edited: 07/12/2011 | 19:09

All for the best really. It wouldn't be good to launch something if it's not gonna go very well. All you BB users will just have to wait I'm afraid, do you know how hard it is to run a mobile network.
Also with the issues going on, it would simply be pointless to launch the BB support.

It is obvious the website is not ready and with the agents slow response times, it won't work and the website will be under alot of pressure. In all honesty you should be grateful that giffgaff are spending the money and time to make this all a better for you, and you're just downing the network. Imagine if it was the o2, would you down them for the delays??

 

To be fair I knew the BB support would be delayed. You've the goodybag problems and the login problems today.

Firstly you need a goodybag and the BB addon which requires making an account and a goodybag (relating back to the goodybag issues) and also with logging in. If you cannot login you cant activate a SIM and then get a goodybag (again relating to the goodybag issue again). Realistcally speaking its better measures take place rather than the service fall like a half torn condemned house (anology for you Smiley Tongue)


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Message 9 of 1,206
by: johnnylager
on: 07/12/2011 | 18:53

oh dear....

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Message 10 of 1,206