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Today's Service Outage

handy giff-staffer

As you very likely to be already aware, today we've suffered a major service outage - it was caused by major water damage to the computer network in a our data centre and it took nearly 8 hours fix.


Firstly I'd like to offer my apologies for the interruption in service and thank all of our members for their patience whilst we fixed the issue.


The service is largely back up and running now - the exception is new activations which are currently being queued and our service teams are working on a fix.


Some of you have asked about compensation - we're going to focus on fixing the issues we've had and make sure we have a stable service first - and then we'll sit down think of ways to make it up to you.


We'll continue to post updates on the support community so click here for the latest news.


Thanks once again for your patience.


Mike Fairman


CEO giffgaff



Update 21:15


Thanks for everyone's comments - especially those appreciating our way of keeping you up to date!


In response to a few of the issues raised...


Porting - those that were scheduled for today may have been delayed - we're continuing to work on these as fast as we can. 


Texts - we think that for most of the outage, inbound text messages should have been delivered. Whether those that failed initially will ultimately be delivered will be determined largely by the re-try policies of the network from which they were sent. In other words, you may or may not get them depending on which network sent them.


Root cause - we will of course investigate this and report on the conclusions. Our data centre does have an uninterruptable power supply and backup generators but its possible that even if these worked the water damage to the network gear was sufficient to bring the service down.

Had a real panic because I had just bought a new Galaxy S2 and when I went to use couldn't get through. It wasn't until I got home and could access the Internet that I knew I hadn't got a duff phone! The regular updates were really helpful and unlike some other contibuters I am not going to moan about how intolerable the loss of service has been! If your business is reliant on a mobile phone network perhaps you should consider going with one of " the major " networks and pay premium rates! Even then there would be no guarantee! Let's hope it's onwards and upwards. Lesson learned?
I had to walk for two hours on a country lane to find a phone and call for RAC after my car broke down because giffgaff don't have backup tired and stressed out
this is the second issue I have had with poor service this month 1st issue being unable to purchase a goody bag and now a burst water pipe manages to down the whole network! Have to say maybe some of the advertising/marketing pot would be better spent on ensuring the network is reliable/stable and making sure you look after your existing customers when poor service is given!!
Think there's quiet a few members that wasn't best pleased with gg services today!I've had nothing but trouble with this other network would have been out of service for most of the day!I'm not really bothered who the top man is..@ the end of the day I say boo to you for getting it so wrong today!

It says at the bottom of the page in the forum that GiffGaff runs on the O2 network, so whose pipe burst, GiffGaff's or O2's.

If you phone was off all day how do you know you lost thousands of pounds of business, maybe no-one wanted to do business with you today anyway.


All this moaning is typical of this country today....where's the Dunkirk spirit or if that happened today would say can't go and rescue those chaps as I can't sned any text messages.


Well done GiffGaff for keeping us informed


For those who said that other networks are more reliable... it was the *backend* MVNE (the ones who actually do the back haul work instead of Giffgaff, who had the problems), so it was up to them to have the contingency plan in action.


I have to admit, i DO NOT know how easy it is, or if it is indeed possible, for a MVNO (which GiffGaff are) to have 2 separate contracts with different MVNE's, so it is easier for them to swap over incase of a failure. But i do know that it is indeed something that should be looked into.


I have had mobile phones with vodaphone which *refused* to recieve text messages, or recieved them several hours (or in some cases) DAYS later. Swapping the handset (for the same model, as it was outside of the 14 day cancellation period), resulted in the same problem.


Turned out to be that the model of phone i had, with the vodaphone *software* on it, was causing the problems... but i had to wait a week or so running the phone to see if the problem was indeed solved (it wasnt). Only then, was i allowed to change actual model of the handset (and rather rapidly the store refused to sell the handset to anyone).


I also know of a friend who reported a network outage in her area (it was just one tower being dumb). However, it took her several months for this to get resolved as the network kept on saying that everything was fine (Vodafone again at fault).


Anyways, crap happens sometimes.


Personally, I always try to keep two sim cards on *seperate* networks active, just in case something happens when i am out... especially when i am in a place that i do not know well... because i *cannot* guarentee that i would have coverage (my parents being an excellent example, all networks in her exact area are of poor quality, and it is hobsons choices if one will work.


*shrugs* having worked in the mobile phone industry, i have seen networks go up and down, sometimes for a few hours, sometimes longer, and various other situational problems arising.

Although it was pain not having a phone most of the day, i did appreciate the regular updates on when it would be fixed. I still think Giff Gaff is the best payg network. Smiley Happy

I agree with folks that your communications have been very good in keeping us up to date and also thank you to Mike for taking the time on a day which must have been terrible to update the community, I am impressed with that sort of service.


I work in an environment where loss of service costs £1000s per minute so we rely heavily on a first rate DR facility, I understand that GiffGaff is a low cost operator but you do need to look seriously at your DR capabilities.


Thanks again for your sterling efforts and for keeping us all informed.


After noticing the loss of service this morning, I checked the website, and was very impressed to see a detailed breakdown, and frequent updates of what was happening. Having had similar issues with previous providers where I've had to spend an hour using someone elses phone to ring support and try to find out what was happening it was a nice change.


I'm sure Giffgaff will be taking note of the large single point of failure that has been proved, and looking at ways round that for future. All in all, 8 hours to fix a complete network failure is pretty impressive work.


My only suggestion would have been an email/text (or both) to all members as soon as the serious nature of the failure was known, so that people didn't have to wonder if it was a handset issue or a network issue. As it was I had to inform some other users as I saw them that it was a network issue, and tell them to relax and stop worrying.




The outage caused me alot of stress and problems with the job center because my notes on my iphone are stored on my websites server (Microsoft Exchange) and i really needed accsess to them! But im glad its up and running now! But today how shown me how much people in the 21st centery rely on technology to much! As a teenager today was painful without a phone lol