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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.


Thanks for the update but can't believe these things could happen in a mobile network facility. I run a business and this is one of my main contact number for clients so was a stressfull day for me as well. Shocked that this could happen and wondering how much I and many people who rely on Giffgaff for business has lost. 


Mike, will giffgaff port my number that requested to do TODAY (16/3/2012) in the near future? can you actually contact me? I need to know as NO ONE can give me an answer.

Dear CEO Mike and all giffgaff team, I understand that this severe problem can happen but once it happened, can giffgaff system show straight away that it's a NETWORK PROBLEM? (It showed after HOURS of crash today.) As reception was pretty good I thought it was my phone, I almost factory reset it Smiley Sad glad I didn't do would be such a nightmare restoring everything.

Earlier today I posted this.....



First there was "auto updates not working", (just when I needed it)...     Strrrrike 1!
Then there was "unable to purchase Goodybags from balance"........     Strrrrike 2!
Now the whole bloody network is down ?.............................................        You're out!


So you have designed a system with a single point of failure that can take down your entire network.  Well done.  No seriously, with the current state of the art in design of high availability telecommunications systems that actually takes some doing.  And please spare us the "it's all the fault of one of our suppliers" guff.  They are still part of YOUR system for the perspective of your customer.   As far as I'm aware, there has not been a nuclear strike on central London.  No earthquake.  No tsunami.   Just someone tripping over a cable.  Not good enough.  Not nearly good enough.

It's a mobile phone network guys, not a village fete.  Availability matters.  It affects peoples lives, livelihoods and in some cases their safety.

I'll let the dust settle before porting out - I really don't want that messed up.  Maybe I'll be back in a couple of years - if you are still around - which you won't be."



Now it's fixed and we're all friends again.  Not.  With a bit of luck, there are meetings going on right now in the marketing departments of 3 and O2 about how to pick up disgruntled GiffGaff customers.   It was a nice idea, but in the 21st century a telecoms business built on sand will fail.  Too much volume too quickly with too little up-front investment.


The bottom line is, finding my phone was useless scared me.   There is a lot to say about how dependant we have become on mobile networks, but I'll do whatever I can not to be put in that position again.  Maybe I'll go dual SIM, but it is evident GiffGaff is no substitute for an established network.  Sooner or later it will be sold off and swallowed up and the founders will get rich, but I'm not going to allow my life to be messed with to help you make your fortune. 





(Reliability Consultant)


Anyone bemoaning giffgaff no back up server etc... why surely didn't suffer today as naturally they would follow their own advice and have an alternative communication device as their own back up.....


I'm rather ashamed that members of the comunity are already - at all even - questioning about compensation. They obviously don't understand the importance of what is almost a co-op sevice. They don't seem to recognise that they already get compensation any and all of the technical difficulties just through the rates they are paying and therefore the money they save.

Yes today I couldn't get though to someone and so I was late to get away from somewhere, but you know what? I save over £60 a year by being on giffgaff, and that means that giffgaff have basically given my a wad of money. I am not going to complain at all.

Congratulations on getting the service back up and running so rapidly, and I hope it hasn't been too much of a loss to you ♥

Gemn x


As strange as it sounds, things like this make me proud to be on giffgaff, with the quality and value of your service overall I'd say a one day mishap is a pretty fair deal. Thank you for keeping us all informed Smiley Happy


sharoncoco wrote:

What a load of crock, I came from vodaphone with also my daughter last month and I have never felt so angry with the service today because my daughter or myself couldn't contact each other when needed, I know that this wouldn't have happened if I had stayed on vodaphone because they have staff searching for problems before they happen, 


And yes, this did take down service for some of the customers 

Everybody needs to cut GiffGaff some slack here. I work in I.T and, you know, **bleep** happens - you can't cover every eventuality and nobody, but nobody, has 100% uptime. I was affected and couldn't sent txts but still had data so just emailed instead. Inconvenient yes, but thinking of switching network? Go get a life. There isn't a better value network in the U.K and for the money I pay the availability over the 2 years I've been here has been excellent. Can't complain at all. So, appreciate the emailed apology GiffGaff - and I hope you get a permanent solution in place soon.

faybijou you're sadist to convince your wife to join Giffgaff, what a soul crushing exsistence you have tricking people to join a rubbish network, joining Giffgaff is one of the biggest mistakes I have ever done, from day one there has been problems, before you tell me "why don't you leave then" yes I will leave and join a proper network. May cost a little more but you get you pay for.


jcheale, I am going to follow your footsteps by porting out of Giffgaff as soon as I (hopefully) port in.