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Unlimited Data Update

former giff-staffer
Following on from our previous blog about the recent ASA case, we wanted to give you more clarity on our current process for managing data abuse. 
In order for giffgaff to provide the best mobile experience for all of its members and continue to offer unlimited data allowances, it’s essential that we’re able to prevent usage which is against our terms and conditions. For ease of reference, we call all uses that aren’t allowed under our terms “illegitimate use”. This ties in with the ASA’s guidance on unlimited data but isn’t intended to suggest such use is necessarily illegal or bad, it’s just not something that our service can be used for.
We would like to share with you the process we follow internally in order to flag any potential illegitimate use of our network. We intend to post a full FAQ which will detail the entire process by the end of this week, however for now we would like to share a summary with you


  1. Detection: We have tested a number of devices and applications and we feel like anything over a 1GB/hour throughput is indicative of illegitimate usage, such as tethering. This level of usage isn’t always illegitimate, but it’s definitely indicative of it.
  2. Warning: When we see someone using that much data and after we’ve investigated it , we contact the member via email where we suspect that this usage was illegitimate. The member is advised that if their usage is illegitimate, they will receive a data bar, but at this stage this is just a notification. 
  3. Suspension: If the member continues their suspected-illegitimate usage, we will suspend their data services. The member is then able to contact an agent to re-activate their data services. They will be reminded of our terms and conditions, and upon confirming that they will not use the service for illegitimate purposes, their service will be resumed. If illegitimate usage continues, data access will be permanently suspended.
  4. Appeal: If a member feels that their usage was legitimate and that the conclusions of our investigations were incorrect, they are invited to follow the usual appeals procedure. We will then conduct a further review into the case. We do realise that mistakes can be made and want to assure you all that we take every appeal very seriously and conduct a full review.


We take being able to provide our members unlimited data very seriously. We’ve already shared some of the areas we are looking at to improve data usage on our network. As part of this we will begin a period of consultation with the entire community by the end of this month to get your feedback on a number of different initiatives which we’ve been working on for some time.

We’ve also heard your feedback and we’re reviewing our internal training and external communications surrounding our data terms and conditions. We hope to have this rolled out by the end of the week. 
We just want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your patience and understanding and look forward to opening up consultation with you at the end of this month regarding future plans.


Updated 17/08/12


Hi all,


We have posted the FAQ today, as promised. It is missing a few example images which I will add on Monday, but content wise it gives a much more indpeth look at the processes we have around certain situations.


Can find it here.





@Richard ... you've just put the fear of God into everybody :-P :-D.
Great piece of info for those that weren't aware though :-)

Its funny how different people from different countries perceive some threats to freedom. The whole internet-connections-protocol-storage thing was a big topic in Germany and the law that translated the EU directive in national law was eventually ruled unconstitutional by the German supreme court and this EU directive is therefore not currently implemented in Germany. While in the UK it seemed to be a minor topic, but popular opposition pushed away the obligation for people to have ID cards, which again is completely uncontroversial in Germany.


Anyway, we are probably quite far off-topic, but there can never be enough spotlight on the EU directive to store the communication data of everybody... it is indeed the single most important threat to freedom in Europe. (Though the complete surveillance of all public spaces by camera in London will also become more creepy once automatic image recognition systems get better than they are today.)

Although Greg may have posted "what they do" I can tell you from personal experience that they do not do that as I had a random data bar and did not receive an email I had to ask an agent 8 times before I got an answer and when I logged on there was a tiny message saying your data has been barred and I hadn't used 900mb I never got told I could complain so I guess that was a waste of £10!!!

Richard, brilliant post. in fact two excellent posts in the same page.

It never ceases to amaze me concerning how naive the majority of people are concerning their privacy.


Ok, it's not 1984 but Big Brother is certainly watching us.

And I'm not talking TV shows here either.


Hi turner98,

"I had a random data bar and did not receive an email I had to ask an agent 8 times before I got an answer"



Was this after the ASA rulling?  If so could you post a copy of your Cease and Desist notice.  Will be interesting to see if it is in line with the latest rulling from the ASA.






What are the cease and desist notices for in this case?


Jack Smiley Wink



Hi Jack,


We hope to find what is all aboutSmiley Happy





---------------------------- by richardski on 19-08-2012 16:43OptionsHi gainws69, Could you post a copy of your Cease and Desist notice.  Will be interesting to see if it is in line with the latest rulling from the ASA. Richard ---------------------------- This is the email giffgaff sent me regarding data : I didn't have to agree to terms and conditions or anything. I emailed support to get bar lifted and they said you can not have any internet until your current goody bag runs out on the 5th. Giffgaff have no even followed their own guidelines as stated here:
heavy hitter



"your data service has been your barred. If you wish to discuss this decision please contact an agent via "


and I thought my English was