Knowledge Base

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.





Thanks for clear info
cheers for information
Thanks for the info
Thanks for posting, I sure do see many posts from people who have being barred. I didn't realise you sent out a warning email. A lot of people haven't mentioned that in their posts.
Thanks Gregg, still abit hazy, but alot clearer (if you know what I mean) but it does give an indication to what you class as abuse Cheers Smiley Happy
top cat
Thank you Gregg.

Why are the agents still sending out messages warning that members face permanent bans if they continue to use too much data, even when legitimate use has been established?

Or are you saying that is a mistake and is covered under "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." ?

excellent.. nice and clear..


so, if a user goes over 1gb in an hour, they first get a warning

that will make a lot of users very happy as they have been asking for this for quite some time

then if it continues it will be temporarily suspended
again, not a ban, so this will make people happy

then if they keep it up, a ban is applied, BUT they can appeal, and if legitimate, they can have their services reinstated


sounds easy to me..


hope this clears up a lot of the confusion for some people

Two questions regarding detection:


1. Is the 1GB per hour 'limit' monitored over a full hour is it calculated from a shorter period?


2. If use can be proved to be legitimate is a user permitted to exceed 1GB per hour?



Otherwise, it's good to see things regarding what 'unlimited' actually means becoming a little clearer.

hopefully the update later this week will give clear info on what is abuse

Seems fair enough to me but is it safe to assume that you mean consistently using over 1 gig per hour and not occasionally doing so?. It would be nice to know we could watch the odd football match for example without running the risk of a ban