Knowledge Base

Things to know when you join

Started ‎20-03-2012 by
Modified ‎28-06-2019 by

Community Member philiplittle40 has initiated this list of things that every new member should know when they join. You can find more details on each of them by searching the Knowledge Base where they give very good tips for new joiners

More Information

Your device needs to be unlocked or locked to the O2 network to work with giffgaff. A phone is locked when it can only use a SIM from a particular mobile network operator.

Even though Tesco Mobile also uses the O2 network some of their phones are double locked meaning that they will not accept a giffgaff SIM without unlocking. Unfortunately it is not readily obvious which of their phones are double locked.

See our guide on how to unlock your phone.

As giffgaff uses the O2 network, the coverage is the same as O2's - you can check your 3G/4G coverage here.

giffgaff do not have a call centre so all support is provided online:

  • Through the Knowledge Base which has been built from the questions asked and the information needed by our members.
  • By asking the Community for help on about everything except billing issues.
  • By contacting an agent. They are to be contacted for billing, account and service issues only, they are the only ones that can access your account details.

You get the £5 free credit:

  • If you got your SIM from a referral link / signature banner or if the person who gave it to you ordered it from their spread giffgaff page. SIMs ordered direct from giffgaff do not attract this bonus.
  • Only after activation, which includes topping up a minimum of £10 airtime / PAYG credit and/or buying a goodybag for £6 or more.

The giffgaff system does not accept any punctuation characters (,.;:- etc) - so please use only standard letters, numbers and spaces in the personal details' fields.

The first topup for activation has to be done online. Subsequent voucher topups can be done online or by dialling 43430.

You may find that although you are certain of your password the site won't log you in and shows a "wrong credentials" message. The most common reason for this is a browser compatibility issue and can usually be resolved by clearing the cache/cookies and/or switching browser.

Almost always this is due to logging into the wrong account. Because the site allows you to create forum only accounts many people have two or more accounts with similar community member names - sometimes completely inadvertently (e.g. get part way through activating a SIM, stop and then start the process all over again).

This problem often crops up a month later when the original goodybag runs out. The community member wants to buy another goodybag, but not having logged on in the meantime has forgotten their community membername/password combination. 

If you forget either your password, membername or the email you registered, you can text 'pass' from your phone to 43430. A reminder and a password reset link will be sent to the number by SMS, within a few minutes.

See this Knowledge Base article detailing all the reasons and possible resolutions of problems using payment cards.

If you have the "required field" error on the expiry date field (particularly on iPhones and iPads), use a different browser to complete the operation.

goodybags are measured in allowances (minutes, texts and data) and not £'s. If you buy a goodybag only (no PAYG topup) then it is correct for your balance to show as zero. Balance only refers to PAYG credit (It does not expire after a calendar month like a goodybag does).

You don't get a goodybag automatically on topping up, they have to be purchased manually. If you top up with a voucher just go to the Top up page to buy a goodybag or see this Knowledge Base article on how to exchange your airtime credit for a goodybag.

goodybags last one calendar month and you can only have one active goodybag at any time.

If you are down to your last  100MB or 100 minutes in your current goodybag, you can purchase a new goodybag early or use PAYG airtime credit until the goodybag expires.

Not included in any goodybag are:

  • MMS (16p each and 24p to a non U.K. mobile).
  • International calls/texts (vary in price).
  • Using your phone/device outside the U.K.
  • Premium calls/texts (vary in price).
  • Shortcode texts (vary on price).
  • Personal numbers (vary in price).
  • 084, 087, 09, 118 numbers (25p per minute + Service Charge).

For the very latest tariffs see:

When you are using a BlackBerry on giffgaff you can make calls and send texts whatever the goodybag you choose. However, to use the BlackBerry Services, such as BlackBerry Messenger, you will need an active goodybag.

After purchasing a goodybag, go to My giffgaff. In the Phone and call service settings section, you'll need to activate BlackBerry Services.

Devices running BlackBerry 10 do not need BlackBerry Services to be activated.

Note: BlackBerry 7 devices or older come with a 10MB data roaming allowance in the E.U. See this article for more information. 

If you are running PAYG then mobile data is charged at 5p per MB in the U.K. as well as the E.U. and select countries. This can quickly get expensive and drain your credit. To keep an eye on your spend you could install a data counter app to warn you when you are getting close to your maximum spend (or whatever limit you require).

If you're unsure on whether you want to use goodybag or PAYG then have a look at giffgaff's best tariff calculator which can help you to work out which giffgaff tariff is best for you.

Check the following before asking to transfer your number.

  • Make sure the SIM is working properly with the giffgaff number before requesting the transfer.
  • Make sure the giffgaff SIM works on your phone.
  • Number transfers are not done at weekends - when booking the request the safest time to go for is midweek or when you know you won't be using your phone.
  • Don't assume what your transfer date is. The date can be checked on the transfer page once you have requested the transfer.

During the transfer, you will lose service on both your old SIM and the new giffgaff SIM, possibly for several hours. If it is vital that people can contact you, then you will need to make contingency arrangements.


Ask our community

Don't be shy. Ask one of our lovely members for help.
Our community won't let you down.

Ask a question