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GiffGaff, O2's venture into democratic MVNOs, has launched, and its forums are already groaning with customers asking inane questions that other customers struggle to answer.

GiffGaff is supposed to be run by its customers, who can earn credit or cash by answering other customers' questions, signing up more people, or recommending the service - all of which is intended to save the MVNO money for cheaper calls.

Pricing compares well to other SIM-only operations, though GiffGaff is chucking in free data for the first six months or so (no promises) while it polls customers about how much they would like to pay. The usual T&Cs prevent tethering, or use of any streamed services, but presumably that's up for negotiation too.

The do-it-yourself support isn't quite there yet. The problem is that those answering the questions are as ill-informed as those asking them, so ultimately a staff member has to provide a definitive answer: "What is evident is that the Community area is badly structured and a seemingly 'free for all' for comments", as one forum member puts it.

Those answering questions do get a cash reward, though GiffGaff isn't saying how much. The only figures the operator is providing are for signing up a new customer (£5), recommending someone to GiffGaff (£2) and sending a mail to someone saying they really should sign up (50p).

Incentives like that aren't uncommon - 3 will give you a fiver if you sign up a mate - but it will be interesting to see how much customers think they should pay for data and how much GiffGaff starts charging them once the six months is up. ®

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