Feeds

GiffGaff mobile network goes titsup for 3 weeks

GiffGaffe

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

People-powered phone network GiffGaff left some of its punters without a mobile connection for three weeks and mixed up customers' numbers for several days.

Others also complained that they were unable to move their numbers to new SIMs. Some fixes promised by support staff took longer to emerge than promised - some customers are still waiting for them.

This is the second time GiffGaff's service has gone titsup on such a large scale of fail: it suffered similar problems in November. Back then GiffGaff blamed O2, on which it piggybacks as a mobile virtual network operator.

One outage-hit customer, whose phone cut out on 27 December and was still inactive 22 days later, wrote this in the GiffGaff forums:

Still no service for me. My number was ported on 5th December, service lost on 27th December. 22 days and counting with nothing. Number still not provisioned on the network, it still gives number unrecognised announcement.   I have a 400+ post thread on this with multiple users affected, still nothing, no official response thread for us.

Other punters were effectively left with no service by being unable to buy more credit. A post on the GiffGaff help forums yesterday told readers that the issue was being looked into.

GiffGaff told us: "Due to the big rise in numbers of new customers, this has had some adverse affect on our current customers being able to carry out transactions such as topping up or purchasing a goodybag, as all transactions go through the same channel."

GiffGaff, known for its cheap contracts and "unlimited" data allowance, told The Reg that all the issues, including the long-term outages, seem to have sprung from problems with its website. An increase in web traffic slowed the site down, we understand:

Recently, some members have experienced service disruptions caused by our website’s capacity to handle a sharp growth in member numbers. This impacted the site’s overall stability which unfortunately created issues around functions such as topping up, SIM activations and porting your mobile number to giffgaff.

Despite customer gripes about missed fix deadlines, GiffGaff stressed that it tried its best to keep people informed and made some sacrifices to prioritise fixing the problem:

Throughout the period we worked continuously to rectify the problem and kept members updated through regular service messages on the website and in our social channels. We took steps that included upgrades to a number of system components to increase speed and capability. We also stopped all advertising and delayed the launch of our BlackBerry products to slow orders and traffic to our website.

GiffGaff insists it has introduced "long-term measures" that will address the underlying problems caused by being a victim of its own success. The company has increased the size of the team and "extended the site's capacity to deal with the increased customer demand". The organisation has also promised to pay out compensation between £10 and £50 to customers, depending on how badly affected they were in the outages.

The operator added:

"As we use the O2 network, any signal coverage issues are unfortunately out of our hands." ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.