GiffGaff: hold the line – this one’s for you

If you wanted to take on the big boys, you maybe wouldn’t choose 2011 to do it. Fortunately GiffGaff thinks differently. They think differently about a lot of things.

GiffGaff doesn’t sell phones – or take your soul for two years for the privilege. GiffGaff doesn’t sell you network access and penalise you when you use it.

GiffGaff’s all about a mobile SIM – and a great package. But there’s a lot more…

Taking on the big boys

GiffGaff is compact, no power suits, no swish offices, no ultra-clever TV adverts. They even bought things like their desks and even office plants second-hand.

But there’s nothing recycled about their business model. That’s 100% new.

GiffGaff’s new management team has come up with a great value proposition. Giving the customer what they really need, only for as long as they need it.

You just buy the package you want each month – GiffGaff calls it a “Goody Bag”. Need a cheap calling package?

Fine, that’ll cost you a fiver. In that, you get calls and unlimited UK text messages. Want some Internet with that?

No problem. A tenner buys you your calls, unlimited texts and unlimited Internet. Heavy users don’t miss out either.

GiffGaff’s top £20 deal gives you 600 call minutes and unlimited everything else.

You get to call other GiffGaff mobile users for free. Works great for mates!

Small-time prices, big-time network

You may be thinking that this will run on some tin-pot network with no coverage. Well, think again. GiffGaff runs on O2’s network.

GiffGaff could have gone down the same road as other second-tier providers. Take the money and run. But they’re determined to give a real service.

Not for them the face-less, script-driven call centre. You get a real social network, with answers to the trickiest problems – like how to get Internet on a Blackberry – sorted in a few minutes.

Mainstream features thrown in, not thrown out

Even though this is contract-free, pay-as-you-go, you still get things like voicemail and you can keep your own number. Your top-ups can be managed, too.

You can assign a debit card which will top-up your package as it runs down. You’ll get a quick message to show how much you have left after each call.

GiffGaff gives you the SIM for free – for your mates too if you want them on-board. You even get rewarded for bringing friends to GiffGaff.

A Cloud mobile network – the start of things to come?

The key thing about GiffGaff is the service aspect. This is a hardware-free service. There’s no phone deal tying you in. Smartphones cost more than a high-end PC. But how much of this cost is because they’re sold by the networks?

Maybe if GiffGaff succeeds and others follow their lead, we’ll see a market open up for SIM-free phones at costs that actually make them viable.

Now this may just sound like some advertorial for GiffGaff. Its not, believe me. GiffGaff’s offer impresses me hugely. I’ve even paid to switch over to them.

If GiffGaff’s brave idea does start a mobile revolution, it’ll be a socially driven one. And I for one won’t be shedding any tears for the big boys.