O2’s in the doghouse today after an angry customer pointed out that his phone number was being handed out to the webmaster of every site he visited over a 3G connection. It turns out that if you visited a webpage from a 3G connection on your phone between 10th January and 2pm UK time today, chances are your phone number has been handed out to at least one person.
Obviously, this caused quite a lot of uproar from customers. O2 quickly responded by fixing the issue within a few hours and then posted rather a long Q&A post on their blog detailing what had happened.
It would seem the company also took the oppertunity to remind customers that some “trusted” partners are allowed to get hold of our mobile numbers if they decide it is necessary. They claim that some companies using premium rate services need phone numbers so that any charges can be added to your bill – but many customers are questioning whether O2 are actually being transparent here.
Nonetheless, this is a pretty big blow for O2 and the customer outrage has attracted the attention of the Information Commissioner. O2 also say that they’re in touch with Ofcom to discuss what happened.
Giffgaff, the increasingly popular MVNO (mobile virtual network operator), has recently introduced it’s new £20 goodybag after multiple requests from customers.
The new goodybag now offers 600 minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited internet – with no fair use as per usual.
In addition, giffgaff have increased the allowance on the £10 goodybag from 100 minutes to 150 minutes at no extra charge. This goodybag appears to be the most popular of the 5 goodybags available considering that it also offers unlimited texts and unlimited internet.
Finally, giffgaff have also said that they will continue to offer the free mobile internet until 1st of December 2010. This means that giffgaff will have ran this promotion for over a year when it finally comes to an end.
3 UK, the network which claims to have the best 3G coverage in the UK, has recently announced that it will start offering the iPhone 4 from June 24th.
There’s no news on pricing as yet, but 3 have said that they’re aiming to announce tariffs on June 15th.
I’m personally very pleased with the idea. Despite the fact that I left 3 earlier this year, it’s good that 3 are finally offering one of the most popular smartphones around. And it could be perfect time, as O2 are cutting their mobile internet down later this month, coinciding with the iPhone 4 launch.
With their extensive 3G coverage in the UK, this could see a lot of customers moving from other networks to 3 for the brand new iPhone, which claims to have a bucket-load of new features that will interest a wide range of smartphone users.
I know I’ve reviewed giffgaff before, but this time I’d like to talk specifically about the comparison of giffgaff to other mobile contracts.
Bear in mind that giffgaff is pay as you go only, but I happen to think the goodybags are tough competition to mobile contracts.
For just a tenner a month (no contract), you get 100 minutes to any network, totally unlimited texts and totally unlimited data. Up it to £15, and you get the same but 300 minutes. Up again to £35, and the same but totally unlimited minutes.
You have to bear in mind that all of those plans include free gg calls, texts and video calls (so it’s free to contact anyone on the giffgaff network, basically).
In addition, you can also get the £5 goodybag which is plain and simple unlimited texts with no FUP – this will be great for teenagers (like myself).
I happen to think that those prices are comparable to other network’s contracts – and there’s no obligation or contract whatsoever. Seems like a handy idea if you are short on cash!
Giffgaff – the new “people powered” mobile network – has today announced it’s brand new bundles that will come into play very shortly (tomorrow – I believe?). The new plans make calling and texting much more economical.
The new plans (or goodybags, as they are being called) are explained as follows (all last for one month):
- For the texter, £5 will give you unlimited texts.
- £10 will give you 100 off-net minutes (calls to networks other than giffgaff – all giffgaff calls and texts are free), unlimited texts and unlimited internet (no fair use policy – providing you aren’t tethering)
- £15 will give you 300 off-net minutes (calls to networks other than giffgaff – all giffgaff calls and texts are free), unlimited texts and unlimited internet (no fair use policy – providing you aren’t tethering)
- £35 will give you unlimited off-net minutes (calls to networks other than giffgaff – all giffgaff calls and texts are free), unlimited texts and unlimited internet (no fair use policy – providing you aren’t tethering).
Here’s a couple of things you may want to know that aren’t in the original forum post:
- Voicemail is included in your minutes. On that basis, you won’t be charged 8p per call but presumably you’ll be charged 1 minute out of your allowance.
- There is no fair use policy on the unlimited internet – you can use as much as you like. However, tethering is not permitted. Tethering means connecting your phone to your computer to provide a connection to the internet.
- Calls and texts to other giffgaff members are still free – they will not come out of your allowance providing you stick to the 60 minute per call limit (hang up and redial).
- If you use one part of your allowance (ie you use all your calls), you will need to use all other parts of your allowance before another goodybag can be started. So if you still have unlimited internet for the rest of the month, you’ll be charged 8p per minute on calls until next month, if you have another goodybag queued.
The initial feedback on the forum seems good. A few people are concerned that there is too longer line between the £15 goodybag and the £35 goodybag. I would probably agree, but the £15 goodybag is plenty for me.
Overall, I’m really impressed. I think it will prove popular in time, but we’ll have to see what comes of all this. Bring on my PAC transfer :).