John (zandev) wrote,

Endearingly rubbish

I'm the kind of person who gets annoyed at poor customer service. I'm also the kind of person who does actually bother to complain to companies when they have given me poor service, and have had reasonable success in actually getting acknowledgement of such and change.

In a related bit of news (bear with me, you'll see where I'm going with this eventually), I've turned to the Dark Side, and got an iPhone (they clearly are Dark Side - Apple is obviously evil, but they are indeed quicker and more seductive).

For this secondary phone (I've still got my basic phone - my main number hasn't changed), I needed a new network operator. On the recommendation of a colleague, I selected the new virtual operator GiffGaff.

They are rubbish.

Having said that, and referring to my first paragraph, you might expect me to go off on a rant about how rubbish they are. Quite the opposite, I'm actually quite pleased with them.

Why? Because to my surprise, they seem to have pulled off the marketing feat of that classic British state of being endearingly rubbish.

They genuinely are rubbish: their website was impressively broken in trying to make a card payment originally, they have no phone customer service at all, they can take a while to respond, and so on. When sending me an extra SIM to pass on to a friend they even managed to send it to an address with a line consisting of the word 'None'.

What is endearing about them are two things. Firstly, they make no secret about being rubbish; their forums are full of tales of them being rubbish. Secondly, as well as being pretty cheap, they are refreshingly free of the bullshit terms-and-conditions that most other operators enforce. They don't have contracts, so don't try to screw more money out of you on cancellation, and don't provide phones so don't have awkward locks on the phones or otherwise tie you in. Calls to 0800 numbers are actually free. If you use more than a bundle of minutes, they don't charge you a fortune.

Obviously, as they are rubbish, I can't unequivocally recommend them, but I'm glad there is a phone operator around that does offer a different choice.
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