Giffgaff goodwill fund

So following the recent O2 network connection outage, giffgaff were fantastic and ran a goodwill fund whereby they offered compensation to those affected by the downtime. They offered two options - firstly to take the money as an apology, and secondly to donate your share of this money to charity.

The following email came through this morning:

Hi Alex,

Thank you for your choice last week on how you would like to receive a share of the goodwill fund.

The size of the goodwill fund is £1,000,000 .

Over a million of our members made a choice.

Your choice: Charity

The total amount for charity donation chosen by members, like you, is a wonderfully generous donation of £387,039 . Thank you.

The charity that will receive this is Crisis, a charity working hard to support people who are homeless. At this time of year, it can be very dangerous to live and sleep on the street alone, and with your donation it means that more people will be able to access companionship and essential services over Christmas at Crisis’ centres across the country.

You can read more about the great work they do at Crisis’ website.

Airtime Credit

The total amount for credit chosen by members from the the fund is £612,960 , which will be split between those members who chose to receive credit.

Therefore each of those members will receive £0.90 credit applied to their balance.

For more info and to hear from our CEO you can see our latest Community post here


The giffgaff team

I’ll be honest, I was pretty shocked to read that 2/3 of the users selected to keep the money - especially considering that they only received 90p - which would have otherwise raised 600 thousand for charity!

Either way, I thought this was a fantastic gesture from giffgaff and something I hope to see more of from companies in the future.


Is it possible that a good chunk of the rest of the million was unclaimed?

I hold my hands up… I read the options and thought “eh? Not sure what this is all about, I’ll come back to it later” and I never went back. My girlfriend also did the same thing - asking me what airtime credit is as she was asked if she wants it from Giffgaff, and I said I don’t know.

Now, we’re probably just airheads but I’m sure there are a few hundred thousand more like us.

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The wording in the original email was;

If you feel you were impacted we’ve set up a goodwill fund, from which you can choose to:

  • Take a share of the fund as airtime credit
  • Donate your share to charity

This suggests to me that the fund was split amongst those who chose an option.

Airtime credit is what you use to pay for calls/texts/data if you don’t have a goodybag - like the original Pay As You Go plans.


Equally, people should not be guilted into donating to charity. You do not know their personal circumstances.

Personally, I will never donate to certain national charities because I don’t agree with their corporate operation (like Oxfam). I only donate to local charities in my area - usually the Manchester Children’s Hospital Fund, but I have others locally like Francis House Children’s Hospice or the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.

Donating to charity, and which one, is a personal choice.


I wouldn’t say that anyone was guilted into making a choice - however my original assumption was that nobody would have even considered needing compensation for an outage that lasted only a few minutes and that donating money from a large corporation to charity was the best move.

Your point however is valid - the original notification never claimed which charity it would go to, nor did it give any options.

I guess overall, I was just surprised by the number of people who didn’t view the charity option as the immediate sole choice.

Either way, I think that the gesture made by giffgaff was fantastic. Most companies either wouldn’t bother or would just throw money at their customers as a way of solving the ‘problem’. I appreciate the thought that giffgaff put into it.


The outage for me lasted a day and caused me serious problems and embarrassment for at least two full hours in the morning, then on and off all day. One person was trying to contact me urgently and got pretty annoyed that they couldn’t get through.

I got a Vodafone SIM in the end

Memorable for being a truly awful day. So, no, a bit of goodwill doesn’t really cut it.


As they didn’t indicate how much comp was on the table, I reckon lots of people chose a payout hoping for a bit more and would probably have left it to charity if they’d known how pathetic it would be.


Took the money but donated £30 to my local cats protection so I knew what money was actually going towards. They were super grateful and I visit all the time so I knew they would appreciate it more. :hot_coral_heart: :cat:


It was a data issue not calls.

The only reason calls went down was an overload of people… calling.

Why would it be embarrassing? It was national news, and anyone surely calling would accept “Sorry, I’m on O2” as a reason for not being able to connect.

I’m not saying nobody was affected by data being lost, just can’t picture it in this case.

If the system is overloaded so you can’t make calls, then it’s also a calls issue.

Actually, being intermittent was worse than just no service

It was intermittent. Most people could call.

I still struggle to see how a simple explanation would not have avoided any embarrassment for anyone. It was a very well documented issue and for one day it would have been quite ok to have issues with calls.

Or just, text.

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You might over estimate how quickly news filters down to people. Not everyone would have been aware of the outage, certainly not during the day anyway

OK for you perhaps, others would have been have more significantly affected

If someone is tight enough to want their 90p then let them have it.

Says a lot more about them than it does about gift gaffs kind gesture.

I was a Giffgaff customer until Monday. I had selected Airtime Credit for my choice but I did not expect it to be less than a pound otherwise I would have given it to Shelter.

I feel that Giffgaff’s offering pales in comparison to the other networks who run on O2. Tesco are giving all their customers 2GB for free next month while Sky made data unlimited for all of 8 December. O2 customers get some cash knocked off their bill, but that works out as more than what Giffgaff’s offering.

Just for the record, I left Giffgaff because I was fed up with the unreliable O2 mast near my house and didn’t like the self righteous community that Giffgaff has. I’m now with EE.

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For the record, we were not told it would be 90p until we had made our choice.

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I sigh only because I specifically said that some people will have been affected but in reality very few would have been.

My point was to try to understand how it was embarrassing, when I’m sorry but anyone with a smartphone (who wanted the data that wasn’t working in the first place) would likely know that O2 were having issues.

That’s not very transparent of them

I was a Giffgaff customer from early days but got disillusioned with them. I only returned briefly after having a fall out with O2. I had £7 in payback points which I gave to charity as I knew I was leaving.

Perhaps they didn’t have the information about the compensation fund at that time?

I personally wouldn’t use them I have to say. I’ve never been inspired with them.

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