A number of users complaining of poor download speeds as firm introduces traffic management policies
Discount prepay brand giffgaff is facing a deluge of complaints from users complaining about poor quality of service on its network.
The O2 MVNO has acknowledged the issue in a series of posts dating back to May where it claimed that 0.2 per cent of its customer base on unlimited download packages, were using 17 per cent of its bandwidth.
It implemented a number of measures including restricting download speeds to just 256kbps during peak hours and banning members who are ‘abusing’ unlimited download packages.
However, many users are still up in arms claiming that they are consistently receiving download speeds of less than 1Mbps at most times of the day and that webpages will take up to 20 seconds to load. A discussion on its forum about the poor download speeds has garnered almost 1000 posts from angry users over the last six months from members, including almost 50 in the last week alone. There are numerous other threads and comments on its forums complaining of poor service.
Giffgaff doesn’t employ sales staff and instead works through its community of users who recommend the service to friends and family and receive rewards for doing so.
The Telefonica-owned company has more than 1 million customers and has grown significantly since the service was launched in 2009. Its turnover quadrupled in the year-ending December 31 2012 to £78.9 million, an increase from the £19.6 million it posted in 2011.
However, it has lost money every year since it was set-up losing £7 million, £24 million and £28.8 million in the three years that financial records are available up to the end of 2012.
Giffgaff claims that the measures introduced will allow a ‘reasonable’ service at peak times and allow users to load webpages in 5-6 seconds, watch standard definition videos on YouTube and stream normal quality songs on Spotify.
However, in late July, user a3tdl posted that he was only receiving download speeds of 0.83MB in the North West, while alster7 in central London said they were claiming they are receiving speeds of just 0.34Mbps. Other users are complaining about a suspension of their service.
Giffgaff failed to offer a spokesperson to Mobile News to discuss the issue despite repeated requests for an interview over a number of days. It did send this statement from chief executive officer Mike Fairman.
“Our members are at the heart of everything we do, which is why we track our member satisfaction daily and continue to enjoy market leading results,” He said.
“Providing our members with a great giffgaff experience is always a priority. We know how important the quality of the data service is to them, which is why we have ongoing conversations with our members to make sure we continue to deliver the experience and value they are looking for.”