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Improving the customer experience for users travelling abroad (especially outside of Europe)

By: lordsnooty | 25-09-2014 13:09

OK, using giffgaff is actually a bit of a pain if you are travelling abroad for any length of time (particularly outside of Europe).


The issue is that, even if you have a current goody bag, the call costs come from the top up 'fund' on your account. Overseas charges are high (especially outside of Europe) so if you use your phone even moderately you may need to make multiple top ups.


This is where the problem kicks in.


1. The first few top ups seem to work


2. After that, giffgaff apply a restriction to your account as a 'fraud prevention' measure


3. Further top ups are unsuccesful with a "bank declined" message being shown


4. The message also suggests you try alternative cards to pay for the top up but, because it is a giffgaff block on your account, all alternative cards are rejected with the same "bank declined" message.


5. This is very unhelpful as it may cause you to contact your bank (as I did) and ask them why they are declining the transactions only to find that no transactions are being passed on to the bank!


6. The restiriction seems impossible to lift; if you contact the agents (as I did) you are told to "get a friend to buy a voucher and send you the code", which is a laughably inadequate response.


7. The restiriction may continue after you return to the UK, which means that you cannot text back to people overseas for several days until giffgaff get around to resetting your account.



All in all, this is pretty unsatisfactory.


A simple solution would be to copy the sort of approach taken by many companies when in similar positions; merely ping an email to the email address linked to the account asking the user to log in and confirm the tranactions are legit. Or even modify the message to tell the user to contact giffgaff and confirm the top up attempts are bona fide transactions.


That way the restriction could be lifted and the user could happily make calls / send texts while abroad.


Addressing this will greatly improve the experience of giffgaff users when abroad as it will let them do things such as check calls / messages on their usual number and avoid them having to purchase a local PAYG SIM in the country they are visiting.


by: kimchi
on: 08-10-2018 16:40

I hasn't realised that there was such a problem but know that I know, supported

by: vancouverisland
on: 18-01-2020 00:33

An excellent idea, we travel 6 months of the year in North America and find it difficult.

by: racha27269
on: 16-01-2020 01:20

You have my Vote, Excellent Idea. Fully Supported :)

by: starkey93
on: 18-12-2019 00:34


by: heads
on: 01-12-2019 09:20

Makes good sense to me ????

by: steve2949
on: 30-11-2019 17:45

Agree entirely - I travel overseas a lot and as a consequence may well move back to one of the mainstream providers. Its a major failing by giff gaff

by: p7dwy
on: 15-06-2019 20:02

Very old idea, it should of been well sorted out by now.

by: barba7956
on: 27-05-2019 09:55


by: pod1
on: 15-04-2019 22:49

I simply don't use giffgaff in Europe. It does the job in the UK and when in Europe I use another company. It helps that I have a dual SIM phone.

by: username53707
on: 09-04-2019 04:42

Agreed. Due to personal circumstances, which may involve having to travel abroad at short notice, I have been paying the highest package and in the past I spent a lot of time organising my giffgaff account/planning my phone usage before hand (which is almost impossible as you don't know in which circumstances you will really need your phone to make a call, to receive a long call or having to use online data). It is not always simple or easy to buy a local SIM, in some countries they require local documents to top up your SIM and some will only offer info / phone top up in their own language. Not having to worry about Giffgaff working or not working abroad would be a big weight out of my shoulders and it would make me less anxious and looking less desperate looking for wifi. Or, as a single female traveller, having to stay in hotel lobbies or coffee shops with men starring at you which you use the wifi.

by: barba7956
on: 27-05-2019 09:56

My phone is no work and my SIM