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Giffgaff must pause recycling of mobile numbers. Due to social media problems

By: frpc | 26-04-2017 05:04

As many of you may know giffgaff recycle mobile phone numbers.  Whether taken back from deceased or non used members or for other reasons. Often ex-members have previously used these recycled numbers as contact identifiers  for facebook and the like with all the problems that rains upon the recipient of a 'bad' mobile recycled number.

It seems clear that giffgaff are not checking numbers against social media outlets to see if the numbers are still attached to LIVE facebook/twitter/whatsapp accounts before they REISSUE these 2nd/3rd hand numbers to new members sims and present real problems for new members in setting up their own social media accounts, using their recycled phone number which will be denied registration by fb and others.

giffgaff need to review their policy on reissuing recycled mobile numbers and come up with a failsafe system that prevents this problem and hints at a potential breach of data protection rules, when the recycled number identifies a previous member(s)

Those of you familiar with social media are probably aware of the reverse number search facility that unless disabled, can identify a previous giffgaff member, through their initial login registration using the giffgaff number but subsequently forgetting to update their new number or unable to do so through death or other reasons.


I myself was alerted to the problem when a series of debt companies called me asking for Mr ? xxxxx who I had no knowledge of. One of them let slip fb confirmed the persons identity. When I checked, sure enough the fb member was still displaying my newish giffgaff number. It took a long time I eventually throughsome prolonged persistance resolved the conflict to my satisfaction.

However this should not have been a task that I needed to undertake.

It was the Network's responsibility, not OURS.



by: 1postsims
on: 27-04-2017 18:14


by: j_mie
on: 27-04-2017 07:16

 Very interesting! 

by: goldengirl
on: 26-04-2017 21:48

I know of a "live" Facebook page where the person has actually committed suicide. His family have just left it and possibly no one knows his passwords. How can phone companies tell social ,edia etc that numbers are reallocated?

how long since last use is there before a number is reissued?

it is a good point but the solution is not obvious. Debt collectors can chase for years  - There is no limit!

by: prescilla_g giffgaff Staffer
on: 26-04-2017 14:22

Hi frpc,

Thanks for submitting this great idea. I'm going to see if I can have a chat with the team in charge of this one and get an update.

Thanks again and have a good one.