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November 26, 2013

GiffGaff Offers New Handsets On Flexible Financing Plans

GG_PhonesGiffGaff known for its “Goodybags” contracts has begun to sell smartphones with flexible  financing scheme that’s intended to make owning and buying a smartphone even more flexible.

The network, which is run collaboratively by its members, is looking to disrupt a market that has become increasingly competitive, not to mention extremely pricey. It’s not owned by O2 as many believe but, by O2 parent company Telefonica.

So, how does giffgaff’s offering work? And is it worth ditching your current provider and giving the scheme a whirl?

Let’s us look at in more detail:

  • The basic premise behind giffgaff handsets is similar to O2’s Refresh service.You pay a monthly fee for the device and a monthly fee for minutes, texts and data. Both the Phone and bill costs are separate. The aim is to give you greater control over when you upgrade your phone, as well as seeing just how much your phone costs per month when your bill lands in your inbox.
    • Networks prefer customers to sign you up for a two year contract tying you up to their network. They make their money by the plans they offer not on the mobiles where most are free, depending on the plan you choose. For more and more customers now though they are looking to get away from these contracts allowing them to upgrade to a new device earlier.
      When you come to choose your phone you have options to how long you have to pay-off the phone. This starts at 6 months or you can choose either 12, 18 or 24 months options.
      The interest rate you pay on the cost of the phone falls exponentially the longer your contract.
      For example, a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 costs £50 up front and £25.14 a month over two years, at a total cost of £653.36, with an APR of 9.7%.
      If you want a six-month deal and pay £50 up front, you’ll need to find £97.77 a month, with an APR of 25.8%.
      Expensive? It certainly can be. But it’s ideal if you want to own the device outright quickly, but can’t afford giffgaff’s up front price of £599 for the handset.
      You can also decrease monthly payments by putting a larger amount down when you first buy. The SIM-free prices, however, are rather high.
    • giffgaff is using a peer-to-peer lending system run by a company called RateSetter, which it says ‘cuts out the middle man’.
      Essentially, it ditches banks and lets you finance the cost of your phone without them. It means there’s no need for a full-on credit check and your credit rating won’t be affected.That’s a huge plus, even if it does mean the rates are somewhat hefty if you choose to pay off your phone over a six-month period.
    •  giffgaff says that if you’ve got the money to buy your handset mid-contract, you can do so without being charged extra.
      This is a bold move seeing as major networks are not fans of this kind of approach, often asking for your calls and minutes money as well as the cash for your device.
      With these two things separate, giffgaff is able to take a more flexible approach.

giffgaff has a range of 20 different devices up for grabs. These have been chosen by 5,000 of its members and include the following:

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 – £474
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 – £599
  • Sony Xperia Z1 – £530
  • HTC One – £503
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini – £323
  • Samsung Galaxy Fame – £120
  • Sony Xperia M – £179
  • Nokia Lumia 925 – £429
  • Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini – £224
  • Nokia 301 – £71
  • Sony Xperia SP – £260
  • Sony Xperia E – £99
  • Sony Xperia Z – £459
  • Nokia Lumia 520 – £125
  • LG G2 – £453
  • Samsung Galaxy S3 – £316
  • Samsung Galaxy Young – £95
  • Nokia Lumia 1020 – £525
  • Nokia Lumia 625 – £224
  • BlackBerry Q10 – £453

Each one is sold unlocked, so if you want to front up the final cost and move to another network at any time, you can.

Of course, there is one glaring omission: you can’t get the iPhone on giffgaff handsets.

GiffGaff Phones

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Dave Thornton

Senior Editor

Senior Editor
Been involved in technology for many years, more than I care to remember. Live in Dundee, Scotland. I like Android, Windows Phone OS, BlackBerry OS and iOS, and love writing about all things techie. Currently have a Honor 6+, Elephone P6000, Nexus 5, Chrombook C720, HTC One M7, Nokia Lumina 625, Microsoft Lumia 435, Blackberry Q10, HTC Hero and iPad mini