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Giffgaff Error 38: 6 Solutions To Fix The Texting Issue

Giffgaff Error 38: 6 Solutions To Fix The Texting Issue

Giffgaff is the mobile network doing things a little differently. Actually, maybe a lot differently! Unlike many other famous cellular providers (you know who we’re talking about), no contracts, rewards, and low prices are standard when you opt for Giffgaff.

If you’re facing a Giffgaff 38 error or your messages won’t send, you may have entered an incorrect number. Ensure that you are typing in the correct digits and have added a valid area code to the front of the number if you are sending a message to an international number.

If you are still experiencing issues when sending messages, then here are some additional solutions to resolve the error message.

What Does the Giffgaff Error 38 Mean?

Giffgaff error 38 is a transmission-related general failure error
Photo by Jeremy Bezanger on Unsplash

Seeing an error code can be both confusing and helpful as these can help you find out what’s going wrong. The Giffgaff error 38 is a general failure error often seen when trying to send a text out. If you see this error code, it means that your text has failed to get sent to the recipient.

When sending a text, it’s picked up by your nearest cell tower and redirected to the Short Message Service Center (SMSC). It then gets transmitted to the tower nearest your recipient and to their phone. We’re not sure exactly how the Giffgaff error 38 occurs. 

However, it is thought to be a transmission-related issue. If you are experiencing issues using a messaging service, like Telegram or Whatsapp, not that this is a separate issue. Take a look at solutions for problems sending Telegram messages or from whichever other platform you’re using.

What Can I Do to Fix the Giffgaff Error 38?

Giffgaff errod 38 resolved using by manual roaming temporarily
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

The helpful Giffgaff community members have many suggestions on how to go about fixing the Giffgaff error 38. We’ve discovered the best and shared them right here with you.

Switch Your Mobile Device off & on Again

Switching an electronic device on and off again is the oldest trick in the book. Try doing this before you attempt any other fixes. It may reset any bad gateways or connection errors causing the issue.

Wait for Your Giffgaff SIM to Get Fully Activated

If you have just bought and activated your Giffgaff SIM card, you’ll need to wait until it’s fully activated. Otherwise, if you try to send a text, you may see the Giffgaff error 38. Full activation should take up to 24 hours.

Double-Check That the Recipient’s Contact Number Is Correct

Have you ever accidentally sent an email to the wrong email address? You can also do so when sending a text—, particularly to a new contact. Since this particular Giffgaff error is transmission-related, inputting an incorrect number may cause it—especially if the number is inactive.

To check the text recipients number is correct:

  • In your mobile device, tap on the text message to open it.
  • Next, look at the mobile number that you inputted to send the text to.
  • Compare it with the correct contact number you have written down or saved elsewhere.
  • If you typed it out incorrectly, create a new text with the correct number and send it again.
  • If the number appears to be correct, be sure to double-check with your friend, family member, or acquaintance. 
  • If they sent their number to you via email or another written method, they might have typed it out wrong themselves.
  • If you haven’t contacted the recipient in a while, it’s very important to ask again. Your contact may have changed their number since you last texted or spoke.
  • If the number is correct or you saved it from a text they sent directly to you, try another fix. It is probably correctly saved, but another technical issue may be at fault.
  • If the number is incorrect but gets sent anyway, you may receive a reply to your text from the recipient.

Wipe the Problematic Contact From Your Text, Call & Contact History

One of the top suggestions to fix the Giffgaff error 38 is to wipe your text and contact history. You can do this for the specific contact that you’re having issues texting to fix the problem.

To remove a specific contacts text and contact history:

  • First, write down the number on a piece of paper or notepad in case you need it later.
  • Then, delete the contact’s number from your contact list.
  • Also, delete any texts you received or sent to their number.
  • Then, remove any call logs placed to or received from their number in your call logs.
  • Next, send a text to them, but manually type in their contact number this time.
  • Finally, when they reply, you can save their number again in your contact list.

Reset Your Cellular Network Connection by Manual Roaming

Resetting your device’s connection to the Giffgaff cellular by temporarily roaming on another network, then switching back, can also help. If you are still experiencing issues sending texts after re-adding a contact and switching off your device, try this. 

To reset your connection by doing a manual roam:

  • On your mobile device, go to your cellular network connection or carrier settings.
  • Select any available network other than Giffgaff (O2 network in the UK).
  • Then, close your settings menu.
  • You should see “no network coverage” in the cellular network bar.
  • Now, go back into your cellular network or carrier settings.
  • Select the Giffgaff network (O2 network in the UK).
  • Doing this should reset your connection to the Giffgaff cellular network, hopefully fixing the Giffgaff error 38.
  • You can also achieve a network reset by switching your device to airplane mode for a minute or two. Then, switch airplane mode off to reconnect to cellular reception.

Check That You Have Adequate Giffgaff Text & Phone Credit

Giffgaff phone plans work a little differently. Instead of a set contract, you can opt for various goodybags, each with different minutes, text credits, and data. 

Some Giffgaff goodybags include unlimited texts, but others don’t. Experiencing the Giffgaff error 38 when sending texts may be caused by running out of text or phone credit.

To check your phone and text credit balance:

  • If you do not have an unlimited text goodybag, dial *100*5# to check how many texts you have left.
  • Note that for Giffgaff goodybags with unlimited texts, doing so will report 0 texts left.
  • For those using phone credit to send texts, dial *100# to check your phone credit balance.
  • If either your texts or your phone credit is insufficient, you’ll need to top up. Buy another goodybag to resume texting as usual.


What can I do to fix the Giffgaff error 38?
Photo by Daniel Romero on Unsplash

The Giffgaff error 38 sure can be a pain—especially if you’re trying to send an important text. However, there are many ways to go about fixing it! We hope one of our handy suggestions helped you out.


  • Tauqeer Ahmed

    Tauqeer Ahmed is a technology expert with over 10 years of experience in the industry. He has a degree in Computer Science and specializes in network security and software troubleshooting. You can find out more about him at

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