“Shocking all round service.”

On the review website Review Centre, Three mobile has achieved an average score of 1.5 stars out of 5 from 2020 reviews. Their Signal Coverage, Customer Service and Value For Money didn’t achieve any higher than 2 stars either. Here are just 3 lengthy and in-depth reviews-

Written on 9 November 2015-

My daughters had I phones with 3 Mobile (three.co.uk) .We thought their prices were quite competative, don’t be fooled by what seems is a good offer with this company.
In the whole 2 years they had bad signal and bad internet service. I complained but got no reply from them.
We let the contracts ride out and they have just ended. We gave the required notice and cancelled the direct debit.
The first letter we received explained as we’d cancelled the direct debit we had to pay a £5 fee for each phone each month ( despite our contract having ended) From there on in we had giro letters sent with different amounts payable coming out of our ears! ( all incorrect I might add our daughters monthly direct debit was set each month with a cap)I email them, they ignore my e-mails or reply not having read the content and state we can call them free from our 3 MOBILE PHONE!(like I said we are no longer with 3!)
In the last 28 days I have had approx 60 calls from them! I have blocked 3 numbers from them now ( sly changing the number they ring from , but stupidly by just the last couple of digits!)
My daughters kept the same numbers when they moved to their new network ( 3 gave us the pak codes!) but despite the contracts being in my name they have also rang my daughters on the phones! both at school and University! We have met all our contracted payments! This is pure Harrassment and apparently we can call the police now!Do I really want to use their time or have to go down that route?! disgusting company stay clear!

Written on 15 May 2015-

GOD HELP YOU IF YOU GO WITH THIS OPERATOR! DON’T DO IT IF YOU VALUE YOUR SANITY!

They are the worst EVER and will suck you dry. Their UK office deny knowledge of anything and just hand things over to their Indian call centre who are worse than useless. You will spend HOURS and I mean hours waiting for the Indian customer ‘service’ to answer your calls, then get put through to another department as the first person you get through to will never be able to answer your question, and when you do get through to the ‘right’ department, the phone line will go dead.

I opened an account with them and got a PAC code from my previous operator to transfer over my business mobile number, which I phoned 3 and gave to them. 3 kept on saying the PAC code was not valid and in the end I had to get my previous provider to email them with exactly the same information I had told them verbally and they then transferred my business no. to the wrong SIM which meant I lost business as people could not contact me on the phone that I had requested the no. to be transferred to. I deal with wealthy clients who were not impressed that they could not get hold of me. I then had to keep phoning them (sometimes being kept waiting for over an hour in their phone queue) chasing the PAC code to go to the right SIM.

I was told in the beginning by their London office that if they messed up I could cancel the account after their cancellation period and would not be charged anything, and due to their ineptitude of not delivering within the repeated 48 hour period I ended up going over this period. I then kept getting repeated calls from India saying I had an outstanding balance on the account and threatening legal action if I did not pay. Once again, London denied knowing anything and any responsibility. I cannot afford my credit status to be damaged so ended up paying £37 to clear the account.

STAY WELL AWAY FROM THESE CON-MERCHANTS and go with another provider eg EE or Vodafone who are much better!!

Written on 27 April 2015-

BEWARE!! On their website, Three claim in big bold colorful letters, “Use your phone abroad at no extra cost”. However, what they DO NOT tell you up front, (you have to dig deeper to find this out) is that you have to PURCHASE a 30 day ‘add-on’ for this privilege of using your phone abroad “at no extra cost”. Well, this ISN’T at no extra cost if you have to PURCHASE an add-on. And if your travels exceed 30 days, you have to PURCHASE ADDITIONAL ‘add-ons’, all which are packed with a time bomb to self destruct whether you use them or not, causing you to have to BUY them again and again. HOW is THIS “at no extra cost”? Simple answer, it isn’t.

They further state, “Your device is ALREADY set up to use your ‘allowance’ abroad at no extra cost.” So doesn’t that mean I am good to go? Apparently not! When I began using my phone abroad, it was more than obvious that I was no longer being charged the rates promised. After two months of useless emails, unprofessional phone calls and misleading texts from Three’s customer service, I finally got SOMEBODY to say, “You have to BUY an ‘add-on’ to get the ‘at no extra cost’ rates.” How ludicrous!

So I correctly conclude that my ‘allowance’ is NOT the credit I have on my phone which I previously purchased; my ‘allowance’ is an ‘ADD-ON’ which I was SUPPOSED to have purchased in ADDITION to this. Who knew? Three say, “Use your phone abroad at no extra cost”. They SHOULD SAY.. “Use your phone abroad at no extra cost AFTER YOU’VE PURCHASED one of our time limited, self destructing, whether you’ve used it or not ‘ADD-ONS'”! But of course, they don’t want to tell you this and they hope you won’t notice what you’re being charged.

A Pay-As-You-Go customer

Three mobile’s Broadband Reviews

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Shockingly only a handful of users had anything good to say about Three mobile’s broadband service on the review website Broadband Genie. Here are two lengthy and descriptive reviews-

8 January 2015-

Hands down the worst network with both signal and customer service

Beware 1. This network is rubbish and drops more calls and has no reception and is 100% the weakest network out there in my eyes and i have tried them all. Don’t compromise cost for a poor signal.

Beware 2. Their customer service is based in India and they are like robots. They are trained to say exactly the same thing. I am 100% anti racist but all i’m saying is the customer service is remote and like talking to a computer that just does not listen like humans.

Beware 3. When you cancel if you are getting a PAC code beware! Aside from me asking them to cancel my contract I asked them for a PAC code(again lack of communication from foreign Robot) if the PAC code is not used, even though you have told them you are leaving, they continue to charge you for 4 months after and will not offer a refund saying its in there T+C’s. If you get a PAC code use it on day 1 because the clock is ticking. If you use it they will charge you a month from the date you use it anyway and if you don’t they continue charging you monthly so beware!!!

Apart from my Rant above all i can say is they are not only incompetent technically with their poor network their customer service is beyond shocking and beyond understandable. Absolute Joke!!!! Do not go with 3

7 November 2013-

OK you think you guys have got it bad with this incompetent money grabbing company. I have been a loyal customer of 3 Mobile Broadband for 2 years now, paid £37.40 a month for a contract with a laptop, in which was paid on time in full every month. Not a single late payment. This August the contract ended as it was 2 years of being up. Correct me if I am wrong but the contract should end automatically unless you renew it or upgrade, and neither of the two did I do. In the month of September I received a bill for £91.76, I thought F*** me how did that happen. So I phoned them on 20th September straight after receiving the bill and asked what this bill was for. They told me it was for the usage between 10-09-13 and 09-10-13. Considering I personally hadn’t used this dongle since October 2012 (after I moved into my flat and got BT broadband) I immediately said now the contract is up please can you cancel it. I thought this had been done. I know I lent my dongle to my sister but all she was using it for was Facebook so I’m not sure how there was 15,360 MB over used on the 15GB!! Either way I agreed to pay this but would need to speak to my sister first as she was the one who was using it and wanted to get her to pay it as she was the one using it. Anyway I kept on receiving calls from them so on 27th October I took the call and I paid £5 off as this was all I could afford. At that point they told me the contract was still going and I said to them there and then I cancelled this in September, I then said to them please make sure this is cancelled because I cannot afford for any more charged to be added. They told me it had been cancelled. Today (7th November) I receive a phone call from a debt collections agency ATD to be precise telling me that I now have a bill of £123 something, and I was like how the hell did this happen this was supposed to be cancelled in September so how have the charges risen and they said because the broadband had been used between the last bill and this bill. I said how could it have been, I cancelled it back in September. Surprise Surprise they have no record of me cancelling it, knowing deep in my heart I done this twice already!!!! Finally the man on the phone said to me that he had cancelled it today but it takes 30 days to process the cancellation and would not take effect until 7th December!!! THAT IS THREE MONTHS AFTER I HAD ORIGINALLY CANCELLED IT!! I know for a fact and I will swear on the bible that I have not used this amount of data but to get them off my back I offered the debt collection agency £10 per month as that literally is all I can afford, I have £35.63 left over from my wages each month after paying the bills and that money is for food, either way I offered £10 out of my measly £35, but did they accept it….NO! they told me this was not enough and I should try and pay on a credit card. I DONT HAVE A CREDIT CARD…”Maam do you have family or friends who could pay this for you?” Err no, its not their fault 3 have ripped me off royally. I don’t understand how they can get away with this!!

I am going down Citizen’s Advice tomorrow because this is just daylight robbery. So so unfair that they can just say well you haven’t cancelled it because we do not have it on file. Bulls***. I will request for them to look through and listen to their “recorded calls” and know that I cancelled this!!!

Please anyone who doesn’t have money to just burn and waste on such a corrupt company please do not ever go with them.

If anyone has any helpful tips to get me out of this mess I have been put in please contact me 😦

VERY UNHAPPY 3 MOBILE BULLs**t BROADBAND EX CUSTOMER!!!

Also read the reviews left on Broadband.co.uk

Cowboys of the mobile phone world – 3

Source- http://www.ciao.co.uk/3_Three_mobile__Review_5846358

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

I hadn’t the 3 mobile network a second thought until I met my partner. I use Virgin personally and am very happy with them considering I bought my phone almost 7 years ago and have never ever had a problem with it or the network coverage. I did consider switching to 3 a year ago when I discovered my partner and I could get very cheap calls to each other, that is until he started having problems with this phone.

I forget the exact name and model of my partners phone but it’s a clam shell design one made by Sony. He upgraded to this particular model a year into his contract and at first seemed very happy with it. After about 3 months though things started to go wrong, the phone would after being charged up for several hours suddenly lose all battery power and switch itself off after only a few minutes, once it happened during a call which was frustrating for him as I’m sure you’ll understand.

We tried charging the phone again, letting the battery run down, not using it so much etc…but the problem remained. In the end the phone was rendered unsuable so we trotted off to our local 3 store to get it sorted, oh what fun that turned out to be…..

At first they were very apologetic and offered to return the phone to be looked at and repaired if neccessary, we waited a week then we told we could pick it up. In the store the phone seemed fine when the assistant demonstrated it and said all appeared ok now. When we got home however the problem with the battery started again so of course we had to go back to the store, again. This wouldnt have been so bad if our local store wasn’t a 40 mile round trip away costing us time and money in petrol which we couldn’t really afford.

The phone went back 3 times, after which the store refused to deal with us anymore claiming it was our problem and not theirs, well that’s true actually as my partner was paying out each month for a service he couldn’t use, how is that right?

Eventually my partner lost all paitience with 3 and sent the phone direct to the manufacturer to be restored, after which it worked perfectly and has done ever since, why couldnt the store have arranged that for us in the first place and save us all the hassle?!

My partner has vowed never to use 3 again once his current contract expires next year, sadly until the he is stuck with them as he cannot afford to buy his contract out and I certainly dont want anything to do with it. The staff at 3 were increasingly hostile towards us as we had to keep going back, in the end they wrote to my partner claiming he had been aggresive and threatened to ban him from ever going back! idiots…

My advise, steer well clear of 3, they are a bunch of cowboys who treat their customers with contempt when things go wrong.

Originally posted on 25 June 2009

Just 16 more months of 3’s rubbish!

Source- http://www.ciao.co.uk/3_Three_mobile__Review_5823392

Three mobile has ripped off a consumer to the tune of nearly 1k! Click to enlarge.
Three mobile has ripped off a consumer to the tune of nearly 1k! Click to enlarge.

I WANT T MOBILE BACK!, I made a HUGE mistake going with 3 mobile!.
If I could turn back time, id slap myself silly for even considering 3 mobile.

Shall I start at the beginning??…ok then.

The first day I got my mobile, oh my I was excited the brand new INQ1 and at a real good price £35 a month unlimited internet access 750 minutes, 600 free texts ok not as good as my price plan with T mobile, but it was worth it having the unlimited internet, plus i dont really call or text much so this price plan suited me just fine.

I immediatly plugged my phone in, first thing i noticed is the charger port on the phone was upside down..the drawing on the cable had to point downwards when their supposed to point upwards, i just laughed thinking someone made a little error.

the next day, It was time to turn on my mobile! excellent! I switched it one entered all my numbers and everyones facebooks and msn names, it was all set up all saved brilliant!, took me 2 hours to do that, i turned the phone off by accident, turned it back on…all the numbers were gone…. so i entered them in again and then the phone kept switching on and off, now this is where 3 mobile come in!.

I call them up, im in line for about 10 minutes (i gave them a good rating for line waiting, because since then its been a pretty fast answer service)

the first thing that annoyed me is none of the customer service people have english as a first language! i have no issue with that, but when your explaining what you mean when you say “my phone isnt working” it starts getting on your nerves!

they eventually understand and walk me through doing a master reset they said i had to reset everything, i made them promise that i wont lose all my numbers and they did.

so I done it and lost ALL my numbers again!.

at this point im fuming and decide phoning them again would only cause me to shout and swear at some unsuspecting person on the phone. so i decide not to.

next my facebook contacts wouldnt load, so the next day i call them, and once again “master reset” only this time the guy told me to untick phone book, so i done it, holding my breathe ready to smash the thing if it deleted my contacts again, it didnt, but facebook still wouldnt work, so this time i went into the shop, where they were very helpful and fixed it up for me.

next i started getting emails from 3 mobile saying my issues with my email on 3 have been logged, what issues?? i havent reported any issues?!?! whats going on?? im getting these messages at least twice a day!, so i phone them again and guess what?? yeah you got it master reset! (is it just me or is it starting to look like thats all they know about trouble fixing….master reset, i cant find my address book…master reset, how do i access last dialled?? master reset! LOL!!)

now ive sent my phone off for repair as it decided it didnt want to recieve texts or calls and infact no longer wanted me to send texts or make calls either!.

so i call 3 to arrange it and ask where i can pick up my replacement phone till this one gets returned “oh no no, you wont get a replacement phone, it will only be three days” so no i get no replacement phone, the sim card doesnt go into any of my other phones, so i have no phone…. its the third day and ive just been emailed to be told it will be a further 3 working days till my mobile is returned….and that i can check the progress on my 3 page, so ive got to go 6 days without a phone?!?! well more actually because sunday wont count so 7 days!!.

now id like to go on my 3 page, but unfortuantly i havent set one up, so i go to set one up so i can see when on earth the phone will arrive exactly, so i start to set it up…

“thank you for signing up with 3, your password has been sent to your phone”

anyone else see an issue with that??, so i call up customer services “your phone be with you soon” thats all they will say.

If you want a mobile provider who are awful and stupid then go with 3

and dont get me started on the bills £35 a month my bill is supposed to be, a fiver of that is for my internet access, only problem is! my bill is actually £40 a month directory charges…directory? so in other words im even getting charged to shout at them that their phones are s**t……

heres my advice, if your on a bridge surrounded my hot lava and you only have two choices join 3 mobile or jump…id recommend jumping!.

****************************EDIT************************

Well I just got off the phone to 3, so heres an update;

I asked to have my calls diverted to another number, to be informed that I would be charged for every call received and texts as if id done them myself! (I mentioned earlier that i dont make many calls or texts, but the reason for that is that im the one always phoned!), I demanded to speak to the supervisor, who had worse english than the first adviser, I felt like i was speaking to a robot and I often found myself shouting “your not even listening to me!” as he was not,

I then found out I was being charged a costly price to phone these guys, and i was informed “your being charged the standard mobile rate” so im being charged as if im calling from a mobile…which is all fine and dandy only im phoning from a landline!

I then asked when my mobile will arrive and then i got the highly educated true 3 mobile customer service knowledge response…”i dont know”

it will cost me £320 to cancel my contract, im thinking im going to work overtime till i have that money, im not even going to wait till the 16 months are up.

3 mobile, It could be free mobile and I still wouldnt touch them with a 20 inch pole after all this!.

Originally posted on 13 March 2009

3G – it should read Minus 3G!

Please note this post was taken from the review website ciao.co.uk.

Source- http://www.ciao.co.uk/3_Three_mobile__Review_5735708

Comments on the review page. Click to enlarge.
Comments on the review page. Click to enlarge.

Now it isn’t very often I feel so negatively about a company as I do about Hutchinson 3G mobile. And as a result this is quite long and I apologize in advance.

But before I begin with the bad points, here is more about the overall situation with them.

~ What prompted us to take on the contract ~

My partner and I have had a contract phone now between us for many years. Our old contract with Vodafone was due to end and we were looking around for other options.
A couple of friends had been on 3 and both said they had been happy enough with it, and since they had an offer on for a phone we really wanted and the package overall was a good one, we decided to take on an 18 month contract.

~ The contract offered ~

The contract, on paper was good. We were given a brand new Sony Ericsson K850i.
The model features are basically:

5 mega pixel camera.
Bluetooth compatible.
Web Browser.
Java and 3D games
Standard messaging and phone connectivity.
Full o40 MB Phone Memory
Memory Stick Micro™ (M2™) with support (up to 8 GB)
Full Organizer.
Size approx 102 x 48 x 17 mm (If like me you still think in older measurements that equates to around 4.0 x 1.9 x 0.7 inches).
Weight around 118 grams (Just over 4 ozs).

The deal at the time was for a contract set to £27-00 per month allowing for a mixer package of Inclusive UK voice minutes (1100 mins) or Inclusive UK text messages (1100 txt) msgs or any combination of both

The charges were listed as:
Voice call Charges 3 to UK landline (Flat rate) £0.12 per minute
3 to 3 UK (Flat rate) £0.12 per minute
3 to other UK mobile networks (Flat rate) £0.12 per minute
Voicemail (Flat rate) FREE per minute
Video Call Charges 3 to 3 UK £0.50 per minute
3 to other UK mobile networks £0.50 per minute Off Peak £0.50 per minute Videomail £0.25 per minute
Other Charges
UK Text Messages £0.12
UK video messages £0.50

~ How did the service do? ~

Well the phone was exactly what we wanted, and so we were more than happy with that and for the most part, the contract was good as well. Initially, the costs were low because we had a 6-month refund (which was given in form of credit rather than actual cash back which is the fairly standard method for companies to offer this).

But our first bill arrived, and what we hadn’t been told was the phone would cost £3-00 a month on top of the other costs – bringing the total to £30-00.
Okay, an oversight on the part of 3G and one we could accept – this time around.

The service on the phone was okay, but compared to the Vodafone coverage it wasn’t great. It was enough but, some areas, for example around where my parents live – the coverage was non-existent.
Having been assured the coverage was at least as good as Vodafone, including the area where my parents live, and in some areas would be better than Vodafone offered before we signed the dotted line, that was mark number 2 against the company.
Either someone had wrong information or was telling porkie pies……. But again we just decided it was one of those things.

And then suddenly, the Bill’s arrived with costs we weren’t expecting! We had kept within our package (or so we thought) but the company would say every time our use had included other areas (for example using the Browser) even when we knew this wasn’t true.
We contacted Ofcom, concerned we had no recourse to challenge 3G’s claims on our phone use. Unfortunately they couldn’t help us but gave us the details of a regulatory body that might be able to.

So, for the last 3 months we would get additional monthly charges of around £5-00 added on, sometimes as much as £10-00 added to our bills even when we knew it wasn’t the case.
Mark number 3 against 3G.

Fortunately the time was drawing closer to being able to cancel the contract and since we had to wait 3 months to use the service for complaints against 3G, we decided to wait and just cancel instead and move, most likely back to Vodafone.

~ Cancelling your contract ~

Now, with Vodafone you just sent a letter, giving 30 days notice. Simple. No hassle, no fuss, just a nicely worded letter of acknowledgement back from Vodafone.

I wish the same could be said of 3G. This is when our nightmare really began! And I really hope you can follow all of this.

April 2007 – Wrote and told them we were giving the standard 30 days notice cancelling our contract.
Within 2 days of sending the letter, we get a phone call from their customer service department.
Now, I have a lot of Asian friends, so this is in no way intended to be seen bashing anyone from this continent. But I struggled to understand the person speaking the English was so poor.
Mark number 4 against 3G.

The reason for this call – to get us to go onto another package with 3G. 10 minutes later and they still didn’t understand the concept of a single word – NO!

15 Minutes later and I warned the woman calling that should this garbled conversation continue any longer, I would do something I abhor, and that was putting the phone down on her. I then said that we wanted the contract cancelled, nothing else and that we expected 3G to honour this request.
Within 2 minutes, I just said, enough is enough – and did put the phone down on her.

Mark number 5 against 3G.

May 2007 – We get a bill which we believed to be our last. Oh how I wished it that had been……..

June 2007 – Hold on, another bill from 3G? Okay, a smaller amount that it had been, but a bill all the same.
Cue, calling the sameCall centre, (Somewhere in Asis but god knows where!) but fortunately I did get someone with a reasonable grasp of English this time around. This is the only positive I can find about this particular call.
We were told that we had agreed to a new contract with 3G while talking to the woman in April! Hence the new bill!
After recovering from the shock, it would appear the previous customer service representative had taken my comment of “We’re going to be here until midnight” as meaning if we didn’t contact 3G before midnight they would start the new contract!

This phone call resolved nothing, with 3G refusing to accept that the customer service representative had done anything wrong.

Off goes another letter to 3G – Not only complaining about the situation but also requesting a refund for the money taken on the Direct debit which we hadn’t cancelled, not realizing the contract was still going.
Then to the bank to cancel the Direct Debit that I now wished we had cancelled ourselves in May.
And await some kind of response from 3G.

July 2007 – Still nothing from 3G – And so another letter went off. Two days later, a bill arrived saying we owed them xxx Amount for the previous month and the direct debit had failed!
I’ve now lost count as to how many marks this is against the company.
So another phone call was made and someone assuring me they would look into it and I would be contacted.
Yeah….. right. As if that happened.

Another week went by, and apart from a red demand from 3G, nothing more came from them.

I then wrote again, saying I was about to contact the regulatory body (as given to us by Ofcom) if they continued to ignore the complaints and we weren’t given a refund for the money taken in error.

August 2007 – Finally, we get a phone call. But this person seems to know nothing about the on-going situation and is only phoning because the previous months account has not been settled!

Oh joy – So another letter to 3G, this time having filled in the online form for the regulation body, and instructing 3G we now wanted all communication in writing.

September 2007 – A letter from 3G eventually arrives, apologizing for the situation, but saying we didn’t cancel our contract because we agreed to a new one verbally, as noted by the customer representative in April.
I then demanded that if that were the case, was the call recorded – Otherwise they could not prove it and the complaint against them was going to continue.
This was met with silence initially and eventually a letter with nothing more than a promise someone would get back to us.

October 2007 – Eventually after a number of other letters to 3G, the intervention of the regulatory body and a couple of phone calls later (despite my request to do it all in writing since we no longer trusted their verbal communications), we did get acknowledgment that the request in April to cancel the contract should have been done.
A week later, a demand for the July, August and September bills 3G kept sending out arrives on our doorstep not from 3G but a debt collection agency threatening further action.

Another phone call to the Debt collection agency is made, and they are sympathetic to the situation and on receipt of our correspondence to not only 3G but the regulatory body would not take further action and direct it back to 3G.

November 2007 – Finally. We get full acknowledgement in writing from 3G who said the contract was officially cancelled and a promise of refund within a week.
A refund arrives – but they can’t even get that right and manage to only give us the refund for the month taken – and not an additional £20-00 as they promised to compensate for the problems we had encountered.
We didn’t bother to chase up the £20-00!

~ Our advice ~

Simply don’t use 3G – and if you do, be prepared for the worse cold selling of a new contract if you want to cancel I’ve ever encountered!

If you do have any problems and its been going on for more than 12 weeks, you should write to 3G and ask them for a Deadlock letter.
You can then go to what is known as the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme.
There are two different sectors for this, and 3G belong to
http://www.otelo.org.uk

~ Final thoughts ~

The phone was great and we’ve now had it unlocked and are still using it. Had we known the problems we would have encountered though we would have just bought the phone in its own right. This is the only good thing that came out of the whole saga.

A company can ultimately only be as good as its service.

3G seem to have no idea what the word service means. Let alone Customer Service.

If I could leave negative stars I would do. I hope this hasn’t come across as a rant but as it happened and the problems we faced because I would hate for anyone to face something similar from this company.

Minus stars from me. Shame I have to give them at least one………

Originally posted on 6 February 2008

Abysmal customer service and pretty poor phones

Source- http://www.ciao.co.uk/3_Three_mobile__Review_5873469

Where to start? I have never felt the urge to write such a negative review until I had the misfortune of being enticed by 3’s cheap mobile plans.

The advantage of 3 is that their phones and call/text bundles tend to be reasonably good value for money. However, the reason is that their phones are generally at the bottom/middle end of the range (in comparison with Vodafone, O2, Orange and T-Mobile) whilst their 3G and HSDPA coverage isn’t great. Where 3 doesn’t have its own base stations, it uses Orange’s 3G network. However, in my experience the coverage on Orange is invariably better than on 3.

3 promotes itself as the ideal network for mobile internet. It isn’t, largely because its phones aren’t up to scratch. The phones it offers on most price plans are ideal for calling, texting and MMS, but they certainly can’t compete with any decent Apple, Palm or HTC smartphones. On my phone (a Sony Ericsson), the internet would frequently disconnect or freeze. My wife is currently on 3 and has exactly the same issues but uses a different model of phone. 3 deny that there is any problem with its phones or the network in our area. Incidentally, I now have an Orange phone which works fine 100% of the time.

Despite all of these downfalls, they are to some extent symptomatic of paying a fairly low monthly line rental for a decent bundle of calling minutes and texts. What isn’t excusable is 3’s complete lack of reasonable customer service.

All of 3’s customer service assistants are based in India. It’s virtually impossible to speak to anyone in the UK (once you’ve got a contact number, you’ll need the name of a 3 employee to get through). Whilst I have no problem with the customer service assistants in India, often they have to take the flack for failures that have been made in the UK.

In my case, 3 completely screwed up communications and billing.

Firstly, they cancelled a service called 3 Like Home which enabled customers to use inclusive minutes/texts when roaming on 3 networks overseas. This was going to be quite valuable to me, as I planned to use the facility in Ireland and Italy. 3 claimed to have informed me by text that the service would be cancelled, but they didn’t. When I learned of the cancellation of the service by reviewing roaming rates in other countries on their website, I asked that my contract be cancelled as they had changed the terms of the contract without my approval. They told me that 3 Like Home wasn’t contractual; it was a special offer and I had no right to cancel. They eventually conceded that I did have a right to cancel, but rather conveniently the right to cancel had expired a fortnight or so before I’d called them. Therefore, I couldn’t cancel because I’d called them too late. To add insult to injury, I was accused of lying by 3’s customer service advisor because I’d said that I hadn’t received details confirming that the service would be cancelled (which I didn’t).

Eventually, I asked to cancel my contract and pay a cancellation fee. 3 didn’t like this much, but eventually agreed to provide a PAC so I could move to Orange. I’d been informed that the final bill would be issued and payment taken via direct debit in the normal way. Ok, I thought. Seems very smooth…

How wrong could I be?

The first error is that 3 told me that the final payment would be taken via direct debit. This didn’t happen, but after 3 weeks or so someone from 3 called to inform me that they’d LOST my bank account details. I was asked to pay the bill over the phone. Since I didn’t like this arrangement, I asked to pay by cheque.

Once 3 had eventually sent me details of how to pay by cheque and a copy of the final bill, I sent the cheque off. 3 cashed it some nine days later. However, 3 didn’t apply it to my account, and a couple of days AFTER cashing the cheque sent a letter threatening to appoint debt collection agencies to recover the unpaid money.

This annoyed me, as it was only the second communication that I’d had from 3 telling me that I owed them money AND they’d already cashed my cheque.

To cut a long story short, 3’s customer advisors in India are still disputing that I’ve sent the cheque or that it’s been cashed (despite the fact that I can prove this from my bank). They won’t admit it’s their fault that the payment hasn’t been allocated to my account and can’t be traced, and are still holding me liable for the payment. They continue to call me asking when I’m going to be paying them and don’t seem to listen when I tell them that 3 has cashed the cheque.

I’ve written to the head of collections and credit at 3, and I’m awaiting a response. I am also considering whether to instigate a formal complaint against the company.

In summary, if you enjoy being treated with no respect by a company you’re paying in excess of £200 per year, 3 could be the network for you. Otherwise, I’ve used Vodafone, O2 and Orange in the past and (whilst none is perfect) can say that they’re infinitely better than the shambles that is 3.

Originally posted on 19 October 2009

Please, free us from 3!

Source- http://www.ciao.co.uk/3_Three_mobile__Review_5651054

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

I can honestly say I have no good words to say about this company.

Although, the sales pitch from the advisor in the 3 store was brilliant. He promised the best technology (coverage not a problem because where they haven’t got service then O2 will be on hand), a really great phone (Motorola Razr V3X – worth £259.00 apparently!) the best deal you will get on the high street (1000 texts, 600 voice minutes, video calls & £5 free downloads a month all for £15).

An offer we couldnt refuse, so good in fact, we made the mistake of signing up for two new contracts on the spot because it would be great for us to talk to each other and look at each other at the same time!? (Don’t ask)

The moment the sales assistant started throwing freebies at us (memory cards, bluetooth headsets, in car chargers not to mention the ‘£30 recommend a friend goodwill gestures’ left, right and centre) we should have realised something wasn’t quite right. He really couldn’t wait for us to sign on the dotted line and make a quick exit from the store with our little ‘3’ bags with our free pens, and footballs. (the free ‘3’ pens I can highly recommend, they write lovely and are still working 6 months later, unlike the phones).

The first problem was with the handsets battery life. We were lucky if they would last the day on a full charge. When we moved house things started to get rather strange because my partners phone would have perfect reception where as my phone would say emergency calls only.

I contacted ‘3’ customer services (which actually equates to a robotic Indian Call Centre) who assured me this was a simple problem to rectify. I just needed to switch off my handset and remove the battery. On replacing the battery and switching my phone on again it would be working fine.

Oh, if only I had a pound for every time they told me that over the next five months (then I would be as wealthy as their Chief Executive!!)

Five months later and my handset had been given four all expenses paid trips to the repair centre in Glasgow. Every time it came back it managed to muster up just enough energy to make an emergency call but still not quite enough to give a single bar of signal strength!

The first few times on speaking to the Indian Call Centre Supervisor it seemed quite sweet how sympathetic he was to my situation and how eager he was to assist with getting the problem rectified.

After probably the millionth time of hearing his apologies it became quite apparent that he was just reading from his script and had no means of actually resolving the issue. He had obviously been given strict instructions not to deviate from his script because he couldnt even personalise a voicemail message. Even knowing that my handset wasn’t working he would still ask me to call him back by dialling 333 from my defunct handset.

It became quite apparent that speaking to anybody in India was just a waste of time. We therefore decided to try to speak to somebody in the UK. Impossible! I managed to obtain a telephone number for the ‘3’ switchboard but when I asked to speak to the Chief Executive by name they said he wasn’t listed. I asked them to therefore put me through to somebody else in his office but they said they couldn’t put me through unless I had a name for the person I wanted to speak to. They were obviously well trained in the art of being a brick wall because there was no way they were going to put the call through to anybody in the UK, all they could suggest was calling customer services in India.

It finally took a call from our local radio station to the press office of ‘3’ and the pursuing of legal action for breach of contract before somebody from the Executives office called us.

Getting them to terminate both phone contracts with no penalty and getting a substantial goodwill gesture was the least they could offer. We took the money and ran.

We are now back to using our cheap and trustworthy old PAYG mobiles. You can’t beat them.

Originally posted on 26 May 2007

Terrible experience! Poor service, poor network, everything

Source- http://www.ciao.co.uk/3_Three_mobile__Review_5871717

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

In May 2008, my fiancée and I both signed up to 18 month contracts with Three. At the time we were both quite open about what phone we wanted, what type of contract we were looking for etc. We went with an extremely open mind and the actual cost wasn’t a huge issue. We went into a Three store on a Saturday to find that they had an offer of 50 hours per month of International calls for £15 p/month. We found that to be quite a good deal, and considering my parents live in Florida and my fiancée’s live in Canada; it seemed a win-win situation. We also paid £18 per month each for our regular contracts at 500 mix and match minutes, plus 300 3 to 3 calls, and on top of that we signed up to Three broadband at £5.99 p/month.
For the first few weeks we didn’t experience any “major” problems, the only obvious fact being that we never seemed to get 4 full bars of reception anywhere we went. This, therefore, was the start of what has turned out to be a major nightmare for us.
Starting with the internet, Three had prided themselves on the quality of their internet coverage; “award winning” we had been told. However; it simply did not work. We would have it going extremely slowly on 1 bar, and it was like a dial up service from 1995. We found ourselves moving the laptop to random places within the flat to see if one spot was a “hotspot”. We tried to find the comedy in this! Week after week, month after month, we unfortunately kept on going on an internet connection that was painfully slow. I think the only reason we got by was because we both had the internet at work, and we started doing certain things on our lunch breaks etc because we knew we couldn’t get it done at home.
From the internet to our phones, and the service was equally as poor. At one stage, my fiancée was receiving NO coverage whatsoever in central London. None at all. There were numerous occasions when she needed make a call if she was meeting me somewhere or even if she was out at night and needed to call a taxi, and the phone simply had no service. This was not only frustrating, but dangerous. My problems were of a different nature, as I managed to obtain service at work (in central London), but I could not get reception at all in my own home (on the outskirts of London). The amount of times I received a call and the caller would ask me to call back because they couldn’t hear me was incredible.
A couple of other problems we encountered were our phones simply cutting out half way through conversations. This began to happen so frequently it became unbearable, and we could not understand why. On top of that, we both began to receive text messages telling us that we had a voicemail message. We kept checking our voicemails but there was nothing to listen to. Over and over again we received these alerts telling us we had a new voice mail, and over and over again this wasn’t true.
As you can imagine, with all these problems we must have spent a great deal of time on the phone to customer support. This became a whole new problem of its own. Due to the fact that I put both contracts under my name, it became impossible for the members of Three customer service to understand that my fiancée used one of the phones and that I wanted her name added to the account details so that she could call Three with any complaints/questions she may have. The first time my fiancée called Three she was unable to speak to anyone because she was not set up on the account. I had done this the previous week! She spoke to 3 different people in order to get this rectified, culminating in me having to phone back myself and being put on hold for over 30 minutes in order to confirm who she was. This was something I had done the previous week. Where was the communication I thought?
As time passed, the problems got worse, my fiancée decided to go directly into a Three store in order to complain. This was at the time we were receiving these phamtom texts. She was told that nothing could be done because her name wasn’t on the account details. They refused to even discuss anything with her. Surely not again, I thought. But sure enough, there was no record of her. I will spare the details of how that scenario unfolded, but as you can imagine, it wasn’t fun.
We then decided to put all our troubles (and there were many more than what I have mentioned here) in writing. We wrote a detailed letter to Three, and waited weeks for a reply. The most comical part being that during those weeks we called to see when we might get a response but nobody at customer service had anything on record of us writing a letter. When the reply came, and no word of a lie, their answer to everything was to repeat our questions and say sorry. No solutions offered, and no attempt to explain the reasons, just a simple sorry to each question.
The final straw when I knew enough was enough was when I was on the phone to customer service to complain about the fact that we had been over charged one month, and the lady at customer service actual asked me if I had another phone that I could call from because she couldn’t make out what I was saying! When I did call her back, I could not get through to this person directly; instead, I had to explain the entire reason of my complaint all over again. This person actually told me that the average amount of bars that Three provided in my area was 1 to 2 bars. At the end of this conversation I though, enough is enough!
The next day I called again and refused to hang up until I spoke to the most senior person I could, demanding answers. In the end I managed to get the final 6 months of our contracts for free. They couldn’t explain any of my questions, and I still get annoyed at the fact that I paid 12 out of 18 months for a service that I never really got, but in the end though, the fact that Three were prepared to give us 6 months for free goes to show how poor they are.
Our experience has been laughable, frustrating, and everything in between. Even after we told them to cancel our contracts after those final 6 months they kept calling to offer us new deals. Their customer support is potentially the worst I have ever come across. They even had the cheek to ask us to call them 1 month before the end of the contract to remind them to cancel our deals.
I haven’t written this to be bitter, I am writing it to simply warn people who are potentially thinking of signing up. You may think you are getting a cheap service, but trust me, as cheap as it may sound, the service will not accompany it!

Originally posted on 12 October 2009

Three mobile broadband rip-off (Contains Strong Language)

Source- http://ianparr.com/blog/2008/07/19/three-mobile-broadband-rip-off/

I have been a Three mobile broadband customer for a few months now and found the service just about ok.

I was getting fed up of buying vouchers in my local Three retail store to top up every month so decided to regicter a credidt card on their customer service (Ha!) portal. This would let me top up online when needed – what a bloody mistake.

On registering the card details, the system tells you that it can take 7 days to complete registration – fine I thought I can wait. Then I noticed that their system had instantly credited £10 to my account – I chcked my credit card company online and they confimed that the £10 had been taken. Ok, good stuff I now had £10 – or 1GB monthly data transfer limit available.

Two days later and after only several minutes or so of total online time, my connection stopped working. I logged into the portal and the £10 data allowance had rocketed down to zero. Eh ?

Called their dreadful outsourced to India customer service department and was informed that the £10 credit has been applied as a voice credit ! and that by using data I had gobbled up the allowance in a matter of minutes at a rate of £1/MB !!!!!!!!!!!

So why on earth would an account that has been setup for a moblie broadband dongle (and configured so in the ‘my mobile device’ section of the site) have a voice credit assigned.

Of course they customer service guy (twat) explained that it was all my fault for being so stupid and not realising I needed to ‘covert’ my credit to a data allowance.

What complete and utter dick head designed Three’s customer self service portal application ?

Or is this a deliberate ploy by Three to stiff customers ?
£1000 per GB – Three you are taking the piss.

I’m not the only one:
http://www.bestmobilebroadband.co.uk/3-mobile-broadband-reviews.aspx

http://www.talk3g.co.uk/showthread.php?p=27238

Originally posted on 19 July 2008