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06 June 20117 Comments by Jon M

3 to charge for delivery reports

From 6 June 2011, 3 will cheekily add a 1p charge for every SMS delivery report. This is apparently a response to the the recent Ofcom rulings on cross-network call charges. 3 is calling for a drastic reduction, or even scrapping, of the mobile termination charges which are estimated to account for around 10% of mobile networks‘ revenue. These charges are paid by both mobile and fixed-line operators when calls are placed between different networks.

SMS delivery reports are a basic texting feature that is built into most networks. Many people find them necessary for their texting communication especially as messages can go astray or be significantly delayed from time to time. We think it’s pretty outrageous that 3 would charge for such a core feature and especially for every single one. It’s not like it costs them much to provide this service which so many people rely on. What’s worse, they introduced this additional charge without sufficient notice. This means that they broke their own terms and conditions for people on contracts who can’t cancel despite the massive increase in their phone bills.

:3 are trying to claim that other networks block delivery reports but O2 provide them as a manual option and they have always been completely free on Vodafone and most Orange tariffs. We advise all current 3 customers to call them to complain and ask for the new charges to waived on their accounts. Also, a great idea to prevent them getting away with this is to write to the Office of the Telecommunications Ombudsman (OTELO) to complain about 3’s breach of terms.

If you are a 3 customer and this charge is going to detrimentally affect you, you might want to consider switching to a difference network. We’ve got great reviews of the best ones. Don’t worry, you can still keep your phone number and there are tons of cheaper mobile networks out there.

7 Responses to “3 to charge for delivery reports”

  1. Simon 9 December 2011 at 01:51 Permalink

    Can I please ask. I have been with three for the past 6 years. I have never had delivery reports. Even if I enabled them on the older phones I had. Is there a special number to put or what? I would like to know. Thanks

    • Mobile Network Comparison 14 December 2011 at 12:44 Permalink

      Not that we know of. Usually enabling them on the handset is enough. The only thing you can do is contact 3 for more information.

  2. Mr Realistic 19 July 2011 at 12:33 Permalink

    Whilst I agree that charging for sms/mms reports is ludicrous when you look at the bandwidth required, and that they are already giving you loads of free sms (and that’s without comparing the bandwidth required for a minute of voice call), this article and the comments are pretty one sided and mis-representative…

    Some of the other networks have been charging for reports for ages. 3 sent out texts to advise 2 or 3 months ago. And in order to rack up £40 in charges without knowing you have sent 4000 texts, all with delivery reports. And in order to have not realised, this must have all been all in one month. You *do* bother to look at your bills, don’t you..?

    Let’s have a bit of perspective folks.

    (And before the the pointless flaming starts, the chances of my looking at this thread again are zero – so that should give you some insight as to the likelyhood of getting a reponse to your childish venting. But by all means, go ahead…)

    • Mobile Network Comparison 19 July 2011 at 12:39 Permalink

      Thanks for your post. We don’t think there has been any misrepresentation going on and hope you don’t see this as flaming. We do have to ask why 3 felt the need to introduce these charges. It’s certainly not to cover their costs which are less than negligible – it definitely seems either like sheer greed or a tax to cover other incidental costs.

      In any case, let’s look at some of your points:

      1. Several networks don’t charge for this basic service. And your reasoning isn’t sound – just because there are overpriced rip-off networks does not mean customers should assume all networks are like this.
      2. It sounds like Darren is on a contract so no, I doubt he’d look at his bills until the end of the month. It may not be optimal, but this is what most people do.
      3. Darren’s not the first to say he never received notification. In any case, many people don’t read marketing texts and it’s not acceptable to inform people of a detrimental change to their contract by SMS (or even email) instead of post. The fact the SMS didn’t arrive merely demonstrates the importance of delivery reports.

  3. Darren 18 July 2011 at 20:24 Permalink

    Today, I received an sms from Three to tell me that my outgoing calls have been blocked because I have exceeded my limit.

    I thought to myself, that how can I have exceeded my limit. I checked and I still had over 1200 mins left and some 2000 text available.

    I came home and checked my usage online and found that Three have charged me a disgusting amount for SMS delivery reports.

    I have no notice or even notification that this change was due.

    I work for a hospital and reception is sketchy at best of times. I reply very much on delivery reports to know that an sms has been sent and delivered safely.

    I have just spent 3 hours on the phone aruing with them… In the end just gave up and handed the greedy bast@rds my notice.


    It seems no wonder now that Three has become the UK’s most complained about network.

    Best of luck getting your name out of the mud on this one.

  4. Robin 27 June 2011 at 10:29 Permalink

    This is probably the stupidest thing that Three have ever done. Since these charges have been in place, I have spent £40 in surcharges for this “additional service” that has been a standard feature for me for the past ten years. What’s worse is that they didn’t even inform me of this arbitrary charge that they added to the terms and conditions. I am not a happy customer.

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