Mobile Network

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3 is a mobile network that was launched in the UK on 3 March 2003 – this date was chosen as it can be rendered 3/3/3. Its focus was on 3G technology and they undertook one of the fastest 3G rollouts in UK history. They went live with HSDPA technology in September 2008 and currently maintain the highest level of 3G coverage in the UK.

They offer both PAYG and contract services and have been running retail high street shops called 3Store since 2003. 3 is owned by Hutchinson Whampoa who had previously owned Orange at the height of the telecoms boom. In the UK, 3 has over 3.5 million customers.

Free SIM

If you are interested in trying 3, you can order your free SIM from here.

3 review

In general 3 are better value than the other main networks, even as a contract customer. However, their PAYG pricing is one of the highest around and it’s easy to spend a lot of money on them. (As of July 2013, Three Mobile have come out with a brand new offer that makes them easily the best value option for low-use PAYG customers). As a network, they are highly rated by their loyal customers. However, much of this is due to their excellent 3G network which is the best in the country. 3 also are now running a truly unlimited data offer and they are one of the only networks to allow unlimited data with no fair usage policy on pay as you go.

Their call centres are in India and several users have reported difficulties with customer services and getting problems fixed. However, they do offer free access to their online portal through their phones and service in their stores is much better than over the phone.

Overall, the network quality is very good and price is incredible value for money – just customer service leaves something to be desired.

PAYG Pricing

At a glance

Calls: 3pTexts: 2p Data: 1p/MBMMS: 31p0800: 15p0870: 35p


3’s PAYG tariff charges just 3p per minute for voice calls and texts are incredible cheap at 2p each. This is an order of magnitude better than the major networks even and much better value than even the cheapest virtual networks. 0800 numbers are unfortunately not free to call.


3 also are now running a truly unlimited data offer called the All In One Plan but it is rather pricey at £15/month. However, they are one of the only networks to allow unlimited data with no fair usage policy on pay as you go. You also get 300 minutes and 3000 texts included in your £15 top-up.

There is also the option of buying just 3000 texts for £5/month.

Price comparison

To compare 3’s current pricing to all the other mobile networks, please see our price comparison page.



2G coverage: 99%3G coverage: 93%4G coverage: 79%

Coverage map

Please see our 3 coverage page to learn about 3’s network coverage in your area. 3 runs its own 3G network but relies on Orange for its 2G network. For more information, compare it with other mobile phone networks’ coverage.


Please give your own rating to 3 below:

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 3.9/5 (141 votes cast)
3, 3.9 out of 5 based on 141 ratings
by Jon M

152 Responses to “3”

  1. Sab 4 October 2016 at 14:58 Permalink

    Won’t give me a pac code – Abs Disgusting!!!

    Appalling Appalling Appalling!!!

    Left me without my number for more than 8 days now – really upset!!

    Worst company I have ever dealt with. NICEY NICEY when they want your business. Absolutely don’t want to know when you leave. God knows how much I spent on the phone to them.

    Please please please stay well clear!!

  2. matt a 8 August 2016 at 22:07 Permalink

    I have been with Three for about 6 years now. Overhaul I have very little problems with the service I get. They are a little behind with 4G, but high speed H+ give speeds equal to some other networks 4G anyway. At my old address when I lost signal 13 months into a 24 month contract they cancelled the contract without any argument and gave me 20 credit for the few weeks it took to sort (O2 & EE also had no coverage here so not just a poor Three network). Three are also doing VOIP on 4G with the 800MHZ 4G frequency, this improving signal indoors also. I only pay £17 /month for unlimited data, text & 600 mins with 4GB of tethering.

  3. Jules 26 July 2016 at 21:45 Permalink

    and that I ‘must simply ring 333’ (the most useless and frustrating phone service).

    Terrible signal, terrible service, terrible company! I highly do NOT recommend.

  4. Dan 30 June 2016 at 15:30 Permalink

    Signal Intermittent. Just been told by Three that the mast in my area needs to fixed again (same excuse each time) and that I have to wait until 30th July 2016 (30 days from now) until I have a signal again….this is disgraceful. AVOID AT ALL COSTS. Customer Service are awful….use ANYONE else.

  5. Michael 11 June 2016 at 10:54 Permalink

    Was with Vodafone for around ten years, Three Europe country usage was what swung me to switch.
    The problem is its three to three phones only that can take the deal, and not everyone is on three, so in the end no actual saving.
    After around two months its clear my details have been sold on as my phone gets all kinds of rubbish, and constantly getting calls from Three in India. The issue I have is that you get asked to confirm who you are by some idiot, if you challenge the call centre to send you an e-mail to prove who they are who they say they are, with their three mail address they say they cant (Security is a two way thing). The constant calling of these people is shocking, so much so I am going to switch back to Vodafone. I would advise anyone against switching to three due to selling on of details and constant nuisance calls from their low cost centre’s and never give anyone your details that calls you. Go to your local store as they simply cannot be trusted with personal details as this article clearly shows.

  6. Barbara 8 June 2016 at 14:36 Permalink

    To the all people thinking to join Three!!!
    I took my IPhone 6 from Three on April this year. Couple of days ago I realised that my power button doesn’t work. I went to Apple Store and they told me that my phone was already opened!!! Can you imagine? They are unable to make any repairs at this stage.
    When I came back to Three network they told me that probably I opened this phone and this is not theirs problem!
    I am very angry and I do not recommend anyone to join this network!!!
    I can bin my IPhone but of course I have to pay my contract to the end.
    Your Angry Customer

  7. Stevie H 2 April 2016 at 11:50 Permalink

    I wish I had seen this thread before giving them money. Having been assured that coverage was good at my home, I return to find it is non-existant. So glad I didn’t change my number over as I was being cajoled into doing. Ah well, back to EE

  8. Rubeena 22 March 2016 at 20:27 Permalink

    I’ve been using Three network for ages and it’s terrible.Always hving connection problem.Slow net.Offered unlimited data but it just deceiving ppls aa u can’t even use it tho.Take 30 mins to load

  9. khan 27 February 2016 at 11:02 Permalink

    if you want to join 3 network pls be assure to get appointment with your Doctor before hand as 3 network is the terrible one

  10. kim 27 February 2016 at 11:00 Permalink

    never ever try to go with 3 network as be be get mad there after

  11. John 22 February 2016 at 23:49 Permalink

    3 network is the most frustrating network that I have had the misfortune to use in a very long time, live in the S8 area of Sheffield and it constantly freezes, was told in the 3 shop that I had good coverage…wrong…anyway no more being frustrated with this frustrating network…back to EE

  12. Nick T 13 January 2016 at 14:58 Permalink

    Just joined Three on iPhone. So far, so terrible. No visual voicemail for iPhone!!? No coverage in our building despite there map showing good indoor coverage for this postcode. Absurd and terrible mistake to join.

    • Danny H 14 January 2016 at 00:36 Permalink

      Neither does EE support it. O2 and I think Vodafone are the only ones doing it. I know O2 are used to be with them on iPhone. What coverage is your phone showing? Remember they only had 3G. So if it say 3G therefore you have it. If not maybe some 4G. They’re different as well from other networks I’ve found. But about the map, call them and they can sort that issue out and hopefully your iPhone. Maybe you need a new SIM or a mast has a fault. My local 4G one has a fault so I get back to 3G most of the time in my bedroom. Depends. Comes and goes.

  13. Anthon 1 January 2016 at 20:23 Permalink

    Data rate is correct here at 1p/MB, but wrong in the table.

  14. PK 10 December 2015 at 15:09 Permalink

    Useless coverage at present with many complaints and because of low signal around the net, i have a dual sim phone.. Tesco has 5bars, 3 can barely manage one bar and frequently has no signal.
    So seems you really do get what you pay for.

  15. Ronnie 18 May 2015 at 21:44 Permalink

    I’m actually with 3’s MVNO Tello at the moment.
    Coverage seems fine,but I have been waiting over a week to get full service.
    Starting on Friday,I suddenly could not text or call anyone,and this was after 5 days of my number being ported
    And a total of 8 days in total.
    I contacted Tello Customer Services,who told me that my number was not fully ported,and it would take another 2 working days for it to work.
    Fine,but I told them that people were able to contact me perfectly,but I could not contact them.
    All very strange,and I have never heard of a number not fully being ported.
    But I will stick with it.
    One thing to note is,the Customer Service is the best I have come across.
    They phone you on the dot,on the day and on the time they say they will.
    When does that happen ?
    They have offered me £10 credit for the inconvenience,when really all I wanted was my full service.
    Nonetheless,I will take it,and I recommend them.

    • Mobile Network Comparison 11 June 2015 at 16:21 Permalink

      How’s your experience with Tello now?

      • ronnie 11 June 2015 at 17:46 Permalink

        A bit up and down really.
        Topped up last week,and suddenly my data stopped working.
        I contacted them though,and it was fixed within a couple of hours.
        Without getting mushy,Tello really try to resolve your problems as quickly as humanly or electronically possible.
        That makes me feel valued.

  16. Divoch 18 May 2015 at 21:20 Permalink


  17. mark 18 May 2015 at 18:23 Permalink

    Stay away.

  18. david 10 May 2015 at 17:41 Permalink

    I’m on three and live in the east and have always had excellent coverage never had any problems with customer services and will always recommend

  19. Ronnie 7 May 2015 at 20:46 Permalink

    Hey,sorry to hijack the thread.
    But I have just returned to 3 from BT Mobile after just 4 days !!!.
    Would love a BT Mobile thread to discuss how shocking it is.
    I’m flabbergasted

  20. Divoch 4 May 2015 at 21:31 Permalink

    As far as I know Feel At Home applies to data used and calls to UK while in one of the selected countries. For calls to elsewhere in Europe and outside Europe standard published roaming rates will apply.

  21. Rachel 4 May 2015 at 04:39 Permalink

    Hi guys, I’m from Singapore and i will be travelling to the UK and Ireland this August, for 17 days. I am very interested in purchasing a sim card (with data pre-loaded) from eBay before i leave Singapore, so that I can be connected to the internet the moment i arrive in the UK. I have read somewhere that Three simcards can be used in several countries.

    To be more exact, i will first arrive in London, stay there for a few days, then proceed to Ireland. Will i be able to use the same sim card in those two different countries?

    • Mobile Network Comparison 4 May 2015 at 11:55 Permalink

      You can use the same SIM card in both countries but normally you will be roaming when you move between them which will drastically increase the costs. Three is an exception with its Feel At Home scheme which charges you the same amount as in the UK and it is available in the Republic of Ireland. It’s possible to buy a SIM in advance but you need to convert the PAYG credit to an Add-on to use Feel at Home. You can get a PAYG SIM at any shop anywhere in the UK so you don’t even need to buy in advance unless you need data in the airport. If you have any other queries, please ask!

      • Rachel 7 May 2015 at 08:18 Permalink

        Thanks guys for your prompt replies!

        I’ll be landing in London Gatwick airport. Are there any shops there that sells Three sim cards? I tried looking up the airport website but couldn’t really find any useful information..

        Also, may i know what would be the estimated cost if i would like to be on the Feel At Home scheme with the Add-On that allows data usage across countries? I do not need calls or texts, my priority would just be on data usage 🙂

        Thanks in advance!!

        • Mobile Network Comparison 7 May 2015 at 16:28 Permalink

          You might find some SIM cards there. I think there might also be vending machines but they will be very expensive. Once you get outside the airport almost any shop will sell them.

          Depending on your data requirements, all the prices for Three data-only PAYG are on their site linked at the top of this article 🙂

        • Mobile Network Comparison 7 May 2015 at 16:29 Permalink

          Also where in the UK are you going first?

  22. Craig 21 April 2015 at 13:51 Permalink

    I bought a data-only SIM as it was much better value than EE. Unfortunately, even though I’m marked as being in the middle of a strong 4G area, I can’t get signal even outdoors. I have to walk about 500m before I get the 4G speeds (which are excellent but not accessible). I feel misled.

  23. Roy 14 March 2015 at 16:16 Permalink

    I was surprised to learn that that where you live in the South East you get 18Mbps down and 9Mbps up on 3G (H+).using the Ookla speedtest app.

    I too live in the South East in the Basingstoke area. Using the Ookla speed tester I never get more than 2.6mbps bandwidth. Even worse, if you setup a wireless mobile hotspot on your Android Phone so that you can download large updates for your iPad to your Apple MacBook pro, you will find that the 3G/H+ network connection is throttled down to 1.54 megabits per second bandwidth, which is the standard T1/1.5DSL link speed. This equates to a throughput speed of 187.5KB or 0.18310546875 Megabytes actual download speed.

    You can try this yourself; the latest Apple IOS update, (IOS 8.2) is 1.94GB in size. Once the download starts, throttling will kick in very quickly and the 1.94GigaByte download will probably take around three hours to complete – it did for me. The actual time for the techies among you is 2 hours 59 minutes & 53 seconds). I don’t believe 3 ever expect you to make full use of your “All You Can Eat Data” plan and the poor performance of the network ensures you don’t try to use it in any meaningful way too often. I’m sure 3 will deny all knowledge of this, but the evidence is clear when you attempt large downloads. Try it yourself.

    Anyone who would like a quick way to calculate the actual download speeds associated with each bandwidth setting should take a look the calculation tool at

  24. TonyCCCC 13 March 2015 at 14:39 Permalink

    On the other side of the coin, I’ve just got a PAYG sim from a 3 store. The assistant was pretty helpful and advised me to get the £15 voucher so I could have the All in One 15 with unlimited data, Great! Slipped the sim in my S5 and fired it up. I logged on to internet and straight away the “3” page came up to say I had no credit! To cut a long story short, I called customer service And was gobsmacked with the level of service. They must really be working on this! The guy I spoke to was in Mumbai but spoke better English than a hell of a lot of people here! and sorted the minor problem quickly. If I’m being picky, I’d say he was a bit too polite. Turned phone back on and it worked perfectly. I live in the South East and commute into London so have a good opportunity to check out the network. The 4G coverage is not as good as EE but not the worst. What I did find was Three’s 3G network has really good coverage and gives fairly decent speeds too. I use the Ookla speedtest app and got 44Mbps download and 21Mbps upload on 4G in central London and where I live I got 18Mbps down and 9Mbps up on 3G (H+) which is plenty fast enough and it seems a very stable connection. I guess most people who post on here have an axe to grind but I stumbled across it and started reading. BTW I have no affiliation with any mobile companies, I just wanted to share my experience.

  25. Sarahhhx 11 March 2015 at 18:11 Permalink

    Does anyone know if three have good signal in Italy?
    How does it work, i just use my sim card in my phone regularly and when i arrive in Italy i can continue using it regularly and tether regularly?

  26. securespark 10 March 2015 at 09:15 Permalink

    Good advice from Bish. Before committing to any network, put some credit on a PAYG SIM and put it in an old phone so you can compare the service with your existing provider. This is what I did when considering 3. I have now been with them a couple of years, still on PAYG. I don’t want a contract and find that for a couple of quid extra I can get the allowances I need without tying myself to a contract. My sons are all on 3 and we have had no issues aside from the odd poor signal. To be fair, every network I have connected to has suffered this issue. I find I cannot top up using 3’s website, but I just use the call centre to do this. If I have to find one negative, it is that 3 are always keen to try and upgrade us to SIM only or contracts. Other than that, our experiences are all good. I buy an all-in-one if I need unlimited data and have no issues streaming films from Netflix. I have a 4G handset and get a decent connection to 4G where it is available.

  27. yassine a 5 March 2015 at 18:46 Permalink

    Hi I think 3 mobile phone are no longer a good company as before there is no good deal as before I have been a customer for 6 year’s and they could not give me better deal I use to use hotspot lot for my laptop through my mobile but now they put limited of 2gb only
    Wich is treaky now they don’t mansion that on new contract or in shop they try to signe you contract with headen policy so be were of that

  28. Dhruti 25 January 2015 at 00:57 Permalink



    If you are SIM ONLY customer of 3 Mobile network or planning to buy a SIM ONLY deal with 3, please read this, as it will help consumer community and possibility many of you will be saved from spending money for service you will never be able to use or alternatively forced to buy a new mobile!
    Here is my experience of 24th Jan 15 at around 1PM.
    17th Dec 14, I went to this store and purchased a SIM only deal, as wanted to continue using my exiting smart phone. I had shown my phone to them to make sure if their SIM will work with my phone. The sales guy looked at the phone and said I should work, and that my phone will start within next few hours, maximum with 24 hours. The phone did not start until next two days, I kept thinking it’s the phone and tried checking various settings etc, unsuccessfully.
    After a couple of days just before Christmas, I went to the store again, with my phone, mentioned it does not work! The representative then checked my phone, and changed some settings, and replaced a new SIM CARD, suggesting sometimes there can be problem with the SIM, they said should start in next few hours, but never worked.
    Eventually in the process or trying to resolve issue, I visited mobile repair shop but nothing happened. I then called customer service, and they again asked me to visit the store.
    I went to the store to discuss the matter, and possibly buy a new phone or change the contract to the one with higher payments if that can get phone I like. However the sales guy did not listen (not even what I have written here), or spend any time understanding the issue, rather very arrogantly made tatements like “Everyone knows 3 only works with 3G phones!” , “we know what we are selling”, “I am in this business for 5 years, and know what works!” – Clearly if that was the case, my mobile would have worked or they would have told me otherwise!
    The rude store manager harassed and humiliated me instead of apologising for selling me SIM that won’t work! I left the store shocked with their attitude toward their customers and sheer untrained arrogant staff, 3’s process clearly demonstrating carelessness in their deals! The process should have been clear, to check the mobile models that would clearly mention, it would not work, before selling the contracts!
    I would appreciate if you are SIM ONLY customer, could you please share if the details of your existing phone was ever taken before? i.e. proper details, model numbers ? or was it just visual viewing? And if you have faced similar experience as mine?


  29. Roy 13 January 2015 at 09:55 Permalink

    The “Feel Good Destination” scheme is not working.

    While in Miami at the end of November I attempted to use the Feel Good Destination service to see the final of the F1 Grand Prix. The only two available providers for this region were T-Mobile and AT&T. Neither of those networks would allow tethering so that we could watch the race on my iPad, and the service was so throttled that we could not watch the race directly on my Phone either and it took four minutes to download a 200KB email. This service is quite frankly rubbish and they should be ashamed to be advertising it.

    • rogerw 18 January 2015 at 10:37 Permalink

      If you had bothered to read the T & C’s, you would have noticed tethering is not allowed outside of the UK.

      • Roy 19 January 2015 at 09:44 Permalink

        You seem to have completely missed the point I was trying to make. What is the point of having an all you can eat data plan when you are not allowed to eat all you need. My comment about tethering was just a complaint about the lack of usefulness of the service. As I said previously, even without tethering, the service is so slow as to be almost unusable. The comment from Three that streaming speed may be lower than in the UK is a masterly understatement. They need to tighten their contracts with overseas suppliers before advertising a service that few can use in any convenient way. The “feel good location” idea is good, but the execution is poor.

        • Mobile Network Comparison 20 January 2015 at 05:39 Permalink

          It sounds like you kind of have unrealistic expectations. Seeing as they aren’t the ones paying billions on infrastructure in a place where <0.5% of people are roaming, it’s hard to see what else they could do.

          • Roy 11 March 2015 at 10:29 Permalink

            From your comments I can see that it is likely that you work for 3. Talking about network infrastructure investment, can you explain why a test of bandwidth on 3G this morning showed only 1.54mb download speed. 4G is only available from the upstairs of my house, but the bandwith on that network is no better either. You are clearly using throttling to control data flow. Where is the high speed network you promised us, do you really believe that you can fool people into thinking the network is getting better? The coverage may be improving, but the performance is going down.

            • Mobile Network Comparison 11 March 2015 at 17:50 Permalink

              Sorry but we’ve never worked for Three or any other mobile network, telecoms company or phone store.

            • Ronnie 13 May 2015 at 18:33 Permalink

              I love it when people come out with stuff like this.
              Apparently you are on GiffGaffs payroll as well :).
              You Double Agents you 🙂

  30. Danny H 29 December 2014 at 01:40 Permalink

    Tried all networks and 3 only seem to provide the best signal. Give them some justice and I don’t understand why people have something to complain about? They really hate people like that! If you have problems at home then simply ask for Home Signal box. I’m sure they’ll give it, if you’re nice! Ask for out and what’s not. Yeh some black spots but not as many as EE trust me on that one. Quit winging and enjoy what the best has to offer! Customer Servive is always a problem with any company because that’s people for you! Lol but Three’s aren’t too bad quite satisfied with the one’s I get, but you do get some idiots on the end with most companies even 3 :P. Enjoy!

  31. Das 27 December 2014 at 13:33 Permalink

    The phones are great
    However, 3’s customer service is 3rd class. They refuse to give you all your monthly bills. When you ring them you are passed around from Mr Akranth to Ms Patronising to Mr Dolittle. They won’t listen to you, but they will repeatedly explain things like a broken record. You send up spending a fortune on your phonebill because their customer service number 0333 300 3333 costs up to 10p a minute. That happened to men today

  32. sheva 25 December 2014 at 13:09 Permalink

    Gateshead area, newcastle area. I would even call it a signal- its that bad!

  33. sheva 22 December 2014 at 02:59 Permalink

    I was on 3 mobile network. I signed up for 1 month to try it and i was so greatful i didnt chose a 12 month plan. Even out of the month i got fed up after 2 days and 2 weeks later i went back to giffgaff because i just couldnt stand it anymore!
    The connection was terrible. I strongly disscourage any1 from joining. Giffgaff is the best

  34. Paul Thomson 6 December 2014 at 08:08 Permalink

    Three is down again,three is great in my area when it works,but recently three has been down,due to the mast.

  35. Dave Watson 29 November 2014 at 16:37 Permalink

    Coverage has been OK and few technical problems. The huge problem with Three is their customer service. Fine in the shops although there are limitations on what they can do. But their Indian call centre is a nightmare. Sent around in circles until you speak to an operator who hasn’t a clue, working to rigid scripts, so you have long circular discussions. The very worst experience is when you try and cancel. Be prepared for a very long call!

  36. Alex 5 November 2014 at 23:42 Permalink

    I’m on the rolling monthly One Plan of the Three network. I signed up in winter 2013. I was assured it was for an indefinite period, with no end date and for as long as I wanted. I signed up for £18 unlimited data, unlimited tethering, 2000 mins, hundreds of texts.

    Today (5th Nov 3014) I received a text from Three network, “Hello. We need to speak to you about changes to your plan. Please contact us free on 08003583429 to speak to our dedicated team.”

    I spent 30-45 mins trying to get through to Three today to ask what was going on? They were evidently besieged by telephone calls, as all I heard was piped music.

    So I went to a Three store in London’s West End. The store manager revealed that on Fri 31st Oct 2014 news came down from on high – the CEO Dave Dyson and executives – that those of us who’d signed up to the unlimited data and unlimited tethering under the One Plan should be contacted and instructed that our Plan was no longer available to us – even though we’d signed for an indefinite and unlimited period. The rug was to be pulled from beneath us – whether we liked it or not. We were to be charged more and be given less. If we didn’t like that, we would be instructed that our account will be terminated regardless, and to go elsewhere. We were not to be given a choice. The store manager also said that the CEO and senior management knew this would result in numerous disgruntled customers and complaints, but he said “they don’t care”. He said that he’d received many complaints since Friday from customers who’d received the same text as me, and he was advising us all to complain to Three (he warned it’d make little difference as the instruction, to treat One Plan customers so abysmally, had come from the very highest ranks of the Three network) and to also complain to Ofcom. He was very apologetic and said it was unethical and a blatant dishonouring of an agreement we’d all signed in good faith. He also said that it reflected very badly on him and all Three store staff who’d acted in good faith when convincing us to leave our other networks/deals, and to instead switch to Three’s One Plan. Nearby customers all heard him speak openly and with no respect for Three’s unethical treatment of One Plan customers.

  37. Abuzer kadayif 10 October 2014 at 19:05 Permalink

    3 is really shit network they keep lying all the time fix the fucking network

  38. Roman 4 October 2014 at 23:44 Permalink

    Their Smart roaming rates (outside EU) may not be as good as a local SIM but are better than most PAYG rates – if I need to make a call. However, I use Vectone more for calls to Czech republic or Brazil as their Smart rates are incredibly cheap

  39. Roman 30 September 2014 at 18:07 Permalink

    It is being too sentimental. Some networks bribe you but you have to look at the whole picture. They may but may not be the best value overall for the type of user you are. I am low-use 3 PAYG customer and their 3-2-1 tarif suits me fine for UK. For calls abroad and for roaming I use Vectone, both SIMS in a dual SIM phone, or local SIM.

  40. S Pearce-Higgins 27 September 2014 at 16:23 Permalink

    3 is not a mobile phone company. It is a scam, a criminal organisation, a den of thieves. I made the mistake of having a PAYG contract with them. I was a loyal customer and paid my bills by direct debit. However, I was repeatedly charged for subscriptions which I didn’t take out (I mean repeatedly – 8 times over 3 years), which were added to my account, totaling hundreds of pounds. I recovered most of the money, but only by calling up their call centre and waiting in queues for hours. Every time I was promised the subscriptions had been cancelled, and every time they reappeared. Although, to be fair, I was satisfied with the phone service, I realised that this is NOT A TRUSTWORTHY COMPANY. I strongly advise EVERYONE to take their business elsewhere so that this TERRIBLE company is forced out of the market. PLEASE DO NOT USE 3!!!!

    • Erik 30 September 2014 at 10:13 Permalink

      unfortunately, 3 won’t leave market so easily, this company is way too big and not enough complains ppl to start leaving. but what I hate about this company the most is – they don’t value loyalty. I’ve been a customer for 4 years, never ever in my life I got anything offered, any upgrade or just a nice freebie – never, when friend of mine is a customer of EE for 2 years and he gets freebies already, lets say, he opened contract with iPhone 5, he says he pays like 20 quid, half a year ago he got free ipad, now they upgraded him to iPhone 6. IT NEVER HAPPENS IN 3, NEVER!!! they don’t give a crap how long you are with them. So sad… that’s why I left them.

    • Mobile Network Comparison 5 October 2014 at 17:13 Permalink

      Subscriptions for what?

  41. Sam 3 August 2014 at 13:08 Permalink

    I like 3, a lot.

    Last April, I renewed my contract with them because wherever I go, I usually get a decent signal, and my contract is unlimited data with no fair usage policy.

    When renewing to a new phone this year, I had to select a new contract because they had changed them, which just means that I also get unlimited texts too for a lower price than before.

    I upgraded in the shop because I was out anyway, and it was all done within 5 – 10 minutes.

    My new phone is a HTC One M8 which uses a nano SIM card (or something like that..), and my old phone uses a micro SIM card. However, in the shop I was told that my new phone uses a micro and I’d just be able to take my old SIM out of my old phone and put it in my new one. Obviously, this didn’t work.

    I walked back into the shop where I explained this, and they took the SIM into the staff area and gave me a replacement nano SIM, and was told it would work in an hour – which it did. Overall, very happy with their service. I have had a few issues, both with my old phone and occasionally the service in the past and which I rang up their call service, which often gets the job done quickly and professionally. The call service is from a foreign country, so just a warning for people who may have difficulties understanding.

    My only issue with my current contract is that you still have to pay for tethering, something which I believed was free.

  42. Alex 27 May 2014 at 18:12 Permalink

    It’s now the late afternoon, and I’ve only just managed to get some limited and very slow internet access. This is common with the Three network, who pretend to be Britain’s leading internet network. I’ve spent hours, today, trying to get online. As is frequently the case with Three, it was impossible – even though all five bars and 3G logo were showing. If you use the free Open Signal App, the reception is sooo bad and sooo non-existent that Open Signal frequently confirms it with a “Failed” result. I consistently have days like this, where I cannot go online at all and I am therefore, in this internet age, totally unable to get things done.

    You may think I’m in some rural countryside district, but I’m not. I am in London’s West End – but still unable to get internet connectivity, regardless of which property I’m in or which street I walk down.

    Three initially pretended the problem was with my iPhone, or with cookies, etc. After several weeks of different members of staff asking me to go through the entire story again and again, and me listening to their repeated denials in numerous phone calls, they eventually admitted to knowing that they have major problems with connectivity.

    They have continually promised to increase and improve frequency/connectivity, but they keep the date of so-called planned works from one months to another, and then another. They have done this for at least the past six months.

    How is it possible that in London’s West End (WC1, WC2, W1) I must spend several hours just trying to get online, and only manage to do so at the end of this afternoon, and even now it is still diabolically slow.

    As for tethering – forget it. If you cannot get online via your iPhone or smartphone, you also cannot tether.

    And phone/voice calls frequently suddenly end without either party actually ending the call.

    Yes, Three’s package is cheaper than other networks, but it is a frequently non-existent and utterly frustrating service, which Three’s shop assts fail to describe prior to signing up.

    • Erik 12 June 2014 at 20:34 Permalink

      I feel you. That’s why I’m leaving 3 with both (my and my wive’s) numbers.
      3 was most of the time OK, but ads about BEST LEADING INTERNET PROVIDER always made me laugh 🙂 anyway… i live central too, westminster and my reception very often drops to 1 bar, same happens around trafalgar square, st pauls, victoria areas. it started happening like a year ago, as many times i complained everytime i was told that works are in process and soon gonna be ok, but its been a year and this still continues. Recently tho, I started having problems with inet too. In particular, a month ago i was without inet for 1 day, so i called three to complain and they said that its iphone blocking my inet 🙂 they asked me what ios im on, and when i said 5, they said – yes, iphones stopped supporting internet on old ios and u have to update it. I laughed as i never heard such a nonsense that phone manufacturer would be involved in some operators work?! after 2 days internet was back (i got my pac already and was looking where to go). now a month or two passed and i have the same again – no internet on my iphone (on wife’s z10 everything works fine), so i decided to wait for 3-4 days, like last time, but this time i still have no internet, so I’ve got new PACs again and looking for another network, again. I kinda like giffgaff, but the biggest problem is they cost a bit more than 3 plan i have (it’s very competitive), but I’m still thinking to give a way and try giffgaff as I need my internet back.

      Something really fishy is happening with 3 past year.

  43. Jura 25 May 2014 at 16:14 Permalink

    I’m without my number for around 48 hours, because of misselling!
    I was switching from PAYG (three) to a contract (three) and I’ve been told that my number transfer to a new sim will be immediate, without any waiting, because it’s on the same network. (and it’s not something I misheard, my phone records all calls automatically, so I have a proof!)
    Now I have no idea who wants to contact me and by the nature of my job I don’t know some people calling me and I can’t notify them about another number just for couple days. Therefore I’m most probably loosing a lot now and I have to disturb a lot of people about temporary number.
    Technical support couldn’t give me any solution at all.
    Will leave company, which is lying to customers, ASAP!
    Also signal indoors is very bad and disappears sometimes.
    Plus my friend told me that he had problem with roaming abroad.

  44. Bish 20 February 2014 at 13:09 Permalink

    In this day and age of free sims it is definitely worth biting the bullet and using payg for a trial month with any network which is new to you to check it will work as you expect in the areas you intend to use it most frequently. Most of us upgrade to new phones when the old one still works fine so why not put a payg sim in it and see how it works for you. This way you can compare it directly with your current network if you do it whilst still on an existing contract. My husband is on the 1 month rolling sim only in his iphone to see how it works. If he’s happy, he’ll go to the 12 mth which is cheaper still. If not, he’s not tied to anyone and can go elsewhere. I will be doing the same experiment to see how it works in my droid phone. It seems foolish to me to commit youself to 2 years of anything without knowing how It’s going to work. It’s like test driving a car or getting a survey done on a house. Given that the contract locks you in regardless of whether or not it works well or well enough coughing up a few extra quid seems wise to me.

  45. roman 15 December 2013 at 21:56 Permalink

    The rate stated in the article for data: 11p/MB is wrong. The correct rate is 1p/MB!

  46. marta 22 November 2013 at 16:58 Permalink

    I have just signed a contract with three mobile for 24 months, and I am already regretful.
    First of all, indoor reception is horrible, I don’t have any in my place of work, either in the college where I study.
    Secondy, despite of having 2 GB data plan, I am not able to give Interenet to my laptot. This is the message I got.
    Using your phone as a modem and connecting it to other devices through WiFi or USB to get onto the internet (also called ‘tethering’), is not what the plan you’re on was designed for. If you would like to speak to someone about tethering options available to you, please call 333 free from your Three phone.
    What they say to me is that if I want to give Internet to my laptot I have to pay 7 pounds p/month. I have explained them that I only need to do this when the Internet at home is not working, is not even once a month. After being on the phone for 20 minutes 10 of them, speaking to a machine, the only solution is to pay extra.
    Seriously, If you have a choice, do not choose three mobile!!

  47. Daniel 19 November 2013 at 13:44 Permalink

    Well, after having read all of the preceding comments before writing my own, I can’t say that I’m surprised.

    My experience with Three was relatively satisfactory, until (as most users have found) I tried to change something. I decided that my 1GB per month iPad data was a little low, so I went into a Three store and requested an upgrade. Unbeknownst to me, they had just taken out a new contract on top of my existing one, which I only discovered when I was checking my direct debits 4 months later, so I had been paying for two contracts at the same time.

    I cancelled the direct debit on the former, but oh boy that made them cross. They then called me TWO months after my DD cancellation in a strong Indian accent to demand that I pay them for two months of unused service (that’s right, they didn’t call me right away, waited as long as possible so they could demand more money).

    Right then and there I saw what kind of company this was. They’re the small-print, hidden charge, admin fee, ‘you should have read the foot-notes of your contract’ kind of company. I cancelled all my contracts with Three imediately, requested the bill and paid it on the spot. It turns out my concerns were well founded, because two weeks later, I get another call asking for more money on the original plan. The excuse? “Outstanding charges”. The bastards hadn’t included the 30-day cancellation notice as part of the final bill I requested.

    I paid again, and told them to send me written proof that this was my FINAL bill, and that they wouldn’t try to charge me again. They confirmed my address as somewhere called ‘Greenview Farm’, which I angrily informed them was wrong. The Indian bloke had apparently just typed in my postcode and clicked on the top hit as my address last time.

    Suffice to say, I’m never going anywhere near Three again. The lower rates seem enticing, but they will try and scam you out of every red cent they can before you cotton on to their game. Their recent blocking of phone SIMs in iPads is further evicence if this. They made the change without alterning their Terms of Service (because that would legally require notifying their customers), so they instead changed the document ‘Points To Note’, an appendix to the Terms of Service.

    I now use O2 in my phone and Orange for my iPad, and have been very happy with both. O2 customer service is amazingly helpful and they actually have an app that isn’t just a web address pointer! Orange’s “pay for what you use” data plan is simply wonderful and eliminates the cloak & dagger approach that Three seems fond of.

  48. Ed 4 October 2013 at 14:15 Permalink

    This network sucks big time!

    I have used my phone in Canada with Fido, Germany with O2 and Lebara, Austria with Yesss and Bob – never any issues.

    But with 3, I could not even get a signal at Oxford Circus!
    And people at the store there did the best to try and blame my phone. Maybe it’s not unlocked, maybe it can’t do 3G, maybe it needs an update.
    All of which is of course total bullshit.
    And one guy who according to a lady working there was very experienced and knows his stuff said “Well the problem clearly is that you have data switched off. You have to enable this to use our service at all”. Of course my phone still couldn’t connect to the 3 network even after he switched it on.

    After a bit of trying to make it work, I decided to just forget about the 10 pounds I had given them and try Lebara again, as I had positive experiences with them in Germany. And guess what? Worked like a charm, right away.

    • Mobile Network Comparison 5 October 2013 at 20:44 Permalink

      What phone were you using? It does definitely seem strange you couldn’t get a signal in central London…

      • Erik 12 June 2014 at 20:46 Permalink

        it’s not very strange, i experience it all the time 🙂 that’s the most frustrating. if i would live somewhere in fields it’s ok, but when i live in westminster and i can’t get reception where past 4 years worked just fine, i think it’s BS and when customer service isn’t aware of that problem and trying to make ppl stupid – it’s too much!!!
        and, i don’t have anything against other nationalities, i’m immigrant by myself, but do they own a call centre in india? i haven’t heard anything but indian accent for over 2 years at all (in past i remember i used to talk to brits from time to time).

  49. Shaba 28 September 2013 at 12:44 Permalink

    I used Three’s 321 pay-as-you-go plan and it was reasonable in the UK. However, on roaming I was shocked to find that GBP7 had been deducted from my balance just for setting up a voicemail PIN, stating my name as greeting and retrieving ONE message. Total time could not have been more than 75 secs. The automated message on arrival abroad contained no info about the charges for voicemail. I only use voicemail abroad and other UK networks used in the past have not been unreasonable. I am complaining to Three, in the meantime users BEWARE.

    • Mobile Network Comparison 30 September 2013 at 13:34 Permalink

      Which country were you roaming in? Please let us know what Three’s response is to you as that does seem extreme.

      • Shaba 30 September 2013 at 13:54 Permalink

        Country was Qatar but thats not significant as three’s phone guide states that voicemail while roaming is charged at roaming rates, something I missed.But the automated
        message on arrival misses out his bit of key info. Three are looking into it.

        • Shaba 23 October 2013 at 19:42 Permalink

          I’m pleased to report that Three Customer Services reviewed my complaint and addressed it. My credit balance has been re-instated. I have suggested to them that the automated call cost messages received while roaming could simply include the key info that voicemail usage is charged at roaming call rates.

  50. Sam W 20 September 2013 at 13:26 Permalink

    Cannot fault “Three” and do not understand issues some other people report. Signed up for the one plan, so have unlimited data and can tether other devices it. It all comes at a bargain price compared to other networks. I have been with “Three” for about 9 months and am 100% satisfied with the network and service.

    Speeds are great and usually have 3G or H+.

    I find that my call network strength at my partners house is not great but to be fair, Vodafone are the only company with good indoor coverage in that area. I have just called “Three” to see if they could help…my coverage dropped out during the call…they kindly called back on the landline number I had given them…and they agreed to send me out a free signal booster to my partner’s house.

    I could not have asked for any more really. (In my mind I thought that they might refuse to help on the basis that the issue was not at my home address so 10 out of 10 to “Three”. My call did go to an overseas call centre, but both individuals I spoke to were helpful, courteous and made sure that I was happy with the steps that they were going to take to resolve the problem.

  51. Belen 11 September 2013 at 10:46 Permalink

    I’ve been with three, the 321 tariff for less than a month, with a minimum use of the mobile phone, and it costs me over 10£. I believe they are overcharging me, but I didn’t find a way to see their detailed charges and check them.

    Is anyone facing the same problem?


  52. Shah 6 September 2013 at 10:58 Permalink

    Don’t go for 3. I have a contract with them. I cant use Internet and can’t use my phone to make calls. So I just play games on it. I will not recommend 3 to any one.

  53. Lesley 3 September 2013 at 11:01 Permalink

    I have been with 3 for approx 3 months on a monthly sim only contract which I believe I should never have been signed up for. I am unable to connect to the Internet or send photos and often texts take several attempts to send from my house. When I complained on numerous occasions (4 times in their shop, via their web-site, and on the phone) I was told that my mobile (Sony Ericsson Elm) wasn’t one that they sold or had details of and couldn’t set up.

    Finally, I have asked to be released from my contract without having to pay the remaining 9 months ,as their network is not suitable for me, but this was refused.

    I have previously been with Orange and O2 and been able to get better coverage than with this company. I shall never recommend them to anyone else.

  54. PS Worx 1 August 2013 at 13:41 Permalink

    Since around June/July 2013 a lot of Three users are having serious issues with the network service being provided and more importantly their poor customer service, I would seriously suggest that anyone who has any intentions of moving to Three review ALL of the comments on their Facebook page to get an idea of the quality of the service they offer across the board.

    • Mobile Network Comparison 1 August 2013 at 14:20 Permalink

      Thanks for the notification about this. We’ll look into it. Do you know of any other forums where people are discussing this?

      • PS Worx 1 August 2013 at 14:22 Permalink

        I haven’t looked in depth yet, seems their Twitter doesn’t show user posts only selected replies and there’s been no public statement about issues with the network, if I find anything in particular I will update this page.


  55. john o'donnell 24 July 2013 at 21:41 Permalink

    Astonished to see that 3 have a high rating. In my business we have tried all mobile operators. Currently we run 8 phones on orange, vodaphone and 3 so can compare in real life situations over long periods. The 3 reception on phone and data performs very poorly in Lancashire and Cumbria so we will definitely not be renewing with 3.

    • Mobile Network Comparison 24 July 2013 at 21:47 Permalink

      Most of our users from across the UK find that 3 has better data coverage than the other networks – it probably depends a lot on where you are.

  56. PaulNic 13 July 2013 at 12:32 Permalink

    Hi Can you please explain the comment that 3’s PAYG charges are very expensive when their 321 scheme beats all the competition,even Giffgaff?! Reading all the comments, my heart says Giffgaff but my head says 3. Am I misguided?

  57. Jenny 3 July 2013 at 11:49 Permalink

    DON’T CHOOSE 3!!!

    3 are an absolute nightmare to cancel a contract with!!! Despite giving 30 days notice at the end of my 3 year contract with them, they didn’t cancel my direct debit as per the contract. To cancel my contract, I rang up 3 and after attempting to push numerous other deals on me, the 3 customer advisor said my contract had been cancelled. Despite this, one month on and I am still paying a direct debit to 3. I have spoken to another 3 customer advisor who has denied any recognition of me cancelling my contract so has told me that I have to pay for an additional two months worth of direct debit if I still wish to cancel my contract.


  58. Mark 25 June 2013 at 09:23 Permalink

    The phone was an HTC Wildfire S, I did get 1 months free line rental but compared to the hours I wasted I’d not call it compensation.

    I’ve just had another battle with 3, as my daughter decided she did want to keep her number, so back on to 3 only to be told that if I wanted a PAC code, I had to give a fresh 30 days notice!

    Now as I will be using the PAC code straight away as I have already got my daughter a new phone with Orange, I don’t see why I had to give a fresh 30 days notice. I can’t find anything on the Ofcom website and I can’t see why if you’ve already given notice they can’t simply issue a PAC code within that notice period.

    I put a complaint in about this and was promised their legal team would ring me back the next day……needless to say I’ve had no phone calls from 3 about this.

    • Mobile Network Comparison 26 June 2013 at 00:03 Permalink

      only to be told that if I wanted a PAC code, I had to give a fresh 30 days notice

      That’s total crap and I hope you told them so. They are bound by Ofcom rules on this matter.

      Inform them that you need your PAC code immediately. The regulations state that “PACs have to be issued immediately over the phone or within a maximum of two hours by SMS”.

      • Mark 26 June 2013 at 09:13 Permalink

        I got the PAC code there and then but it meant they cancelled my previous notice and made me give a fresh 30 days notice. Just seems a way to keep you paying them for a few days more.

        Will have to wait and see if I ever get a call. As things stand, if they do try and charge me then I will use the DD guarantee on the final bill to reclaim my money and then send them a cheque for the correct amount and they can take me to court and explain to a judge about how they “interpret” Ofcom rules.

        • Mobile Network Comparison 2 July 2013 at 12:17 Permalink

          Please do keep all our readers up-to-date with the outcome you get.

          • Mark 5 July 2013 at 16:06 Permalink

            Well just had a call from 3 and due to the issues I’ve had giving my notice and getting a PAC code that they have cancelled the final bill and said I can cancel my DDM as there is nothing else to pay.

            Fingers crossed this is the end of my relationship with 3 mobile.

  59. Mark 23 June 2013 at 10:12 Permalink

    I think its safe to say that if you are with 3 mobile and have a decent signal where you are then its a good service, unfortunately its when things go wrong that it all fails as their Indian based call centres are hopeless.

    I got a 3 contract for my daughter and for the first 18 months it was great, we then upgraded her phone and that’s when the problems started. Her phone malfunctioned and sent the same text over 5,000 times, repeating every few seconds. The customer service staff were of no help and every time they put you through to someone else you had to go through security again. It always ended with a promise a manager would call you (or you were cut off). Needless to say I never got a call back.

    It took several months and literally hours on the phone before they would rectify it and refund the extra charges.

    I recently decided to give my notice and they were trying to insist that I had to call on the 30th day before the end of the contract period. This was despite their T&C’s clearly stating that you had to give a minimum term of at least 30 days.

    • Mobile Network Comparison 25 June 2013 at 00:32 Permalink

      What make and model of phone was it that malfunctioned? Did you ever get an apology or any compensation for your trouble? And who did you switch to in the end?

  60. jaafar 20 June 2013 at 12:12 Permalink

    very happy with 3 now
    poor reception at home so went to store to cancel end the 2 contracts. they said you can upgrade and customer service will offer you a home signal box…ok….

    intially customer service refused offering one saying signal is good. back to store to reverse the upgrade. done. back home to ring customer service saying I am terminating the contracts…

    they said… stay with us and we will send a Signal Box…It was free …48 hours later signal box arrived. Tech support linked it to my 2 mobile numbers….Excellent signal and flowless data download…amazing…where have I been all these years?

    very happy
    you need a phone contract rather than SIM only to get this amazing Signal box. It contains a SIM and need to connect to your Broadband modem…I think its the box which give you the £ network signal…its not a signal booster
    Best wishes

    • Mobile Network Comparison 25 June 2013 at 00:36 Permalink

      Did you have to pay for the upgrade to qualify you for a home signal box? If so how much did it cost? What sort of bandwidth do you get now?

      • jaafar 25 June 2013 at 01:15 Permalink

        no extra payment for the upgrade.
        one contract renewed from iphone 4 to iphone 5. used to pay £35. now paying £31

        The other contract on Samsung Galaxy S1 was downgraded to SIM only contract. was £27 but now paying £12.90

        they will not send a signal box if you are on SIM only contract.
        I get 5 barrs signal on both handsets.
        Signal Box is entirely free

        Best chance to get the box is when your contract is near ending and due for upgrade. if you threaten to leave them then they will send the box.

        • Mobile Network Comparison 25 June 2013 at 01:18 Permalink

          Oh so there was no charge but you had to renew your contracts for another 24 months? What sort of speeds are you getting now?

          • jaafar 25 June 2013 at 22:20 Permalink

            Sim only contract is for 12 months £12.90 a month
            iphone 5 contract is for 24 months £31 a month

            Not sure what you mean by what speed I am getting….I know I am getting fantastic connectivity

            Best wishes

  61. thomas roberts 20 May 2013 at 12:23 Permalink

    This network is the worst for customer service and for network coverage.

    I can’t even get coverage in my office in central london, or in the street outside. I have had better network coverage in Africa than i get from this company.

    Dealing with customer service to fix problems is horific. I have lost count of the number of times i have been lied to, cut off to avoid dealing with the problems, or just blatently told tough, your contract does not say we have to provide you with coverage, so even though you can’t use your phone you will still have to pay for it.

    Never ever ever sign a contract with these theives.


    Zero Stars for network
    Zero Stars for Customer Service
    Five Stars for lying
    Five Stars for “legal” theft

  62. ZOE 16 May 2013 at 17:09 Permalink

    Rip off

    I am very disappointed with the customer service i have received from three. I have had to phone three times for the same problem that they told me would be sorted and hadn’t been. They were overcharging me every month and continued to do so dispite my numerous queries and conformation extra charges would not continue. I don’t have anything good to say about three and will never use there custom again.

  63. kate 16 June 2012 at 15:00 Permalink


    First of all the broadband coverage is awful!! Secondly the customer service leaves alot to be desired….They are Rude and constantly hasseled me about an outstanding bill that I was forced to pay even doh I had cut all ties with them.Beware after you leave them they charge you for the following month!!I have never experienced such a bad customer service EVER,they definitely do not put customers first,they refuse to listen & Are honestly just so rude…..I am now with 02 and they are great..wouldnt recommend 3,will never buy from them again, mobile phone,broadband,anything!!!!

  64. trevor 12 June 2012 at 11:22 Permalink

    iam thinking of joining the 3 network , by far they are offering the best deals , especially on the new samsung s 3 , i have been with vodafone for a number of years , and although the majority of service has been good , lately ive been disapointed , particlaurly with stocks and customer services , was due to upgrade but having second thoughts , any advice ?

  65. pete 24 May 2012 at 11:31 Permalink

    Get it right review.

    3’s call centers are in Malaysia!

    NONE of 3’s operation is in India.

    • Mobile Network Comparison 24 May 2012 at 11:35 Permalink

      Thanks for letting us know. Do you have a citation for this? They definitely sound more Indian to us if that’s a judgement it’s possible to make.

  66. fckthree 16 April 2012 at 11:12 Permalink

    three are liars cheats and cowboys

    I have terrible signal since a mast is down in my area for over a year. They offered me a discount then sneakily removed it now I have been trying to get them to put the discount back on and they are telling me they have no record of any discount and that I should to go to Ofcom.

    What a waste of my time and now I am paying full price for between 2 bars and no service and I live in zone 2 SE london

    Three are cowboys

  67. Adrian Burke 11 April 2012 at 12:34 Permalink

    Hi I have been with 3 for 5 yrs and can only say that their service has been great. I currently have an iPad on contract with them and 15g of data per month. I travel in my caravan around the South of England and so far have not lost connectivity. The coverage has been good, with speeds ranging from 1.5mb to as high as 13mb (admittingly on my new IPad, 3rd Generation). The customer service can be trying, mainly due to the Indian accents at the other end but I have always been happy with the outcome. Interestingly, I have found the coverage in the New Forest (Hants) to be better than the others..Vodafone etc.


  68. Simon 28 March 2012 at 19:46 Permalink

    I have been with 3 for 18 months now and have been very happy with the service. I have an iPhone on the one plan and I have used the phone to tether my laptop, connect my wifi only iPad and download hundeds of songs. There has been no hint of a restriction on my data use or any slow down in speed. The only problem I notice is the indoor reception is quite poor. In my office it is ok (Central London) but at home the signal is poor. Three has, however, just provided me, free of charge, a signal booster and the reception at home is now perfect. Bottom line is that I have had good service at a great price from 3.

  69. sam 18 March 2012 at 10:49 Permalink

    I am very disappointed by 3 – I have had endless trouble, and no attempt to make things right from the store.

    1. I order 3 data sims from Cancom for tablet computers. £5 for 10Gb in the first month, and £15 for subsequent months. They arrive and I am very disappointed to find they are micro-sims and do not normal size sim cards. I have 2 Sony S and 1 sony P tablet which I want them to fit into, and they do not fit. At this point Three have already disappointed me, as you should have sent out all sim cards in this form, to avoid this problem.

    2. Cancom tell me that I can use a sim adapter, so I get 3 sim adapters from the Three store – but the slot on the Sony tablet is too thin, and it it truly impossible to get the microsims with the adapters into the slots on the tablets. Again disappointed about 2 things. A) that the micro sims aren’t thinner. b) that they couldn’t switch them for normal sims right there in the shop, but had to wait for me to register them against my credit card and address before switching them over.

    3. I go back to the office, consider registering with the office credit card (which is what I would have done) but in the end decide that I must use my personal credit card to reduce the risk of anything else going wrong – this creates more work for me though, as I will have to keep all receipts and claim them back.

    4. I register the sims, head back to the store – but they can’t change them because they have not shown up on the system yet – WHY NOT?! They said it would take up to 24 hours. I then phone them and ask them to check the system with my name and address – they refuse to check on the system and tell me that instead it will be between 24 and 48 hours for the numbers to come across…

    5. I’m running out of time – I have less than 24 hours now until I meet the people I am lending the tablet computers to, and who I want to also lend the sim cards to. I call customer services – they in fact tell me that I am on the system already, and that it’s not 24-48 hours, but less than 24 hours for me to show up. It’s 6:30 and the store closes at 7pm so I head back to the store. I’m not on the system still! Very disappointed – both because customer services lied to me, and because this problem shouldn’t exist in the first place. I have now missed the chance to give the sims to my users who are borrowing the tablet computers.

    6. I go back at 9am next day. I change 2 of the sims (for the 2 sony S tablets) to full size sims. I get charged £5.11 for the privilege, when apparently this used to be a free service, and is still offered free at the call centre. Disappointed.
    Finally I am able to meet my users again (they have to make another trip to see me specially) and give them the sims.

    7. I immediately get 3 more tablets to extend my study. I go to the store and ask for 3 full size sim cards with data for tablet computers. I decide this time to get the 1Gb pay as you go data sims. I buy three of these, and head straight to the house of the next users. I arrive there, and open up the bag from the Three store, only to find they have sold me Micro-sims YET AGAIN! I can’t believe it. I asked for full size sims! It’s too late yet again, and Three has wasted my time and the time of my users. This is not acceptable.

    8. After the user meeting I return home. Previously when a bike store fixed my bike wrongly and I complained, they came to my house to fix their mistake. I want to give Three the same chance to make things right – so I try calling the store 5 times over 1 hour period on a Saturday. ENGAGED every time. Why have a phone number for a store if it is always engaged? This is getting ridiculous. At the very least it should failsafe to central customer services when engaged, not be engaged 5 times.

    9. I am forced to spend my own time heading back to the store to fix your error. I ask for the manager so I can make a complaint. I am told they are all busy. I refund 1 sim, and switch the other 2 to normal (full-sized) sims. I try to make a complaint, and I try to find someone who has the authority to offer me something to make things right. NOONE HAS THE AUTHORITY! I am told I have to go through customer services who will assess my case. Again I am disappointed. The very same salesman who I asked for Full Size data sims and sold me micro sims, denied any responsibility for error and blamed it all on me for not checking the packaging. I am disgusted.

    10. I make a complaint to you on twitter. No response. At this point, I think this is typical of the poor customer service that Three provide. I now realise I need to take a copy of this email and post it as widely as I can in order to publicise this experience.

    • Mobile Network Comparison 19 March 2012 at 12:23 Permalink

      Hi Sam,

      Please let us know what – if anything – you ever get out of 3 regarding this. You should probably also write a dead-tree letter to their Head Office to see whether it gets you anywhere.

  70. Norman 9 February 2012 at 09:41 Permalink

    I have been with 3 for three months on PAYG I think their deals are OK customer service is good but the network coverage is very weak. I never seem to be in a good reception area.

    • Mobile Network Comparison 9 February 2012 at 09:43 Permalink

      Whereabouts do you live?

      • Norman 22 February 2012 at 17:46 Permalink

        I am frequently in TS17 WN3 and CH49 it struggles in all of those areas so I have moved to giffgaff which manages a whole lot better.

        • Ronnie 14 June 2015 at 20:24 Permalink

          Surely that is an impossibility ?
          GG coverage is terrible.
          Their outages number more days than any other network I have had the displeasure of using

          • Mobile Network Comparison 15 June 2015 at 22:41 Permalink

            Even networks with the worst coverage are better than their competitors in some areas.

            • Danny H 15 June 2015 at 22:43 Permalink

              Just like Vodafone @MobileNetworkComparison 😛

              • Danny H 15 June 2015 at 22:45 Permalink

                There’s something about them I mean they’re quite good for calls and I’ve noticed Three improving during this year with the quality too. Soon VOLTE though for them! Have you noticed they do 4G texts already? 😛

            • Ronnie 15 June 2015 at 22:45 Permalink

              Name me the street and I will move there 😀

              • Danny H 28 February 2016 at 20:44 Permalink

                Lol. It’s my house though 😛

  71. viky 4 February 2012 at 11:50 Permalink

    three offers unlimited data but you can’t use it at all iwhen i bought phone contract they said i have fantastic network coverage in my area but when i actually started using the phone out was all down the drain a 3minute video on you tube took 30minutes to watch out i think deceives people by offering all you can eat data coz they know you will never be able to use use it let alone…all you can eat data. worst network in uk

  72. james bailey 28 January 2012 at 18:11 Permalink

    Dont Go with Three!

    A comedy of errors from start to finish! When ordering through the three website you are not able to edit addresses so my flat 14 moor lane became 14 moor lane. knowing that this wasn’t going to get to me i contacted three to edit the address but was told i had to wait until the unit was dispatched before i could change the address.

    When the unit was dispatched i contacted three again but was told i have to wait until the first failed delivery before i could edit the address!! Having lost all faith realising the imcompetance of the company i decided to cancel my order and go with a proper provider. I was assured that no money would be debited from my account but sure enough, weeks later, i get charged more than the line rental from my account having never even received the phone!

    In short, i would never again even consider signing up to three. If three try and take money from my account again i will be pursuing it through small claims court. BEWARE, THEY ARE USELESS!!

    • Iain 1 June 2012 at 11:22 Permalink

      This sounds like your incompetence augmented theirs… Quite why you’d fashion that into a complaint is beyond me. Maybe pay attention next time.

  73. guest 20 January 2012 at 13:08 Permalink

    three lied to me…
    1) when I bought the phone I was told that when I moved abroad I could just put a new sim in. THEY LIED…I went to by a 3 sim card and was told that even though it was a 3 phone and a 3 sim It was not the same network and I needed to pay to get the phone unlocked.

    2) I asked for the lowest tariff when I moved abroad as I understood I could not use my minutes.i was told this was 9 pounds per month. I went to cancel my phone and was told a) the contract had not expired and was much longer than I recall taking out (though i have no proof) and so I agreed to pay the months outstanding and they hit my with an extra monthl handset charge of 7 pounds per month that I had ever heard of and most definitely was NEVER told about.

    I paid them to get rid of them.

    Three lied and misled me, don’t let them do the same to you.

    • marc 17 July 2013 at 20:08 Permalink

      so basically you didn’t read what you signed and it bit you in the ass? live and learn.

      • dave 8 January 2014 at 19:40 Permalink

        No he is correct 3 lie, cancelled my contract in November phone blocked in December and still get bill in January for texted sent, picture text etc.. How come when phoned blocked… Be very aware of 3 call centre in India, not at all helpful stick to O2 when you phone to cancel contract, it is cancelled no hassle no extra bills just good bye thanks for being a customer hope to see you again. Use 3 at your peril…

  74. Paul Sheraton 23 November 2011 at 22:08 Permalink

    When you use three and roam onto O2’s 2G network you will get no data just calls and texts bit cheap really.

  75. Manny 11 October 2011 at 11:49 Permalink

    For those who require micro-sims for iphone and ipad, you can get them on this page.

    Just go down to Sim Only, and click Buy now for PAYG package. Don’t worry you won’t be charged.

  76. emoee 15 August 2011 at 12:51 Permalink

    apparntly they use o2 instead now.

  77. ramzez 12 August 2011 at 20:00 Permalink

    I think Three no longer uses 2G network from Orange.

    • Danny H 14 June 2015 at 20:18 Permalink

      They haven’t piggy backed on any network for a good few years now. Anyway who wants 2G and what does it hold? 3G is surely the future for mobile. I praise Three for that.

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