Cheesed off with Three!

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  • Cheesed off with Three!
  • Premier Icon santacruzsi

    Been on the 3 network since May last year, checked on their website first for coverage, all said ok in my area. Got a good deal on a Galaxy S3 and the One Plan.

    Past few months had loads of problems with the network not just at home, but all across the UK, virtually no signal at all most of the time.

    I’ve contacted the very un-helpful 3 Customer Services team and tried every solution they’ve suggested;

    Updated software – No joy
    back up & restore – No joy
    swap SIM cards – No Joy
    Try SIM in new handset – No Joy
    Take handset to Carphone warehouse express repair centre – they found no issues.
    Take handset to Samsung repair centre – they too found no issues!

    Spoke to ‘3’ again tonight saying i wanted out of contract without paying a fee due to no signal and they f***ked me off and said i could get out of the contract for £550! (balance of contract tariff).

    They are now suggesting i send the handset to them to analyse even though on the phone they have given me the options to take to CPW and the Samsung store which I have done! The lady in the ‘3’ shop in Manchester was quite helpful but nothing she could do; she suggested speak to Ofcom.

    Anyway, i’m having a rant, but if anyone has any ideas i’d be grateful!!!

    Premier Icon Cougar

    Presumably if they’re contracted to provide you with a phone signal and they haven’t, they’re in breach of contract?

    Premier Icon Teetosugars

    Cougar – Moderator
    Presumably if they’re contracted to provide you with a phone signal and they haven’t, they’re in breach of contract?

    There’ll be something in the small print that will contradict this..

    Premier Icon Cougar

    Perhaps, but it’s null and void if it infringes statutory rights / sale of goods act or some such, I’d expect.


    There’ll be something in the small print that will contradict this..

    Which will be invalid if deemed unfair. Just because it’s written in a contract, it doesn’t mean it’s legal.


    3’s customer service is awful. I tried three times to cancel my contract (after the 2 year period) and was hung up on or told their systems were down. I finally sent a recorded delivery letter instructing them to cancel and got someone phoning me trying to sell me other products. In the end I had to be pretty rude to get them to take notice.

    Re. Coverage I found it ok – far better than T-Mobile.

    I would write to them rather than phoning customer services. You will almost certainly have to hand back the handset if you do get an agreement to finish early – good luck!

    Premier Icon drain

    Similar issues with the above re trying to cancel with 3. They’re truly awful. Took us nearly 9 months to leave them…

    A friend of mine analyses telecomms performance and apparently the complaint rate for 3 is twice that of the nearest next bad service provider. Cheap not the same as cheerful!


    been with three for a good few years now with 4 contracts and they have been good,
    but since December 2011 they switched off ther 2g signal in some areas and ever since reception has been really really bad, even though I  have a mobile phone mast at the end of my street.

    I just renewed my contracts then The problems began jan/feb 2012,
    even though I had 4 contracts and was in by about 3 months on 24 months contract, i threatend them with complaining to ofcom or someone I can’t remember who..that they ain’t providing the service for something I’m paying for,they decided to cancell all contracts without paying any fee

    Sorry for the rant but they do take the piss,

    Also I realised for some weird reason the new phones like Samsung s3 ect the reception is kinda crap on three but the older phones like the Nokia 6630 you get full reception?


    Also I realised for some weird reason the new phones like Samsung s3 ect the reception is kinda crap on three but the older phones like the Nokia 6630 you get full reception?

    Yer holding it the wrong way… 😉


    FWIW I’m in the industry – I wont talk about individual networks specifically as I don’t have any insider info as such about all of them but….. Think about what’s going on at the moment with the upcoming 4g/LTE spectrum auctions. Every network is investing heavily because they need to be ready to go as soon as logistically possible to rein in EE’s market advantage (they being the only ones currently in the 4G game). The problem they’ve got is that no one knows how much spectrum they’ll have nor what the eventual median pricing will look like in a competitive market which seems to be leading to a lot of uncertainty in terms of what to do/spend right now.

    Added to the uncertainty of the 4G proposal, people like 3 have been loss making for quite a while on their headline deals which contributes to the difficulty of making further investment in their current network/tech.

    Going back to the OP’s point – If you’ve tried the sim in another phone and an alternate sim in your phone and the issues persist then it looks like a coverage problem. The question then points to whether 3’s coverage checker is accurate and/or whether they’ve got any ongoing cell site issues in your area. Either way, you’ll likely have to send the phone to them to check and/or jump through some other hoops before they’ll be willing to take the financial hit of taking you out of contract. If you took it from store then they’re supposed to do a coverage check before they sign you up so that may also be an avenue for you. Be persistent and firm but as polite as you can manage!

    Oh and re the standard contract terms. They usually say that coverage cant be guaranteed (because you’ll move around – it’s a mobile) but this becomes null and void if the network has done something to degrade your service and cant/wont fix it in a “reasonable” time frame. For example, if coverage was fine when you took the contract but then YOU move = tough. If the Network takes down a cell site because they think there’s a coverage overlap and need to save on costs and your coverage is then degraded = their fault and they’ll usually be able to identify this and let you go.

    Good luck!


    3 have been OK for me. I also have a works phone (both iphones) on vodaphone and I don’t notice any difference in reception.
    3 have been a pajillion times better to deal with than Orange, who will never again receive a penny of my money. Wife swapped to 3 from orange and she seems happy too.

    but since December 2011 they switched off ther 2g signal in some areas and ever since reception has been really really bad, even though I have a mobile phone mast at the end of my street

    Here it was similar. Their coverage estimate for the 3g clearly didn’t take into account that the town is on the side of a steep hill, the mast is up the top and across the other side slightly, so if you’re in the shadow of the hill, you have no coverage.

    The good news for me is that once I explained to them that i’d checked my sim in 3 different phones, and also done a search for networks with another phone, and told them exactly where their coverage map was now wrong, they let me out of my contract, complete with an unlocked fancy phone after 5 months.

    The key thing was that originally it worked fine at my home address, and then it stopped. Coverage while out is always going to be variable, but if they’ve sold you it based on coverage at your home address and then turn it off, it is a change in the service they are providing. The small print of the contract isn’t 100% clear, but in my case, once i’d convinced them it wasn’t a defective phone or sim (by trying multiple combintions, and by trying a network search on a different phone without a sim), and that it must be due to coverage changes on their part (I could tell them what mast they’d turned off), they just straight away said fine, here’s your code to change networks and let me out of the contract, was dead easy.


    Been with three for years, at first signal was not good but now full 3g signal wherever I go in Northumberland. Also across the country had no problems, could be sim card get 3 to replace sim card as wife had same issue an this sorted it.


    I had loads of issues with them and coverage, ending up having a Vodafone PAYG phone to take biking as i knew i couldn’t rely upon them providing a signal when anywhere outside a major city.

    Joke was that they were called 3 as there was only 3 places in UK it worked.

    OP – if you have broadband, you can get them to send you a box that plugs into broadband and boosts signal at home?

    Premier Icon santacruzsi

    thanks for the replies so far folks . i’ve spoken to 3 again today and after 45 mins on the phone they agreed to cancel my contract without paying any fees and return the handset; this is all i want. Someone is supposed to be calling me back to arrange this; believe it when I see it.


    Been with Three for the last three years and the other half has been with them a little longer, always found the coverage great.
    I can count on one hand the number of times i’ve been without a signal and the data coverage is excellent.

    Regards the hard sell, they all do that….when i wanted to leave O2 i was hassled with calls wanting to know why i was leaving, i was bombarded by their sales team trying to lock me into another contract by offering me upgrades and various different deals….apparently the answer that “Three are offering me more for less” just wasnt acceptable, i’ve had easier relationship break-ups!


    3 were junk when I took a contract out a few years ago. To be fair though their customer services were good enough and they agreed to terminate the contract.

    I mean the network, the network and signal was junk.


    Me and the wife took out contracts once with 3. The salesman absolutely assured us that we would get signal at our house since he’d sold a contract to someone near by us the week before and the computer said we would too (we live in the a*se end of the countryside)….got home and neither of us could get anything. Went back the next day and the same salesman said ‘yeah, I thought that might be the case going by your postcode’!!! WTF?! Will NEVER bother with 3 again….

    However, we got out of the contracts without any question because apparently there is a clause in the contract about not getting signal at your home address….it was a close run thing because Mrs oliwb had put her old address on the form in Glasgow, where they argued she would get signal. I think the ‘I’m going to f-ing kill you’ stare did the trick though and they ripped up the contracts. Might be worth ago – although if you’ve been with them 3 months maybe it’s too late?



    Personally I would never trust the word of the salesmen,do you own research before hand ,all the networks have coverage checkers but on some of them you need to zoom in to check the specifics.
    Vodafone for example shows coverage at my home address until you zoom in and it then shows a small black hole of virtual zero coverage just over the estate why I live.
    This was echoed by the fact that my works phone at the time was on Vodafone and I would have to drive a mile away to pick up a signal.


    Pay as you go sim before switching networks is the only way (though I guess you need an unlocked phone to do this). For me just home and work coverage narrows it down to Vodafone, o2 or a virtual provider on their networks. Nexus 4 plus sim only can be done for the equivalent of £19-22/month.


    I was having a similar problem with 3, many years of great coverage and all of a sudden no signal at home, had to go down the road to get a signal. Lots of calls and promises of fixes, no better, luckily I was just a couple of months off the end of contract so could move somewhere else easily.

    To make sure it wasn’t going to be a problem with other networks as well I got a trial PAYG SIM from every network as daveh above, stuck them into an old unlocked phone and checked the signal coverage at home, work etc. and for me anyway it turned out O2 had the best coverage so been with them for last couple of years with no problems.

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