A rant about Three Mobile

A rant about Three MobileI love Three Mobile. Not, like, any more than a man normally would, could or should, but you have to love free 4G, all-you-can-eat data, and not forgetting Feel At Home, which lets you use your domestic allowance abroad. Brilliant.

But recently our relationship has become slightly strained, largely thanks to Sky and their inability to shoot broadband beams into my new house. Twenty-first century rage: activated.

Sky’s original promise was to deactivate my broadband a couple of Fridays ago, and activate it at the new property the following Monday.

Needless to say Sky had absolutely no problem meeting the first promise ("before midnight" was actually before 6.30am), but 10 days later I still find myself sans broadband, which is really exactly what you want when you WORK FROM HOME.

But hey! It’s 2014, and every man and his dog knows about the magic of tethering, and indeed Three Mobile offers a 1GB Personal Hotspot allowance for £5. Excellent.

I used said allowance to stream the World Cup final, and obviously that consumed a huge portion of the original 1GB. The following day I learned that my broadband wasn’t being activated, and that’s went stuff started going a bit haywire.

The Personal Hotspot allowance ran out on the Thursday, and I figured, ‘Hey, what the hell? I’ll fire on another bolt-on and take it up with Sky when everything’s resolved.’ Oh, if only it was that easy.

See, the 1GB Personal Hotspot lasts for 30 days or a month or whatever, and when it runs out, IT RUNS OUT. So if you fancy giving Three Mobile another fiver in the same 30-day period, well, they don’t want it.

I explained my predicament to the gentleman in the foreign call centre (don’t get me started), and he explained that he could make a “special arrangement” (or words to that effect) for my bolt-on to be removed and reactivated the following day. “At least 24 hours,” I was told. Fair enough; there’s a coffee shop 15 minutes away.

Considering the longer-term, and the fact that my broadband was – and still is, seemingly – delayed indefinitely, I decided to change tariff temporarily. Eighteen bucks (i.e. pounds) gets a man unlimited data and 4GB of tethering per month, which is enough for my needs. Well, just about.

Incidentally, I hadn’t realised just how reliant I was on broadband: buying music from iTunes, streaming music on Spotify, watching stuff on Netflix, viewing Sky’s On Demand content, downloading freebies from Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network… Crazy.

Anyway! Yes, I changed tariff but was told that the allowance wouldn’t kick in until the next billing cycle, which – luckily enough – is this coming Wednesday. Phew.

Seriously, has Three Mobile never heard of pro rata billing? Again, I’m trying to give them money here, and they’re telling me to back off, chill out, just wait a little while. WHAT?

Adding to the confusion, I’ve been told that I’ve exhausted my data allowance, yet despite horsing the data over the past few days, my ‘Recent spend’ suggests: “You’ve not used any data outside of your allowance since your last bill.” And as for trying to find out how much data costs per MB…

Making things even more confusinger, My3 (which has a habit of sporadically becoming “unavailable”) says I’m already on the new tariff, but with the old allowance, but without the tethering bolt-on. Or something.

It’s all very confusing, and I suspect you’re even more confused trying to make sense of my rambling. Now let’s all be confused together and enjoy a nice cup of tea. I’ll stick the kettle on - but only once every 30 minutes.

Read more about: 3 Mobile

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10 comments

satchef1  Jul. 21, 2014 at 14:02

Mobile broadband? PAYG SIMs are cheap on Amazon and eBay. If you need a modem then let me know - I've got a MiFi that I don't use.

satchef1  Jul. 21, 2014 at 14:06

Three's back-end system is shocking though, their customer service department just as bad. It's easy to see which parts of the business are totally neglected.

Stelph  Jul. 21, 2014 at 14:39

Agree with the above, 3's network and tarrifs are the best in the business and they are a very progressive network, but they defiantly suffer from being unable to provide good customer support outside of a shop unless you have a lot of patience

lcurdie / MOD  Jul. 21, 2014 at 15:51

Ah, thanks satchef1! Someone else mentioned they had a mobile broadband thingy lying around, so I'll check out those SIMs.

To be fair, there's a massive recruitment drive at the moment for Three's Complaints department, which is seemingly being relocated back to the UK. The agents will inevitably cost more, but they can get through more cases per hour. Which is what any logical person would've said in the first place!

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 21, 2014 at 17:53

That reminds me that Three bought O2 Ireland... O2 Ireland regularly won awards for customer care. Wonder how that'll change...

Treab  Jul. 22, 2014 at 07:55

now for me t-mobile FTW.... admittedly i pay £30 a month but unlimited data with tethering... i have used 50gb in a very short period and it works fine :D

CTPAHHIK  Jul. 22, 2014 at 08:13

Maybe they'll keep O2 representatives and have them cover Three support. When I had O2 broadband I never had to wait for longer than 2-3 minutes on the call to speak with someone. They are not very knowledgeable when it comes to technical problems, nor do they let you speak with Level 2 support, but at least they speak English.

Lewis, is that a problem with Sky (cause I never had any problems with them) or BT "NeverReach"?

matt101101 / MOD  Jul. 22, 2014 at 12:09

You should try dealing with KC up in Hull, we have their fibre connection up there and it's honestly horrific. If ever there was a good example that monopolies are terrible for customers, KC is that example. Thankfully, I'm not the one who has to spend time on the phone to them, I just have to deal with their crappy service.

Virgin, who I have at home, have never let me down. Their connection is fast, reliable and the ping time is excellent. They also do a range of speeds to suit pretty much everyone's needs, I wouldn't move to an area where you can't get a Virgin connection.

lcurdie / MOD  Jul. 22, 2014 at 15:49

Maybe they'll keep O2 representatives and have them cover Three support. When I had O2 broadband I never had to wait for longer than 2-3 minutes on the call to speak with someone. They are not very knowledgeable when it comes to technical problems, nor do they let you speak with Level 2 support, but at least they speak English.
I wonder if we ever spoke ;)

Lewis, is that a problem with Sky (cause I never had any problems with them) or BT "NeverReach"?
That'd be NeverReach, I believe. Sky don't seem to have a clue, and at one point suggested the builder might be at fault, as sometimes they just "knock up a house and move onto the next one." Looking like early August now *fingers crossed*...

Virgin, who I have at home, have never let me down. Their connection is fast, reliable and the ping time is excellent. They also do a range of speeds to suit pretty much everyone's needs, I wouldn't move to an area where you can't get a Virgin connection.
I have really fond memories of my time with Virgin Media, other than a botched/rushed installation (which was quickly rectified) and getting screwed out of channels by Sky. Would've gladly ditched Sky if we could get VM here, alas...

satchef1  Jul. 22, 2014 at 19:55

Ditto on the VM thing. It's brilliant being free of the BT ball and chain. The best bit? When there's a problem you don't get bounced back and forth between your ISP and BT, with one blaming the other and neither taking the trouble to help the customer. With one company involved, the entire onus is on VM to fix any issues.

Traffic management can be a pain though...

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