Thursday 14 November 2013

Three complaints UK: Official method vs. Unofficial method - How to complain to Three UK

There are always two ways to do things, the way they want you to do it and the way they don't want you to do it.

Three UK have (as all big companies do) a formalised complaints process. They have a business process that helps them deal with consumer complaints i.e. log them, track them, analyse them and (hopefully) resolve them. It is understandable that they have such a process because they as a business need to be able to manage complaints efficiently and their main business is to sell phones and not handle complaints.

However, we (everyone who reads this) are a group of savvy individuals and we know there are betters ways to make sure our voices are heard by the people who matter at Three UK.

Most people are most likely to follow the procedure online and complain by using the form or call customer services in India and vent their frustration there. I guess if it's a simple issue and if the call centre agents in India have the power to solve it, they may solve it and you may succeed in complaining and receiving a positive response.

The savvy readers of this blog will know, even if the issue is incredibly simple to our eyes, if it has to do with money being paid back to you, Three UK will not understand the problem or at least will not want to. So, what do you do? You get innoavative and start thinking outside the box.

The official ways of the Three UK customer complaints code:
Three Customer Complaints
Hutchison 3G UK Ltd.
PO Box 333
G2 9AG
(I wonder if this actually works)
  • Call them:
    333 free from a Three mobile
    0843 373 3333 (5p/min from a BT landline,
    other networks vary) - Please don't call this number from a landline or a mobile. Call this number instead 01442 456050.
The unofficial ways of complaining to Three UK:

Write a letter on the computer, print it and post it using the Royal Mail First Class Signed For service. However, a random letter won't even get past the receptionist. To send a really effective letter and make sure it physically reaches the hands of senior management individuals, you need to follow these steps:

1. Find the appropriate contact - LinkedIn is normally a good way. We would publish a list of names of people high up in Three UK, but we've been asked (told) not to. A Google search throws up a lot of names.

2. Find the appropriate address, these are the addresses and telephone numbers on the Three UK website:

Hutchison 3G UK Limited
Star House
20 Grenfell Road
Tel: 01628 765000

Hutchison 3G UK Limited
Great Brighams Mead
Vastern Road
Tel: 01628 765000

Notice how both office locations have the same phone number. The number goes to a switchboard. To find out where your letter reciepient is based, select option 2. The switchboard operator will ask who you are and where you are calling from. Now, if you say you are a customer, you won't get past the operator. We are not asking you to lie, just use your imagination.

3. Once you have the right person's name and their office location, start writing your letter. Make sure you write a proper formal letter. This letter may even be used in court in the future, should it go that far.

4. On the envelope, be sure sure to write in an appropriate place: 'Strictly Private & Confidential'. This will  massively increase the chances of the letter reaching the individual.

5. Wait for a response.

The next method is to email the appropriate people. However, remember, the email needs to be as formal as the letter.

1. Finding the right email address can be quite tricky. It depends on how much spare time you have and or how motivated you are. From my experiecne, Three UK follow this email format:

2. Be sure to include all details in the email, so whoever reads it can action it right away.

By far the best possible chance you have of getting your complaint heard and actioned is to follow all of the methods above, official and unofficial.

So, complain using all of these methods:
  1. Online form
  2. Write to customer services
  3. Call customer services
  4. Write to the head office (to an approriate person only)
  5. Email (directly to an appropriate person)

Remember: All these methods are just to initiate a complaint. Please wait for my next post, where I will go through methods of escalating existing complaints all the way to the small claims court and how to build a legal case prior to that. This is not hard, it just needs dedication.

Thanks and stay tuned - Three Complaints UK (Unofficial)

Latest telecoms and pay TV complaints figures - September 27, 2013

Ofcom today published research on the volumes of complaints against the major telecoms and pay TV providers between April and June 2013.

Three - Complaints code form - Has anyone actually got a decent reply?

This is 'official' way to complain to Three UK. They want you to use a form and fill it in and send it off. However, do you know where the form is sent? Is it somewhere in India or does Three actually have British workers dealing with complaints from the British public?

Whats your experience with this form?

Tuesday 13 August 2013

Sim Free smartphones give you the freedom to use any mobile provider you want

One of the biggest issues many of us have experienced with Three and other major mobile networks is phones being locked to sims only from those networks. This means that if you decide to go to another provider on a contract only or pay and you go sim (without a phone) then you would need to purchase a new phone anyway. Sometimes getting a phone without a SIM is the better option

Some of you may be thinking what's the point if I can get an good phone on contract?

Well think of it like this, to get a great phone like a Samsung Galaxy S4 or an Iphone5 the network will normally put you on a contract that's at least £30 for 24 months and will possibly charge you a small fee for the phone as well. Now if you take into account that mobile communications have come a long way and cost the networks much less to run, you are paying £720 during this period plus the £30-100 extra you may pay as a premium for the phone so that makes a total of at least £750 if not more. A Galaxy S4 and Iphone range between £400-£550 last time I checked and take into account the networks will get wholesale prices from the phone manufacturers that's a big dent in your budget.

So how does this compare to Sim only? At the time of writing I checked the contracts with Three. To get a Galaxy S4 you need a minimum contract of £33 for 24 months with no premium for the phone so your total costs before additional call charges is £792. With this base level contract you get 500 minutes, 1000 texts and unlimited internet. Sounds great right? Not really because you're tied to the same phone for 24 months so if it's faulty after 1 year and you have no insurance then you're in trouble!

Here is what would have happened on a Sim-only contract. You can get a 12 month contract for £15 that gives you 2000 minutes, 5000 texts, 5000 Three to Three minutes and unlimited data/internet. Already this is sounding better. You can even go on 1 month contracts with them for £18 if you don't want to be tied down to 1 year. So over a 2 year period this now costs you £360.

Now you need a phone, well if you have an existing phone you may be able to do a trade in with some phone stores and get some money off and this is especially good if you're phone is tied to a network. Now you can still go down the Galaxy S4 route and they are currently retailing at around £400-450 so you would be paying as much for it as you would with a contract BUT now you're on a 12 month contract with more minutes and you can now sell your phone at any point and it will retail more value than at the end of a longer contract. But the real way to save is the fact you can get a decent dual core android or windows phone for less than £200 these days.

Thursday 22 November 2012

Help Raise Money for Prostate & Testicular Cancer

We'd like to take your focus away from your mobile phone complaints for a bit to let you know about our good friend has been taking part in Movember this month growing his moustache in aid of Prostate & Testicular Cancer research.

Whether it's only a few pounds or £20 (no donation is too small by the way) we hope you'll spare a bit of cash for this great cause.

Please visit this link to see some silly photos and to make your donation!
Disclaimer: Please note that we have not affiliation with the Three Mobile network, Hutchison 3G or any of their subsidiaries. This site has not been created to attack the network but to provide a consumer site to assist in resolving issues for Three customers. We welcome any feedback and comments from Three themselves.