Saturday, 27 December 2008

Another Recent email sent to me

Thank you creating this website, I have been a 3 customer for around 5 years and had no problems until a year ago, I was miss sold an 18 month contract I requested 12 sold verbally on the phone- but stupidly didnt read through my terms and conditions when they arrived in the post, also problem with requesting a direct debit twice -causing me to go over drawn and 3 would not compensate me for my bank charges despite only wanting to be refunded £15 as a matter of principle as it was there fault they are more willing to loose my business aroung £1500 a year as soon as my mobile and internet contracts end.
..........but more recently my run in is with mobile broadband took it out a year ago and it is useless. Have complained repeatedly spent hours on the phone. Gave up today and asked to end my contract as I am not being provided with the service I paid for and told I cant unless I pay for the outstanding contract- I reminded them of the supply of goods and services act (1982). Seemed to stir them up and got a call back from a manager....but as expected no solution!
So I can hold them in breach of contract I have given them written notice of 14 days to fix the problem before I cancel the direct debit.
I have contacted the OFT and even watchdog!- was really annoyed. And will contact the other offices you suggested.
It did make me laugh this afternoon when trying to request an address to send my formal complaint to and after an hour on the phone discussing the lack of internet access was told by the advisor he couldnt provide me with an address, but could I look on the reply was I would only my internet provider does not provide me with access to the internet ....I was then asked if I would like to take part in a customer satidfaction survey!
Many thanks for the website, and let me know if I can help- its an outrage they are getting away with bullyboy tactics and a sense they are above the law.
Unfortunatley for them it wont work with me.
Kind regards,

Recent email sent to me


Id just like to say thanks for making the time to create your web-site. I am currently in a major dispute with 3 and found site very helpful.

Too cut a long story short I purchased a pay monthly phone from a 3 Store only to find that I struggled 2 get a network in & around my home. I got one bar if I was lucky in one room of my house only.

When I brought the phone I got advised to take it away make some calls send some texts & see how I get on. I was then advised if I do struggle and get a bad network take it back within 14 days & they will cancel the agreement.

After 3 days I took the phone back & got told by a manager that they are unable arrange a cancellation. One of the factors was that I have used 30 mins of calls so proves to them that I am happy with the contract. I advised I am happy when I CAN use the phone, reception is fine when I am at work in the City Centre but rubbish when I am at home. They keep telling me that there technicians say network is GOOD.

I have said that I am not happy with there product as I cannot use it for its intended use. I believe I have been miss-sold there product as the sales assistant did not instruct me of any of these details whilst purchasing.

I believe I am within my rights to retun & cancel the phone as per the 14 day cool off, however the manager in shop argues otherwise. The 3 CARE Call Centre have been no help whatsover, stating on many occasions that they cannot help me any further today.

I am now going to write a complaint letter to 3 & copy in Consumer Direct & Trading Standards as I believe that this is unfair. If I knew what I was gettign myself into I would of NEVER gone with 3.

Absolute nightmare company which has caused great stress at this time of year.

If you have any guidance or suggestions please let me know.

Thank You & Kind Regards


Friday, 19 December 2008

Recent Article Found on Ecademy Website

In a letter to Hutchison 3G UK's Group Managing Director, 3's long-standing customer, Bill Warry wrote to 3's Group Managing Director, Canning Fox (as well as to Customer Services) to give seven days notice of intention to sue for breach of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977.

In his march 08 bill from 3, Bill Warry was charged for over 100 calls to 3 International Directory Enquiries at £1.915 a time although he had not made a single enquiry to them - ever. Customer Services explained that they had inserted 3 International Directory Enquiries as a default at the top of his contacts list and that the call button must have been pressed accidentally in he pocket, and that there was nothing they could do about the charge.

If 3 had not deliberately entered this 3 Premium number at the top of Bill's contact list the cost of 100 plus accidental calls would have been zero because they would have easilly fallen within the allowance of his price plan. Bill claims that 3's unsolicited action of inserting 3 International National Enquiries as a default at the top of his contact's list is "Unreasonable" as defined in the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977.

Bill has notified OFCOM of 3's behaviour and is about to contact BBC's Watchdog and the Consumer Association. He is also preparing a press release on the matter for the mainstream media.

Here is the letter written:

Mr Canning Fox
Group Managing Director
Hutchison 3G UK
Hutchinson House
5 Hester Rd
London SW11 4AN

Cc 3 Customer Services
Hutchison 3G UK Ltd Account No 9273342742
PO Box 333
Glasgow G2 9AG 4th April 2008

Dear Mr Fox,

Having subscribed to 3 for approximately two years on a low-cost tariff, I was shocked to receive my March 08 bill in the amount of £311.01 with over 100 calls (sometimes 4 within a minute) to 3 International National Directory Enquiries at £1.915 each.

I pointed out that I had not made a single enquiry to 3 International Directory Enquiries. 3 Customer Services said that they had made 3 International National Directory Enquiries my default in my contacts, that I must have repeatedly pressed the button accidentally while the phone was in my pocket and there was nothing they could do about the bill. I said they could apply some common sense and credit an obviously inappropriate billed amount. They said they were not prepared to do this.

I enclose two blogs that I have written on the subject. I have reported your behaviour to OFCOM and I am sending out Press Releases next week to "Watchdog", the "Consumer Association" and all the mainstream press.

I have never had such a problem before. Some companies strive for "a quick buck", some companies choose "long-term good customer relations". It is possible that Hutchison 3G UK Ltd is in the former category in which case making a 3 premium number a default, must be producing many quick bucks for the company.

However, I believe that introducing this unsolicited premium number as a default to your customers' contacts list is contrary to the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977. I hereby give 7 days notice that if you do not promptly credit the charge of £233.84 plus VAT for unsolicited premium rate calls, I will be taking Hutchison 3G UK Ltd to court.

Yours sincerely,

W.N. Warry

Article links: &

Wednesday, 17 December 2008


I recently come across this online docoment produced by Hutchison 3G on with regards to the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and complaints handling by Ofcom.

I have included the final summary with my own comments in Red

"CP" stands for Communications Provider


1. Do you agree with the following definition of Complaint:
“Complaint means an expression of dissatisfaction made to a Communications Provider
related to its products or services, or the complaints-handling process itself, where a response
or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected.”

H3G understands why Ofcom wishes to agree a single definition of "complaint" across the
entire communications sector. However in order for it to be effective Ofcom will need to give a
number of examples of what would and would not be an expression of dissatisfaction. For
example is it a complaint if a customer calls and says their bill is too high? Or their handset
doesn’t have the functionality they were used to and they don’t like it, or they didn’t have
coverage in the area they holidayed in? In each instance the customer could refuse to accept
the answer they are given and to demand it be escalated. This could significantly increase the
number of recorded "complaints" despite these not being issues for which H3G could
reasonably held responsible.
As indicated above H3G would like to see fault removed from the definition of complaint as this
may trigger a referral to ADR for a problem relating to a manufacturers fault.
In the end a complaint is a complaint and should be dealt with accordingly even if you are providing a product from a third party (i.e. Nokia, Siemens etc...) The CP is responsible for this product reaching the customer in the first place so they should take the correct measures in rectifying their problem and if they don't then of course they have the right to make a complaint!

2. Do you agree that a consumer should have the right to go to ADR:
(a) eight weeks after a complaint is first received by a CP; OR (b) earlier, if a CP has issued a
deadlock letter.
H3G agrees with these proposals.

3. Do you agree with our preferred Option 4 that a CP should be required to give written
notice about ADR: (a) Within five working days after the Communications Provider received
the Complaint, unless the complaint has been resolved at the first point of contact;(If a
consumer contacts a CP again about a matter which the CP reasonably believed to be
resolved at first contact then notice should be given at that time) AND (b) eight weeks after the
CP first receives the complaint, earlier if the complaint is resolved or when the CP issues a
Deadlock Notice.

H3G disagree with the requirement to notify customers within 5 days (see above). Why? Surely this would create a sense of confidence with the person complaining, plus most industries (especially Financial Services) have a 5 day notification policy for complaints.
H3G agree with notifying the customer at 8 weeks if the complaint is unresolved and in the
event of a deadlock letter.

4. Do you agree that the notice about ADR which CP should give must be: (a) be in writing in
a durable form (b) be in plain English, clearly written and concise; (c) include a reference for
the complaint; (d) include details of the ADR Scheme which the CP is a member of, including
contact details; (e) and summarise when the consumer has the right to go to ADR Scheme
and the role of the ADR Scheme.
H3G disagrees with (a) One of two reasons (both bad) I can see for this, 1. A cost saving measure so they don't have to pay for the excessive paperwork or 2. They try to avoid providing any written hard copies of replies making it harder for the consumer to keep records. (see above) but agrees with (b) – (e)

5. Do you have any comments on the criteria which we propose we will use in our future
review approval of the ADR Schemes?


6. Do you agree that CPs’ should be required to comply with a single Ofcom Approved
Complaints Code of Practice which sets out high level mandatory standards for complaints
H3G support this, but request further clarification on the operation of the proposed complaints
handling procedures as detailed above.

7. Do you agree that CPs should be required to keep a log of all complaints? We could require
CPs to log complaints when they are first received and as they are handled. These records
must include as a minimum for each Complaint a log setting out:
(a) Details of the Complainant, including their name and address; (b) the date on which the
Complaint is first received; (c) a description of the Complaint; (d) and a description of how the
CP deals with the Complaint.

Ofcom argues the record keeping is required in order to demonstrate compliance with the new
requirements. However the requirement to acknowledge the complaint and send details of the
ADR scheme and to refer within 8 weeks, is not dependent on the details of the complaint,
name and address being stored. Statistics showing date received date of letters sent and
updates sent would enable Ofcom to evaluate whether the regulation was being complied with.
H3G has provided an estimate for the cost associated with implementing this requirement in
and strongly questions whether this is proposal is proportionate to its stated aim and value.

8. Do you agree that three months from publication of the Statement for this Review is a reasonable period to implement the changes proposed in this Consultation Document?

Three months is wholly unrealistic. The system changes for the monitoring of complaints and
the requirements to acknowledge in writing every complaint would take a minimum of 8-12
months to implement. Some system changes could form part of a proposed project however
this, if agreed, would not be implemented until late 2009. Well this answers the question as to why a lot of people are not getting their complaints with 3 dealt with!! The practice acknowledging complaints should already be in place and this proves that their customer services complaints department was never eqipped in the first place!!

Click here to read the whole docoment (or right click and save PDF file)

Please feel free to post your comments about this document.

Thursday, 27 November 2008


Since this sites inception just over 1 month ago, it's had approximately 2700 pages views from over 600 unique visitors (Google Analytics).

I have noticed some international visitors have also been visiting this site and would like to stress that all the contacts and details on this site are for UK based Hutchison 3G customers and that they would need to contact their respective 3 complaints department. What I will do is try and source some international addresses to cater to everyone's needs.

I have had quite a few emails come in with complaints, please keep them coming as your voice cannot be heard if you keep quiet!!

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Consumer Rights and Advice for your Three Complaint

There are a number of sites out there issuing advice on your consumer rights but in reality nobody is more qualified to give you advice on your issues than the followxing sites

The Office of Fair Trading, OFT, have set up the Site Consumer Direct which gives you your rights with most industries including mobile phones. My personal opinion the site content is quite limited but there is an email address and telephone number for you to contact them.
Their advice line is: 08454 04 05 06

We all know about the Citizens Advice Bureau, but I guess not all of us have got round to using them...Well you should! That's what they are there for. You just need to search for your local office and it will provide you with details of how to get there or call them.

Trading Standards. Although I'm not too sure how they could deal with your complaint specifically, I've been informed that they may be able to make an investigation into your complaint BUT they are not a replacement for contacting Otelo or Ofcom who deal with these matters specifically.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

How difficult (illegal?) can H3Gs Termination Team make it to leave H3G?

Here is a recent complaint sent to me:

Copy of letter sent to H3G head office and local Trading Standards...

I wish to formally complain about one of your operators in India: xxxx xxxxxx, ID xxxxx.This morning, I spent over 60 minutes, repeatedly asking this operator to accept early termination fee and issue a PAC code.
Within the first 5 minutes, I had explained my reasons for wishing to terminate my contract:
1. Workplace coverage issues (no 3G, intermittent 2G @ postcode TD6 xxx)
2. Internet MAX does not work at all in 2G area (i.e. my workplace).
During the next 45 minutes, your operator repeatedly ignored my requests to process my early termination payment of £xx. Eventually I threatened to report 3UK to my local Trading Standards and requested his name and Operator ID.
At that point, the operator agreed to process my payment, during which he incorrectly entered my card details 2 times, then informed me that your ‘payment gateway’ might be down.
I offered to use a VISA card, which also failed due to ‘gateway issues’.I was then informed that my termination could not be processed and that it would not be possible for someone to call me back when the technical issues were resolved.Under UK law, I have the right to cancel my contract at any time, but Three UK appear to be actively denying my this right and placing obstacles in my way.
Please investigate my complaint and arrange for a UK based 3UK operator to contact me to process the termination request and issue me with a PAC code ate.

N.B. I have contacted my local Trading Standards office and asked them to become involved

Friday, 24 October 2008

First Steps - Contacting Three Customer Services

A lot of you would have already gone past this stage with no hope as you know how useless 3's customer service is but it is essential that you do complete this part.

But you need logs of all the dates, calls etc.. you have made.So I had an idea, submit your query using their Chat Program, once you get there, click on the green banner where it says "Got a Technical Query? Chat with a tech advisor now" and it will launch an instant messaging chat service for you. This way you should be able to keep records of all your correspondance by copy and pasting the whole conversation and saving it in word, unless anyone can think of a better way?

28/11/08: Quick update to the above statement: It appears that since this site has started that Three have decided to remove their online chat program. Not sure why as there are a variety of factors but it is a disappointment as it was a good way to record your conversations. Hopefully it's only a temporary removal. Please email me if you know otherwise.

I'd say if you've had a couple of weeks of bad luck with them then you should got to Step 2. If they're offering you a replacement for your phone make sure that it is either exactly the same model or a model which is worth more. You can check this by going on to Google Shopping and typing in the make and model of the phone 3 are offering and your existing phone to compare values.

Your composure on the phone/chat service, is essential. Be calm, don't show your anger etc... at them as this will not help you. Remember a lot of these overseas call centres train their staff well to be resilient (But they don't train them in Customer Services!!! ironic isn't it?).

If you are not happy with the outcome of your calls then just tell them it's not good enough and you will be taking your complaint further in writing, which is the next step of making formal letter of complaint to their first line of customer services.

Check out a recent post of possible alternative Three numbers and email addresses

Step 2 - Writing to Three

Here is the first address you should write to:

3 Customer services (complaints)
Hutchison 3G UK Ltd
PO Box 333
G2 9AG

I have put (complaints) after the name just so they know!

I have already written to this address and after 14 days still have not recieved any response from them yet!

Make sure your letter is firm but not too threatening and explains your complaint clearly and concisely. Also explain that you have made several calls etc.. to their customer services and you are not happy with the outcome.

Make sure that you end the letter requesting acknowledgement ASAP. This is for your records.

If you don't hear from them within 14 days then you need to write to a more senior agent within the organisation. I have been fortunate to be given this contact after a query to Otelo:

Lisa Kidd
3 Executive Office
123 St Vincent St
G2 5EA

Much in the same way as your previous letter(s), state your dissatisfaction of their service expecially if you have been ignored the first couple of times.

If they are not providing the service you have paid for and they are ignoring you, then let her know! Use terms like "Breach of Contract" and "Null and Void" (use both sparingly, don't over do it!) especially if you are still tied down to a contract with several months left in it. Fact of the matter is you are paying them and they aren't offering you the service you deserve.

Once again request acknowledgement of your letter and state how many weeks it has been since your initial complaint and if you don't hear from her you will seek the advice of Otelo.

Step 3 - Taking your Three Complaint Further

If your complaint still hasn't been resolved then you need to fall under one of these 2 categories below in order to move forward

1. It has been 12 weeks since you have registered your first complaint including telephone and Formal complaints to the company itself. I'm guessing this includes if your letters are ignored.

2. You have recieved a "deadlock letter" from the company where they have stated that there is nothing more they are going to do with your complaint.

The Office of Communications, OFCOM are the official regulators of the communications industry and this link will take you to their mobile phone complaints. OFCOM do not deal directly with your complaint but you can submit a survey and they will register & monitor it. If and when they recieve complaints they may decide to investigate the company so it's worth doing this survery first.

Ofcom has approved an Alternative Dispute Resolution Service (ADR) known as Otelo (Office of the Telecommunitcations Ombudsman) who deal with individual complaints once step1 and 2 of the complaints procedure with the company in question have been completed.

Click here to see their complaints procedure which outlines some of the informaiton I've already mentioned in more detail. You should also get a Case Reference for your investigation. I'd suggest ringing or emailing Otelo first regarding your complaint and see what advice they give and leave it with them to arrange a resolution for you.

Don't let 3 Get away with it!!!!

If your problem is very serious then why not submit it to BBC's Watchdog too and shame them? Just a thought....

Final Steps - Leaving Three

Well the previous step was really the final step but if you find even Otelo cannot sort out a resolution for your complaint out then you are only left with one real option....LEAVE THREE!!! Taking legal action is not really a viable option unless your issue has left you heavily out of pocket.

That's right! ride out your ripoff 18 month contract and leave them for another, more efficient service provider.

It will hit 3 hard if several hundred if not thousand customers leave them, don't fall into another trap even if they offer you a cheaper package as you'll end up back in a vicious circle with them.

Other companies such as Vodafone, O2, and Orange offer exceptional customer service, network coverage and deals which can match 3's.What you need to do is when you are near to the end of a contract, ring 3 customer services (yes again!!!) and ask for your PAC number (Porting Authorisation Code).

This number when given to your new service provider will allow you to keep the same number you have been using with 3.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Three Email and Telephone Contacts

As many of you know, the website do not offer anything but a generic telephone number and online query request.

I have been scouring the net for direct email addresses and telephone numbers and have come up with the following results for a selection of forums and sites

I have recieved a call from Glasgow from this number which may be worth trying: 07533 336759 although it was a call for an upgrade so not sure.

I haven't tried and tested any of these so use them at your discretion Although I'm guessing you'll get an automated response from here.

08707 330295: Seems to be a number that directs you to the Glasgow Customer Service Center A recent forum post suggested this as a successful contact (director of Customer Services). Make sure you have a valid reason for contacting him and all the relevent details.

The following landline/free numbers have been obtained from Say No To 0870:

01442 456195/0800 3586795 (freephone) - Customer Services Straight to the Operator

01628 765000 - Head Office (Maidenhead Switchboard)

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Oftel: more complaints from 3 subscribers

Back in 2003 but I still believe is relevant

The UK telecom watchdog Oftel received on average more complaints from 3's customers than any other mobile operators. The figures published by Oftel shows Virgin Mobile to be the best network with less than 0.1 complaint per thousand subscribers between April 1 and the end of September.

Vodafone was second with 0.1 complaints per thousand customers. Orange lost the best network title and is tied with T-Mobile and O2 with 0.2 complaints for every 1000 customers.

3 launched UK's first 3G network in March of this year but has been hampered by limited network coverage and drop calls. Oftel received 552 complaints about 3's service but were unable to obtain customer base information from 3 to make comparison with other carriers. The operator had about 155,000 subscribers by the end of August and it is estimated about 186,000 by end of September. In this case there would be 2.97 complaint for every 1000 customers.

The top three complaints received by Oftel included companies ignoring customer's complaint (6%), issues regarding operators' tariff and options package (6%) and problems with handsets (5%). Consumer complaining about the battery running down quickly and hands-free kits not working with the phone were examples given by Oftel regarding problems with handsets. These are also the problems faced by 3's subscribers.

WCDMA handsets, used by 3, tend to have shorter battery life and are bigger in size than current 2G mobiles. Japanese operator NTT DoCoMo faced similar difficulties when they launched their 3G services over two years ago. Short battery life in handsets and limited coverage has left the carrier lagging behind its rival KDDI.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

3 Cold Calling

The irony of it all is even during my complaints process (including yesterday as I was writing on this site, I recieve cold calls from the Indian Call centre and THEY request my password and address. I feel like I'm on fonejacker!!!

I also get calls from from a UK based call center asking me to upgrade even though I only just had my upgrade a few months ago. They never update their systems and apparently the Indian database is totally out of synch with the UK one.


Edit: Recieved an unusual comment from an obviously clueless person.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Post your complaints with 3 Here for others to see

Right so now you've read my guide and hopefully you'll be well on your way to getting a satisfactory resolution to your complaint.

Post comments here on your issues with you are having with Three. Include any details you like including the problem itself, what 3 have done to resolve the situation what actions you have taken.

Alternatively you can email me on and I will create a whole post regarding your complaint if it is serious.

Please don't be abusive or rude, I will use this site as my way of highlighting the issues with 3 and their customer services.
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.