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)

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