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@contradevian

Three Bad Experience

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Just moved so no fixed broadband, so dug out my trusty "Three" MiFi device which I bought from PC World about 18 months ago. Its a Huwaie MiFi which is a bit like a small mobile but its basically a dongle with wireless capabilities so multiple PC's can share the connection. The whole thing was packaged and branded by "three" and sold through PC World.

The MiFi was fitted with a PAYG sim which I believe came with the unit. I found it was out of credit so bought a £10 top up voucher via a local newsagent, and then purchased a £10 "add on" which entitles me to 1GB of data over the next 30 days. Enough I'm hoping to see my over till the broadband is finally installed this week.

Wrong. After adding the "add on" and it showing up successfully in my account, I found I can access the Three website (no great shakes, nice as it is, its free to access anyway) but all other sites are blocked. I found that when I connect the browser takes me to Three's default "SIM locked" page informing me that I can only use the SIM installed in my MiFi in a phone and not a data device.

The following day I take the Mifi and various other Three dongles I own into the Three shop hoping they can sort it out or explain whats happened. Wrong again. They basically said tough. "You topped up the wrong SIM, tough."

Firstly they asked where did I buy the top up? I said from a newsagent "Ah nothing to do with us then, you didn't buy it from us." I said no, the contract is for 1GB of data. Newsagents don't sell data they sell papers, cigarettes and mobile phone top ups. They are merely agents for Three.

Secondly they ask, where did I buy the MiFi? I said PC World. "Ah nothing to do with us, you didn't buy it from us, take it back to PC World." I said no, its a Three MiFi device, with the "3" logo all over it which came with a Three PAYG sim which has worked perfectly till now.

The shop explained that Three had put a stop to people topping up a phone sim with a data allowance and using it in a dongle (why you might ask). They also stated that PC World had sold a number of Three MiFi's with the "wrong SIM" (It wasn't wrong at the time, only due to their stupid rule changes). I'd either have to write off the £10, or buy a Three PAYG phone to get the use of my data.

This led to a very heated argument which led to me knocking over their stupid blackboard in the doorway and literally throwing the MiFi and another dongle at the shop manager.

Now its only £10 but I object to a company just stealing the money and providing nothing in return, so I'm writing to Three's registered office for a £10 refund within 14 days, or face the small claims court. Its quite simple to me legally, I've contracted for 1GB of data over the next 30 days and it doesn't matter what sim or device its used it. Three either provide the service or refund the money,

But be advised the Three shops take no responsibility for any of Three's products once sold. They are just supermarkets for phones and relieving mug punters of their money, and have no concept of customer service (I must have spent hundreds on Three data over the years, much of it wasted). Three (3G Hutchinson) have no interest in honouring consumer law, or the Sale of Goods Act.

Just to add at this point, I'm not 100% sure I have the original sim in the MiFi device. The reason being I tended to swap PAYG sim's between Three dongles to use up the data allowance (Why top up one sim, when you still had an allowance remaining on another). However I've never owned a Three phone, I've only ever used them for data and internet. In any case its irrelevant as you should get what you pay for!

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Interesting, thanks for posting, sorry to read of your experience!

In summary then, 3 have stopped people using their 3 SIM-card in a 3 dongle to get the 1GB and use the internet? Why on earth did they do that? Bizarre.

So, if I stick my 3 dongle in while I'm in the UK (I'm usually abroad) and buy the 1GB allowance add on online from 3's website store, it won't let me use that £10 to surf the internet with my laptop and 3 dongle? I've got to get a special 3 internet or dongle SIM card?! Why would they do that? They send SIMs free by post don't they? Beyond me

Just moved so no fixed broadband, so dug out my trusty "Three" MiFi device which I bought from PC World about 18 months ago. Its a Huwaie MiFi which is a bit like a small mobile but its basically a dongle with wireless capabilities so multiple PC's can share the connection. The whole thing was packaged and branded by "three" and sold through PC World.

The MiFi was fitted with a PAYG sim which I believe came with the unit. I found it was out of credit so bought a £10 top up voucher via a local newsagent, and then purchased a £10 "add on" which entitles me to 1GB of data over the next 30 days. Enough I'm hoping to see my over till the broadband is finally installed this week.

Wrong. After adding the "add on" and it showing up successfully in my account, I found I can access the Three website (no great shakes, nice as it is, its free to access anyway) but all other sites are blocked. I found that when I connect the browser takes me to Three's default "SIM locked" page informing me that I can only use the SIM installed in my MiFi in a phone and not a data device.

The following day I take the Mifi and various other Three dongles I own into the Three shop hoping they can sort it out or explain whats happened. Wrong again. They basically said tough. "You topped up the wrong SIM, tough."

Firstly they asked where did I buy the top up? I said from a newsagent "Ah nothing to do with us then, you didn't buy it from us." I said no, the contract is for 1GB of data. Newsagents don't sell data they sell papers, cigarettes and mobile phone top ups. They are merely agents for Three.

Secondly they ask, where did I buy the MiFi? I said PC World. "Ah nothing to do with us, you didn't buy it from us, take it back to PC World." I said no, its a Three MiFi device, with the "3" logo all over it which came with a Three PAYG sim which has worked perfectly till now.

The shop explained that Three had put a stop to people topping up a phone sim with a data allowance and using it in a dongle (why you might ask). They also stated that PC World had sold a number of Three MiFi's with the "wrong SIM" (It wasn't wrong at the time, only due to their stupid rule changes). I'd either have to write off the £10, or buy a Three PAYG phone to get the use of my data.

This led to a very heated argument which led to me knocking over their stupid blackboard in the doorway and literally throwing the MiFi and another dongle at the shop manager.

Now its only £10 but I object to a company just stealing the money and providing nothing in return, so I'm writing to Three's registered office for a £10 refund within 14 days, or face the small claims court. Its quite simple to me legally, I've contracted for 1GB of data over the next 30 days and it doesn't matter what sim or device its used it. Three either provide the service or refund the money,

But be advised the Three shops take no responsibility for any of Three's products once sold. They are just supermarkets for phones and relieving mug punters of their money, and have no concept of customer service (I must have spent hundreds on Three data over the years, much of it wasted). Three (3G Hutchinson) have no interest in honouring consumer law, or the Sale of Goods Act.

Just to add at this point, I'm not 100% sure I have the original sim in the MiFi device. The reason being I tended to swap PAYG sim's between Three dongles to use up the data allowance (Why top up one sim, when you still had an allowance remaining on another). However I've never owned a Three phone, I've only ever used them for data and internet. In any case its irrelevant as you should get what you pay for!

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Now its only £10 but I object to a company just stealing the money and providing nothing in return, so I'm writing to Three's registered office for a £10 refund within 14 days, or face the small claims court.

If that's the office in Glasgow, I would bet the farm they won't reply. I had no end of trouble with them myself, one of the worst companies I have ever dealt with.

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If that's the office in Glasgow, I would bet the farm they won't reply. I had no end of trouble with them myself, one of the worst companies I have ever dealt with.

Three's "customer relations" department is indeed in Glasgow, but my letter is going recorded delivery to their registered office in Maidenhead.

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I have an inq1 on three. Top up a tenner and you get plenty of free internet and free texts and free calls

(top up five quid and you get less)

Works ok for sending photos to facebook from the allotment. And I need to put my reading glasses on to type stuff.

But I want a fancy app for twitter. So was going to ask at O2 but customer was showing me how bad their after sales service was so went to three shop.

Oh says the bloke who works there says you should be able to do twitter on it. So he doesn't try and sell me a new phone. :)

Phone is crap for getting calls though but I only give my mobile number to people I don't want to be bothering me at home anyway.

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I have an inq1 on three. Top up a tenner and you get plenty of free internet and free texts and free calls

(top up five quid and you get less)

Works ok for sending photos to facebook from the allotment. And I need to put my reading glasses on to type stuff.

But I want a fancy app for twitter. So was going to ask at O2 but customer was showing me how bad their after sales service was so went to three shop.

Oh says the bloke who works there says you should be able to do twitter on it. So he doesn't try and sell me a new phone. :)

Phone is crap for getting calls though but I only give my mobile number to people I don't want to be bothering me at home anyway.

I'm wondering if there is a lot of point in dongles.

Since the Three debacle been using an old LG viewty with an Orange PAYG Sim in it. £5 top up for 250MB. Works fine/fantastic as a modem with this netbook. The LG is not so good as a standalone phone as the battery life is appalling if you make any calls (though strangely it will merrily play mp3's for hours). The USB connection keeps it powered too.

Actually thinking about it, that phone is unlocked so could have put that Three sim in it to use the data, but sod them - I'll stick with Orange. Their coverage where I live anyway seems slightly quicker than Three and with Orange you have the fallback situation of having T-Mobile's available to you too.

Less cr*p to carry around as well.

Also Orange seem more honest with the data allowance. I remember topping up my Three dongle with £25 for I think 10GB of monthly data. I did two iPlayer downloads of Doctor Who. Can't be more than a couple of gig for two shows in standard definition. Anyway that was the so called "10GB" data allowance gone. I never did that again!

I reckon Three (3) are ripping people off left, right and centre over data usage. I bet Ofcom are asleep on the job as usual.

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Went into a Three shop today and the young woman on the desk there in a monologue tone told me that you're not supposed to use a 3 phone SIM in a 3 broadband dongle. I told her I'd never heard that before and she told me she'd been working there for years etc etc and she should know etc etc, her eyes were almost rolling behind the fringe covering one of her eyes. Written across her face was the phrase "F**k off loser" but she did give the helpful tip that I should buy a new 1GB broadband SIM from the store "to be on the safe side" rather than use my old SIM. "You are lucky they didn't block you if you used your phone SIM in the boradband" she said.

I honestly have no idea what the that's all about, why 3 have these rules (if they do) and why some (not all) 3 stores have unhelpful staff. I was in the same store in the past and they were ok. I have spoken to 3 on the phone in the past and ditto great. But a few rotten apples...

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I honestly have no idea what the that's all about, why 3 have these rules (if they do) and why some (not all) 3 stores have unhelpful staff. I was in the same store in the past and they were ok. I have spoken to 3 on the phone in the past and ditto great. But a few rotten apples...

They block you and steal your £10, or whatever amount you have put on! Thieves.

Anyway letter gone registered office, copies to trading standards, Ofcom and Watchdog (whatever good that'll do).

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The reason for blocking "mobile" SIMs from working in dongles and Mi-Fi devices has to do with the differences in plans.

3 has an unlimited data plan for the phones, but what they don't want people doing is taking that plan out, then putting the SIM in the dongle, and getting cheap 24/7 unlimited access to what is already a highly contended service. Phones tend to browse cut down mobile versions of websites and users don't generally stream movies onto them. I'm not even sure that the battery in mine would last two hours with the screen turned up brightly with a film running for that time.

If this limitation were not in place, people might just be tempted to leave their 3 dongle downloading off P2P apps all day and night and basically trashing the capacity completely.

In such scenarios I think tethering is still possible - e.g. my Samsung phone has an option to create a WiFi zone and share its own 3G data with other devices. However phones generally perform more slowly than dongles anyway and aren't so easy to mount onto the strip that runs along the top of my window with a bulldog clip.

Contractually, however, they are correct in that your contract was with PC World, who gave you the "wrong" SIM card and thus are responsible for replacing it. What any half reasonable person might have expected, however, is for them to replace the SIM for you (since they give those out free online anyway) and transfer your topup from one SIM to the other. Doesn't sound like rocket science, does it.

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Contractually, however, they are correct in that your contract was with PC World, who gave you the "wrong" SIM card and thus are responsible for replacing it. What any half reasonable person might have expected, however, is for them to replace the SIM for you (since they give those out free online anyway) and transfer your topup from one SIM to the other. Doesn't sound like rocket science, does it.

PC World didn't as the SIM worked perfectly for data with the MiFi till Three changed the rules.

Also the whole thing was packaged by Three, including the SIM which included a 30GB data allowance which once used, had to be topped up by PAYG.

I agree about the SIM replacement. However their position was to simply steal my tenner and say "tough you looser." Something they will come to regret.

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I was watching the Singapore Grand Prix online at bbc.co.uk sat in some pub in London last Sunday and ran out of credit 3 half way through the race.

Had a voucher with me to top-up (I only use the dongle for emergency / occasional access when I don't have FON/BTOpenzone or other WiFi available) so went to the My Account page but somebody at 3 decided it would be a good idea to include Google Analytics on a page that may be accessed from a customer that has run out of credit; and so every page sat there trying to load the Google Analytics code from google.com which it was NEVER going to be able to do because I had run out of credit; and because the Top-Up by voucher process relies on JavaScript it was blocked until you manually intervened to stop the analytics code from attempting to load.

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I was watching the Singapore Grand Prix online at bbc.co.uk sat in some pub in London last Sunday and ran out of credit 3 half way through the race.

Had a voucher with me to top-up (I only use the dongle for emergency / occasional access when I don't have FON/BTOpenzone or other WiFi available) so went to the My Account page but somebody at 3 decided it would be a good idea to include Google Analytics on a page that may be accessed from a customer that has run out of credit; and so every page sat there trying to load the Google Analytics code from google.com which it was NEVER going to be able to do because I had run out of credit; and because the Top-Up by voucher process relies on JavaScript it was blocked until you manually intervened to stop the analytics code from attempting to load.

I've had 3 as our primary broadband connection for about 4 years now, and it has to be said, their website - while better than it once was - seems bedevilled with little "schoolboy" programming errors like this. When the 3DSecure thing came in (put your code into the bank authentication page) the domain that runs in wasn't in the whitelist, so your top up never got any further. Tsk....

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The other intermittently annoying thing about 3 is that it's almost entirely impossible to "Google" for network specific technical support help given the universally generic nature of the name.

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I reckon Three (3) are ripping people off left, right and centre over data usage. I bet Ofcom are asleep on the job as usual.

I have Virgin broadband at home. From Monday to Friday, I work away from home, and use a 3 dongle for internet. Always been good, and has never let me down. I only buy the £10 for one gig, as that is more than enough for what I need.

(just saying)

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I've had 3 as our primary broadband connection for about 4 years now, and it has to be said, their website - while better than it once was - seems bedevilled with little "schoolboy" programming errors like this.

That's testing issues which would never be picked up by an offshore development team. User acceptance testing should pick it up but of cause that is also done offshore on computers rather than handsets.

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I have Virgin broadband at home. From Monday to Friday, I work away from home, and use a 3 dongle for internet. Always been good, and has never let me down. I only buy the £10 for one gig, as that is more than enough for what I need.

(just saying)

I too now have Virgin 50mB broadband at home too, and on Friday BT Business broadband goes in (as I need a small pool of static IP's).

I've always found 3 pretty good too, so its shame, they have resorted to stealing. I'm just going to use Orange and Vodafone from now on.

Going to cut down drastically I think on 3G mobile data usage and hook up to wireless as much as possible. Maintaining my BT Broadband account should allow access to BT Openzone and BT FON nodes and they seem pretty ubiquitous.

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  • 285 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


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