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How to cancel Three mobile

By Claire Nottage | Tuesday, March 21st 2023

Cancelling your mobile provider and switching to a new one is very straightforward, thanks to Ofcom’s Text to Switch ruling. You no longer have to go through the hassle of calling up; you can simply text your provider for a code to take your number with you and sign up to your new deal online.

Whether you want to save money by going SIM-only, or you are looking for a brand new phone and data bundle to go with it, cancelling your Three Mobile service is easy. In this guide, we explain what PAC and STAC codes are, when you will need them, and how to go about finding the best new mobile deal on the market.

Checklist: Things to do before you cancel Three Mobile

Before you start contacting Three to say that you are off to pastures new, it’s worth taking a few minutes to gather together some key pieces of information.

  • Check your contract – Three Mobile offers 24-month handset deals, along with 24-month, 12-month and one-month SIM-only deals. It’s important to know where you are in your initial contract period as you will be charged if you leave early
  • Find a new mobile provider – Start looking for a new deal as soon as you know you want to leave. If you are happy to keep your phone, you can look for a new SIM-only deal, which will work out cheaper than a new handset

Cancelling Three Mobile if you’re still in contract

If you find that you have not yet reached the end of your initial contract period with Three, it’s worth waiting until you have. If you don’t, you will have to repay all outstanding monthly payments in one chunk. All mobile providers will charge you early termination fees if you break your contract with them.

You can find out exactly where you are in your contract either by referring back to your original contract, which will most likely have been sent by email, by logging in to your My3 account, or by getting in touch with Three customer services.

When you can cancel Three Mobile for free

In the vast majority of cases, you will have to pay early termination fees if you cancel your Three Mobile contract early. However, there are a few scenarios where you can potentially avoid the repayments.

  • Within the initial cooling-off period – Any SIM-only or handset deals purchased online come with a two-week period within which you are entitled to change your mind and cancel without being penalised. If you change your mind after those first 14 days, you will have to pay off your contract
  • If Three Mobile increases prices – If Three Mobile introduces a price rise during your contract, it is legally obliged to give you 30 days’ notice of doing so. If it does not give you notice or if it raises its prices above the Recommended Retail Price Index, you are permitted to leave without penalty
  • If your service is sub-standard – If you regularly experience a lack of signal and Three is unable to resolve the problem within a reasonable time frame, you are permitted to leave your contract early without being penalised
  • If your contract runs out within the next 30 days – if you are within a month of the end of your contract, you are free to sign up to a new deal and won’t face any charges

Cancelling Three Mobile if you’re out of contract

One month before your contract ends, you should receive an End-of-Contract Notification from Three Mobile, informing you that your contract is approaching its end and you will imminently be free to cancel and switch to a new deal with a new mobile provider. It should also include details of Three Mobile offers for which you are eligible should you decide to stay.

Once you know you are almost at the end of your contract, you can start to look for a new deal. Whether you want a new handset or you just want to save money by sticking with your current handset and choosing a SIM-only deal, you can use our handset and SIM deal comparison page to narrow down the options.

If you have a Pay-As-You-Go bundle, you can cancel at any time as these bundles are only valid for one month at a time. If you have a recurring bundle set up, you just need to cancel it. It will cease on the first renewal date after you cancel, so you can use your allowance as normal until then.

Request a PAC code to take your Three Mobile number with you

With the introduction of Ofcom’s Text to Switch service, it is now easy to take your current mobile number with you to your new provider by requesting a PAC (Porting Authorisation Code) from Three Mobile. You have three ways to do this. You can log on to your My3 account online and request the code, you can send a text to 65075 containing the word PAC followed by your date of birth in the DDMMYY format, or you can call 333 from your Three mobile phone and speak to a customer advisor.

Once you receive your PAC, it is then valid for 30 days. You will need to give it to your new provider when you sign up for your new deal. This is likely to be at the checkout point of your online purchase. You PAC will automatically be used to cancel your existing service with Three Mobile, meaning you don’t have to do it yourself.

Request a STAC code to leave Three Mobile without taking your mobile number with you

If you want a new mobile deal with another provider and you aren’t fussed about keeping your number, you should request a STAC (Standard Termination Authorisation Code) from Three Mobile. This lets your new provider know that you are cancelling your agreement with Three and do not wish to bring your number with you. Your new provider will then inform Three that you are cancelling and Three will terminate your service.

Be aware that if you don’t give your STAC to your new provider, your current payments with Three will continue to roll on and you could find yourself paying for two services.

Cancelling without moving to another network

If you are just looking to cancel your Three Mobile service and are not moving to a new provider, then you do not need a STAC or PAC. You should let Three know via your My3 account, by live chat or by calling customer services. You must give Three Mobile 30 days’ notice if you are cancelling and not switching to another provider.

Frequently asked questions

How can I find out what charges I will have to pay to Three Mobile if I leave early?

To find out what cancellation fees you have to pay, you can use the Outstanding Charges form which is available within your My3 account, or you can text INFO to 85075. You can also ask via Live Chat or by calling Three on 333 or on 0333 338 1001.

How long does it take to activate my new mobile deal?

Three states it should usually take no more than one working day, or two days over a weekend, depending on what day of the week you cancel.

Will switching to a new provider automatically cancel my Direct Debit with Three Mobile?

No. The PAC and STAC information simply tells your new provider to cancel your Three service. You will need to cancel and then rearrange a new Direct Debit for your new service yourself.

Can I switch onto a different SIM-only deal with Three before my phone contract expires?

If you want to switch to another deal to save money, you can only do this once your contract is up. If you are still within contract, you are only permitted to switch to a more expensive deal.

Can I get a SIM-only deal from a different network if I bought my handset from Three Mobile?

Yes, Three Mobile does not lock any handsets, so you are free to use your existing phone with another provider without the need to get it unlocked.

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