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Three contract and billing guide

By Aaron Howdle | Friday, March 24th 2023

Three has been around since 2003 at which time it was the first wholly 3G network in the UK. It currently holds the position of fourth largest mobile telecommunications company in the UK, with around 9.3 million subscribers.

This guide will take a look at the contents of a Three mobile contract and what you can expect to see on a Three bill. We will also look at what happens if you leave Three and some of your rights as a customer.

What is in a Three mobile contract?

The agreement you sign with Three is called an SLA or Service Level Agreement. It lays out the relationship between the customer and the mobile provider. Here we will look at the contents of a Three mobile SLA.

Three mobile contracts fall into two main types. SIM-only contracts are aimed at people who are happy to continue using their existing handset. The second type of contract includes a new smartphone or mobile device and will tend to be longer to incorporate the cost of the device. Three also offers pay-as-you-go SIM cards, which the user tops up with calls, minutes and data according to need.

Contract length

Three now offers a range of contract options that include a mobile device to suit a range of users. In addition to the standard 24-month contract, you can also take out contracts for 12 or 36 months. Your monthly premium will vary depending on the contract length you choose, and how much you opt to pay up front. Pay monthly SIM-only contracts are available lasting one month, 12 months or 24 months.

Your plan

Your contract specifies what is bundled into your contract. This includes the smartphone or device you are buying, plus your usage plan which tells you how many call minutes, SMS and GBs of data are provided. You can also find details on call types which are excluded from your call allowance.

Usage plans are often advertised by the amount of data which is included in the plan. Three customers can choose from plans starting at 1GB per month, going up to unlimited data with many options in between.

As well as detailing the details of your usage plan, your contract will also specify your phone number and other useful information about the service you can expect.

Price changes

Three can change the cost of its out-of-allowance services at any time. If you are materially affected by the price change you may be able to terminate your contract early. Three can also change the price of add-ons and other additional services. Additionally, your monthly payment will increase annually. The rate of this increase is determined by the previous December's Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate, plus 3.9%. You’ll notice this change on your April bill.

Cooling-off period

Three has a cooling-off period of 14 days, during which time you can change your mind, regardless of whether you made your purchase online or over the phone. Your purchase must be in ‘as new’ condition, with no damage. Devices purchased at a Three shop must be returned within seven days if you have changed your mind, and must be completely unused, i.e. still in the packaging. If the device is faulty, you should be covered by the warranty.

What is in a Three mobile bill?

Your Three mobile bill tells you how much you owe this month for any extra services you have used in the previous month, plus your upfront charges for the month ahead. You can view and pay your bill online by logging into My3 on the Three website or the My3 app. If you prefer paper bills, they are available but at extra cost.

  • Bill Summary – Shows the total amount owed for services used between the dates shown
  • My package – Which package you are on and its monthly cost
  • What I’ve used – This part has three sections which show your data, calls and SMS usage. It also shows which usage falls within your allowance and which usage is costing you extra

Paying your Three mobile bill

In most cases you will pay your bill by direct debit. You can also pay by phone, or on the Three website. Your bill can also be paid using the My3 app on your phone or tablet.

Your services may be suspended if you miss multiple payments. If you are having trouble with your bill it is important to contact Three. Its dedicated finance team can support you if you are struggling to pay.

Cancelling your Three mobile contract

If you have a pay monthly contract, whether SIM-only, or a plan that includes a smartphone or device, you are tied in for the period of the contract.

Cancellation charges

You can cancel your plan within the first 14 days of your contract for any reason. After this cooling-off period you will have to pay an early termination fee if you leave Three before your contract has ended. The early termination fee will total the entire remaining contract, minus a small discount of 3%. In some cases your early termination fee will be discounted by 10% if you are taking out a new plan with Three.

Managing your Three mobile account

Most account management tasks can be achieved using the My3 app on your smartphone or logging into My3 on the Three website. Alternatively you can contact Three by phone.

The Three website and My3 app allow you to view and download your bills, view your usage, pay bills and purchase additional add-ons. There is also help available through live chat and a detailed help section, which includes a community forum.

Three Home Broadband contract and billing

Three Home Broadband is a little different to the broadband offered by other providers. Three Broadband connects to Three’s 4G or 5G mobile network instead of using fibre optic or ADSL cables. Because of this there is no installation or phone line required.

What is in a Three Home Broadband contract?

Your contract will tell you what is included in your package. This will be either a 4G or 5G hub, plus any extras included in your package such as an Apple TV or Amazon Echo. Contracts last either one or 24 months and if you decide to leave your contract early you will need to pay off the rest of the contract, minus a small discount.

What is on a Three Home Broadband bill?

You can view your bill on the Three website or using the My3 app on your smartphone. Under Bill Summary, you can see what you owe and which package you are on. To check your usage, look at the What I’ve Used part of the bill. Bills can be paid by direct debit, using the My3 app, by phone or on the Three website.

Frequently asked questions

Will I pay more for my Three mobile plan out of contract?

If your plan included a smartphone or other device, then part of your monthly payment is paying off the cost of the device. Once the end of your contract approaches, Three is legally obliged to get in touch and advise you of this fact. At this point, switching to a new SIM-only plan or upgrading your handset will ensure you are not paying more than you should.

How do I pay my final Three mobile bill?

Your final bill will be taken by direct debit as normal. If you have already cancelled your direct debit, you can pay on the website, app, or by phone.

What if my account is in credit when I leave Three mobile?

If your account is in credit over 50p when you leave Three, you will receive a refund. This doesn’t apply to unused credit in the form of unused data or calls.

What if I can no longer afford my monthly bill?

If you are having trouble paying your bill you should contact Three. Its dedicated finance team can support you if you are struggling to pay. This might involve extending your bill date by up to 30 days, or exploring payment plan options. This may help to avoid any restrictions being placed on your phone, or having your services suspended entirely.

How can I speak to Three mobile about my bill?

You can contact Three mobile by phone on 0333 338 1001 from a landline, from 333 from your Three mobile phone for mobile network enquiries, or 500 for home broadband support. Three also encourages its customers to make contact via the live chat feature on its website.

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