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Three mobile help, issues and complaints

By Tim Smith | Tuesday, March 21st 2023

Three is a longstanding mobile phone and service provider in the UK. It operates its own network and has a decent reputation for customer service and support. But what can you do if something goes wrong with your Three mobile account?

This guide will help you deal with some of the most common problems you could face. From finances to poor wifi, we'll give you the information you need to either get things working again yourself or to get the right help from Three when you need it.

Three mobile problems with payment and billing

Making keeping up with your Three mobile account is relatively easy once you've got the hang of it. You can use the My3 app on Apple and Android devices, you can login to your My3 account pages on the Three website. But what happens if you're having problems paying, or if Three owes you money? Find out here.

If you have missed a payment or are struggling to pay your bill

If you've missed a payment – or think that you might miss a payment – then you need to contact Three immediately. If you don't get in touch then you could be liable for a late payment charge. Three can also restrict or even cut off your mobile and broadband services, and you'll be charged a reconnection fee as well. Your credit rating will be downgraded, and you will still have to pay what you have outstanding on your contract.

However, if you do get in contact as soon as you are aware of the problem, you can work out a new payment plan, arrange to top up what you owe, even take a brief payment holiday. Get in touch using the My3 app for live chat. Login to your My3 account on the website. You can also call 333 from your Three phone. 0333 338 1001 from any other phone. +44 7782 333 333 from overseas (standard roaming charges apply).

Check your Direct Debit

Paying by monthly Direct Debit is the best way to make sure you don't forget a payment. Also, because of the Direct Debit Guarantee subscribed to by most high street financial institutions, if you move bank or building society then your DDs go with you. You can check your payments using the My3 app on Apple or Android devices or your account pages on the Three website. If you think you might not be able to pay your Direct Debit, get in touch with Three as soon as possible to negotiate how to pay going forward.

What if you've been overcharged?

If you've been overcharged, or charged for an add-on that you haven’t ordered then getting in touch with Three as soon as you discover the error definitely works in your favour. Call 333 from your Three phone. 0333 338 1001 from any other phone. +44 7782 333 333 from overseas (standard roaming charges apply) and discuss how you can be reimbursed.

Problems with your Three mobile phone

Problems with your Three mobile phone signal, your text and data, or even the phone itself, can really put a crimp in your day. Some are out of your control but some you can fix yourself. Follow these tips to find out how to deal with them, or what to tell Three customer services to get you back up and running.

  • Network status – Is it your phone or is the Three network having problems in your area? This is the first thing to check for if you're experiencing signal problems. It's easy. Search online for 'Three mobile network status' and once you've landed on the page on the Three site, just enter your postcode. You'll then be told if there are any issues, and when they might be fixed
  • Have you paid your bill? – It's easy to forget to pay your bill if you don't keep up to date with your account. You can do this using the My3 app on Apple and Android phones, or by logging into your Three account on the website regularly. You can also top up your phone account using the My3 app
  • Turn your phone off and on again – It might seem like a cliche, but turning your mobile off, waiting a minute or so, then turning it back on often clears problems. If it doesn't then at least you can tell the support staff at Three that you've already tried that
  • Move your phone – Even in the age of 5G, mobile phone signals are still prone to interruption or blocking by objects as big as buildings and as small as tree leaves or pine needles. So, if you're having trouble getting or keeping a signal, moving to a more open area is always worth a try
  • Use wifi calling – Most modern smartphones come with something called 'wifi calling' that you can activate in settings. This enables you to use a wifi signal to make mobile calls in areas of poor or no mobile signal

Problems with Three home broadband

Three offers home broadband that uses its 4G and 5G signals rather than using fibre optic cables. Unlike other broadband routers or hubs you can use at home, Three's devices use data SIMs. So, what can you do if your signal is broken or non-existent?

Get the ZTELink app

Both Three's home broadband hubs are made by ZTE. So, if you need to test for signal strength, or see what other hub settings can be tweaked if you know what you're doing, this app is the quickest way to go about it.

Make sure you're in a strong signal area

Because the Three home broadband hubs don't plug into any cables and instead use the mobile data signal in your area, make certain that you have a consistently strong signal before investing in a Three home hub.

Relocate your Three mobile hub

Because Three home broadband uses 4G and 5G mobile phone data signals and therefore has no direct cable connection to the internet, you should make sure that your hub has unobstructed access to the outside world. In short, try positioning it near a window.

Login to your Three hub

OK, this is only if you're confident that you know what you're doing. It is possible to login to your Three home broadband hub using a web address you can find on the Three help and support pages. You will also need your username and password that are printed on the base of your hub. Be very, very careful if you try this method.

Problems with Three mobile broadband

Three mobile broadband comes in a couple of forms: you can tether (share a connection) between your phone and another device if you make your phone a wifi hotspot. You can also use a 4G 'MiFi' mobile hub, available to pay per month from Three online (Three does not offer 5G MiFi devices). The MiFi element enables you to connect up to ten wifi-enabled devices at once. But what happens if your mobile hub isn't working as desired? Find out here.

  • Can you get a Three 4G signal in your area? – Before paying for your monthly data allowance and the mobile hub itself, use the Three network coverage and status page on the Three website. Check whether the area to which you’re travelling has a good 4G signal otherwise you could be wasting your money
  • Turn your wifi personal hotspot on – Your personal wifi hotspot isn't turned on by default on any smartphone. You need to set it up in your phone's settings. Three's website has a good set of instructions for both Apple and Android devices
  • Move your MiFi hub – Your MiFi hub uses a Three mobile signal just like a phone. So, if your signal is broken or unreliable, try relocating your MiFi to a more open area

Getting help from Three

Three's website is well provisioned with help and support options, with clearly laid out instructions and useful graphics. You can also get help with the My3 app. Here are the other methods of getting help when you need it.

Online chat

You can login to your account page on the Three website and start an online chat between 8am and 10pm Monday to Friday; from 9am until 8pm on Saturdays and Sundays with a real person who can direct you to the right places to find a resolution.

Customer service phone number

If you need to contact Three customer services here are the numbers to call: 333 from your Three phone. 0333 338 1001 from any other phone. +44 7782 333 333 from overseas (standard roaming charges apply).

Use social media to speed up response times

If you're not getting the help you need then a polite request using social media often pays dividends. Three in the UK is on Twitter as @ThreeUKSupport. Help is also available on Instagram (@threeuk). Three also has a Facebook page.

Frequently asked questions

What do I do if I can’t afford to pay my bill?

Having short- or medium-term problems with your Three mobile bill isn't an insurmountable problem. Use the My3 app or your account page on the Three website to begin solving any payment problems.

Does Three operate its own broadband network?

Three owns and operates its own mobile voice and data network in the UK. This means that if you've got a technical problem, or your signal is not what it should be, then Three support staff should have all the answers for you. (Three does not offer a fixed-cable broadband network.)

How do I find out if there is a fault in my area?

Three has a status and coverage checker online. Simply go to the Three website, select Help from the top menu, and search for 'our network. On this page you will find a link to check coverage in your area. Once on the Coverage Checker page, enter your postcode and click on Network Status and you’ll be shown any local problems, along with the expected date and time for their resolutions.

What’s the difference between Three’s mobile and home broadband?

The difference between the two forms of Three broadband is really down to the hub that you purchase. Home broadband hubs with Three are more powerful and can support more devices than a MiFi device. They also require a mains power supply, whereas the MiFi is powered by a battery for portability purposes.

How can I report a lost Three device?

If your Three device is lost, the fastest way to report it is to log in to your account page on the Three website and get onto a live chat between 8am and 10pm Monday to Friday or from 9am until 8pm on Saturdays and Sundays. If this isn’t possible then call 0333 338 1001 from any phone, or +44 7782 333 333 if you are overseas.

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