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  • FIRST POST
    • DeV1Se
    • By DeV1Se 14th Jan 20, 6:32 PM
    • 3Posts
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    DeV1Se
    Problem with Three Mobile and Sim Only contract.
    • #1
    • 14th Jan 20, 6:32 PM
    Problem with Three Mobile and Sim Only contract. 14th Jan 20 at 6:32 PM
    Hi all, my first post on here, thought this would be as good a place as any for advice.
    My missus has been with Three Mobile on a Sim Only deal, which was not in contract and she was being charged 28 a month for unlimited 'everything'.

    However, she discovered that she wasn't using even 10GB of data every month, and due to just recently giving birth to our baby daughter, she wanted to reduce her monthly outgoings where possible, and her phone was a prime example of a bill that could be reduced or cancelled.

    She initially called in to cancel the contract, because she wasn't happy with paying 28 a month for a deal that new customers were paying only 21 a month for, she explained that she barely used her phone for calls / texts / data, as she is in the house most of the time tending to the baby and we have home WIFI to connect to. The advisor, in an attempt to prevent her from cancelling, offered her a reduced bill for 6 months, of just 10, after which it would go back up to 21 a month thereafter.

    I was present during the phone call and did not hear my partner agree to enter in to any new contract, or even be aware that a new contract was being set up as part of this process!

    The way 'Three' worded this was... 'because you've been a loyal customer to 3 for all of these years we are going to offer you 6 months at 10 per month, then 21 a month thereafter'.

    My partner had no idea that they were actually tying her in to a 24 month contract.

    I recently changed my own mobile provider from Three, and moved over to VOXI, who offer far better signal in my area. I'm now paying 10 a month and still not using anywhere near all of my data allowance. My partner had seen how happy I was with VOXI and wanted to join them too, given that 'Three' have very poor signal in our area and were nowhere near as good value for money. She called Three up to get her code to transfer her phone number over to the new VOXI SIM, only to be told that she still has 18 months of her contract to fulfil. A contract she was never made aware of. Worse yet.... had 'Three' actually cared about their customers saving money, they could've offered her any one of several 'cheaper SIM Only deals they had on at the time, as she only used around 9GB of data a month.

    My partner has an IVA, so she's unable to obtain credit until this is satisfied. She doesn't take out phone contracts because she'd get declined on them. The best she can get is a SIM Only deal on a rolling one month contract. So how are 'Three' able to set her up with a brand new 24 month deal that's going to cause her financial hardship now that she cannot cancel or downgrade the plan?

    I feel that 'Three' have been very sneaky in setting up this 24 hour contract. She has not signed anything, and did not verbally agree to / was not informed of any contract, otherwise I would've advised her against it.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Page 1
    • mobilejunkie
    • By mobilejunkie 15th Jan 20, 8:03 AM
    • 8,309 Posts
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    mobilejunkie
    • #2
    • 15th Jan 20, 8:03 AM
    • #2
    • 15th Jan 20, 8:03 AM
    She was in contract by the sounds of it - just past the minimum term. Networks don't generally change an existing contract - they "upgrade" it to a new one. As an existing customer they may not have carried out external credit checks (though I think most networks do). As an "upgrade" you don't have (as of right) the usual 14 days cooling off period for distance selling. In any case, from the identifiable facts she is now 6 months into the new contract and so any potential cooling off period is long gone. It also seems to an objective observer that she was quite happy to accept the first 6 months at a reduced rate and is now unhappy that she has entered the non-discounted period - which also (factually) was made clear at the outset. That's called a contract.

    It should have been clear that if they were offering a much reduced rate for 6 months they'd expect to recoup that with the higher rate over the full minimum term of the contract. Unless Three's t&c state otherwise she can't cancel under a cooling off period and is tied into the new contract. All the problems in her own life are hers, not the networks, and thus irrelevant. Also irrelevant is what she could have got as a new customer or with an alternative supplier. That's only really relevant when negotiating a new contract - which she didn't take advantage of at the time, merely accepting the one offered. The fact she didn't recognise it as such is unlikely to prevail.

    Has she tried discussing it with Three (apart from requesting a PAC)? Otherwise it seems to me she could make a formal complaint and if that is rejected (or after waiting 8 weeks for an outcome) go to the Ombudsman, both are which are very unlikely to succeed.
    Last edited by mobilejunkie; 17-01-2020 at 11:19 AM.
    • DeV1Se
    • By DeV1Se 15th Jan 20, 12:11 PM
    • 3 Posts
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    DeV1Se
    • #3
    • 15th Jan 20, 12:11 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Jan 20, 12:11 PM
    We are well aware that she’s well out of her cooling off period..... our gripe is the fact that she was never informed that this would be a new contract, she called to cancel with Three completely and go elsewhere, so they offered her a reduced bill of 10 and then said they’d move her package in line with what other customers are getting after 6 months.
    The important thing here is that she did not ask for a new contract and she was not informed of a new contract.
    I personally think that tying a customer into 2 years for a SIM Only deal is ridiculous, she could’ve got herself a new handset within that price from many places.

    Three were very sneaky about this..... even when I went to cancel with them a few months ago, they offered to reduce my bill to 10 for 3 months, then I’d pay 18 thereafter. I explained I didn’t need all of that data but they had no interest in offering me one or their cheaper deals. But, because it was a reduction in price I almost accepted, but decided to ask first ‘is this a new contract’ seeing as I was on a rolling one month contract already, and that’s when he finally confirmed it.

    I promptly cancelled my SIM with them and moved to VOXI. So if you ask me, Three are trying to dupe customers who want to leave them by offering reduced rates for a few months, not mentioning it’s a new contract and trapping their customers. It’s misleading to say the least.
    • mobilejunkie
    • By mobilejunkie 15th Jan 20, 12:28 PM
    • 8,309 Posts
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    mobilejunkie
    • #4
    • 15th Jan 20, 12:28 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Jan 20, 12:28 PM
    Can't see where either of you were "duped". They offered a reduced cost for the first x months - did you really think you could then leave to get a better deal? How could it not be a new contract?
    • DeV1Se
    • By DeV1Se 15th Jan 20, 6:31 PM
    • 3 Posts
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    DeV1Se
    • #5
    • 15th Jan 20, 6:31 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Jan 20, 6:31 PM
    Well, for a start..... when the words '24 month contract' were never uttered once during the call, and only an explanation that the bill would be reduced to 10 for 6 months, then yes, it is 'duping' somebody.



    She was not informed at any point during the call that there was a new contract being set up, or what the contract length would be.

    To be honest, I feel like I'm just arguing with 'Three' here, as it seems others feel that this sort of underhanded behaviour is acceptable. Companies should be forced to be much clearer when 'retaining' their unhappy customers by clearly stating that a new contract is being set up, instead of offering them a cheap rate to get them to stay with the company, whilst on the sly they're keeping hold of an already unhappy customer for another 2 years.

    Solution is simple really. We never spend another penny with Three, and everybody we know will get to hear about our bad experiences with them.
    • mobilejunkie
    • By mobilejunkie 16th Jan 20, 8:50 AM
    • 8,309 Posts
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    mobilejunkie
    • #6
    • 16th Jan 20, 8:50 AM
    • #6
    • 16th Jan 20, 8:50 AM
    Well, for a start..... when the words '24 month contract' were never uttered once during the call, and only an explanation that the bill would be reduced to 10 for 6 months, then yes, it is 'duping' somebody.



    She was not informed at any point during the call that there was a new contract being set up, or what the contract length would be.

    To be honest, I feel like I'm just arguing with 'Three' here, as it seems others feel that this sort of underhanded behaviour is acceptable. Companies should be forced to be much clearer when 'retaining' their unhappy customers by clearly stating that a new contract is being set up, instead of offering them a cheap rate to get them to stay with the company, whilst on the sly they're keeping hold of an already unhappy customer for another 2 years.

    Solution is simple really. We never spend another penny with Three, and everybody we know will get to hear about our bad experiences with them.
    Originally posted by DeV1Se
    I'm sure "everyone" will heed your warnings - though I can't exactly see many "others" feel any element of "underhandness". It's basically just a consumer not checking what they are agreeing to, waiting until they've had the benefit of 6 months' reduced cost and then complaining about paying the rest (which they plainly agreed to).

    If you fell differently, go down the complaint route and see where it gets you. I would add that implying I'm on their side is as credible as saying she/you didn't know what you were getting into, since I am extremely critical of most companies and have sued some mobile dealers multiple times (I always win, but then I have a case when I do).
    Last edited by mobilejunkie; 16-01-2020 at 8:53 AM.
    • phoenix1837
    • By phoenix1837 16th Jan 20, 10:42 AM
    • 69 Posts
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    phoenix1837
    • #7
    • 16th Jan 20, 10:42 AM
    • #7
    • 16th Jan 20, 10:42 AM
    At some point over those 6 months you/she would have had an email about the deal, or at least the bill (paper copy or electronic via the 3 app) which would have stated the contract and you would've been able to see the contract end date. Ignorance is not a defence unfortunately.
    • sal_III
    • By sal_III 17th Jan 20, 10:47 AM
    • 1,768 Posts
    • 1,642 Thanks
    sal_III
    • #8
    • 17th Jan 20, 10:47 AM
    • #8
    • 17th Jan 20, 10:47 AM
    Well, for a start..... when the words '24 month contract' were never uttered once during the call, and only an explanation that the bill would be reduced to 10 for 6 months, then yes, it is 'duping' somebody.



    She was not informed at any point during the call that there was a new contract being set up, or what the contract length would be.

    To be honest, I feel like I'm just arguing with 'Three' here, as it seems others feel that this sort of underhanded behaviour is acceptable. Companies should be forced to be much clearer when 'retaining' their unhappy customers by clearly stating that a new contract is being set up, instead of offering them a cheap rate to get them to stay with the company, whilst on the sly they're keeping hold of an already unhappy customer for another 2 years.

    Solution is simple really. We never spend another penny with Three, and everybody we know will get to hear about our bad experiences with them.
    Originally posted by DeV1Se
    Obviously none of us have listened to the call you had with Three. But most other peoples experience is different from yours.

    In my case it was a bit different as I was the one who called to move to the cheaper tariff for new customers so was aware i'm entering into a new contract, but I'm fairly sure the fact was mentioned on the phone by the agent. I also got an e-mail with all the details, T&Cs etc. Fairly sure your wife got that too but ignored what's in it.

    The retention teams job is to do everything in their power to keep you on as a customer. But they are usually well versed in how to bamboozle you enough to slip in all the facts in the conversation without you actually noticing. I suspect that if you have a chance to listen to the recording the key facts are going to be in it.

    Is it possible that the way they lead the conversation and 6+ months of time passed since then, have left you with the false impression that no contract was mentioned?

    How did you think the 10/m for 6 months and 21/m will be handled if not with a contract, especially when she was already in a contract. Why agree to anything if she had her mind set on VOXI already, instead of just sticking to your guns and asked for the PAK code there and then?
    • Herongull
    • By Herongull 17th Jan 20, 7:38 PM
    • 1,345 Posts
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    Herongull
    • #9
    • 17th Jan 20, 7:38 PM
    • #9
    • 17th Jan 20, 7:38 PM
    If she agreed only to the rate change then the other conditions stay the same.
    So if it was a rolling monthly contract then it stays a monthly rolling contract.

    In any case they don't do 24 month SIM only contracts anymore.
    • d123
    • By d123 18th Jan 20, 12:34 AM
    • 8,100 Posts
    • 5,289 Thanks
    d123
    In any case they don't do 24 month SIM only contracts anymore.
    Originally posted by Herongull
    Have you let Three know they don't do 24 month sim only?

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