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I recently became a Three PAYG customer because it’s new 321 tariff is just what I was looking for. And no other mobile phone network in the UK offers a similar thing. (Why?!!)

Okay anyway, I had my old O2 number ported over to Three. First I had to install the new Three PAYG micro SIM into my LG Google Nexus 4 phone. Now I just bought this phone like 2 months ago and I … to say that I love it would be an understatement. Because I just think this is a wonderful phone. But anyway, I digress. So I put the new Three micro SIM in my phone, activated the SIM, then filled in the online form on Three’s website to have my old O2 number ported over to my new Three PAYG account.

Well everything went just fine. Number was ported within 24 hours and after trying to call/text to/from my phone, with my old number, everything was a-okay. However… whenever I try to access my phone status to see what my own number is, it displays the original Three number on the new Three PAYG SIM. It does not show my old O2 number at all – not after the number-porting had taken place.

I tried switching the phone on and off dozens of times, left it alone for 1 whole day, and nope. Nothing happened. Still did not display my old O2 number which had been ported over successfully.

And I started Googling for what the answer might be, and found that this is an issue which doesn’t seem to have been mentioned much. I managed to find about 2 forum posts which mention this same issue with the Nexus 4. Not sure if it’s a problem with the phone itself, or the SIM. Or even the mobile phone network. I suspected it must be my phone.

So I posted my own forum post about this, asking for advice. Only one person answered me and adviced me to call Three and ask Three about this. So I did.

I did today. And what a weird experience it was. And this does not reflect well on the company, alright.

First I got through to what must be an Indian call centre’s technical support team. He had an Indian accent but not too thick and I found that if I really focus on what he was saying, I understood maybe 98% of it. So that wasn’t an issue.

He seemed helpful. He looked into the problem for me, and then deduced that it would be solved by sending me a replacement SIM for my phone. How?? I don’t know. I really don’t understand how it works. But he tried to explain it to me. Basically, in the past, they’ve had such issues with customers who owned iPhone 4. They would port their numbers over to Three and then report that their iPhone 4 would not display the old number as the phone’s own number, even after successful porting. The solution that seemed to work was to send them replacement SIMs. He said he’s never heard of the LG Google Nexus 4 having such issues before, but it sounds like a similar issue and a replacement SIM might fix the problem.

So he got it all on the system, arranged for a replacement SIM to be sent out, and then at the end of the phonecall, he said he was going to transfer me to a colleague of his who will just be letting me know of some good Three deals. I did think at the time that I wasn’t really interested in more deals because I’ve done my research on Three prior to picking them as my new carrier, and I know all the deals they have currently. But I thought hey maybe if they make it quick, I’m fine with it. Since he was so helpful and all and seemed to be able to resolve my issue with experience.

So he said bye to me before transferring me over, but he said bye in a really weird way. He said it like 3 times, and he was saying it in like a mimicky girly voice. It was creepy to say the least. And really just downright weird. You could hear he was faking that voice and raising his voice so it sounded more girly. IT WAS JUST WEIRD, DUDE!! On the other hand, he may have been mocking me. Because he knew the next few minutes of my life would be well and truly wasted pointlessly, as a result of what he did.

Anyway, when the call went through to his colleague, a guy with a really thick northern UK accent – I’m guessing either Irish or Scottish – answered. And he was straightaway saying to me “Hello, you’ve reached the Sales team. How can I help you today? What is your query regarding?”

And something in me just told me this didn’t seem right. That colleague of the Indian call centre guy doesn’t even sound like he even was aware his colleague had passed my call through to him, let alone know what this was all about!

And so I was like… “The guy I was speaking to just now forwarded me here. He sorted out my problem and arranged for a replacement SIM to be sent out to me, and then he said you had some deals to tell me about?”

The sales team guy was like “Oh okay…” and then launched into some sales pitch about the kind of products they have for me. SIM-only deals. Which I already know all about and had decided they were not the most cost-effective for me because I hardly ever text or call most times, and I know my 321 PAYG top up of £10 would last me 3 months (because the top up never expires) but if I went on a SIM-only rolling contract, it would cost me more than £10 in 3 months for sure, since the cheapest deal was £6.90 per month and you were forced to pay £6.90 every month regardless of how much you use.

It felt stupid and pointless. I explained to him why I didn’t need it. He understood. And he started asking if maybe someone from my family would benefit from a SIM-only rolling contract. I said no, because my husband has a mobile contract paid for by his work, and I have 3 little kids who have no need for any rolling contract plans.

Then he started going on about 3G-only Data plans. Oh my god. Please spare me, I thought to myself. I really don’t need any of this. And I started explaining to him that I don’t need this because I hardly ever use 3G outdoors normally. I tend to use only Wifi anyway.

And then he prattled on about stuff. Really inconsequential stuff that is an extension of his sales pitch padded out so the phonecall would last 5 minutes. Jeez. I don’t know why I stayed on the phone until he decided enough was enough and put an end to it and bid me farewell. I guess, I was just too “nice” to hang up rudely. But one thing I did make sure to say to him was how ridiculous I found the entire phonecall from start to finish. I explained to him what the Indian call centre guy did (including the mocking girly way of saying bye to me before transferring the call to him).. and the fact that when he picked up he clearly wasn’t expecting the call at all, which made the whole thing seemed really farcical and a complete waste of my time. 5 minutes of my life that I will never get back.

For fuck’s sake, Three. You could do a better job of training your sales and technical advisers to speak to your clients respectfully and sensibly. Don’t waste their fucking time and don’t fucking do weird things like that.

It left a rather bad taste in my mouth.

Thank goodness I am only on PAYG with Three. God knows how awful it can be to be stuck in some kind of a contract with this lot. Just try Googling and you’ll see lots of complaints from Three customers and ex-customers about Three’s lack of customer service. I read all of that before I decided to jump ship to Three. I never even though that even as a PAYG customer, I would have to get involved with their customer service like this, and only days after I’ve joined them. I never knew that I would have such an issue crop up on my phone (where the phone status refuses to show my old O2 number which has been successfully ported over to Three). If only I knew…

I suppose if the replacement SIM works out fine and all goes to plan, I may never have to deal with Three’s customer service for the rest of my life, seeing that as a PAYG customer, I am free to leave or stay as I please. The only time I’d have to use their “customer service” again would be if I had to obtain a PAC code from them if I decide to switch mobile phone networks again.

But for now, I don’t think I’m switching. I love the tariff rate of the PAYG plan I’m on, I love how it fits my lifestyle so well. No running contract means I can pull out at anytime I get sick of them. And the 3G and phones/texts services are all working well on it so far. Well, it’s not perfect. In my home, the 3G reception is like a medium reception bordering on weak. But it’s no worse than O2, which I used to have. Nor is it worse than Vodafone, which I used to have also. In fact I have to say that Three’s reception actually seems a teeny bit stronger than O2 and definitely stronger than Vodafone.

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