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Problems with '3' - not to be confused with 3G!

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..heres how my story goes.:evil:


I bought a phone contract (along with a decent phone and a decent package) in the middle of November. Just over two weeks later it developed problems so i sent it away to be 'repaired'.One week later it came back with nothing done to it. So i called ****ing India to complain who suggested i send it away again ...i refused saying that 'they'd blown their chance....and if i didnt get a replacement i'd cancel the contract. The usual yik-yak started ...i.e. you cant cancel the contract sir without paying £8m pound for the rest of the contract.

So i cancelled the direct debit. Two weeks later they caught on and cancelled usage of the phone.AND sent me a bill for the following month (which of course i couldnt use!) I've tried agin today offering to pay for the time i've used the phone if i get a replacement . They of course refused saying 'We Cant do that Sir'. I said i havnt been bleedin Knighted so dont call me Sir and if you dont get me a phone that works I'll consider the Contract closed.


Any advice anyone on where i stand please? :?

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A thought - if the phone wasn't working, how were you aware they canceled usage? Even if you have the phone turned on and not making or received calls, 3UK will know the status of your handset - and for that matter, your location. If you're asserting the phone wasn't working, just make sure it wasn't.


Irrespective of your contract, the Sale of Goods Act covers the phone, so whilst they supposedly get their opportunity to replace the handset (not repair) if they did not, you can reject it. YOu have to show you are being reasonable, so writing to their Glasgow HQ and saying you have no problem with completing your contract when they provide a replacement handset, a new one. If this is not done within 28 days, you will consider they do not wish you as a customer, and you will formally request termination of your contract due to the non-provision of a viable handset.

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Hi Buz, thanks for your reply. I know they cancelled usage because they wrote and told me at the same time as reminding me I hadnt paid the bill! Clever people.

Here is the letter i sent to '3' Scotland and two of their Directors today (addresses I got off this brilliant website:

Today I have received a bill for a phone I cannot use. The phone stopped working properly in November, shortly after I started the contract. (Enclosed

letter explains-

To '3' and Directors.

From :

My Address

My email address

Dear Sir,Madam,

I wish to complain at the diabolical service I have received at the hands of ‘3’. I have a LG U890 phone. It has been nothing but problems since I got it (from LetsTalk, Peartree Rd, Derby phone number). I give a breakdown of events relating to the breakdown of the phone :

Tuesday 28th November

I phoned the number given in the handbook 333.after explaining the problem- “the light on the front of the phone is permanently on causing only two hours of battery life and the graphics screen has a large shadow on it” - I was told (by ‘Samantha’) that the phone would be picked up the following day.

Wednesday 29th November

Phone picked up by Parceline. I spoke to the Call centre where I was promised (by ‘Richard Gamadia’ and I reiterate promised it would be back by Friday.

Friday 30th November

I phoned (again) to confirm that the phone had indeed been repaired and it was on its way back to me that day. Shivkumar assured that the phone ‘has passed Quality Control Sir and is on its way to you today…before 5.30pm’. I asked him to check this because I finish work at 4pm and did not want to wait around for nothing! He assured me again.

4.30pm – Still no phone. I phoned up ‘3’ to ask for a Parcel line consignment number so I could phone Parcel Line to see where the phone was. Paresh told me that it had NOT passed Quality Control was NOT on its way and he confirmed that the previous telephonist had indeed been lying.

Tuesday 5th December

Phone arrives.phone still blatantly faulty. A letter in it which said ‘ we could not find any fault with the phone’. In my opinion the phone had’nt been looked at.

I phoned up ‘3’ again to complain about the shoddy Customer Service and to insist I want a replacement phone. After explaining to a Mr. Gerard Nunes that I had sought Advice on the subject and stated my requirements ..again…he retorted that ‘ I am a Solicitor’ and told me that it is IMPOSSIBLE to have a replacement phone .

This is the current state. I have a mobile phone which is not in the condition of which I bought it and indeed wish to use it.

I hope that you will enter into a sincere dialogue with me about this matter and I am writing this letter to you on the assumption that you will prefer to do this than merely respond with standard letters and leaflets.

I will give you 14 days to reply to me in a positive manner conducive to my needs .

If you do not respond, or you do not respond positively, within this time period, I shall send you a letter before action giving you a further 14 days in which to reflect.

Yours Faithfully,


To date, January 2nd. I’ve had no response. I’ve just called Customer Services 13.00 (Preetika) with no decent answer.

Subsequently the phone was cut-off ...I'm not sure what date since i'm unable to use it but it hasnt been used since 19th December. However ive just been billed up until January 19th. Why? I cannot use the phone it is both damaged and cut-off! This of course will not be paid since you are charging me for something you are not providing. I require a replacement Handset and a rectified bill which I more than willing to pay as long as it is fair and accurate, excluding the time I've been unable to use it, which of course includes the week it was in for 'repair'.

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Will do. Although I'm not holding my breath to be honest, their reputation of replying by mail is lousy. I wish now I'd implied the bit about cancelling my contract since they do not wish me to be a customer etc etc.....

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They really are imbeciles......i've had a letter through :I quote: " We tried to call you Mr Beard, but couldnt contact you" ... of course they couldnt contact me! They disconnected the phone- idiots. Just as i told them in the letter. AND they phoned me up to verify my 'details' so they could RESPOND to an email! - Idiots, idiots...

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...oh on the same letter they tell me I am 'still liable for your monthly line rental while my services are restricted" - i.e. i have to pay monthly rental whilst they disconnect me! - Someone please tell this cant be true!

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Yes they can, but only if you've still got a contract with them for service, and they've restricted it for non-payment. If you're outwith your contract term, you can serve notice on them of cancellation, but ths usually means you pay for 1 month's notice, whether you get service or not.

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Ok, buzby. Thanks for your reply. Can i explain my 'non-payment' (i cancelled my DD) was because the bill was totally wrong-

i.e. The phone had been in for repair with them for a portion of the month....and I had endless phone calls and letters requesting them to adjust the bill according to what it should be. Does this make a difference?

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It does in a way, but I appreciate you not taking it on board. What you are effectively saying is, if your car goes faulty you demant a pro-rata discount from the Government for Road Tax because of your inability to use it. Well, we know that's not going to happen.


With the mobile networks, the issue is blurred, because your actually signing up for service for the SIM card, NOT the phone. If the phone goes faulty, you could pop the SIM in a different phone and carry on as before with the same number etc etc etc.


So, the fact your phone wasn't working doesn't mean your account was disabled in any way. The phone would be repaired under warranty or replaced with a new one and a new contract, but your service remained active UNLESS they suspended it for another reasone. Orange used to provide a 'hot standby' to their early customers, for the 1st year so they didn;t have this problem, but that idea was made charable and then folk didn't use it.


So, if you push them they might make a goodwill gesture if they see no activity on the account due to your lack of a handset, but it would be at their discretion, as most folk have a spare handset somewhere they can use or borrow until the replacement arrives.

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Thanks for your reply.Very much appreciated. Let me reiterate that they restricted use of the phone- cut me off- so i dont think using the sim card in another phone would help. They cut me off because i refused to pay for time the phone was in for repair. So '3' are trying to charge me for the time THEY cut me off- surely not right....and of course for the time the phone was in for repair.

As I understand it :- '3' sold me a contract (which the Phone is an integral part of), then shortly after the phone becomes faulty. They are obliged (Sale + Supply of Goods to Consumers Act 2002) to repair /replace faulty goods, particularly goods that are faulty within the first 6 months -unless they can prove the purchaser is at fault(Burden of Proof on the Seller).

Now, in my case, '3' have refused to replace the phone.Full Stop. So they ARE obliged to repair it. They've had one chance.Blew it. It's reasonable to give them another chance- which I am doing.

The car analogy doesnt work since the car and Road Tax are not part of the same deal. Phew ! please let me know your oppinions.

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I hear what you say, but one wrong doesn't make a right. If you put the SIM in another phone you would still be making calls and I assume paying the bills. Because the phone was away for repair, you cannot reasonably use this as an excuse not to pay the bill for the reasons I outlined earlier, so it is because you didn't pay the bill that service was restricted (and you were under an obligation to do so, irrespective of the status of the phone). There is a slight chance you can get them to make a goodwill gesture, and it is best to do this in writing to Glashow than in a phone call to India, they have no discretion. Hopefully it will resolve itself, but I would at least expect you would have to pay your monthhly line rentalm BUT because you had no phone, they would give you a credit for being unable to use any bundled minutes or texts, NOT have the entire account suspended.

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Hi All,

Not entirely sure where you stand, as the phone forms part of the consideration of the contract its failure and their refusal to replace etc may well have come under the appropriate consumer protection legislation (or indeed common law) which you should seek qualified legal advice for (CAB, legal clinic etc.).


As for 3 customer services, forget them. I have been dealing with them now for nearly two years over £12.50. In the end they passed me on to a debt collection agency, who I had far more joy with took the amount to be in dispute and supplied evidence to them. They then passed this info on to 3 who agreed with me at last and it all appeared to go away. However, they have just sent me an invoice for £1.26 (of the £12.50) for some reason which they cannot explain and I fully expect to have to go the same route.


Whilst the last is of no great use to you, it can be reassuring to know that you are not alone in your frustration with them nor have you been targetted for awful customer service.


Please keep us informed.

LBA Issued against Halifax (2 accounts) 02/02/07

Still waiting for info on Halifax CC (due 16/02/07)

Contemplating action against NatWest (more than 6 years)

Contemplating action against Direct Auto Finance (PPI mis-sold)



Rec'd info (incomplete) from Halifax 02/02/07


Any opinions or arguments I state are purely my own personal opinions and are given purely in the spirit of debate, argument and personal information. If you are in any doubt as to your legal position you should always seek professional advice. Of course, always look for free professional advice from appropriate organisations:).


If you are in Kent, check out the law clinic run by the University of Kent at Canterbury and also at Medway.

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The contract a user has to agree to for a SIM card is the same as that when purchasing a mobile, the only difference I've been able to spot is the service term. The handset is simply an access mechanism to reach the services offered by the network, therfore a non working handset does not automatically absolve the user from making payments, as the 'key' to the service is the SIM, not the phone. As for a CAB offering qualified legal advice, I know of none who operate this way, invariably a disclaimer on responsibility is the first thnig you are told before they hear your cliam.

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I had the same problems with '3' and an LG phone, it ended up with us having the phone sent off to be repaired three times in the years contract. Each time I ensured that they rebated the line rental for the period for which I did not have the phone, they didn't like it but agreed in the end. Have since upgraded to a Nokia, and have not had any further problems, but be warned, their delivery on upgrades is a nightmare, it took 6 weeks for the upgrade to arrive despite many verbal promises from them !!


Interestingly the courier who collected it did comment on the amount of LG returns he had to do on a regular basis.


I wouldnot have recommended cancelling your D/D as far as I can see you are now in breach of contract...



Lloyds TSB (1) Statements received

LLoyds TSB (2) Statements Received

LLoyds TSB (3) Statements received

Halifax Credit Card (1) Statements received

Halifax Credit Card (2)

SARS request Sent

RBOS (Halifax) Credit Card (3) SARS has Elapsed, on 54 days now

Barclaycard - Goodwill offer of £264.00 :mad:

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I'm contacting the Directors ,directly. We'll see what happens.As I remember sometimes with contract Law it depends upon how the Judge perseives the case. Particularly as I've got the Consumer Regs. on my side (above). Either way, they sold me a phone thats faulty! Without it, the contract is useless. After all why should I go and replace the phone (that they supplied) with my own? Not a chance. Watch this space.

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Just a point to consider.


Did you get your phone free? If you didn't pay, you may find that you are NOT covered by the Sales of Goods Act. (ie no consideration from you, no contract and hence no consumer protection)


Depending on how you purchased your setup e.g at a high street retailer, any contract for the phone is between you and the retailer (assuming you paid for it) and a seperate contract is in place with the network provider.


I have been advised that part exchanging an old phone towards a new free handset is considered consideration as far as contract law is concerned.


I have confirmed with Trading standards that this whole matter regarding 'free' phones is a very grey area in law.


If you have not paid for the phone, possibly the only remedy you have is the warrenty.


Of course, if you got the phone from 3 direct along with the contract you could legally argue that the free phone was a 'provision of the contract'.



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