* Prices may differ from that shown
I have been with Vodafone for 10 years since I was old enough to have my own contract and they have been very good however last year when I moved to my new house the 3g signal was awful and I had no internet connection on my smartphone. I don't have broadband as I refuse to pay line rental for a land line I never use and last time I had to take it out of the wall as despite my number being ex directory I was harassed constantly and even signing up for the phone preference service didn't help. I was stuck in my contract with Vodafone for another 15 months so I thought I would have to grin and bear it.
In February I was made redundant and I needed to get online to look for jobs so I bought a tablet with 3g a Google Nexus and Argos gave me a free 3 SIM card with 1gb of internet. I bought a 3g tablet as I thought I could try all the networks because even though the main ones say they cover my house for mobile internet the reality is I live on a new estate built over an old coalmine and I live in a big dip.
I was delighted when I first used my SIM to see I had a full 3g signal. My tablet was really quick. I was also thrilled to be able to watch the iPlayer and surf the web. I stuck with the SIM and topped it up for a few months before deciding 3 were the network for me. I went online and signed up for a 24 month contract for mobile broadband. I got their newest Huawei device. The credit check went through immediately online and I received my modem the next day.
I was kept up to date by 3 about the progress of my order and I got a text on the day of delivery to give me an estimated time that it would arrive.
The device was easy to set up and 3 had included a little booklet of their own showing how I could use my new device.
About 2 weeks later I received a letter stating they were hoping I was happy with the service and also detailing when my first bill would come.
I downloaded the 3 app onto my tablet and I am able to keep a check on my data and they also alert me if I am getting close to my limit of 15gb.
I received notification of my bill via email and when I logged onto my account the bill was clearly laid out and the date of payment was listed.
I have only had one dealing with customer service and that was to change my direct debit, they were helpful and the service was quick I didn't even have to wait to get through.
Overall I am very happy with my 3 experience and I love my new broadband device it means I can now go on my laptop again.
5 out of 5 from me. 3 really are the network for mobile broadband.
Switched from O2 to Three as wanted to have a PAYG service and wanted good "value for money". Three et that criteria with my usage pattern (mainly text and data).
Initial activation on Three service looked good, but when I tried to port my old mobile number to them they got it badly wrong and I ended up being unable to make calls. There problem analysis and action plan was to do a full hardware reset of my phone (clearing out all the apps I'd installed) and to get a replacement SIM card.
After doing all this I still had the problem and so decided to switch to another supplier as I needed to have a working phone. Three said I had a "known problem" and could not give me a fix time.
Then it really went bad - my phone number switched to the new supplier, but Three managed to keep my number active on Three as well, so I had to carry 2 phones with me. After 3 weeks they had still not sorted out the problem - I was ringing them every 2 days for an update and it was always "we are very sorry" and "we'll sort it out in another 2 days" (but they never did). In the end I just decided to get a new telephone number with the new supplier and leave the old number to die with messages on both voice mail systems.
Three are refusing to give me a refund - instead only offering credit on a future purchase - am escalating to ombudsman.
As far as signal is concerned, the Three signal is not too bad but is more patchy than other suppliers (especially for voice/text) as there is no 2G signal to fall back on.
I've been with 3 for a couple of years now. My main reason for this was because they have very cheap contracts that are excellent value for money. My current contract is £13 per month, and I get 300 minutes, 3000 texts, and 'all-you-can-eat' data. I really don't understand why there are so many negative reviews about 3, because with my experience with 3, I plan to stay with them for a long time.
I used to be with 3 a about 4 years ago, but I was forever changing phones so I tried different networks all the time. I went back with them over a year ago now, and compared to what the coverage was before, it is so much better now. The claim to have coverage across 97% of the country, and I can believe that. I have never had a problem with signal. I even get signal out in the countryside where most of my friends/family don't get any signal at all with T-Mobile and Vodafone. I really don't get how people can say that 3 doesn't have good coverage, because, like I said, I've never had a problem with it.
When I went on holiday to France once, I needed to set my sim up to work abroad. So, I phoned 3 from my mobile, and was told I would be put on hold. I was expecting to wait for a while like I did once with O2 (well over 20 minutes). But no, less than 10 seconds later, I was on the phone to someone at customer services who was very polite and was easy to understand. Within 45 seconds after that, my request went through and my sim was ready to be used abroad.
3 have very modern, light comfortable stores where I have encountered lots of nice staff who have helped me with some queries and concerns. The stores display dummy phones as well as phones and tablets that you can actually use. I like that because sometimes it is nice to use a phone/tablet before you buy it. It doesn't take long to make a purchase or set up a contract compared to some companies. They even give you a choice of about 20 numbers to choose from, and I have found some really great and quite funny numbers before. One of the numbers have about 6 or 7 '1s' in it!
I probably use Internet more than anything on my phone, and that is why it is handy to have completely unlimited Internet. Lots of companies say they have unlimited Internet, texts or calls, but actually, they have fair usage policies where you aren't allowed to go over a certain amount. Also, since the whole point of 3 is to have 3G connectivity, the Internet is quite fast, and if you have a very strong signal, it is often faster than my Wi-Fi at home.
If you want to view your account online, you can log into it using your phone number and password. This is called My 3. On there, you can view your remaining monthly allowance, upgrade your contract, and view your past bills and receipts. I find this very handy as it is an easy way to check my allowance and see how much my bills have been. Not like I ever really go over my allowance.
Reading my review back, it looks like I'm being very biased towards them, but I really can't think of a single complaint. I get great signal, fast internet and cheap deals!
Where to start! To start off with 3 were brilliant. I had 2 phones one for me and one for my boyfriends who during this became my ex. When we split I asked 3 to cancel his phone and make sure it was not upgraded specifically asking them to put a note on my account to this effect and gave them the one months notice required to cancel. I asked 3 to make sure he was only able to pay the bill which he was doing and nothing more. After a few starnge letters from 3 and over 32 hours of talking, well more like screaming, to their customer services department over 6 week yes 32 hours!! you guessed it he changed the number, address, upgraded and took a 24 month contract out all in my name!!! All without my permission.
Eventually I got them to agree that because I had requested them not to upgrade the phone, cancel it and because he had phoned them to do it and they let him, that 3 had frauduently allowed him to take a contract out in my name and all costs were going to have to be covered by them. The whole exercise did not cost me a penny though over 32 hours of my time.
Although 3 are a good network and the packages you get are the best out there, their customer services is by far the worst!
My recommendation is to record all calls and take everyones name you speak to and their specific location, not just India. As long as I told them they were being recorded they were happy with it. Oh and never take a phone out for anyone else. If they want one let them get it themselves :o)
I have been with 3 now for approximately 5 years, they offer excellent price plans and a good variety of phones, the best offers tend to be on the phones that have been out for approximately a year, I'm not one to have to have the most up to date phone so it is ideal for me! They offer unlimited internet at a very reasonable price which is ideal now with all the apps you can get for your phone.
The price plan that I am on gets 300 minutes/text so it doesn't matter if you text more one month or ring more the next as long as you stick to the 300 units you won't go over.
You can apply for the phones either on the internet or going into a local store.
Everything was ok with 3 till I recently moved.
The only problems I experienced when I was at my old address was the constant calls when you are due for an upgrade, I received at least 5 calls asking to upgrade my phone and when I asked why are they calling because I already had my new upgraded phone they apologised and ended the call.
When I moved I was dissapointed to find that the signal was terrible in my new house, I called 3 and they advised that it was because I had an old phone and they were now using 'Orange' phone masts, they said when i get my upgraded phone (triband) it would be fine, I'm not very clued up on these kinds of things so took there word for it!
The day came when I wasa expecting my new phone and nothing arrived so I called and they gave me my old address! I asked why on earth had they sent it there when I had provided them with my new address a month previous! They said that they only changed the billing address and not the main address!!
Eventually I received my new phone and still had a problem with the signal, I called again and they checked my post code and said there is a bad signal for my postcode! I wonder why they couldn't tell me that before I upgraded! I complained and they agreed to give me £3 a month off my bill which I suppose it better than nothing!
I do think they are a very well priced mobile provider but think the customer service is slightly dissapointing!
If you do decide to purchase from 3 I would check for yourself first if the signal works in your area because I think they would tell you it does just to get a contract out of you!
3 Mobile - Are the stories true?
Unfortunately, yes. They are!
OK, just to get one thing clear right from the start - I do not have a contract with 3, I "use" the PAYG service, but only for Skype, and I cannot comment on their Customer Service, simply because I have (fortunately) never had to use it.
I was drawn to the 3 network when I saw an advert for their Skypephone S2 - this was supplied with a free 3 SIM and promised FREE, unlimited Skype for life, even without any topping up.
It seemed too good to be true, but it is - The SIM was supplied with zero credit, but I can use the Skype client supplied on the handset to make and receive Skype calls.
I've long been a sceptic of how useful Skype really is... Fine if you're constantly yakking to friends and relatives overseas, and don't mind spending hours in front of a monitor/webcam! For me, I couldn't see much point, until I learnt that Skype calls are free on a 3 Mobile handset.
I set up a Skype account (has to be done online) and within minutes I would be able to connect a webcam and chat away online. However, with the Skypephone I started the application, put in my login details and the phone was configured to use Skype within minutes!
OK, so there is NO webcam function - at all - just Skype voice calling, but that's exactly why this service is so great. There's no need to be tethered to a PC/laptop and an internet connection just in case someone calls you using Skype! Similarly, I can use Skype when I feel like it (the limiting factor being if whoever you are calling isn't sat in front of their PC, or doesn't have a Skype enabled phone.
The best possibility is if lots of your friends and/or family have these 3 Skype mobiles, then you can theoretically call each other for free using Skype! 3 Mobile are using this service as the main drive to acquire customers, and who can blame them? My main network provider doesn't allow free Skype calls, though my main handset does have a Skype application (but I need a Wi-Fi connection to make use of it, which isn't very convenient).
So apart from Skype, what else is there to say about 3 Mobile?
Read the reviews/comments on here and elsewhere - You'll soon get a good picture of what 3 is like as a network provider! I can't comment on this, but personally I would never get a contract with 3. The PAYG service looks good value (lots of free stuff with each top up, such as 150MB data usage, free texts, free 3 to 3 minutes and obviously free Skype and Windows Messenger (which is pretty awful)). Voicemail WAS free, but it looks as if 3 will be charging for this service from now - which is a real negative, especially if you can't get a signal and end up using voicemail to listen to "missed calls"...
It all looks like good value, but I'm wary of actually committing to using their services.
This is potentially the real problem for me. 3's 3G network is patchy. Compared to the other network operators, it's OK. But a quick look at their network coverage shows that provided you're based IN a large-ish town, you'll make and receive calls for most of the time. Unfortunately, their signal strength is affected by buildings/building materials quite badly - so even if you're in an office block with "good" coverage, you might not be able to get a signal unless you're near a window.
I can see two mobile phone masts from my house. Both are less than 600 metres away. Signal strength? Sometimes I get full 3G reception, which then disappears down to no signal at all! The signal strength fluctuates even when standing still in a room!
3 "borrow" Orange's 2G network when the 3G signal isn't strong enough. Orange have very poor coverage in my area, so the lack of signal strength is compounded by this. Even in a city, I've found that a few hills and tall buildings are enough to almost kill off what little 3G/2G signal I can receive!
It's simply from this point of view that I would never risk using 3 as a network - Though obviously other areas will be different and could be much better.
I know that their network in parts of London has been upgraded recently (3 ARE committing to improving their network coverage), but unfortunately this has lead to some very lengthy outages of service.
So, to summarise - Skype on 3 is brilliant (provided that you can get a reliable signal).
Free Windows Messenger (again, no credit required) is OK if you use it, but the application is pretty awful to use and crashes far too often (which means that you can't use the phone until it closes).
The option of putting on £10 credit (£5 online) PAYG gives some pretty good "freebies" that last for 90 days is quite a bonus. I'm reluctant to try this out after reading some of the other reviews, though!
The downside from my point of view is the poor network coverage. I can't complain, because I am effectively using their network for free (Skype), but it has certainly put me off using the 3 network as a mobile network provider.
I have never quite been satisfied with the service offered by 3. Though it does boast a great Skype feature which keep me drawn in, but I'll never be able to praise it's reception. I'm focusing solely on the Skype feature and reception in this review for the purpose of using the network just for calling.
What keeps me using 3 as a network provide is solely the Skype abilities available on this network. I haven't seen another provider that offers such a good rate and as I am forever using Skype then it's just one way I manage to keep the cost of my calls down. 3 offer Skype for free as part of their Pay as you go service. At first I thought that by buying a Skype enabled 3 phone I would get to use Skype for free all the time as long as I was in credit, how wrong I was. There's a catch. In order to be able to use Skype for free all the time, you must top up £10 every month. This seems quite steep to those of you who may not use Skype so much, I for one thought it was initially, but with my family using Skype so often, and I've actually got a few of them on this deal, then we can talk for hours and hours at the expense of £10 per month. Forget needing to keep how many minutes you've got, it's unlimited for £10!
I can see however that this isn't so great if you don't use Skype. And unfortunately 3 doesn't boast a great signal so it can be temperamental at times. I actually have two phones, the Pay as you go 3 Skype phone and another on Orange which I use out and about because I can actually get some signal. This means I tend to only use my Skype phone around the house because I know I can get good signal there. It works for me, but unfortunately isn't ideal if you are going to be using your 3 phone all the time and can't rely on a backup.
I use 3 for this sole purpose, but I wouldn't if I wanted it as my main phone because I find it very hard to get signal when I'm out and about. There's so many other providers out there, and what's the point on having a portable mobile phone if you can't get signal on the move? If Skype wasn't a feature I'd not be using this provider.
When I went away to university, I wanted a contact phone so I would always have some credit (in case of emergencies and also because, lets face it, students text a hell of a lot!). I did some shopping around for the best deals, and 3 came up tops. Apparently there was also good network coverage in both where I was living, and where I would be moving to, so this was an added bonus (more on this later though!)
For my phone, I chose a £15 contract with some shiny Sony phone. And, at that point in 2007, everything was fantastic. I had no problems with my mobile at all, could call anyone straight away without any issues and it was just what I needed. However, when I went home that Christmas and had moved 10 miles down the road, my coverage was awful. I'm not even exaggerating; texts sent in the same room would take a few hours to arrive at their destinations and calls would often never go through despite them saying on the website and in-store that there was full network coverage in my area. Still though, while this was incredibly frustrating, I ignored it because the network was fine in university city and that was where it was most important.
The following summer, after coming home, there was an unfortunate incident involving a greyhound and a phone J The following day, I had to go in-store and quickly buy a new, reasonably priced one as my contract wouldn't be running out for another 6 months. Leaving there, I ended up with some Skype phone that seemed okay at the time but turned out to be the biggest rip-off of my life. As well as having to compete with the dire network, the phone sold to me quickly deteriorated and refused to accept calls (I still have no idea how many calls to me were simply eaten by 3), text messages and would turn off. Now, maybe I should have done something sooner but I knew my contract would be over soon.
When it came to changing the contract in the winter, I got a decent upgrade (not exceptional though- why oh why did I stay with them??) and, even though the network coverage was awful, it was a good phone and admittedly I'm rubbish at putting credit on a PAYG phone so this was the easiest option for me. It even got to the point where the previously good coverage in the city turned bad almost overnight, and a housemate who is on 3 also complains of exactly the same issues.
However, I think I am the lucky one in my family when it comes down to 3. Recently my parents contracts with them ran out and, despite them phoning up a month beforehand to ask for it to be terminated, the contract continued and so money continued to be taken from their bank. Eventually though, the contract was apparently cancelled and they were promised that cheques with their refunded cash would be sent within two days. A month later, still no cheques and unfortunately they had to threaten 3 with legal action for the outstanding amount of money owed to them.
I haven't had the best experience with 3 and I know that when I graduate this summer (coinciding with my contract running out- go me!), I won't be going back to them at all. The customer services have been sub par when I, and family members, have had to use them, the network is basically non-existent and the phones seem to be perpetually faulty. My advice would be to shop around for better deals, if you want a mobile phone w/contract, because 3 aren't the best around by any stretch of the imagination.
There are many different opinions about the three network, some good, some bad and some indifferent. If you had asked me a year ago I would have been inclined to say good but unfortunately my opinion has swayed.
I'm coming to the end of my second 18 month contract with the three network and I have to say it will be my last. On my second contract my phone continually give me bother. It would switch to a blank white screen in the middle of conversations. After a long time ringing their customer support I eventually got somone who old me that the phone didn't have the correct software installed. They sent me a text with a website on how the sort the problem. I argued my point that I wanted a new phone but it was a no winner.
If I pay for a contract I expect to get a professional service. If my software needed upgrading I needed to be contacted but i wasn't.
On a positive note I do belive that they offer value for money ONLY if in a good three network service area. This can be checked off their website. Also if a group of people ae on three network it can be benefitial with a number of free 3 to 3 calls.
The main problem seems to be with the telephone customer relations. When upgrading after my first contract I was offered a new deal and fone and when I rang the same girl back the next day I was told I couldn't have the phone.
My contract ends in a few months and I will shop around!!!!
3 Mobile Phone Network
For those who don't know, 3 is a mobile telephone service provider. They offer some fantastic deals (in fact, I researched this and found them to be offering the most competitive on the market around 12 months ago - though of course this may have changed by now) and you seem to be able to get loads of call time etc for your money.
They also offer a wide range of handsets and so when it came to choosing a new phone and network, I ended up going for 3.
I knew that the coverage was good in my area because Mr Siamese is with 3 and has been for some years. I am glad that I knew this and did not rely upon their "network coverage checker" though, because I know of a few people who have been a bit let down with this, claiming that while it showed them that they would have good coverage, it turned out to be quite poor.
I must point out that I am happy with my phone, and happy with my package, I get all that I need for a great price. My problems began when I had to contact customer services due to an incorrect bill. I explained the situation and why the bill was incorrect, and the woman that I talked to just didn't listen to what I was saying and kept repeating the same thing over and over again. It ended up taking 4 calls and me talking to a manager to get the problem resolved.
Since then, I also had another billing issue and again, the service was horrendous. I talked to at least 6 different people, nobody seemed to know what I was talking about and I had to repeat myself over and over again. They sounded patronising, as if I were trying to con them in some way, despite the fact that it was an error on their behalf and just kept saying the same phrases to me, as if telling me them 10 times would make me believe them! I certainly did not feel like they valued my custom, and it felt like they were blunt to the point of rudeness.
I have never been one of those people who insist on UK call centres but in this case, I genuinely feel that the quality of the customer service would improve if the centres were based over here, even if just on the basis that they would understand what I was saying and vice versa. I have noticed that the SALES team are British - cannot help wondering if that is because they are trying to sell your something!
I do recommend 3 mobile, but their customer service is awful. Every time I have heard of anyone trying to sort something out with them, they say that it has been a nightmare and I have a lot of friends who are with 3 and say that once their contract is up, they will not be renewing it. I am unsure if I will be - poor customer service really lets them down.
I haave three contracts with 3 mobile and I cannot wait to terminate them all. The phone that i use is a nokia 6500slide and i pay 20 pounds a month for 1100 mix and match minutes and 300 3 to 3 minutes. This would be great if you could actually get a signal and be able to use your minutes. I have to go upstairs to make a phone call and more often than not it takes me about 5-10 minutes for it to connect when it says i have a signal.
Also as soon as the nokia 6500s arrived i had problems with it. I sent it back and 3 sent it back to me saying it was fixed but it wasn't. when i contacted them again i was told that there was nothing else that they could do for me. so i have been stuck with this phone for nearly 18 months and it turns itself off every ten minutes and wont load my texts for upto half an hour after i have turned my phone on.
I haven't had as many problems with the other two handsets but the coverage is so poor and when i phone 3 they just rudely insist that i am wrong as there computer tells them that the coverage where i live is great. I can't wait to end my contract with 3 and go elsewhere.
A few of my '3' stories:-
I changed from PAYG to a contract phone, as it seemed the cheaper alternative. I had always used a variety of different networks on PAYG but never used 3 before however they enticed me with their cheap introductory contracts. Unfortunately I think 3 are the worse! I got hooked by the low £15 a month contract a few years ago.
The customer service via 333 on the mobile is a bit hit and miss and the in store service has been terrible with the staff having a bit of a big chip on their shoulders in my experience.
I have been with 3 for over 2 years now and I think the worst mistake I have made was renewing my last contract however I was influenced by the early upgrade offer and the idea of a brand new sparkly phone for Christmas so once again they lured me in. I received my new phone a week before Christmas and I was not impressed to look at it was the exact same phone as my previous one - I had been conned! I was fed up I never have good signal if any and they constantly annoy me with their customer survey phone calls this was the last straw I phoned customer services which is free from my mobile (as it should be) luckily this time I had a very pleasant representative who basically told me they had sent me the upgrade to my last phone which was really no better she advised me on a few good phones that she would swap for and apologised sincerely and gave me and my partner 1000 free 3 to 3 mins per month. I was happy. The return of the old phone and receipt of the new one was an easy transaction and I was pleased with my new pink u900. At £20 a month for 150 mins and unlimited texts is great for me and much cheaper than PAYG with a free phone. So I am now stuck with them for another 18 months - oh no I had done it again!
I have complained a few times about the poor network coverage over the phone and in person in store only to be asked my postcode and told that I do have coverage in my home as their computer says so - I am sure I know if I am telling the truth or not they made me feel stupid and that was their answer also concluding thy have the best coverage! I don't think so!
I signed up to their mobile internet about a year ago as they were offering it me half price as a loyalty bonus so £7.50 for 5G £10 for 10G and £15 for unlimited (which is limited to 15G?!) I thought this was a great idea as I wanted the Internet but BT wanted £120 connection fee and line rental far too expensive for me. Once again I was lured in with price! I have used customer services, which are free from 3 mobile on 555, and they were very helpful but to be fair if it worked, as it should then I wouldn't need to use this service! The network is just as bad as the phone service and is very slow. I have to stick the dongle to the window just to get 2 bars and it is not very mobile if I move I lose connection!
Another problem I encountered was when I originally signed up to the contract they illegally took money out of my bank for insurance they had added without my consent. When questioned about the money they had taken from my bank they apologised and explained it was for insurance that I hadn't asked for or even been told about in store they refunded me as a goodwill gesture however I think it was goodwill on my part that I didn't take it further.
I have 3 contracts with 3 which I will be terminating as soon as I am able to do so as I feel the service is poor and the network coverage is terrible me and my partner have to go outside the house to make a phone call which defeats the object of a mobile. I find that they phone far too much for surveys and updates which totally annoys me. With good competition on the market I will be looking elsewhere as my loyalty doesn't seem to count for much!
I do NOT recommend poor coverage and customer service does not make for happy customers!!!
I have been with 3 for about 2 years now and have just moved from a contract to PAYG. The contract I had was one of the cheapest I could find. £12 a month, but it didn't include any internet usage. It was still one of the cheapest deals I've ever had.
The range of phones is good, I wish I'd picked a phone that could do Skype, that would have saved me even more money. I got a good quality Nokia with loads of gadgets; camera, video, calendar etc. and it has lasted well.
The only problems I've had with 3 is that out in the villiage I live in I don't get the best reception ever. I can usually get online but video calling has been a problem for me. I've only actually used it once, calling from central London, but it was great. The other problem is their customer services. You always have to wait ages for an answer and when they do I find myself going round in circles trying to get the information I need within the very strict scripts that the customer services people seem stuck on.
Saying that I've just switc hed to PAYG, completely the cheapest I've found, and I'm just hoping I don't have to contact Customer services too often.
I have just begun a new contract with 3, having been with Vodafone previously.
I am on a £20 a month 18 month contract, receiving the Nokia E71 for free, together with free internet, emails, 200 free minutes, free minutes 3 to 3 and I think 1,000 texts a month.
My deal with 3 compared favourably with what other mobile companies could offer me. I was looking for a pretty mobile, to use for mostly texts and calls and the E71 seemed to fit the bill.
When I was in the 3 store there were 2 other lots of people in there and they were both complaining about the 3 network. Uh oh, not a good start. I asked the customers whether they would recommend 3 and they both said no.
Wanting to give 3 the benefit of the doubt I called some friends who are on 3 and they all said they had had no problems whatsoever. Ok, decision made, those people in the shop probably got out of the bed on the wrong side, I'm going to go ahead with it.
My main concern was that the coverage wouldn't be very good, as I need to make calls throughout the day for work. The manager processed my application and told me that I could cancel my contract within 14 days if I had problems with coverage. She told me that they piggyback the Orange network so I shouldnt have any problems at all in my area.
For the first 2 weeks or so I had no problems with coverage at all. Since then, I have only been able to complete probably 40% of the calls I have wanted to make due to "connection errors" and "no network coverage". Coincidence?
It's Saturday today so I'm off to the 3 store to become another person who is complaining about poblems with the 3 network!
So far, not so good!
I hadn't the 3 mobile network a second thought until I met my partner. I use Virgin personally and am very happy with them considering I bought my phone almost 7 years ago and have never ever had a problem with it or the network coverage. I did consider switching to 3 a year ago when I discovered my partner and I could get very cheap calls to each other, that is until he started having problems with this phone.
I forget the exact name and model of my partners phone but it's a clam shell design one made by Sony. He upgraded to this particular model a year into his contract and at first seemed very happy with it. After about 3 months though things started to go wrong, the phone would after being charged up for several hours suddenly lose all battery power and switch itself off after only a few minutes, once it happened during a call which was frustrating for him as I'm sure you'll understand.
We tried charging the phone again, letting the battery run down, not using it so much etc...but the problem remained. In the end the phone was rendered unsuable so we trotted off to our local 3 store to get it sorted, oh what fun that turned out to be.....
At first they were very apologetic and offered to return the phone to be looked at and repaired if neccessary, we waited a week then we told we could pick it up. In the store the phone seemed fine when the assistant demonstrated it and said all appeared ok now. When we got home however the problem with the battery started again so of course we had to go back to the store, again. This wouldnt have been so bad if our local store wasn't a 40 mile round trip away costing us time and money in petrol which we couldn't really afford.
The phone went back 3 times, after which the store refused to deal with us anymore claiming it was our problem and not theirs, well that's true actually as my partner was paying out each month for a service he couldn't use, how is that right?
Eventually my partner lost all paitience with 3 and sent the phone direct to the manufacturer to be restored, after which it worked perfectly and has done ever since, why couldnt the store have arranged that for us in the first place and save us all the hassle?!
My partner has vowed never to use 3 again once his current contract expires next year, sadly until the he is stuck with them as he cannot afford to buy his contract out and I certainly dont want anything to do with it. The staff at 3 were increasingly hostile towards us as we had to keep going back, in the end they wrote to my partner claiming he had been aggresive and threatened to ban him from ever going back! idiots...
My advise, steer well clear of 3, they are a bunch of cowboys who treat their customers with contempt when things go wrong.