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Three is doubling mobile tariff prices, and customers are furious



Three is about to hike up mobile costs for many of its loyal customers.

Mobile users were left outraged after it emerged that Three is planning to force so-called ‘legacy’ customers onto new tariffs.

Three users on a number of mobile plans will be automatically reassigned to a new tariff with just 30 days’ notice.

The move affects a number of tariffs, including the All You Can Eat (AYCE) plan, which gives customers unlimited minutes, data, texts, and tethering for £15 per month. Three stopped offering AYCE in mid-2014, but many customers are still on monthly rolling deals with the tariff.

Customers on that plan are given 30 days to choose a new plan, or they’ll automatically be placed on the closest existing plan to £30 a month.

One of the best options is a £33 per month deal that no longer includes unlimited tethering, which is now restricted to 12GB a month – at over double the cost of the original plan.

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Speaking to TrustedReviews, Pádraig McGarrigle, Corporate Communications Manager, said the plans affected were "phased out about 18 months ago", and that "there are lots of other plans which customers can move to".

Three also provided us with the following statement:

“In March 2014, we introduced new price plans giving customers more options in the size of their data and voice bundles, as well as limits and alerts to prevent bill shock. We have a lot of tariffs that we no longer sell and moving customers to one of the new plans will ensure they can enjoy the benefits of these plans.”

If you’re affected by the change, you will receive – or may have already received – a letter detailing the proposal.

The change was first publicised by journalist Jonathan Morris, who posted the letter he received to Twitter.

Check out the letter below:

Of course, the changes have left many Three customers angry and confused. Unsurprisingly, a large number of Three users have taken to Twitter to vent their anger.

Here’s a round-up of the fallout:

We've contacted Three for a statement on the matter, and we'll update this article with any response.

Are you affected by Three’s tariff shake-up? Let us know in the comments.


January 29, 2016, 4:56 pm

Misleading half-truth click-bait headline. Journalism at its worst.


January 29, 2016, 5:36 pm

Yeah have to agree with toboev, bit of a click-baity headline.

I might be affected by this; I have their old top-of-the-line SIM-only plan with unlimited tethering. No letter yet, but they might have my old address. If they change it I'll go elsewhere.


January 29, 2016, 5:50 pm

im on the unlimited too, will leave if they change as their signal sucks where i live


January 29, 2016, 11:41 pm

I gave notice to them two weeks ago, you would find it hard to believe the lies they told to prevent my departure.
This one is a beauty;
"If you request a PAC code one day before the last day of your contract, your account then stays open for a further thirty days".

Yes! I was rude and phoned Ofcom immediately after.

Where I live, their 4G is feeble, I actually disable it to get faster speeds on H+.
With EE, same location, I get ten times faster 4G for nearly half the Three cost!

They have bragging rights to 4G/LTE and other services but can't deliver like the matured companies, they were only just okay two or so years ago when they were cheaper, sometimes.


January 30, 2016, 10:48 am

"We have a lot of tariffs that we no longer sell and moving customers to
one of the new plans will ensure they can enjoy the benefits of these

The Orwellian twist imparted to the phrase "ensure they can enjoy the benefits" seems calculated to hack off customers. The suits that write that double-speak must have their heads so far up their corporate arses if they believe that this is about spreading enjoyment and benefits to the customers.

Noel Grundy

January 30, 2016, 1:56 pm

I'd have thought they would have to wait till the end of your contract, but basically can charge you what ever they feel the going rate it. £15 sound amazingly cheap for the service your getting.


January 30, 2016, 10:28 pm

Basically the One Plan was used to grow the customer base. You really couldn't go wrong with it - 2000 mins, 2000 texts, 5000 3to3 mins, unlimited data, unlimited tethering...all for £15. Loads of people jumped on, hammered the network and now 3 want to free up bandwidth and increase profit. No other carrier offers anything comparable AFAIK.

Andrew Macgregor

March 1, 2016, 11:26 am

You know, I wouldn't have minded if they had said something like "Unfortunately due to an ever increasing rise in data demand, we are no longer able to support cheap unlimited data plans, therefore we regret to inform you that from the 4th April 2016 the data allowance on your existing plan will be capped to 8GB per month. Your plan will not change in price". At least then, I'd have thought "ok, I can understand that and it's still a well priced plan"; but to turn around and almost double the price of the plan without providing loyal customers any option of a similarly priced and spec'd plan but with a capped (yet reasonable 8GB to 12GB) data allowance and then act as if everything is well in the world is just plain wrong and a really good way to lose customers! I've been a customer with Three for the last 15 years - both my wife and I have phone contracts with them... but after the letter I just received I can quite confidently say that we'll be going elsewhere! Three no longer have any reasonably priced plans that I'd be interested in - if they'd wanted to keep us as customers then they'd have offered something reasonable. Very disappointed.

Matt Pengelly

March 6, 2016, 7:37 pm

I've been a Three customer for nearly 11 years (in june). And although I had issues over that time overall I was satisfied as the offering was good. A few years ago I was called to inform there was a better plan "the one plan" after considering I agreed to change and began paying £36.00pm.
The best thing about this was unlimited data and tethering as where I live conventional broadband speeds are terrible. And loved having the flexibility that this plan offered. Fast forward to 15th June 2015 when my contract was due. I was informed that they no longer did the one plan and instead the nearest plan available was 68.00pm with a handset or 30.00 for sim only. I complained to the ceo office as I was being asked to pay double for less. I was told that the tarriff had been removed as they wanted to invest in making a better company of customer like using your phone abroad like at home and 0800 numbers. I informed that some customer may like the use of abroad function but not me as I don't use my phone abroad and as for 0800 numbers all UK operators now have to offer this. I was then told that they where competitive and would not move. I informed that they actually where not and pointed to Ee who offered 20g for less voda 20gb for less and then Giffgaff. But again I was sharply told of you do not like it move. So that bring me to the next issue. Three informed that 68.00 was due to the handset I choose. This simple was not true as I did some calculations.......... I took away the 30 for the same tarriff but some only. That led 38pm I then multiplied by 24 months and added the upfront cost for the handset. Doing this meant I was paying more than 100.00 than what the handset was actually worth. This I feel is not being fair to their customers as nowhere in any terms does the company state they would charge you any interest for the phone and so you are paying more for an item then it is actually worth. I am no expert but unless you feel that this is an investment and one day it would be worth more I do not understand how three can get away with this without informing customers that infact an interest to be charged. Yes I know many will just say move but I feel trapped as three still offer unlimited data just not tethering and yes for a lot more. You speak to three and all they are interested in is trying to get you to except an iPhone or change to a plan that obviously does not met my needs. Three have its loyal customers over a barrel. What it not of been better to look at the data they hold and for certain customer keep them on the one plan even if I had to pay more I would be happy with this. To think data costs is fixed, it is not like a call charge that will increase the more you use it. Shame there is nothing more on the Internet to try and get the thousands of affected customers to try and do something.
Sorry for the rant


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