Does anyone use Three mobile network?

I’ve used a Three SIM, topping up roughly monthly for ages, this gave unlimited calls/texts and a few GB of data for 30 days which was adequate.

Three did some kind of system update just over a month ago which has messed things up and I was shifted to a new tariff which on the face of it gave more data for the same price. Functionality was flakey early last month but I managed to purchase the call/text/data bundle after topping up with a voucher.

Despite increased data allowance the speeds were dire and calls often failed.

I have never registered the SIM with Three via an app (probably bought it at a supermarket) and have had few issues buying the ‘package’ every 30 days, though they did at one stage try to route any attempts through to a call centre.

I have managed to top-up again today, but the only menu options seem to be for data rather than calls/texts/data, and standard call rates are pretty expensive.

Rather annoyed about this change which came without any warning as they seem to send plenty of texts otherwise and have been happy to take my money for years.

Oddly, 2 other Three SIMs in the family group remain on the ‘old system’.

I have to wonder if they’ve simply completely borked their ‘upgrade’.

Never been good asking for PAC codes, presumably I could still do so? Strongly thinking of taking my custom elsewhere.

To get your PAC code, text PAC to 65075. You’ll get it within 60 seconds.

I moved to Lebara recently, and am paying £6.90 for 12GB, unlimited calls and texts, and 100 minutes of international calls. The full bundle can be used in Europe too, which is mainly why I got it. It was a special deal via Money Saving Expert, with a £40 gift card after six months.


Thanks for that HH, I’ve been meaning to change providers for ages, but dislike change as you’ve probably noticed.

Just had a fairly productive online chat with them, saying I did not want to register my/family details as I simply wanted to top up via the voucher system which has worked fine for years.

The adviser managed to push through the call/text/data pack after I supplied the number without requiring me to register any details which was nice, but I did have to ‘anonymise’ my details with fictitious ones to start the chat (or so it seemed).

So I guess I’m back up and running for 30 days from the credit I had available, but if data speeds/call issues I had last month continue to be poor I’ll likely migrate to another provider entirely. Something of a compromise using a single provider for family SIMs too as some work better at home vs school/workplace than others.

Thanks again - I’ll make a note of that - I assume it’s same number for all providers?

That Libera deal sounds excellent - unlimited calls/texts/10GB data is what I’ve been ‘upgraded’ to for £10, 4GB data previously for the same price.

I’d not heard glowing things about Three in the past in terms of customer support and frequent calls to try to get you to sign-up for various plans, so have avoided doing so partly due to privacy concerns. I’ll have had formal contracts with most of the main providers in the past.

What this really brought home to me was how essential a mobile number is to authenticate so many online web pages, and with some it’s tricky to specify additional non-landline numbers.

It’s the same for all providers. Lebara runs off Vodafone and has wifi calling, so if the signal isn’t great in the house it still works. I was previously with Giffgaff, which doesn’t do wifi calling and only lets you take 5GB to Europe. Change networks is an absolute doddle these days.


Afaik, wifi calling is not available on payg tariffs; I stand to be corrected.

The issue of not registering a phone on payg has changed. Buying a new sim is straight forward - obtaining a replacement sim for the same number does require identity registration, for the very reason you outlined @Alley_Cat. A faulty sim or a new one to suit a change of phone will be in that category. Otherwise anyone could just request a new sim for an existing number ) I think the change coincided with two factor authentication). If you “value” your number, then registration is advisable, simply because if the phone is lost or stolen, without registration, then it may be difficult to cancel the number so it will be lost and a new number necessary.

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Maybe try Smarty? Same network as Three, but 30 day rolling contracts and much lower pricing, especially for low GB deals. Up to 12GB roaming in Europe.

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Cheers. I’ve never been good at cancelling contracts (change) and still have one with O2 with an ancient iPhone as a fallback, though I have made some progress by ditching a second contract with O2 as well as getting rid of 2 mobile broadband contracts with EE which was costing an arm and a leg for intermittent UK holiday use.

The PAYG Three SIM has served me well for many years and the costs were ok, but far from the cheapest, it’s all the additional faff with their update and lack of communication that’s annoyed me, but again the data component again seemed very slow when I turned off wi-fi earlier…

It’s nice to hear all the good experiences people are having with some of the smaller providers using the big networks, I’d be wary of trying them otherwise.

I think Vodafone and Three are merging in some capacity.

Also good to hear that switching networks is fairly simple now, don’t think I’ve ported a number, likely just wary of it messing up.

It is on some, not on others - I’ve been able to on Three for ages, there’s probably little benefit to a provider not enabling it if the monthly add-on package you manually renew has unlimited calls/texts to non-premium numbers.

Suspect as well they also know people will opt for Facetime or Whatsapp calls if data is available to use.

That’s a very good point. Interestingly the Three chat agent without insisting I register sent me a link to top-up online without registering, as well as a code to the phone to determine I was actually in possession of the SIM after which my credit was used to get a call/text/data package (I had credit so wanted to use it).

In some ways it’s perhaps odd that we can use SIMs without registering them from a national security perspective, I prefer not to register in certain cases for privacy, especially when it comes to the childrens’ phones.

To Three I suspect unless the SIM is registered it doesn’t matter as it was never registered to begin with and they still get the PAYG top-up payments regardless of who currently has it.

The actual number itself isn’t important to me, though this one is particularly memorable so it would be a shame to lose it. While I have backup numbers for authenticating most things it’s a reminder to check all those numbers are still accessible.

Thanks, I remember Smarty being discussed last year and people were pleased with it along with Asda. I actually bought a few Asda SIMs but never got around to setting them up/porting numbers. I wonder if they’ll still work!

It may be as well that I didn’t register my own and family numbers - it seems their new system requires a unique email account for every number - those who previously had several numbers on their registered account are now required to register every number separately and cannot use the same email for more than 1 number registration.

I cannot believe they thought people wouldn’t mind being asked to create new email addresses for every number they previously managed with a single email address

In case anyone else is ‘upgraded’ and runs into issues, you’re not alone:

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