I was a little flippant in my last post, so here’s a slightly more helpful review.
It’s OK, it’s not better than that but it’s not so bad that I’ve felt the need to jump ship.
At my home in a mid-sized town I have a solid 4G signal. It took them a while to roll out to there, however.
At work, in a business park within York’s ring road, I get a 4G signal on the top floor, a diabolical 3G signal on the first floor and can just about get a signal on the ground floor if I stand on one leg and outstretch my right arm.
My commute has a couple of black spots. Listening to internet radio on this journey is futile.
On trains I find Three regularly under performs to the point of being useless. In fact, I regularly set up a wifi hotspot using my O2 work phone just so I can use Spotify and WhatsApp.
Three’s customer services are renowned for being irredeemably rubbish. They have been from the start and do not improve.
I don’t particularly care where in the world a call centre is, so long as the staff are trained well and they try to help.
Three’s Indian call centre, unfortunately, is staffed by people who neither equipped to help or actually want to help.
On multiple occasions I have caught them saying things that are demonstrably untrue, just to get me off the phone. On multiple occasions, I have had to be passed on to their Glasgow-based team who seem to exist only to wipe the backsides of their first and second-line support.
This is not the fault of the staff in the Indian call centre - but it speaks volumes about the culture of the firm that does not invest in them… and by extension its customers.
The most recent complaint I had with Three concerned re-contracting to them. By the time I was done they’d offered me unlimited data, texts and calls on a rolling basis, without minium term for £16 month. This was the tarrif they swear doesn’t exist since they withdrew the ‘one-plan’ - but it does… I’m on it!
Feel at home is a good deal, there’s no avoiding that. Roaming with Three is not perfect, however.
In practice, they VPN your traffic back to the UK and slow it down to the point where it’s unusable.
In 2017 I tried Three’s feel at home in Las Vegas, Ibiza and in Poland. In all three of those locations it was barely possible to send What’sApp messages, let alone make a Skype call. In Ibiza and Poland I actually went out to buy a local SIM card - despite having theoretical unlimied data.
Most recently in December performance in Poland was better - but I still had to go back to my local SIM in places. This was a rural location though, so might not all be Three’s fault.
Three now does have plenty of roaming deals in place. Not many of these allow 4G data when roaming, however. Something to bear in mind.
The roaming service is perfectly good for calls and texts but with data, your milage may vary.
No complaints on this score - Three’s packages are often the better priced deals on the market.
They need to be though - coverage is second rate, cells are often congested with slow data in metro areas and their customer service is non-existant.
When you get a ‘we are sorry, please don’t take your complaint to Ofcom’ deal from them they are pretty unbeatable.
Three only enables VoLTE and VoWifi on phones it has sold you. If you are taking a phone from a third party your phone will drop to 3G to make a phone call… even if your hardware is technically capable.
If you have an iPhone I think that they still haven’t bothered to implement visual voicemail.
Smarty not only uses Three… It is Three, in the same way that O2 and GiffGaff are both Telefonica.
iD Mobile also uses Three’s network, I believe.