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3 phones- rant- long

(12 Posts)
tallulah Wed 16-Feb-05 18:26:17

DH bought a mobile from the Link on 3 on 9 January. Before we signed the direct debit I asked the salesman what day it would come out of the account. He told me- one month today (ie 9th Feb).

2 weeks later I got the bill. They wanted to take it on 28 January. Like a lot of other people I get paid on the last working day of the month. I never set up direct debits for the last week of the month because it is too much hassle making sure the money stays in there.

Rang 3 & got a man who didn't speak English (he thought he did!). He told me to cancel the dd & said they would reapply. I used to work in a bank & this won't happen.... Tried to say this but he didn't understand.

Went back to shop & spoke to manager. He said if dd cancelled they will stop phone service, as I thought, dd usually a month, & rang 3 himself. Woman this time spends ages explaining that this was normal & they couldn't change the date & they'd have to change billing date. Fine, do that then. Well they'd take it on 28 Jan, 2 Feb, 28 Feb & recredit on 2 March. Um no, that makes no sense. Just take it 28 Jan if you have to, then 2 Feb & 2 march, 2 April. Thought we'd agreed to change date- all in hand.

Complained via email to 3. Their contact centre is fine etc & ok they'd change date. Will take on 2 Feb. All settled.

Bill arrives today- will take on 28 Feb.

Another email to 3. Response- can't change dd date- if you want to change billing date just ring customer service (in India).

Has anyone else had this? How have you solved it? I do not want to spend a year with a direct debit coming out 3 days before payday. I would not have taken out the contract had I known.

kid Wed 16-Feb-05 18:39:24

I would go back to the store and tell them if they don't change the dd date to what was agreed when you got the phone then you don't want it. I know you have a 12 month contract but they haven't kept their side of it. Also take the managers name or better still get it in writing.

bundle Wed 16-Feb-05 18:40:47

rather than just go into the store, do as kid says but write it all down (the history) and hand it over to the manager (take name) and send a copy to their head office (chief exect) and customer relations dept.

JanH Wed 16-Feb-05 18:59:16

Oh, tallulah, you have my sympathy! Before you do anything else, cancel your Direct Debit - they will probably charge you £3 handling on your next bill until it's sorted out, but at least you can dictate when it's paid.

The geographic number for 3 is 01628 765000 and according to the saynoto0870 website there is 0141 204 8674, a Glasgow number which "works at weekends". Also, apparently, in theory when you ring 333 you can ask for Glasgow, not Bombay, but I don't know if that works.

I suspect part of the problem is that you got it from a 3rd party shop - we have been having major (different) probs for the same reason and would NEVER NEVER NEVER GET ANOTHER 3 PHONE!!!!

I have a personal mission never to use 0870 numbers, and never to deal with Indian call centres, and I have eventually had some success using email; in fact I have had a sweet dialogue with a lovely chap called Derek who has been incredibly helpful. (His emails always begin "Good Morning Mrs H"!!!) His dept is Back Office Support at - I have also had an email from Billing but they weren't so nice. Try emailing FAO Back Office Support first and see what you get. Good luck!

JanH Thu 17-Feb-05 11:00:25

Alternatively I think you have the right to cancel completely in the first 14 days so have a look at your contract.

I had this in an email from 3: "When you purchased your handset we advised in the documents provided with the handset, that if a fault occurred with your handset we would repair this. If you had been unhappy with this we offered you 14 days to cancel your contract."

Needless to say

a) we have had a fault and wanted the phone replaced, not repaired (it has just been replaced but it took 2 months!!!)
b) we did not read the small print!

Kelly1978 Thu 17-Feb-05 11:06:17

I had a smilar problem with 3, when they changed my billing cycle to before I was paid after a few months. You must cancel the direct debit, or they will jsut keep taking it, I got billed twice for the same month, then not at all for 2 months and got in a right mess.
Then you call customer services, lay it on about how unhappy you are with the service and tell them you want to change your billing cycle. You will then need to set up a new direct debit for the changed dates. Hopefully you will get someone who can speak english too.

Kelly1978 Thu 17-Feb-05 11:10:40

You do have a right to cancel in the first 14 days if it has been bought over the internet or phone, I'm not sure if you went to a shop.
The glassgow center mainly deals with handset faults, shame, as they do have some very nice young men there!
3 is a nightmare, and I wouldn't really recommend it to anyone, but it is cheap. I would say that you have to be very firm with the people in the Indian call center. If you are adament about what you want they are usually quite helpful. I've jsut got my upgrade, and had to be very forceful about getting the deal I wanted!

tallulah Thu 17-Feb-05 18:34:59

Thanks everyone. I've been emailing back office support but they've been as much use as the contact centre

Wish I'd asked on mumsnet before we got the damn phone (& of course it's been over 14 days...)

Newbarnsleygirl Thu 17-Feb-05 18:46:38


Can you tell I hate 3! Luckily our contracts run out in April.

We had a similar problem except they would'nt take the money from the dd and when we rang the cust service number the guy who was asian said he did'nt know what a dd was!

They cut us off and everything until eventually one day after shouting at alot of people they said they would refer us to their HO which is Glasgow. They sorted it out for us in the end.
I would'nt mind but half the bloody time I don't even get a signal on the stupid phone!

Never ever ever getting another 3 phone!

Flossam Thu 17-Feb-05 19:07:25

We had 3 phones, absolute nightmare. Never ever again. Applied to pay by direct debit, never got set up. Moving house (and telling them) completely flumoxed them. They set up three accounts in DP's name. Couldn't figure out why he didn't need 3. We had so many problems I can't remember them all. Awful. Had terrible nightmares trying to complain, not helped by the fact that the phone would without fail drop the call, the signal was so appalling. Ring back up, ask to speak to complaints manager... 'But let me see if I can help you first madam' NO! I've been here 5 times before can't!

My advice, get out now if you can!

JanH Thu 17-Feb-05 19:47:18

Oh, bum, sorry, tallulah, was thinking it was 9 Feb

I have a 3 DD form in front of me. It says "if the amounts to be paid or the payment dates change, 3 will notify you 5 working days in advance of your account being debited or as otherwise agreed."

And "you can cancel a Direct Debit at any time by writing to your Bank or Building Society. Please also send a copy of your letter to us".

OK - cancel it, email them again to tell them that you have done it and why, ask for a new DD form and return it with your required DD date IN CAPITALS ALL OVER IT. Honestly it is possible to grind them down.

piffle Thu 17-Feb-05 19:57:30

I'd cancel - who wants buffoons like that handling your mobile phone account anyway?
I'd never leave Orange, for the simple fact that the customer service is legendary.
My mum just joined up to fresh from orange
She took 12 days to come back and damn the expense!

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