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I am writing this review basically because I need to get something off my chest as I have just phoned the most annoying customer services in history. Other people might think different, but at the moment I am extremely wound up. I have been at work this morning and was very tired, so I really didn?t need the hassle that I got when I phoned 3.
Last year my contract with 3 mobile was coming to an end after 18 months. I phoned customer services and my reason was to give them the 30 days notice required to cancel my contract. My decision to cancel my contract wasn?t due to bad reception or coverage, I was very happy with the service I had received whenever I used my phone. I basically wanted to get my monthly outgoings down to a minimum and then when I could afford it get myself a new contract with a new phone.
After getting through to an advisor I told him the reason for my call. He offered me a discount on my monthly contract. I was paying £28, he told me I could have the same contract for just £5 a month. The only downside was I couldn?t get an upgrade for free on my current handset and I had to start another 12 month contract. So I saved myself £23 not bad.
A couple of months down the line I was getting bored with my phone and stupidly decided I would get a new phone by opening another contract. I opened a new contract on a new phone number and received my shiny new nokia. So I had gone from paying a fiver for a brick of a phone to paying £33 just so I could get a new Nokia, pretty daft I know, especially as I was trying to save money at the time.
When I got my new nokia I took the new sim card and destroyed it. I was never going to use it. I took the cheaper sim out of my old phone and used that. Then sold my other phone. The new number and sim card were never used so it has been £28 exactly every month.
I knew that my £28 contract was coming to an end. So on the 7th January I phoned 3 customer services and asked to cancel the contract. I was asked for a reason, so I told them that I don?t need the number anymore and it was an unnecessary expense every month. I told the man on the other end of the phone that I had destroyed the sim card as I had no need for it. He then proceeded to offer to send me a new card; I declined and asked him again to cancel the contract. To cut a long story short I was offered a cheaper contract at just £12 a month, I said No, I was offered the chance to transfer the account to somebody else?s name for them to use it, again I said no. I was offered a free upgrade. He just wasn?t getting the message. When it finally came to him agreeing to cancel the contract he told me that if I paid early I would be charged a fee of £65. He wasn?t very clear why this was, he said it would be better if I phoned back on the 14th February and gave notice then, I thought Ok fair enough, I wasn?t so sure why it took him 27 minutes and 40 seconds to pass this information though, so as you can imagine I was just glad to get off the phone.
That brings me to today, the 14th February. I phoned up customer services again and I was dreading it, knowing that it wasn?t going to be easy. I always dread phoning 3 because I know that the advisors are in India. I have nothing against that but sometimes there is a slight language barrier and it sometimes worries me that mistakes will be made.
The lady I spoke to was very nice and spoke really good English so to begin with I was very happy. Then it began to get annoying. She said that on the screen she was looking at it told her about my previous phone call. I felt hopeful that she would know why I was phoning and everything would be straight forward. That wasn?t to be the case. She asked me for a reason why I wanted to cancel the contract so I went over all the old ground. She continued to repeat the same offer from the month before I told her that I wasn?t interested. At times it felt like she wasn?t listening, I was convinced that she was talking to three people on the same line because that?s how many times she repeated herself no matter how many times I said no.
Usually I manage to keep calm no matter how annoyed I am getting. In the past I have even just hung up the phone rather than get irate with people. Today though I was intent on cancelling the contract. I got the feeling that she was never going to cancel it and was just trying to wind me up. I ended up shouting down the phone at her. I simply told her that I don?t want a new phone, I don?t want to transfer the account to somebody else and I don?t want to take the cheaper option, I JUST WANT TO CANCEL THE CONTRACT. The phone went silent for a few seconds and then the penny dropped, or at least I thought it had.
She replied I just have to put you on hold for a moment to check a few details and then I will cancel the contract, I felt relieved, and at last the end was in sight. I was put on hold for what seemed like ages, I was convinced that she was not coming back; it would be her revenge for me shouting at her, even though it was her own fault. After at least seven minutes, she came back.
?Hello Mr Fisher, you do realise that you are eligible for a free upgrade don?t you?. I had to assume that I had been put through to somebody else. I hadn?t though. She then went on to tell me again. Sorry, advise me that I would be better off keeping the phone as a back up number; god knows why I would want to do that. Again I stated that all I wanted to do was cancel the contract.
Next she asked me what phone number my call was relating to, I couldn?t believe it. She claimed that her system was down and couldn?t find my details and put me on hold again. I felt like throwing myself off a bridge, my head was throbbing. Finally she came back on the line and went through the process of cancelling my contract and telling me when my final bill will be taken. Thank God. It only took 37 minutes and 33 seconds. By the way, yes, I did make a point of timing the calls.
All in all I spent over an hour trying to get 3 customer services to do one simple thing. Luckily I am happy with my other cheap contract so I will hopefully never have to phone them again.
Don?t get me wrong, it is really simple to get through to somebody in customer services when you phone 3. I don?t think I have ever really had to wait to get through. The time you are on the phone once you are through is totally unacceptable though.
I also realise that the people at 3 have a job to do, they will be pushed to ask the right questions, to try and keep your business. I don?t agree with being harassed when I phone up, I came off the phone thinking I will definitely never use 3 again.
Maybe it?s just me, maybe it?s the same when you phone other phone companies. I hope it?s better for other people but I have to say that if somebody asked me whether I would recommend 3 my answer would be a very strong NO.