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3 is the tariff I have had with my last two mobile phones; the NEC e313 and the Motorola A835 (Both of which I have also reviewed if you fancy taking a look-see?). It is, so far, the best tariff I have seen so far.
As I am too young to have a contract phone, I have to go for the pay-as-you-go services. I wanted a camera phone, which is what 3 is famous for providing. So I went for it.
Unlike most pay-as-you-go services, 3-pay offers bundles as opposed to "straight" credit. For example, the most common way to top up is to buy a 15 pound voucher. From this you can get:
This can be a little bit annoying though, as you do not know whether you will need texts or minutes. Credit can be used for anything, be it texts, minutes, or using it on 3 services like ringtones or videos. The costs are as follows:
Call -20p per minute Text - 10p per text
3 services can vary from 25p onwards.
There are many options available to top up. There are vouchers that come as £15, £25, and £35, and add-ons as well. The add-ons are:
£5 for 75 texts (about 6-7p per text) £5 credit £10 for 200 texts (This is usually what I get. 5p per text) £10 credit (Another that I get to use for calls) £10 video value (Allows you to view videos in 3 services for free)
Topping up is as standard, if you prefer it that way. I personally use my debit card to top up through the 3 services. As long as you have a little bit of credit left you can use addons, so I top up with £20 each time for 200 texts and a tenners credit.
The 3 services, that I have talked about, are fantastic. Similar to WAP, it connects you to a limited internet where you can browse pages. It does not have as many pages as WAP does, and only special 3 pages can be viewed. Never the less, it is free to connect and browse, although downloads are expensive. There is a large variety of stuff to view and download, including news, music videos, the weather, celebrities, football goals, and even porn (although you need to be over 18 so I haven't used this yet). The costs are quite expensive though, for example ringtones are £2.50 each. You can also top up uour phone through these services, as I mentioned before.
Going onto the bad points, the reception is terrible. In my house I am lucky to see higher than two bars of reception, and when I went to Oxford I was lucky to see any at all! Also, if someone messages you when there is no reception, it takes ages for the texts to come through; indeed, there have been occasions where it has taken days for a text to come through while the phone has been idle. Also, your credit runs out after 30 days, and you get no money back.
All in all, a good service if you use your phone a lot and cant get a contract phone. I give it the thumbs up.