The Weekly Gripe

Gripes the News
The Soapbox
Gripes in the pipes
*

Why is 3 mobile broadband so slow?

57 comments  Add a comment

I'm sick and tired of 3 and their mobile broadband.  I began using the service a couple of years ago when it first started and it was pretty good, but when I did have issues I found them difficult to resolve with customer services.

I then had a break from it and started using it again at the beginning of last year.  It was much worse than when I had previously used it and things progressively got worse.  Customer services were just as difficult to deal with as they had been before.

Then it got to the point where I could only stay online for around 30 seconds before it disconnected.  3 informed me that my dongle was incompatible following a recent upgrade.  I bought a new dongle and the service was better, much better than it had been.  After a couple of months I decided to take out a contract.

The first 10 days were fine, then the problems started - heavy throttling which a software app called netmeter picks up.  Because of my previous experiences with 3, plus the hundreds and hundreds of other dissatisfied 3 customers who have made their thoughts known online, I couldn't help but think that 3 deliberately boost a new customer's speed, in order to lessen the chances of them cancelling.  Maybe that's not the case but subsequent research online has discovered that many other customers have witnessed this pattern too so it's all very strange.  Anyway, the service was terrible and once again, customer services too difficult to deal with.  It's a call centre in India and the staff are poorly trained and scripted so I now always deal with the Executive Office if possible.

customer services are so difficult to deal with they should come with a health warning

3 mobile broadband Service continued to be bad despite repeated assurances that it would improve.  I was given several dates from which I should have seen an improvement but never did.  Apart from the first month, August 2010, I haven't paid any monthly payments because it's been so bad, but when I have been speaking to 3 and been informed of a credit, nobody has seen to it that the billing department or system is made aware of this - 3 times I have been cut off because of unpaid bills, which should never have been billed.  In total, I had to call them 16 times - 7 the first time, 5 the second time and 4 the third time - to get these unnecessary issues resolved.

The Executive Office told me that 2 local masts would be upgraded in December.  They gave me a start date and said it would take a maximum of 2 weeks.  Service was appalling after customer services had confirmed that both were completed.  When I complain to 3, they seemed to boost my speed for anything between a few hours and a few days.  It becomes how it should be.  What nobody at 3 seems to comprehend is that I don't want it for a few hours here and a few days there.  I want it as much as possible and I don't want to have to keep asking for it.  Now, yet again it's playing up because it's being throttled so hard that too many people are chasing too little resources.  I have to constantly connect and disconnect, which means pulling the dongle out, plugging back in, waiting an age for it to scan and pick up a signal, then go again.  Each time I do this, I presumably push out someone else and when they reconnect, someone else loses out - all because our ISP has systematically failed to improve and cannot service its customers. 

The internet is rife with horror stories regarding mobile broadband and it is my feeling that the ISPs use a business model of low price and high volume - stack 'em high and flog 'em cheap.  This business model is not conducive to good service; quite the opposite.  Oh, and when customer services are so difficult to deal with they should come with a health warning.

By: Sick and tired of 3


Leave a comment

First Prev 1/4 Next Last

Louis {Pie}

Louis {Pie}

Been using 3 for the past three years with now issue, but in the recent months it has been consistently slow, regardless of were I try to use it. Seems 3 is now oversubscribed.
10/10 Louis {Pie}
1
Kate

Kate

This is my just like experience with three! I even have a default on my credit file due to not being able to resolve an issue with their customer service people who never seemed to hear what I was saynig and only wanted to sell me more products, promising to sor my issue - I asked for this promise in writing and was told by three se[perate customer service people "dont worry - it is all noted in ytour account" only to find out that nothing was sorted and it was not noted in my account!" We have had endless issues with 3 and now my internet just does not work well at all. You can never get a good signal - we are in a city with what should be the best coverage, but we have really slow internet. Can often only connect one device at a time and are always losing signal and being cut of from whatever we have been doing - internet, tv, zoom - never works - not enough signal. I am sick of giving them money for dreadful customer service, weak signals and beimg treated badly when we have been paying them for years. I am moving back to Sky who at least have some decent routers and I think the broadband is better - they are all a bunch of highway robbers - take your money and run but "Three" takes the biscuit and all prices for worse service ever!!!
28/06 Kate
0
3 no speed service

3 no speed service

3 broadband speeds over wifi trying different laptops varies between 0.6 and 1.2 mb/s
This service is not good enough to even be called rubbish
Will consider paying off the remaining 1yr contract and finding a decent service elsewhere.
18/06 3 no speed service
1
Avoid 3

Avoid 3

Huawei B535 has max signal of 5 bars but broadband speeds are terrible, usually less than 3mb/s. Tested speeds on several different laptops (one at a time!) with the same result. About time OFCOM did a proper job and investigated 3 for such poor performance and this is in a Midlands town not out in the countriside.
10/06 Avoid 3
1
Fed Up

Fed Up

Used 3 'Home' broadband for many years, through 3g and now 4g.
Have tested download speed on several of my laptops so it cannot be a computer problem. Using the latest Huawei B310 with max 5bar signal strength.
Speeds are rubbish, at best around 6mb/s but usually 1-2mb/s.
Will definitely change supplier when contract ends. They used to be great.
10/06 Fed Up
3
3 user

3 user

3 internet speed can be 10mb/s but is often only around 2mb/s
The service has become poorer over the last 5 years on 'Homefi'
08/06 3 user
3
Buggerlugz

Buggerlugz

This is due to mast contention, over time they've got so many more customers that their mast network is at capacity. When I joined them in September 2019 I got a solid 200Mbps from their 4G+ (on bands 1 and 3), in May 2021 I'm lucky to see 20Mbps during the day and its sub 2Mbps every evening. My connection to the mast is stellar, I can literally see it 300 yards out my window. Three's status checker has shown "radio access network capacity" for the past 18 months stating that by the following monday it'll be addressed, but it never is. I've spoken to Three customer services literally dozens of times, spent double that on their webchat, and received around 10 call backs from "second line support" all promising me the issue will be resolved soon, but it never ever is. I'm on my 4th month completely free, with £20 credit also showing on my account, but that's not the point, the issue should be resolved. Three need to stop overselling their services and invest in their mast infrastructure and backhaul. Check out ISPreview mobile forum for the full picture regarding three broadband.
18/05 Buggerlugz
0
The Rock.

The Rock.

Three are hopeless their download speed is stone age,if there's any other alternative and that's any at all take that instead.
03/05 The Rock.
4
P***ed off

P***ed off

F***ing useless a waste of your money give your money to a supplier that gives you value for it unless you like to watch a download taking 5 minutes then fails.
30/04 P***ed off
0
JamesM

JamesM

I live near Lymington, Hampshire and find the Three network the best in terms of local coverage and speed. In the New Forest, I struggle to get Virgin Mobile 4G Internet. Three provides much better coverage at 4G.

With respect to Internet speed at home, TalkTalk Broadband provides 37Mbps, Virgin Mobile about 20 Mbps and Three mobile between 80 and 110 Mbps.

I am more concerned with service delivery than customer service, but I would rate Three the worst. They make little attempt to listen and meet customer's expressed need. Meeting the needs of Three seems more important.

I live within line-of-sight of the Vodafone & Three repeaters, so I get excellent voice and Internet services at home. When I received my Virgin Mobile SIM, 4G worked at speeds similar to Three, but soon dropped way below.
17/04 JamesM
-3
Dick Fiddler

Dick Fiddler

Confirmed... avoid 3 like the mom in law.
Bandwidth shaping... Indian Call Centres ... On... Off ... On ... Off ...
Perfecty dreadful service.
22/01 Dick Fiddler
4
Dunewalker

Dunewalker

Am experiencing a similar problem with my 3 home mi fi used to be good for
2years but over past 3 months very slow and drops out especially in evening , and same woes with call centre, Called 4 times over past 2 months but no improvements, will go back to a landline , suspect the local mast is overloaded with users taking up most of the bandwidth before reaching me 3.5 miles away ?.
02/08/20 Dunewalker
3
Kaybee

Kaybee

Additional
I had a ZX spectrum back in the 80s that worked faster than 3......
Sarcastic I know, but you get the point.
19/07/20 Kaybee
4
Kaybee

Kaybee

I’ve been with 3for about 4 years and no problems but since lockdown I have had almost no service at all, I’ve been streaming movies and music but not anymore! Even Alexa doesn’t work!
Maybe I’ll have to buy some pidgins and send messages tied to their feet, it would certainly be a lot faster than the appalling service I’m getting from 3 at £20 a month.
I suppose we vote with our feet and walk away from bad services like 3.
19/07/20 Kaybee
4
The Rock.

The Rock.

I've been with three for sometime but the download speed has become appallingly slow sometimes under 2Mbps I'm leaving next year when the contract runs out.
02/06/20 The Rock.
6

First Prev 1/4 Next Last

FEATURES

Gripes the News
Gripes in the pipes
The Soapbox
spinner