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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
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