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Three mobile customers left without data or signal

Mobile network Three has apologised for "technical difficulties" which left many customers unable to make calls, send texts or use data for hours.

Some customers of the firm began reporting problems with their mobiles at about 11.30pm yesterday (Wednesday).

As of 4pm today, Three said the issues had been fixed for the majority of customers, and that it expected the problem to be resolved for all customers by the end of the day. 

See our Mobiles section for the best Sim only deals and cheap mobile tips.

What were customers saying?

Customers have been tweeting their frustration since before midnight: 

iD Mobile and Smarty customers also faced problems

Customers of iD Mobile and Smarty – which use Three's network – also reported problems.

On Wednesday morning, iD Mobile wrote on social media: "Three, our network provider, are currently experiencing severe disruption to their service, and this is affecting coverage nationwide. We'll monitor the situation and update you as soon as we can. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause."

Smarty customers said the company's customer services team had told them it was experiencing a "severe technical issue".

I'm a Three customer – what can I do?

There's no specific rule on what compensation customers could be entitled to in this situation, although regulator Ofcom's website says it "may be appropriate" for your provider to give you money back if you've experienced issues. 

It's also worth checking your contract to see if it says anything about what happens if you don't receive the promised service.

You could also use your consumer rights, to claim for a service not provided, though it's worth noting that as this remedy would likely be a proportion of your monthly charge it's likely to be a small payout. Instead you may be better to ask for a goodwill gesture to make up for the inconvenience. 

Here's what you can do if you've been left out of pocket by the issues:

  • Keep any evidence. If you've been left out of pocket as a result of the outage, keep any evidence such as screenshots and copies of any extra charges you've faced. Then include them in your complaint. 

  • Complain if unhappy. If you decide to make a compensation claim, use your network's complaints procedure. Head to Three, iD Mobile or Smarty.

If the complaint's still unresolved after eight weeks or you're unhappy with the outcome, you can escalate to the Communications Ombudsman, which will assess your complaint independently. Three is a member of this ombudsman.

What does Three say?

A Three spokesperson said: “Following technical difficulties with our services across voice, text and data, some customers will be experiencing an intermittent service.  

"Our engineers are working to fix the issue and the service is returning to normal, and we expect it to be resolved over the course of the day."

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