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From Three to Zero – the network that’s a notwork

One, Two, Three, Down

Three mobile provider the situation

3 logo

The mobile network Three has gone down today (17/10/19). At the point of writing the company doesn’t seem to know what the problem is or when it will be fixed.

It seems to have been slow to inform people too, perhaps taking advantage of there being fewer people active late at night and into the early hours of the morning. However, this tactic backfired, as when the company eventually put up this message, it was more than 8 hours after people were first reporting problems:


Down Detector which measures the number of reports of an outage on social media, and shows more than 2100 reports by 10.00am today.

Three has not said how many of its 10 million customers have been affected by the outage.

Update from Three at 1.20pm

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.

We advise our customers to turn their phones off and on or turn airplane mode on and off, which may resolve the issue.

We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to our customers.”

Your consumer rights if you are affected by Three’s downtime

Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 you are entitled to services to be carried out with reasonable skill and care. You are entitled to a full refund of the cost of the time you are without use of your phone. You are also entitled to redress for any out-of-pocket expenses you incurred due to not being able to use anything on your phone. For example, if you incurred bank charges because you couldn’t transfer money or had to use a payphone. You can claim for consequential losses due to Three’s breach of contract.

Once the system is back up and running, calculate your losses. Write do not phone the company so you have a record of evidence. Outline the problems you had and any costs you incurred and provide evidence for this. State what you want as redress and mention that it is because of a breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015, as outlined above.

Get in quickly, as a huge queue of complaints will soon grow.

You can also jump the queue of complaints and complain directly to the CEO. Go to for contact details. The CEO won’t respond personally but the matter does get escalated and dealt with by a different team to customer services.

If you are still not satisfied with the response you can take the matter to Ombudsman Services: Communications.

Your rights if affected by the outage – what Ofcom says

Ofcom states:

“Although no-one can guarantee an entirely fault free service, your provider should be working hard to maintain the level of service they promised.

In more extreme cases, where repairs take much longer (for example it takes longer than usual to access a mast site to undertake repairs), you may be entitled to an additional refund or account credit.

In cases where you have been without service for some time, you may also have the right to leave the contract without penalty. There may be a term in your contract saying you can do this if your provider has failed in its obligations to you or breached a key condition.”

More help with telecom issues

All you need to know about complaining to telecom providers for more information and posts about your rights and telecoms.

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For lots of information, advice, tips, consumer laws and template letter GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!

Future for Three

In reality few people will be much out of pocket but it is the lack of information that has frustrated customers.

“Three customers on Twitter are saying that they have been pleased with the company’s service for years and can forgive them for this downtime. But they are unimpressed with the speed with which it acknowledged the problem and the lack of clarity about the issue and when it will be fixed. Three really needs to improve its customer service and communications if it doesn’t want to lose customers over this.

O2 network failures - your consumer rights


Manners? Do they matter in business?

Do you use manners?

Basic “Ps & Qs”

When I go into a shop and ask anyone anything, I say “Please” somewhere in that sentence. When paying and taking my goods I say “Thank you” when given change or my card back. I can’t not do it. It’s just automatic.

And as for my lovely friend who edits for ever and a day on my stuff and won’t accept anything more than a “Please” or “Thank you”, I feel very guilty!

So, how is it possible for people not to use these manners? I expect a shop assistant to say “Please” when they say the amount I owe and “Thank you” when I hand over the money or card.

I recently read an interesting discussion in a network group. It really took off. Someone asked if people should say “Thank you” to someone who has taken the time to tag someone to help them answer their question in the group. Or say “Thank you” when someone takes the time to help them.

Mostly people said “Yes, of course”. Others said “Don’t look for it”, whilst that was answered with “People don’t look for it, they note it by its absence”.

man and sales assistant talking over golf clubs

Someone was accused of not saying “Thank you” in another post and he said he took ownership of it, meaning perhaps that he admitted it. But he then didn’t go back to thank anyone. I wonder why that was? Taking ownership of being rude but not apologising for it? Arrogance?  Was it admittance of being rude? Or something we should just ignore?

Now, this was a business forum used by people from different sectors. A place for exchanging support, help and advice and do business together. I find it stunning that anyone could be rude to potential customers because not saying “thank you” IS rude.

I personally really don’t like working with people who can’t use basic manners. I think good manners are crucial to any relationship.

It doesn’t cost anything, doesn’t hurt and you can’t offend anyone by using good manners but you can offend people by not using them. After all, if you can’t get these basics right, how will you be able to get the finer details of good business etiquette right? How can you really be listening to your customers and showing respect if you can’t even thank them for being there in the first place? Will you interrupt them?

Should you test potential new staff for manners at the recruitment stage? I would argue “yes”. Does the candidate say “Yes, please” or “No, thank you” when offered a glass of water? Whether someone has manners is usually demonstrated through their habits, rather than by the answer to a question. Don’t dismiss them out of hand though, it might only need a training exercise, just as important as training them in your computer systems or policies.

Manners are equally important at the top of the company tree as they are at the bottom. It should be part of any company’s culture. A company that ensure its employees treat each other with respect will usually treat its customers with respect, which will bring rewards.

Of course there are rude customers too. When a customer is really rude I think a company has the right to not deal with them. But everyone using manners would help prevent this!

How important do you think good manners are in business?

How important are good manners in business

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