Friday, 25 January 2008

Three Reasons Not to Use Three

Why is it mobile phone companies can't get their act together? I'm not sure whether they're trying to annoy us on purpose, or whether it's just accidental. I'd like to believe it's not malicious, but on the other hand to believe that they crap up so much mindlessly is a bit disheartening too. I've had some pretty disheartening experiences with Three, but here are some standout stupid ones:

1. Not Explaining Above Cap Charges Properly The whole reason people want a cap plan is so they know what charges are in the cap and what's not. And if they have a pretty extensive cap plan, they usually use up quite a bit of that. My Three phone told me there were special bits that were billed outside my Cap plan called "Planet Three" They could be found in a special section called "Planet Three". I could browse Planet Three, however, without being charged, so long as I didn't hit anything with a special icon next to it. So I studiously avoided this section.

However, I did send an email from a section that wasn't in Planet Three and wasn't marked with a special icon. Guess what - it's classed as "Planet Three" and billed outside your cap plan.

"Special calls" like 1900 calls are also billed outside your cap. Funnily enough, this wasn't told to me when I signed up, and it wasn't shown on the table which was given to me as the "all the info I need on my billing" booklet - it was written in fine print at the bottom of my bill, after they charged me. Thanks a lot.

2. Crap Service When Your Phone Breaks Down My Phone wasn't working for a while, it wasn't calling, receiving, and it was making funny noises. Naturally this wasn't acceptable, so I took it to my nearest Three Shop, which was also the place I'd signed up for the deal. I asked if they could fix it for me on the spot. They couldn't, so I asked if they would do anything about it, like give me a new phone.

"No that's not our policy, we send your phone away to be fixed," they explained. "if it can't be fixed then we give you a new phone.
"How long does that take?" I asked.
"Could be 4-6 weeks, maybe longer, there is a big queue," they said.
"I have to be without my phone?" I said incredulously.
"No, we give you a loan phone," they explained. I wasn't thrilled about that, considering it could be a very different model from my phone that I was used to, and also, I had all my info stored on my own phone!
Still, I asked them about this loan phone.
"Um, we don't have any at the moment, and there's a queue ... not likely to be one for a while."
"So what about giving me a new phone, since you can't fix my phone or loan me a phone?"
"That's not our policy, we have to send yours away."
"and I have to be without a phone?"
"Since we don't have any loan phones ... yes ... or maybe there's one at another store ..."
"So how long will it take for you to bring a loan phone in?"

(I still wasn't impressed - I mean my phone was mucking up NOW - not next week or whenever they thought hey could bring a loan phone in!)

"We can't, you have to go and look around yourself. There are other stores all over the place - maybe you could try the city - or out - some other suburb - ask around if they have a loan phone ..."

So basically they wanted me to trot about and buy train tickets all around Sydney to track down a loan phone that mightn't exist because of their "policy" of bad service!

You know what I did? I went outside, and gave my phone a good few thwacks. I turned it on and off a few times and reset it. It started working after a while.

DAMN, I should be a Three technician - I do better than those bozos!

3. Charging Twice For The Same Bill The final insult. You'd think after all that I ought to be getting some freebies, but instead they had the hide to recently ding me twice for the same bill. I got a statement saying my December bill (due early January) was overdue, and they wanted me to pay the December plus the January bill in February, PLUS an overdue payment charge.

I checked my bank account. No, the bill was PAID on the due date in early January. My bank confirms it. The money's out. And then I've got Three whingeing that the bank refused the money when any monkey can see that the bank took the money out of me account. Refused? I'll tell you what I refuse - I refuse to pay up twice.

I'm paying by direct debit, and I always keep enough money in the bank to pay off my phone bill, so if the phone company and the bank, can't get their act together, why is it I'm always the one who has to jump around and tell them they're idiots? They should be the one with the money to hire the people with the smarts to know what to do and the technology to make it happen - I'm just a gal who never did an IT course in her life and I can debit an account and fix a phone better than they can. The world has gone to pot.


R.H. said...






Lad Litter said...

Yeah, I'm with 3 and they weren't much help when my phone stopped dead. Taking out and then re-inserting the battery was the answer. You can also expect to go out of range more often than with Telstra.

JahTeh said...

You don't have a paper address book with telephone numbers and URLs and email addresses? It must be an age thing then. I've had a basic Nokia mobile with Optusnet pre-paid for three years with no trouble. My sister and I got it because we don't pay for calls or text messages to each other.

toey said...

You forgot the 'help' line filled with Indian people reading Aussie jargon whilst trying to get you to pay for more services when all you want is your goddamn PIN code.

Yes, I'm with 3.

Maria said...

This is amazingly frustrating - they still haven't fixed my bill up! Each time you ring they're "looking at it". How many times can you look at the evidence? Grrrrh

toey said...

They're looking at it, but they ain't understanding it, haha.

Maria said...

A bit like how I hear their customer care advisor's Indian accents, but I'm not always comprehending what they're saying, huh?

Maria said...

It's over two weeks since they've tolsd me "We've received your fax, our billing department has received it, is investigating the matter, and will ring you soon, probably this afternoon, leave your phone on." I ring up every two days and I receive the same answer. They are currently disputing a piddling amount of money, probably, form the point of view of such a large company - but certainly not an amount I'm ready to pay twice as a company - not because I couldn't afford it but for one it is worth more to me than to them and because I am a customer and they shouldn't diddle me.

And I have more time than they do!

Considering the extra staff they put in to answering my calls, investigating my matter, and the potential lackof image and customer(s) and so forth, in Mr Coffee's wisdom it would be far less exensive for them to just credit me the cash; if there was a problem (even if it wasn't their fault or so they believed) they could look into it after they got rid of me, and fix their system so it didn't happen again. Really, for the amount it is they are being extremely inefficient. They've probably wasted ten times what the amount is worth dealing with me.