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Archive for the ‘THREE’ Category

A Very Annoying THREE

It has to be said so I will.. “against my better judgement” my wife bought an HTC ONE X recently from THREE. I’d suggested an iPhone but no, she wanted Android. The move to THREE was partly my fault – as I’d ditched Orange as they kept backtracking with their “unlimited data” offering and generally support was useless – Indian call-centres with people working off scripts – and not very well.

I’ve had no cause to griped at THREE and to be fair the ONE X is a powerful and sleek-looking phone, but today, Maureen’s sparkly HTC ONE X decided it was ready for an operating system upgrade. We followed the simple instructions – and before long we had an updated phone.

No problems, absolutely fine – except that whereas before it was working with WIFI perfectly, now the WIFI was stone, cold dead. Nothing I could do would make it find either of our access points it had previously worked with perfectly.

So at around 5pm I rang THREE. Guess what – Indian call centre, same routine. I could tell within minutes that the guy did not know how to solve the problem – his amazing answer “well sir, we’ll have to restore the phone to factory settings” – in this day and age – do people REALLY find this acceptable? All your settings gone – all your apps needing reloading-  it was THEIR fault the upgrade didn’t work.

The fellow decided the best way was to LOGMEIN remotely to my PC (good job I had a PC). He installed the HTC Sync Centre – the idea being to backup all the files to the PC – well, it would NOT talk to the phone under any circumstances –while he was struggling, I was looking on Google –apparently this is a common failure with the HTC phones! All I got when I pointed that out was a “?”

After 4 hours he ended up telling me how to backup music etc. which I already knew – the hard way. This would not of course backup Apps or contacts – but I’d pretty much figured that out.

I thanked him and put the phone down, backed everything up (4 hours of my time is worth – well half a day!) and reset the unit to factory settings, including removing and re-inserting the SIM.  All done – all back to just-purchased status quo… but no WIFI!!

So we rang THREE up and explained. Would you believe they were offering options like sending the phone for repairs with up to 28 days downtime!!! This is a virtually new and expensive phone. You can imagine how we handled that. Right now after much shouting and bawling, we’re down to 10 days down-time – as against a replacement phone on Monday, which is what we need… not to mention compensation for all the time I spent and will spend re-installing everything – it’s being escalated to complaints and they will ring us back tomorrow. What a USELESS BUNCH.  A phone that can’t handle an update and a company that don’t know what to do about it. This would NEVER happen with Apple – I’ve upgraded my iPhone and iPad umpteen times without a single hitch!! I’ve also had stuff out of warranty replaced at the Apple store without question. Customer first.

Update 30/8/2012 – Only after getting stroppy with customer services did we eventually get them to agree to send an envelope to arrive Monday – with a “promise” verbally and “we will try” in writing to return the phone in 5 days. The PROBLEM is if they don’t find a fault they want to charge £20 !!! 

Here’s the deal, we went to the market today and lo and behold the WIFI started working – great – went home – as we approached home – one of our WIFI signals started to work – GOODNESS…. but by the time we got up the hill to the house – the signal had vanished. In the living room with the router – nothing – not a SAUSAGE. By now I was beginning to have ideas – so I went to the bedroom at the far end of the house – CONNECT. I did a series of APP downloads – flawless. I then walked back downstairs to the living room where the signal originates and unbelievably – the signal got weaker – and eventually disappeared as I got to the living room.

I can and will REPEAT this and put a video on YouTube – because otherwise tech support at Three won’t believe me.

The Future could not be further from Orange

Even when I was WITH Orange they could never get it right – and now that I’ve LEFT them they STILL can’t get it right.

Until recently times I’ve had an Orange mobile phone since, oh, well, last century. I’ve never had a signal in Wark but we live in home and from time to time I’ve written to Orange to try to push them along to improve the signal. Along the way their customer service has been attrocious to say the least and recently it’s been just too much. I’d had enough by mid-2011 and due to that and continued utter lack of signal at my home and no plans to get it, I finally managed to get Orange to agree that I could scrap the mobile contract and go elsewhere – this was in May 2011.

This agreement was put on my record.  I rang them up and confirmed I wanted to leave Orange – and asked what the procedure was. I was to put my phone in an envelope, send it off to them and I’d then get a final partial-month bill – and the info I needed to transfer my number elsewhere.

I sent the phone off and verified with the post office that it was delivered and signed for – that was 2 weeks from first writing the this blog in May. I heard nothing. I wrote to them – and heard nothing.  I went online to their ATTROCIOUS website which never works properly – I had SO MANY attempts…. just to get my final bill for £36.  It said there was a PDF waiting for me – but every time I went there…

tmpEF35

I am SO glad I dumped these losers. Oh yes, I went to mobile company THREE and yes, their website works, NO they don’t have a “fair use” policy – and they give you a free premium subscription to Spotify… and their 3G works in every rural area I’ve been to up to how – Orange say they have better COVERAGE – but I think I’m safe in saying that THREE have better 3G coverage. I can play music almost anywhere I go as it streams it off the web, be that Internet radio or Spotify…  what a different world….

Check out this catalogue of errors…..

Update 5th September 2011 : I’ve just returned from holiday to find a bill from Orange (I never did hear any more from them otherwise).  No, it’s not for the outstanding £36 – but for a whopping £114.68 AND they’re threatening to "disconnect" the service – that should be good for a laugh as it has been disconnected since June (07773 819894 – discontinued) – it’s as if they have no knowledge AT ALL of the contract ending. I spoke to someone on the phone today and they have records of me ringing in… but could not progress as the guy I spoke to may be on another shift – or some such excuse  – so I’ve written off to them to point out they have the phone and the contract’s been dead since June…  Amazing.

Update 9th September 2011 : After writing off to Orange a less than pleasant letter in the post regarding the so-called £114.68 overdue bill, I received a call today to apologise for the screw-up – it says “With reference to your recent enquiry, we can confirm that your account is now settled and that no further action will be taken against you. Your credit reference records will be updated accordingly.”

Update 13th October 2011: All the time I was with Orange I had to put up with their total inability to get things right. I’d almost forgotten what it was like – until this morning.  On the 9th when I spoke to them – as you’ll see above, all was well. Well, THIS MORNING I got a bill for £69.33 – I’m sure they just think of a random number, hopefully if ANYTHING still works over there, there recorded messages from the 9th should clarify that this is WRONG – you have to wonder…

Update 14th October 2011:  2 days after Orange sent a bill for the wrong amount – they sent off a THREATING LETTER. This one says they’ve contacted me a number of times “ERM NO!”. Apparently if I’m still within my contract (which they KNOW I’m not) I’ll be liable for monthly service plan charges.  What is it about this lot that make me think of a large office of people walking in straight lines, banging their heads against walls then bouncing off in search of another wall. Dealing with Orange has been this dis-organised since I bought my first Nokia Smartphone from them last century when we lived in Newcastle…thinking about it – there was no signal there, either. Still – I’ll never have to do it again!

Update 30th October 2011: I’ve returned from a short break – this time to find a letter from Moorcroft Debt Recovery Limited who sent a particularly obnoxious for £148.27 (remembering I owed Orange £36 and I had already send them a cheque on 14th October to sort this once and for all despite not having an invoice for it).  I rang Orange (amazingly this simple cancellation has now been going on for 5 months) – the operator put me on hold for his manager, his manager put me on hold for debt recovery – but their phone isn’t working today and so I have been told by the manager, a lady, that this is in NO WAY MY FAULT (you don’t say), that she’s emailed the dept recovery agency to SCRAP this and someone will ring be back tomorrow between 10.30am and 11.30am. I was just about to thank her and put the phone down when she started talking about UPGRADES… I very CAREFULLY explained this was nothing to do with upgrades but due to a cancellation because Orange never has and never will provide a signal where I live.  It is hard to believe that this company actually has computers and keeps records.

A quick look at the timeline…so far…

  • May – CANCELLED CONTRACT, RETURNED PHONE.  I owed £36
  • 5th September – no invoices (and no disconnection code either) – but the bill is now £114.68
  • 9th September I’m promised I’ll get a bill for £30
  • 13th October a bill for £69.33
  • 26th October a bill arrived for £148.27 and a load of threats from Moorcroft debt recovery Ltd – and a promise from Orange that none of this is my fault. Meanwhile they seem unaware I’ve already sent a cheque for the REAL outstanding amount together with a long cover note including this blog.

Update 17th November 2011: I checked with Moorcroft and sure enough they cancelled the order against me – and they don’t do anything with credit records – one down, one to go. The latest bill from Orange turned up, no cover letter, nothing – but THIS TIME they OWE ME several pence. Well, I suppose that’s a step forward, perhaps I should get an agency to harass them for non-payment…  but importantly no confirmation that they’ve set the credit record right – and no promised letter to say we’re all done – which means I could just as easily get another bill from them at any point setting us back to square one. I guess another letter is needed to try to wrap this up, again.

Meanwhile my new THREE service continues to work a treat, they’re not immune to incompetence – but at a much lower level. I’ve now had several attempts to stop them sending me text messages every 5 minutes when I’m overseas – their Indian call centre promised me this would never happen again but a text confirmed that the operator had no authority to say that and they can’t actually stop them – well, honesty is a virtue I suppose.