back to article 3 drags rivals into court over number porting

3 UK plans see its four UK rivals in court next week in the opener to what might turn into a £250m case, accusing them of making it difficult to customers to switch to the upstart network. The Times reports that 3, in a High Court action, claims Vodafone, T-mobile, Orange and O2 colluded in an effort to withhold the details …


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  1. Joseph Hill

    Yes - it's number porting holding 'three' back

    .... not the exclusive use of foreign call-centres, appalling contracts, appalling customer service and the shitty handsets they used at launch.



  2. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Never had a problem with 3

    Yes, the call centres are abroad, but they're the best Indian call centres I've ever dealt with. Their contracts are the same as everyone else's (i.e. pushing users to 18 months for the best deals) and the handset line-up is now respectable. Oh and they have the best data plans in the UK by a mile. I use two of them. I'm no 3 apologist, but fair's fair!

  3. Steve Browne

    Imagine ...

    T-Mobile are German, they may retaliate and the last time they "retaliated" caused quite a problem, especially for the French. Orange are French, they roll over and surrender all their customers at the first hint of trouble and will do exactly as T Mobile tells them.

    Allo, Allo ....

  4. Paul Buxton

    I'm with Joseph

    ...making it difficult to customers to switch to the upstart network.

    Any company that does anything to make it difficult for people to switch to 3 is for the customer's own good and these companies should be praised.

    I recently promised 3 that I would do anything in my power to make them fail as a company (like they need my help) - this is just a small thing but it does feel really good.

  5. Joe Blogs


    How can you having slamming when most if not all the networks lock their phones!!!!

    If Orange decided to move me from O2 to Orange, I'd notice when my phone stopped working!!!!


  6. richard


    So I'm imagining the weeks it too to get my number ported FROM 3?!

    Here pot, meet Kettle, isnt it black?

    I really wish someone would bury them.

  7. Dan

    cheapest of the rubbish

    given that any mobile network is hated by anyone who spends long enough with any of them, isn't it prudent just to go with the cheapest? i.e. 3.

  8. silverguy

    porting helling.

    I was on t-mobile, and they keep on "messing up" my number port. In the end i gave up and just choose a new number...

    Does make you think though, how many "mistakes" companies like this should be tolerated?

    Its ofcoms job to make it a competitive market, where customers hold the power, over the network not the other way around./

  9. David Roberts
    Paris Hilton

    @Joe Blogs

    Unfortunate illustration, as allegedly O2 do not in general lock their handsets.

    More to the point, to move to a different network you need a differnet SIM card.

    Now unless the salesmen hang around pubs replacing the SIM card in your phones when you go to the toilet, how are they going to change you to another network?

    Are we looking at a SIM card turning up in the post, and your phone service with your original supplier being ceased?

    How do they get to bill you for the new service?

    As far as I know, "Slamming" for utilities normally comes to light when you get a quarterly bill from an unexpected supplier.

    Also as far as I know you can't sign up to a monthly mobile phone tarrif without supplying bank/credit card details.

    Do people supply bank or credit card details to mobile phone salesmen when they are NOT ordering a new service?

    [Hmmmm...quite possible for a percentage of the population.....]

    Or are we talking about slamming PAYG customers by changing their number to another network then sending them a new SIM? But would you accept this?

    Oh, sod it I'm off home!

  10. Jaster

    3 Have you seen thier prices

    To phone *from* a 3 phone is cheap but to phone *to* one is absurdly expensive!

    They even had a promotion that paid their customers a dividend when they got people to call them ....

    The other networks don't only want to lose customers but also don't want their customers complaining about the huge bills for phoning their friends since they moved to 3, try explaining to someone why the price went up and how it is not your fault ...

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Why the downer on 3?

    I have been with 3 for several years and have never had any problems with their service. I don't use any 3g features, but at the time I first took out the contract their monthly minute deals were substantially better than everyone else. True, the first handset was a bit clunky, but now they are fine.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Stopping Slapping 3

    I've been a 3 customer from the start in the UK, I now get something like 60% reduction on my bill because I've been with them for 4 or 5 years now. They did initially have crap handsets but thats because ALL of their handsets are 3G,2.5G,2G compatible, no other network in the UK uses 3G only phones... yes they're network was dire for about a year and a half, but thats sorted now, and in areas i used to get no reception at all, now I get full 3G. With regard to their customer service THIS is they're major stumbling block, sort that and they have a bright future, the ammount of times the people in they're indian call centre have lied to me to get me off the phone and to sort they're call quota for the day is silly, good thing I threatened to go to their exec board and copy in half of the department heads across they're UK arm, it got the trick done (and I wasn't lying)... thankfully they DO have a UK based call centre...

    My opinion of all the other operators..:

    T-Mobile - Money robbing - my friend finished his 18month contract with them and thought sweet, time to upgrade... no no, only if he wanted to pay the £140 upgrade fee to the N95, the only phones availible for upgrade were the budget phones that you see in Tesco for £40! Crappy network - almost never any coverage and when you do get network, call quality is always quiet (have tried on multiple handsets no different) and of poor sound quality.

    Vodafone - Good network, good phones, but stupidly expensive! Given they're position you'd expect them to be a hell of alot cheaper but they're not! (probably expensive because of all the companies they've been buying...)

    Orange - ok I guess, but only an average network... and thats about it can't say anything bad about them but @ the same time can't say anything good! Which I think says it all!

    O2 - Probably the better of the incumbents... average pricing, good handsets and excellent network.. similar feel as Orange though.

    In my opinion, me being 23 years of age, 3 is the best network to choose, yes you have a limited amount of handsets but most of the handsets can do some good things... whats the point for example in an iPhone??? you can get all of those features from the Nokia N73 (which incedentally I have, not the best phone in the world but farrrrrrrr from the worst!) and most of them work better... plus your not locked to one network... anyway back to my point about 3, they have possibly the best line up of contracts and if they don't choose the closest to what you want and use the 'bolt ons' or whatever they're called... the fact you can stream tv to your phone for a 24hour period and it only costs you 99p... thats brilliant value (or £5 for the month) or that you can add X-Series functionality for £5....

    just my 2cents...

  13. Mo


    If they're the best non-UK call centres you've ever dealt with, you've not dealt with many.

    I queried the fact that I wasn't getting certain bonuses back that I was supposed to for inbound text messages, and it took them three days, several explanations, and four phonecalls; by the end of it they couldn't figure out what was wrong and just credited my account. The amount of credit applied was nowhere near the discrepancy amount (they gave me 45p), but as I couldn't understand the customer service "advisor" and he couldn't understand me, I was pretty much stuck with it.

    All of this in response to a query left on their online form, where I specifically asked that they didn't phone me (the form has an option for e-mailling you instead, and I made it clear in the text of the message in any case) because I couldn't understand anything any of their CS reps were saying and vice versa.

    Apparently they can neither read nor speak nor understand English. Plenty of people can't, but employing them as CS reps for a British firm is a bit foolish.

  14. Andrew Johnson
    Thumb Down

    Never again on 3

    I migrated from Orange to 3 when orange started putting the "home page" on their phones and removing useful functionality I actually used. I was misled about 3's data services when I switched. they are about the worst in the uk.. maybe if all you want to do is send email or surf the web, but some of us use other standard protocols, like vpn's or ssh and 3's network does not permit that. It never has and as i left about 6 weeks ago it still didn't..

    I also had a call from them saying try the "X-Series Silver - it's better and will do everything I want" like hell.. I tried to connect to the the internet via my laptop and I got a web page saying "can only be done from the handset" it took me over a week to get my services back, and 2 months for them to sort the billing out. They were not the cheapest and are only now getting anywhere with the prices with the new mix&match service. I hate their customer services (and I've had to call them a lot)

    So I moved to T-Mobile, and it was like somebody had opened the gates and let me out. Good customer service (so far all in the UK!), good call quality, and fantastic data access !

    I have also used O2 & Vodafone, and I like both of those.. infact I nearly went for O2 this time, but T-Mobile had the deal I wanted with the N95.

    I'm never looking back !!!

  15. Ben Bufton

    Never mind phones...

    ... I've still yet to figure out what happens to my money in the FIVE DAYS (sometimes more) it takes to transfer it between banks!

    There are a few people in this world making a shit-load of money off these "gaps" when of course the reality (with phones as with banks) is it's no more complicated to port this stuff than it is to send an e-mail.


  16. Tim J

    @Joseph Hill - Re: use of </sarcasm>

    Don't do it - your comment was absolutely fine until the inclusion of the pseudo-HTML tag, a practice I feel is by and large reserved for nerds who can only formulate a sentence as if they were writing in a computer language. Your comments however didn't need to be qualified by using the aforementioned suffix, they were perfectly lucid already. We're not Americans, we don't need to signpost what we're saying.

  17. stuart meadowcroft

    Bitch bitch bitch...

    Can I have a go too?

    Orange PAYG - Middle-eastern call centres and only a 50-50 chance they'll speak English well enough to understand (in my experience obv.). Mediocre reception at best.

    BUT - the cheapest way to speak to your loved one when you're away :)

  18. Spencer Tomlinson

    Cross network charges

    I think that this may generate problems, if you call for example orange to orange then you may pay 15p per minute, In fact you may call orange to orange for 10 minutes a day costing £1.50p per day, simplified over 10 days is £15, then you find the orange number you had been calling is now with 3 and its cosing you 18p a minute to go across networks, where the courtesy of the same network provider is gone, Now you may find bills over a 10 day period going up to £18 or more dependent on the other network charges, and the orange caller will have no idea as there will be no number change that they are in fact paying higher call charges. I think the transistion period of 5 days to transfer (becoming 2) is a very good idea as it will leave a gap for the 2 consumers to reach a mutual agreement on how they will deal with this increase in charge.

  19. Anonymous Coward


    This whole panic over 'slamming' is a myth. It doesn't happen anywhere near as often as the networks might have you believe (I've worked in the industry for seven years), and strangely enough, the main beneficiaries of a quicker porting process might just be those alien beings known as customers.

    Perhaps if the networks (and SPs) put as much effort into customer service and good deals for said customers as they did into fighting every decision by OFCOM, they might not have so much of a problem of churn in the first place...

  20. Erlang Lacod

    3 Net-not-work ?

    3 really should have got out there and invested in a decent 2G the others. 2G is still very much where it's all at for voice calls.

    3's 3G network does compare ok with the other operators' 3G networks but thats where it ends. A customer on one of the other networks willl be handed over to their 2G network with no loss of service when moving out of 3G range. As 3 dont have their own 2G networks.their customers get roamed onto their competitor's networks. Which provider's 2G network the customer then get roamed onto seems to depend on when they signed up as a customer as the roaming contact hasnt always stayed with the same provider.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    I haven't had any problems with 3

    No problems with 3 here... maybe because I've never even attempted to use them. The reason I haven't attempted to use them when their tariffs are so (relatively) good is... the distinct lack of coverage.

    It was bad enough when they used O2's crappy network as fall-back in non-3 areas, but now they use orange I'm not even going to try (absolutely zero signal rather than O2's pitiful signal!).

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