back to article 3 offers best iPhone deal

So now we know - there is to be no price war over the iPhone 4. But operator 3, which became the latest UK network to unveil its pricing, has opted for much more generous bundles than the competition – and a significantly lower upfront Apple tax. The drawbacks? Well, 3 won't bundle public Wi-Fi hotspot access in its deals, …


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  1. Stefing
    Jobs Horns


    3 is certainly not the best network but is surely the worst for its legendarily bad customer service.

    But, if you're a fanbois, you enjoy being treated like shit anyway, right?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Which fanbois are you referring to? Apple? Are you aware that Apple is number one in customer service?

      I hope that wasn't an attempt to have a dig at people who buy Apple products, because if it had been, it would have been a really shitty attempt, and rather juvenile.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Are you aware that Apple is number one in customer service?

        Really? Can you back that claim up with some proof that isn't paid for by Apple? I've had nothing but problems with Applecare, their phone support is bloody worthless, and halfway through a useful thread it gets deleted.

        I could bring in several others that are equally frustrated, so I would dearly, DEARLY love to see where you get the "facts" to back up your claim.

        Frankly, I’ve gotten better customer support from early 2000’s DELL.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down


        Number one compared to what??

    2. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Better than O2 for me

      I've been spending £35 a month for 18 months with O2 and largely getting Edge or GPRS. Their 3G coverage is poor and the calls are choppy when on 2G.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        I was like you, though my coverage was a bit better. When the 18 month contract ended, I rang them to get my PAC, went to T-Mobile (not the best, but there was a deal to get a free PS3 for switching) and now pay £15/month and couldn't be happier. I pay £20 less per month and I have a new PS3 (free)!

  2. Nathan 13
    Thumb Down

    Not 3, god not 3

    The problems I had with them took 6 months, countless emails and telephone calls to resolve. I say resolve but I gave up in the end. They blatantly lied to me, never returned calls, never sent me anything in writing back when they promised, I send them recorded delivery letters they never received them etc etc etc I would not recommend 3 to my worst enemy I really wouldnt.

    When the world cup is over the company that makes "Anyone but England" shirts need to start producing "Anyone but 3" shirts.

  3. Annihilator

    More for less

    I have noticed the revised iPhone contracts for O2 are rather worse than before. Previously, the 18 month, £35/month bought me 600 minutes. Now it would buy me 300. But it would increase my texts from 500 to unlimited (whoopy, I imagine there's a hidden limit like there was before).

    Goodbye O2 methinks...

  4. Adam McCormack
    Thumb Up

    The Title

    I've had no problems whatsoever(*) with 3's customer service in all the dealings I have had with them.

    (*) well OK, they didn't call back at the time they said they would; but they did call on the day.

    1. BingBong
      Thumb Up

      +1 for Three, their network and customer service and prices

      I make £10 of PAYG call time last a year ... so I'd go for a £499 iPhone 4 from Apple, combined with a £5/month "SIM Only Internet" 1 month contract which gives "Unlimited Internet" (that is actually 2Gb per month fair usage). Which means I can spend £40 a year on calls and texts (which I will never do 8-) to match Three's iPhone 4 minimum contract price.

  5. Andy 75

    02 "unlimited" vs 500 texts

    Not sure how unlimited that unlimited is but...

    500 texts used to include texts abroad at the cost of 4 allowance per text.

    "Unlimited" they do of course charge you for any text abroad.

    1. It'sa Mea... Mario


      That was very useful with the wife in China earlier this month! I'm on Orange so I used the 15 free texts that come with the vopium app to contact her..

      Wife can also send MMS messages at a cost of 4 inclusive texts.. Was hoping that Orange et al would pick up on this idea rather than O2 taking away for the newer contracts...

  6. Lutin

    Tempting switch to 3

    I've gotta say, the 3 contract at £30 per month seems like fantastic value. I'm no apple fanboi (au contraire), but that is a very, very tempting price for that hardware.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Do not sign a contract with Three at any price

    Three's customer "service" is indeed far and away the worst I have ever come across. If this cautionary tale saves just one Reg reader from being tempted by their ostensibly lower prices then my job here is done.

    I signed up for a seemingly good value SIM-only contract with them, inclusive of data allowance.

    They then proceeded to take direct debits for about £150/month instead of £15/month. After literally hours of calls to the Indian call centres it turned out they were charging me for all data use, even although they agreed it was included in my plan for free. They always insisted they couldn't fix it until the next bill date, it took months to sort.

    They happily agreed in the meantime not to take the full £150 by direct debit - I discovered two months later they'd just completely cancelled the direct debit without telling me and then passed my details to a debt collection agency for the apparent hundreds of pounds of arrears (when in fact the call centre admitted I was vastly in credit due to their billing errors and overenthusiastic direct debits). It took literally hours of calls every month to Indian call centres for about nine months to get it set up correctly.

    Sometimes the more sympathetic CS reps would give me goodwill credits for the inconvenience, only for them to be removed on the next call along with the subsequent billing errors and to be told there was no such thing as a goodwill credit and that I was lying about it.

    No record of previous calls seemed to be kept (or they refused to read them) so had to explain everything from scratch every single call.

    Their services were flaky as well. Soon learned not to try calling support though as the Indian call centre operatives hadn't a clue what they were talking about but would tell you anything, assure you they understood perfectly and they everything had been sorted/would definitely start working in an hour or so just to get you off the line. Promises to call back were never once kept.

    Obviously I terminated the contract as soon as I was able to and will never ever go back. Haven't had the courage to look to see what they've put on my otherwise spotless credit records.

    Such a shame, as Hutchison's first UK cellular network was amazing when they still owned it.

    1. Danny 14


      After 1 month I'd have taken them to small claims court. No way I would have sustained 150 per month for 9 months. In fact I wouldnt have been able to afford 150 a month in any case.

    2. paulf

      Too true

      You and I both lament the death of original "Hutchison Telecom Orange". Those were the days.

      It was sometime around summer 2000 when that pioneering network went to tits, then soon after France Telecom bought them from Vodafone (there was much empire building jiggery pokery going on at that time) and its been downhill ever since.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Define best deal.

    I'm trying to escape the contract lock-ins so am looking to go sim-only. As far as my puny human brain can determine O2 seem to offer the best option to suit me.

  9. Sandy Ritchie


    I've been with 3 for 13 Months and never had any problem, I bought an iPhone 3GS from O2 and had it unlocked and i've used the 3 Sim in it for 6 months, in fact features like tethering have been great (not blocked on 3 just frowned upon).

    The £15 sim only deal for iphone 3GS and iPhone 4 is genius! If you've got an old iphone and your happy with it you get a brilliant bundle which is only tied into a 1 month rolling contract.

    When some iphone 4's appear you could easily switch.

    I'm no fanboy, I like my iphone though, sure unlike HTC there isn't a new phone on the market every fortnight with the "new" all singing iphone killer feature, but what they do offer they do well.

  10. Rob Beard
    Thumb Up

    Kind of tempted

    I'm on Three at the moment, 18 month contract at 15 quid a month which gets me 75 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB of data which is plenty for me as I tend to text people to call me :-)

    I must admit I am a little tempted by this deal. I currently have a Nokia e63 which is a great little phone but I am still on a contract for another 7 months, maybe by then availability of the iPhone might be a bit better, or maybe something better might have been released.

    As far as 'Three is a crap network with crap service' goes, I've not had any problems with service (so far) but I have found the reception to be patchy at times, I'd but that down to my location though, it was just as bad on Orange and Virgin (and not much better on Vodafone or O2!).


  11. Anonymous Coward

    but will it work

    ive got an e71 with them at the moment and the service is beyond a joke. unless im sat at home not moving too much then i cant get a signal to use it.

    customer service being less than pleasant to deal with and are trying to fob me off saying ive an old phone and its the phone thats the problem? what?

    anon as im in a dispute with them at the moment and have just about had it with them.

    so what if its an iphone. if i was going to have it on three, they would have to pay me to take it, not me pay them

    the fail icon because thats what they are.

  12. twunt

    Check out their 3GS Prices

    Same price for an 8GB as a 32GB if you go for a 3GS?

  13. twunt

    To everyone complaining about three

    Do you really think that any of the others are any better?

    They're not.

  14. Hitesh

    Tesco Mobile - SIM only

    I've been looking at SIM only deals and was shocked to see that Tesco mobile provide the following:

    Unlimited Calls

    Unlimited Texts

    Unlimited Data

    for £30 a month!

    I haven't signed up yet as my current contract period with O2 hasn't ended. so can't advise on customer service etc. However, from looking into things in more details, the Tesco mobile network runs on O2.

    I'm sure there are fair usage policies in there, haven't managed to find the details of these yet.

    not the most presigious of networks, but definately seems like the best deal to me!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Buying on Three contract at an Apple Store?

    > "So you'll need to find an Apple Store, and make your choice there"

    Potentially stupid question - does this mean you can buy an iPhone 4 on contract to Three at an Apple Store? I thought they only did O2/Voda/Orange. Anyone know?

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Buying on Three contract at an Apple Store?

      Yes, there are 3UK people in the Apple Stores, apparently. 3 is now an Apple partner.

  16. Simon Says

    Tethering no extra on Three

    Another point in Three's favour is that they include tethering by default - you can use your 1GB for whatever you like, and if 1GB isn't enough then an extra 2GB is only £5/month extra.

  17. Chibs

    Seriously, 24 month contract as "best in class"?

    I would argue that the 12 month Tesco is in fact the best. Who seriously wants to be locked in a 2 year contract when the next iPhone will be out in 12 months? Sure you get some less minutes but other than that it's by far the better of the deals out there especially as the resell value of iPhone 4 in a year will probably be about £300 anyway.

  18. Ale

    Tesco better than 3

    You are comparing a 12m contract from Tesco, with a 24m contract from 3. Of course the tesco one seems more expensive!

    If you're going to keep the phone for 2 years, you can switch to a sim only tarif on tesco after 12m, which makes the total cost cheaper, and tesco also includes wifi.

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