Something I see posted quite a bit on a variety of discussion forums I frequent is people asking how they can terminate their contract with three, particularly when their customer services occasionally don’t take the news that you want to leave well and will employ every (dirty) trick in the book to try and keep you. Luckily there is a way to terminate relatively painlessly without the need to talk to anyone on the phone. My other half used this method to terminate her contract with three in January 2013 and did so relatively painlessly
Whilst this advice was originally designed for customers of 3, there is no reason why the templates and procedure cannot be adapted to work for customers of O2, Orange, T-Mobile, EE, Vodafone, Tesco Mobile, Virgin Media, Virgin Mobile or indeed any other UK mobile phone network! Indeed I have terminated on O2 previously using the same letter and with far fewer attempts to call me still!
Step 1 – Check you are out of contract
Whilst it is possible to terminate in contract, this will involve the payment of an early termination fee which unfortunately may involve talking to someone
Step 2 – Ignore any information on terminating on their website
Three’s official line on terminating your contract is to simply(!) give them a call on 333. DO NOT DO THIS if you value your blood pressure. The following YouTube video should demonstrate why
Step 3 – Get your word processor out
The key to a painless termination is to do it in writing. The following is the letter that my other half sent to three which you are welcome to use as a template. The section on not needing a PAC code may need amending if you wish to keep your number but besides that you should be good to go once you insert your own details in the square brackets
BY RECORDED DELIVERY
RE ACCOUNT NUMBER [ACCOUNT NUMBER] MOBILE NUMBER [MOBILE NUMBER] DATE OF BIRTH [DOB]
I am writing to give the required 30 days notice to terminate my contract in respect of the above referenced account/mobile number.
Please note that this letter has been sent by recorded delivery and therefore notice will be deemed to have been served from the date the letter has been confirmed signed for by Royal Mail. I do not wish to retain my mobile number and do not require a PAC code.
Please confirm IN WRITING that you have actioned my termination request and the date on which my service with you will terminate. I would also ask that you dispense with any retention activity. My decision regarding this termination is final and any attempt to call me to retain me will serve as an annoyance which may reduce the likelihood that I will return to three in the future
I look forward to receiving written confirmation of the ending of my contract
[SIGNATURE AND YOUR NAME HERE]
Step 4 – Place letter in an envelope
Put the letter in an envelope and send it to the following address
Three Customer Services
Hutchison 3G UK Ltd
PO Box 333
Step 5 – Take letter to a post office
You need to send the letter by either 1st or 2nd class recorded delivery (at a cost of £1.55 or £1.45 respectively at the time of writing this blog post). It is imperative you send the letter recorded delivery otherwise it could get “lost in the post”. Keep your receipt to track the letter and keep an eye on the tracking so you can see when the letter was signed for. Make a note of the date the letter was signed for and work out 30 days from that date. This is the date your contract should be terminating on so remember it to compare with any correspondence you get from three.
Step 6 – Ignore your phone
Despite the letter stating that you would consider any retentions activity an annoyance and that they should communicate with you in writing, three customer services grasp of the English language isn’t too great. They will still call. Let voice mail deal with them. As a general rule of thumb if the number they are calling from contains a lot of 3’s then it is three. Also google any numbers calling you that you do not recognise and ignore calls from withheld numbers. If three leave a message asking you to call them to discuss your letter ignore them. Your letter has made it quite clear that there is nothing to discuss and as you have proof of when the letter was signed for, the clock is ticking
Step 7 – Wait
Eventually after a few days of receiving the cold shoulder, three will eventually do what it is you asked of them in your letter and will terminate the contract. You will receive a SMS confirming this though the SMS may say that your contract will terminate in 30 days. Ignore this for the time being. Soon after a letter will arrive and this should (with any luck) confirm your termination with notice being given from the date your letter was signed for. If for any reason the date is wrong then you may have to get in touch with three. I’d recommend either writing again or on facebook (search for three uk ) or twitter (@threeuksupport). After going through all this the last thing you want to do is talk to them on the phone.
Step 8 – Wait (again)
You may still receive the odd call from three. Continue to give them the voicemail treatment. Eventually your termination day will arrive and all being well your phone will terminate. If for some reason it doesn’t you may have to contact them. Again social networking is probably the way to go with contacting them as talking to them can be bad for your health
Hope people find this guide useful