I'd been having problems on Three with my phone roaming onto their defunct 2G backup and losing all connectivity. ??Tech support were of very little help when I spoke to them since I have a non-Three branded handset. I was disappointed with the extremely poor quality of their support and I phoned up for my PAC (not really intending to use it) and spent 50 minutes on hold while I waited for someone to answer my call. ??I was so annoyed at this point (and also at them trying to sell me a three branded phone with a new contract to solve my problems) that I got my PAC and completed a port-in request with giffgaff.
If you haven't come across giffgaff before, they are a sim only mobile company using the O2 network that offer cheap rates (8p min, 4p texts) and competitive bundles (250 mins, unlimited SMS, unlimited data for ??10 a month). ??My number ported painlessly and I started to make the most of my unlimited data. ??Unfortunately giffgaff didn't live up to the promise because of the extremely poor 3G coverage of the O2 network. ??I've pulled out my phone in several popular tourist locations only to find I'm stuck with a slow 2G connection that is virtually useless for anything but the most basic of tasks. In all of these locations (including Whitby, Robin Hood's Bay, York/A64, Twycross Zoo) I had previously got a strong 3G signal with Three.
I contacted the executive office at Three with a complaint about the quality of service I've received from them (including the 50 minutes I spent on the phone to retentions), hoping that they would make some kind of gesture to entice me back. ??Whilst I got a response from the executive office, it was clear they hadn't bothered to look up my account details from the poor response/offer they made. ??I won't be rejoining the Three network at twice the price (for half the data) that I paid before, so it looks like I'm stuck with giffgaff for the foreseeable future.
I've no complaint against giffgaff, the prices are good and the community is great, but a potentially great service is ruined by the poor 3G coverage from O2. ??It's a shame that Three is let down by their customer service team (and I'm far from the only person to experience this) – with half decent customer service I might not have left in the first place!