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3 Mobile Broadband Reviews

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ProductImageAverage Rating Out of 10DescriptionDeals
3 Mobile Broadband on a Laptop
2.39
In the limited testing we performed in Q2 2011, 3 Mobile Broadband gave a decent connection at a variety of locations, with speeds ranging from 1.4 to 4.77Mb/s. 3 offers dongles and mobile Wi-Fi (aka MiFi) devices on pay monthly contracts or Pay As You Go, as well as laptop and Tablet PC contracts. 3 offers competitive pricing on data allowances and is a popular choice of network. Ask around about network performance in your area before signing up, and if you can't find out about this beforehand, go for the Pay As You Go dongle and upgrade to a contract later if necessary. View Deals

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PLEASE NOTE that the below reviews may not be fully representative of all users as we believe that reviews are more likely to be posted by those whose expectations have not been met. As a radio service, the quality of mobile broadband service that you receive can be highly dependent on where you are using it. Please see Our View for our opinions on the major UK mobile broadband providers - Site Admin.

Number of Reviews: 323
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Reviewer NameRating out of 10Review DetailsReview Date / Time
steve1 I do not go out of my way 2 complain but 3mobile broadband signal is as good as its customer service completely atrocious. thay are no help what so ever been put on hold for ages time and time again. there technical dept don't seem to have a clue and have no communication skills with you or them selves its cost me a massive phone bill and a headach trying to sort problems out after a heated phone call with there so called manager I asked if I could cancel my contract as im not getting the service thay said I would,yes I can but it will cost a couple of hundred pound so what about all the time iv been paying for some thing that I aint had 'we cant guarantee service'. so iv been scammed . my advice save your time your temper and your MONEY look else were. 15/04/2013 13:11:44
alan miller1 if anybody else thinking about getting anything from 3 mobile please dont bother...its very easy to set up a contract but another thing trying to cancel it.....ive been trying for 5 days now to cancel and im no further forward its dam near impossible to cancel...the only way to cancel is to call customer services and then they transfer you to the cancellation department and after going through your details with them they cut you off so technically youre contract is still not terminated....im very angry and have sent 2 emails to 3 and i am still waiting for a reply and i feel i am being held to ransom by these cowboys...i have even been into my local 3 shop and even 1 of their salesmen tried calling them on my behalf and they done the same to him and ive never seen anybody so embarassed in all my life than that guy i was even embarassed for him as well......... 16/10/2012 18:27:46
alex nemegh1 it seems that the problems with bad service is everywhere.I have been on multiple sites and the complaints are just the same. Having had a standard dongle and getting speeds that averaged 4mbps i thought i would upgrade to the mifi E367 dongle.at first things seemed fine but speeds were not increased then after a few weeks problems started,DNS service fail,so after talking to cust serv saying it might be my dongle i thought i would upgrade to the E586 router as i could use my smart tv as well (added bonus ).NO i was mistaken,cant really use my laptop or tv due to service problems.So dongle Not at fault.Contacted c.s. to be told i should be happy with speeds of 0.5 mbps,as long as i could browse.Now i been told there is a fault with the router when it switches from hi speed to 3g but reading all complaints that is not true or every model of dongle is faulty as so many people are having the same fault on different models.I live in M11 so my service should be great,I get five bars,connected,but service fail.To sum it all up 3 cant cope with the mass of users.And please stop slowing the service down as 3 as far as i know are the only network that do. 17/04/2012 16:40:41
Em1
I signed a 24 month contract with "3" ("the one plan", a mobile contract with unlimited data for usage of the internet) in September 2011.
With the contract, the shop assistant on Chiswick High Road/London offered me an internet stick with 1 GB data worth 15 Pounds for free, as a "little thankyou" for signing up a contract. I mentioned that I would not really need it as I just signed a contract with unlimited internet data. Nevertheless, the shop assistant urged me to take it, as I could "fling it in the bin", if I wished to.
I took the stick, signed a confirmation that I received the stick and went home. I never unpacked the stick and started using my phone.
In January, I realized that 15 Pounds had been taken off my bank account. I called the "3" helpline to ask what it was all about. They apologized and told me that they had made a mistake, I should go to my bank, cancel the direct debit and claim a refund. I did so. Also, "3" closed my so-called broadband contract (which I had apparently been tricked into signing.
Since then, I am getting around 3 calls per day from a debit collection centre, urging me to pay random amounts of money. The amounts they claim vary from 15 Pounds to 65 Pounds, of course they come along with threats to tag me with a negative credit note. I never got anything in written form up to now, nore does the complaints department seem to have any idea what I am talking about when I am trying to contact them. The two departments seem to be in several different countries. I am scared stiff of facing a negative credit note, but at the same time I am far too angry to pay some random amount of money. I am still paying the monthly charge (a monthly minimum of 33 Pound) for my mobile contract, the one I knowingly signed up for?, although it is worth mentioning that the reception is more than poor and many downloads do not work.

16/03/2012 20:11:28
Michael2 CT9 2HG Margate

I find the only times I get decent speeds are between 11pm and 8am, and I also get drop outs in service at random intervals every few weeks. A few years ago I loved 3's mobile broadband, but in the past year they've gone majorly downhill both in service quality and customer service. All of my friends that also use 3connect are equally dissatisfied with the service they get
12/03/2012 23:12:11
M.A. Simmons1 This is a about my 3 mobile dongle. I'm afraid I have to disagree with 'Admin' about problems with the dongle and its link with locations that have little coverage.

On first receiving the dongle I had nothing but praise for the service. I had dropped into a 3 shop and before getting the month to month contract we checked coverage in my area and found it good to excellent. On that basis I signed up and was over the moon to find that it was exactly as described and better. Weekly trips on the train allowed great internet access which meant I could work while travelling, a nice bonus I thought.

Two months later the service has declined significantly. Download speed jumps from 0 to 1590 averaging about 11 to 163kbps. This started happening about a month ago and three very long calls to the technical centre have yielded nothing but a suggestion I go elsewhere and a dubious explanation. They claim there is technical work going on the in area which is why I'm having difficulty. If that's the case then why is the connection affected in all other areas as well. I'm afraid I suspect that 3 is being dishonest and limiting my download in spite of my having access to 5GB which I never get near to using up. I will be seriously looking to change my dongle provider and am thankful I didn't enter into a long contract.
26/02/2012 11:41:21
Jack1 I have used the same 3 dongle for 2 years now. It started of poor and it continues to be poor. I was promised that the service was going to be improved when I tried to return the dongle.

Living on the fringe of a major city, it should be good, but alas it is not.
I am using a 3 branded type zte mf627 dongle using 2.0.0.80 3 connect software which was showing 1 bar of signal and between 8 and 12 kb/s download speeds. I searched and found an update for the 3 connect desktop software which upgraded it to version 3.0.26.0.
The desktop software now shows me receiving a full 5 bars of signal on H, but alas, the download speeds are the exact same.

So I imagine, all that was changed was the algorithm to show an 'improved' signal where as in fact, its just the same as it ever was. Remember, as nothing was changed on the dongle itself, then it could not have changed the actual signal received, its just showing its better when it isnt.

As a result, I will add to the others that cant or wont recommend using the 3 mobile dongle service. Spend a little bit more and get a proper service.

[Admin Says - Have you tried the dongle at another location? Unfortunately it sounds as though you are not in a 3G coverage area, which will mean low speeds. We know from our testing that 3 Mobile Broadband does offer good speeds when in 3G areas. Thanks for the review.]
16/12/2011 20:57:58
lee_lee7 3 mobile broadband has on the whole been pretty good. However I often notice slower speeds the moment 3 notifies me that I only have 20 per cent of my usage left. Has anyone else noticed this? This is particuarly annoying when I have paid for 15 gig.
Also customer service is poor.
02/11/2011 06:47:47
Andy P6 I use 3 mi-fi everyday as my main work tool as I work from home in an area where BT can only currently offer me 1.5Mbps (Milton Keynes). The mi-fi works fine until 18:00, (17:00 since the clocks went back). I use vpn and connect into work for which I can work fine all day until now 17:00 then boy oh boy does it slow down. I can use the internet fine, but try using a vpn connection into work which is my requirement and the speed is dire. I lose pings all over the place and cannot work. Means after 17:00 now I cannot work, which really is not acceptable. 31/10/2011 18:31:05
Mike K1 Just purchased 2 of these mobile broadband dongles from 3, awful! Terrible coverage, conflict issues with outgoing smtp with our domain provider, never had any trouble with others I've used in the past. When you do eventually get a connection, slow isn't the word! Do your research people, I rushed to buy, it's all they had left in stock, now I know why. Hope this helps.

[Admin Says - When I've tried 3 Mobile Broadband, performance has been fine, but we realise performance can vary greatly with location. Thanks for the review. I am wondering if outgoing SMTP issues could be because your SMTP provider wants to validate against a static IP address, which won't be provided by mobile broadband.]
28/10/2011 13:42:05
Elke Edwards1 i have had my 3 dongle now for several years and have had many problems when moving around due to work commitments. i have been in touch with 3 customer services, who state every single time that it is the dongle over heating. ask me to send it back and they will send out yet another. the first time it happened, i had returned my dongle the day the new one arrived, after several weeks they sent me letter after letter telling me they were going to charge me if i didnt return it. so every time i phoned and checked,i got confirmation that they had indeed received it back. this went on for several weeks. then they sent me the wrong dongle ( same problem again) phonecall after phonecall. then i received a totally different item, looked like a dongle but certainly wasnt one. apart from the constant phonecalls i have really have had enough now of 3, they might give the best for your money but not service to their customers. every time i now switch my dongle on i havnt even got a signal, it keeps switching itself off whilst i,m working on the laptop. enough is definately enough. i,m going else where.

[Admin Says - My own view is that if you are experiencing poor performance from mobile broadband it is usually more likely to be the signal available at your exact location than a hardware failure. Rgds.]
14/10/2011 12:27:05
tracey macgee1 m20 didsbury, ok folks firstly three deliberatly interupt mobile broadband signal so u are unable to use your full internet allowance which makes three a tidy little bundle,also keep a constant eye on your gig allowance as they offer a 15 gig package but r really only giving 6-7 gig,i have had to report them to trading standards for charging me for 15 gig but only actually giving me half that,complete robbing [Admin - language removed],STAY AWAY FROM THESE CON PEOPLE AT ALL COST AND REPORT THEM TO TRADING STANDARDS THE MORE RIP OFFS REPORTED THEY WILL BE FORCED TO ACT AND COMPENSATE,ALSO EMAIL CONSUMER PROGRAMMES TO ENSURE THEY RECEIVE THE NEGATIVE PUBLICITY THEY DESERVE.rEMEMBER IF YOU GO OVER YOUR ALLOWANCE THEY WILL TAKE A 100 FOR EVERY GIG OVER,SO ITS IN THERE INTEREST TO SEND U OVER,DONT LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT.

[Admin Says - We agree that users should be careful to stay under their usage allowances, but other than that have been satisfied with the 3 service when we've used it. Rgds.]
10/10/2011 13:11:30
Kate3 I have had my dongle for a year and a half. We live on a boat so we are always in a different location. Sometimes it is ok, streaming is possible. Other times it is hopeless depending on where we are (always central London)

I would mostly like to review the customer service I received: I called them to cancel my Dongle because I now have a mooring with broadband. The lady in India (Monica Jaisinghani) argued with me for over half an hour, trying to convince me to keep it, or to reduce the payment to ?ú5 for 3 months with 1 gig. Over and over again. I kept saying No. No thank you, I do not need it, I do not want it. She kept going on and on, not cancelling it and pushing so hard to change my mind. Fair enough, that's their job.

The conversation finally ended with me saying NO for the umpteenth time, I WANT TO CANCEL MY ACCOUNT NOW.

6 weeks later when I find they have taken more money and are about to bill me again I call to find she has made a note on my account saying that I had agreed to give my dongle to someone else and continue paying myself.

WHAT!! This could not have been more ridiculous. There is no way she could have misunderstood my million times NO

The man then went on to say that they would could only cancel from 30 days from that day. I said no, I cancelled 6 weeks ago, I am not cancelling today. This went back and forth many times with him saying sorry there is nothing ha can do, he agrees the lady was wrong and I was right but I still had to pay.

After arguing he then stepped down a little and said they could cancel immediately from that day rather than a further 30 days.

I said no, i am not cancelling today I cancelled 6 weeks ago. He was now adament there was nothing more to be done. I would have to pay for their error.

After more arguing He finally said he could actually cancel from the day I had cancelled it, they would send out a letter with the readjusted fees on it.

POINTS TO REMEMBER ABOUT 3:
1.When you cancel they will go to absolutely any lengths to scam you out of more money. if they managed to make all of the outgoing customers pay an extra month they would make a tidy sum.

2.They will lie about what can and cant be done. You must be persistent and push for what is right.
It may take many hours of pushing back at them.
'oh we cant do that' 20 mins later 'oh yes we can do that, i was just lying the first time to try to squeeze more money out of you.

[Admin Says - Thanks for the review. What you say about service performance just shows how mobile broadband can be very good in some areas but poor in others, i.e. it is totally location dependent.

Regarding the cancellation, I have left it unedited although I don't think the word scam is appropriate here. All mobile companies will try to prevent cancellations, but if you want to be sure you could perhaps back up a phone cancellation with a letter too, although I agree that a phone cancellation should be enough in an ideal world.]
23/09/2011 08:48:10
mike5 Been with 3 mobile broadband for near a year now, and always ive had full signal and great internet speeds no lag or kicks on internet games and now for the past week ive had it all the time, full signal to no signal and back and forth and the odd disconnection. I dont want to ring up because i know il be fobbed off to someone who can hardly understand me and i cant understand them because there somewhere in india or china.Im not a racist at all but please can i have someone english to talk to who understands what im saying!

[Admin Says - A sudden loss of performance can be a sudden fault with your local mast and can be progressed by contacting 3. We've contacted 3 Customer Services a number of times and have always been able to understand them, so we are suprised at your issue. Thanks for the review.]
20/08/2011 15:19:01
MS1 For the fifth time since my contract started I have been using this service away from home for a sustained period and for the fifth time it has performed ok for the first couple of weeks and then slowed right down and become unreliable/unstable. I have asked 3 MANY times why this is and I have never had a straight and honest answer. That leads me to believe that 3 have picked up where I am using it and slowed it down because I am a user who likes to make good use of the 15 gigabyte package which 3 sold me and which I have never exceeded in any given month. I will never go anywhere near 3 again when my contract ends. 16/08/2011 21:01:25
Nick2 I've been using 3 mobile 15gb per month service for over 2 years. There are periods where its good and periods when its very slow. In the last 4 months, its not been possible to stream video and there are times when the speed is bearly enough for browsing.
I think the problem is there are too many users and not enough bandwidth in many areas. Also, I suspect Three can adjust some users speed, for instance new users initially get better speeds (they are probably given higher priority on the network).
I proved this by buying a Three PAYG dongle with 3gb. It was initially much faster than my other Three 15gb contract connection).

[Admin Says - Thanks for the review. The faster speed on the Three PAYG dongle might have been because the modem was a newer model with better performance.]
14/08/2011 19:44:02
Michael 1 i got a ZTE MF627 dongle on a two year contract 15GB for ?ú15 a month that was in july 2009 everything was brilliant for about 6 months then came the constant upgrades, maintanence and fixes that have degraded the network from a 300 Kbp/s lovely connection to a 5Kbp/s dead slug in molasses that cannot hold a connection for more than 30 seconds the constant excuses and palming off from the customer services (toung in cheek) over the last 18 months have now forced me to pass details of this facade to the trading standards and ofcom. For this company to advertise such blatent lies about speed and reliability in the 21st century is unacceptable i advise all with this problem to do the same

[Admin Says - Sorry to hear about your issue. Clearly if you only want to use the service in one place, then a local service issue is much more serious. We hope that 3 Mobile Broadband 's procedures for dealing with a customer facing such an issue will improve. In general though, from testing at multiple locations, we have found their service to provide decent levels of performance. Rgds.]
28/07/2011 11:33:11
Anonymous1 I am very critical of 3.

[Admin Says - Review has been edited as we cannot publish in original form for legal reasons.]
23/07/2011 20:52:09
Tony English1 My son is at a school for the visually impaired in Worcester. We took out a mifi dongle with 3 for him to use while away. The postcode checker said that it should be able to be used both indoors and outside. It's on his window ledge which should enable it to get a good reception. At first it seemed on, for the first few days. It was reasonably quick. Then it started dropping out regularly to the point that now it fails to connect to the network and is pretty much unuseable. He's pretty much given up on it. While he is on holiday I'm going to use it to see what resposes I get from it. To be honest I should have gone to a different provider, as his mobile is with three also and the poor levels of reception are shocking!

Based at : WR5 2JX

[Admin Says - Thanks for the review. It does sound as if you are in a poor signal area. If you can put the MiFi device any higher up in the building, that might help. Rdgs.]

18/07/2011 10:21:57
Eddy2 Been using 3 dongle for last three years in London N22 area. Signal hasnt been fantastic over the years. Problems regularly occur with connection. Last 10 have been dreadful. Very difficult to use the internet. Connection keeps cutting out. Spoke to 3 for over an hour. Dia a lots of resetting on the laptop. They sent me a new dongle but the problem is still the same.

[Admin Says - Yes, problems are usually related to phone masts and signal available as opposed to modem hardware. Rgds.]
13/07/2011 17:37:02

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