3 Like Home - 3 squirm as customers cancel contracts
Barely a week ago, we reported that 3 are going to cancel 3 Like Home, a service which allows you to make calls and use data in several foreign countries without additional roaming fees. The reason given by 3 was it was due to the weak pound, which inflated 3's costs from using foreign service providers. As we pointed out last week, their explanation made as much sense as a bearded horse - not only because 3's maths didn't add up, but as readers pointed out, the foreign service providers are actually part of 3's sister network - a fact they failed to mention.
3 now are texting customers with a different explanation as to why the service is ending; included in the text is a web link. Here's what my link said:
Firstly, we're reviewing all our EU roaming rates. And by removing 3 Like Home, we'll be able to offer more competitive prices in non-3 sister network countries.
Secondly, we know that many of our other customers roamed onto another network by mistake while in a 3 Like Home Country and built up a bigger bill then expected. Unfortunately, we're unable to stop accidental roaming onto a non-3 sister network. But by making these changes, our prices will be more straight forward and even clearer. So you'll always know what you're paying for. Wherever you are.
I've just attempted to locate other networks manually on my phone, and as well as 3 I've found both Vodafone and T-Mobile. Unsurprisingly, I can access neither. So 3 can stop accidental use of a non-3 network in this country on a 3 handset, but not abroad. Worse than that, they're trying to justify to customers who use 3 Like Home, that they'll be better off by not having the service at all. Really?
So. Does this week's explanation sound anything like last week's?
3 are squirming, because for customers who joined 3 after January 2007, 3 Like Home has been an integral service, offered at no extra charge to the customer. It has never been considered or referred to as an additional service - this is important, because if 3 make changes that can be considered detrimental, customers can end their contract without paying a fee; the only exceptions to this are additional services. We discussed the reasons why 3 Like Home isn't an additional service last week.
Reading through recent customers experiences on the HUKD forums, it seems 3 have sent two versions of the text out, depending on whether you have used the 3 Like Home service recently. If you have, there's a note within the text saying you have a right to cancel. And it is possible; HUKD member helsbels cancelled their 3 contract this morning, as did Bitterwallet reader David Zdanowicz, who also offers some useful advice for those wanting to cancel a contract because of 3 Like Home.
One commonality amognst all those who have managed to cancel so far - it appears to be taking in excess of an hour for customer services to agree. Perhaps 3 are hoping that customers will become so frustrated by the experience that they give up trying. If you use 3 Like Home and are going to lose out, clear your diary and get stuck in.