Worst Company In Britain - 3 v Phones4U

24 November 2009

worst 2009 Commiserations to BT, lying battered and bloodied in the consumer hate gutter after almost 1,800 of you voted for them in yesterday’s Worst Company In Britain 2009 head-to-head with the plucky minnows from United Utilities.

Special technology that we’ve just made up showed that 70% of BT voters clicked on the vote button with extra aggression, suggesting that you REALLY hate them. Well done.

Today sees a numerically-monikered phonedown showdown between the clowns at 3 (or Three, or Trois if you’re French) and the bell ends that are Phones4U. There are ample reasons to vote for either company – in May, 3 tried to sneakily scrap their ‘3 Like Home’ service but we caught them, helping scores of their customers to walk away from their contracts.

Meanwhile, we’re still trembling at the thought of Phones4U’s current ad blitz, which features a pissing Santa. Mmm… what a delightful festive scene.

So, you’ve got until midnight to cast your votes to decide who goes through to the second round. Why not entertain us with your tales of woe involving either or both companies. GO!

TOPICS:   High Street News   Mobile

34 comments

  • Pizza_D_Action
    Really can't decide between these two.... i've actually had good experiences with both of them. Had some dirt cheap deals from Three in the past and some good service when I had problems but equally I left because they bumped the prices up and the Indian call centres are shite. On the other hand had some dirt cheap cashback deals from Phones4U but then their staff in the shop are cocks...
  • mjpl
    Oh come on, three are the worst company on earth.
  • TVDBP
    Bad match up because they are both bad, but 100% Phones4U. Terrible company.
  • Paul N.
    This is going to be a close one...
  • Naz
    It has to be three!!cant believe phones for u are ahead!
  • Late
    Have had no direct experience with either, but the phones4u adverts get right on my tits so they get my vote. (The 3 adverts aren't much better, mind, but I don't recall seeing one for a while.)
  • TVDBP
    What about Phones4U randomly trying to drag you into their disgusting stores?
  • richey
    they are both sooooo bad but i havent had to deal with 3 in 2009 oh wait no i have they billed me for something FOUR years after my contract ended. Shit and i already voted.....
  • Tony
    got my 3 contract cancelled for free earlier this year - without too much hassle - agree their Indian call centres are the absolute pits - but P4U get's my vote - they are a complete bunch of nobs - some of the staff are probably very nice, but their sales patter is just shite of the highest order.
  • Lyn
    18 months paying for a service that I couldn't get, just because their system said there was coverage- bunch of wankers.
  • Lyn
    that was 3, by the way.
  • Dave M.
    this should prove to the Irish FA why seeding is essential. Allowing one of these two to not make the later stages is a crime
    • Andy D.
      @Dave M - we have seeded the draw. One of these got 49 nominations while the other got 4. We'll see who wins though...
  • ginger
    I think Ebuyer should be added to the list. Their prices are really competitive but god help you if there is problem later. Be aware of your consumer rights if you decide to purchase from them.
  • Jack
    Three have been awesome for me. Great deal and contract, free skype, coverage was also fine as I checked with friends as I am not a fuckwit. Plus easy to view bills online, or by post if you wanted.
  • Chris
    @ginger I was about to defend Ebuyer (in my mind at least) until I remembered a recent encounter I had with them. In short I bought a "Mac compatible" NAS drive from them for a good price. After a few months it stopped working. The manufacturer told me that it is Mac compatible while it is working but I needed a firmware update before a) it would work again and b) before he could provide further support. Fine, except you could only perform a firmware update from a genuine PC - which I don't own. Ebuyer refused to refund or exchange as their system stated that it was indeed Mac compatible. They did offer to let me send it to them so that they could perform the update. Not exactly a long term solution...
  • dunfyboy
    It's close so far. Never really dealt with either of these companies. My vote can be bought!
  • dee
    Phones 4 U. Extremely crap customer service, don't phone back when they say they will, promise things and never follow on with them, try to drag you into their stores, etc etc
  • Steven
    I work for Phones 4 U and we are actually out to help you guys with phones. We are the only company who have the ability to buy out contracts. We end contracts early for you and give you a ton of cashback. We also have exclusive deals which even the network shops cannot offer you. We do not drag you off the streets, this has now all stopped and we are now one of the best customer service shops on the high street and to prove this, Head office send out a text to all new customers after 31 days regarding the service they received. If it was rubbish, the sales person(s) do not get paid for that commission.. Simply. 3 are terrible and Phones 4 U have ditched there contract sale's because of the terrible coverage and service you get from them.
  • NikT
    I have only ever had reasonable dealings with Phones4U. As Steven states, they will give you cash to 'buy-out' your existing contract if a few months remain...their sales staff are merely being attemntive when they pounce on you upon entering their store! Three on the other hand, I will never, ever deal with again. Granted, it was a number of years ago, probably within their first year of trading, but they provided a phone that completely stopped working, couldn't repair it and they would not replace it. I attempted to exercise my consumer rights to cancel as they were not providing the service which they had contracted to provide. They wouldn't allow it so I cancelled my D/D. They followed this up by logging a default notice against my credit file! Scumbags
  • BecauseOfBoxingDay
    Posted by Steven | November 24th, 2009 at 1:42 pm I work for Phones 4 U and we are actually out to (make you believe that) we want to help you guys with phones. We are the only company who have the ability (need?) to buy out contracts. We end contracts early for you and give you a ton of cashback, (because we can't sell things at full price ... seriously, any old muppet can give away contracts with cashback). We also have exclusive deals which even the network shops cannot offer you (yet the network shops completely muller you for sales volume). We do not drag you off the streets, this has now all stopped and we are now one of the best customer service shops on the high street (go on...) and to prove this (ooh!), Head office send out a text to all new customers after 31 days regarding the service they received. If it was rubbish, the sales person(s) do not get paid for that commission.. Simply. (That MUST make you one of the best then) 3 are terrible and Phones 4 U (are too) have ditched there contract sale’s because of the terrible coverage and service you get from them. (More smoke and mirrors and manipulation and bullshit from retail's 'finest')
  • Paul
    Hello, The link from HUKD does not show this article as it does not have the "worst company" tag like the others :)
  • SJT
    12 months ago, I'd have said 3, but since moving to Orange, no chance!
  • Jack
    @ Steven You are also there to give the hard sell when someone tries to cancel out of the 14 day cooling off period. I made a mistake, and was on the phone from person to person going to different departments being pressured to keeping the phone, or even getting extras. Then was lied to on the phone when regarding a better deal '3' had offered me (which I thought I was buying from phones4u in the first place), they said '3' don't include VAT in their price, well YES they do, and even reduced it at the checkout to drop to 15%. In my past experience Phones4u have been ok to use, but not very good (but would consider using them again). Three on the other hand, I've had no problems with. Thats why I'm voting Phones4u
  • Cliff T.
    3 are simply the worst company I have ever dealt with in my life. Shit call centre, shit coverage, and after I escaped from the contract they had the balls to phone me several and plead for me to take a new contrick out with them. I wish they would just FOAD.
  • Chris
    My vote goes to phones4u. They messed up 2 cashback claims for 2 different phones. 3 are excellent! They provide the best 3g coverage in Northern Ireland. Three and vodafone provide 3.5g in my town and t-mobile, orange and o2 haven't even got 3g!
  • tom
    theres nothing wrong with 3, ive been with them for the last 2 years with amobile and broadband contract. they have the best 3g / HSDPA coverage in the uk backed up by orange for their 2g coverage. is it 3s fault that a bunch of twats take out contracts without checking what the coverage is like with people they know? i pay £7.50 a month for my mobile and get 300 minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited internet on a sim only plan thats half price coz im not a twat like you 3 hating tossers :-) I also get 15gb a month on my broadband contract thats reduced to £10 a month, all the other networks want £30+ for the same kind of usage so to me 3 are the best company to deal with, over the years ive dealt with every network and the customer services is appalling from all of them (including 3) so 3 wins my business on price plus i would never go with any of the other big 4 because they all promote and sell the TWAT PHONE
  • Worst B.
    [...] Meanwhile, it was knife-edge seat-edge stuff here at Bitterwallet as 3 and Phones4U fought it out until the midnight deadline for your votes. You can see the result and find out who has made it through to round two here. [...]
  • TVDBP
    @tom if it is indeed a twat phone, you ill-informed rant appears to suggest you'd be apple's best customer.
  • Lyn
    @tom, big, clever words there, did you learn those at speshul school? If you don't know anybody who uses a phone company does that mean you shouldn't ever use them? I'm new to this part of the country and wasn't prepared to go taking a poll of neighbours to see what the coverage was. If you can't trust a company not to lie about their coverage or be prepared to back it up with some kind of guarantee on the off chance they were wrong then that company deserves all the grief that it gets. I have cost 3 quite a lot of sales, along with a company contract and will happily bad mouth them to the end of time. Nothing travels faster than bad news and whilst bad things happen, you judge a company by how they deal with problems. Or in the case of 3, how they don't.
  • Kash
    This was a close one, i voted for Three but i'm with them as well. It's a strange love/hate relationship i have lol I'd like to save money as we all do and Three keep offering me a good phone at an excellent price (only reason i'm with them) That said their call centre is a joke as well as their coverage but thankfully i'm happy to blank that out in my memory. Phones4U i never had any dealings with so not sure on them
  • tom
    TVDBP p[lease enlighten me, what part of my post is ill informed? the fact they have the best uk 3g coverage? (as confirmed by ofcom) the fact they use the company with the best 2g coverage as a fallback? the fact they are the cheapest in the market? the fact that every other network has jumped on the iphone bandwagon? the fact that every iphone user is a twat?
  • Andy
    I know this vote has finished but if I can persuade at least one person not to shop with phones4u then it's been a worthwhile 5 minutes. They maybe fine if you don't have problems but just try their '14 day cooling off period' and watch them try every underhand trick in the book to get out of it. I tried to exchange a phone that I knew they had in stock in their 2nd shop around the corner but was messed about all day and called a liar. This was in their Carlisle branches- AVOID!!!
  • Mark W.
    3 by a country mile. Worst service provider I have ever experienced in any industry and at any time during the past 20 years. Terrible service, terrible customer service, terrible attitude, no desire to improve and this is reflected in the vast number of scathing reviews which go back to when 3 started out and are still rife, arrogant, misleading. JUST STAY WELL AWAY FROM 3!

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