– what they don't tell you about their mobile service

After 12 months on the ‘todo’ list, I’ve finally switched my mobile to Three Ireland. I’m broadly happy with the choice, but everybody loves a moan, so here are the three things that don’t tell you.

  • It’s impossible to topup online for prepay, neither via the Website nor via AIB / Bank of Ireland. It means you have to go to the shop and buy a topup voucher, then enter in a 16 number code. Not very user friendly.
  • You can’t sent text messages via the Website. No chance of using a proper keyboard to type your messages then.
  • While the portal is free, it’s a bit Ryanair-ish – all ads for Video Poker and ‘Download these ringtones’.

Not exactly killer ‘don’t use Three Ireland’ complaints , is it?’
Three Ireland Logo
So to give you (in the immortal words of Fox news) ‘fair and balanced reporting’ – here are things that I like.

  • Coverage (on both 3G and the 3.5G / HSDPA) is pretty good. At least in the Dublin – Belfast corridor where I spend most of my time. I’ll wait a while before transferring my Vodafone Data card though.
  • It’s cheaper for me than 02 and Vodafone – at least according to official telecom regulator site.
  • The phones are good. The Nokia 6120 that I got is average size, which is a compliment for the normally bulky 3G models. It’s got a small screen, but it plays well with my Nokia 770 Tablet , so it works out ok.
  • A large selection of their phones offer Skype – that’s free calls over the internet. While it’s crippled so no call in or out from normal telephones, it’s still useful enough for talking to overseas developers.


  1. Brian,

    Went for Three (a) because they are cheaper on voice calls and (b) tired of being overcharged (compared to the UK) by the established operators.

    I was going to switch the datacard to three as well – but held off because you and other bloggers had so many problems with the service.

    No immediate plans to change; I may set up the phone as a data-modem to test the service, but even then they’re a phone company , not an IT service company so I don’t expect to get a lot of help from the call centre.


  2. Brian,

    I’m currently on an ‘unlimited’ plan with Vodafone (they’ve since realised their mistake and tried to cap it), so apart from lack of coverage, that’s what’s holding me back.


  3. Just switched to three prepay. Then I realised that the only way to top up is by going to a retailer. That’s unbelievable in this day and age!!! I’m very disappointed, and I’m going to switch immediately. I was so looking forward to using their skype offering..

  4. Folks,

    I have been with for a while now. I generally don’t get too bothered with bad service, I’m an NTL/UPC customer so I know how frustrating some companies can be.

    However, are so difficult to deal with and they have horrible problems with their network and equipment that I would very very strongly recommend that people avoide

    I genuinely dislike giving anyone a bad name and I often ignore most rants about poor service / bad equipment etc, to be honest most issues with modern technology are often specific to unique circumstances/hardware etc but not

    I have tried everything at great cost and time but to no avail. Their technical support is in India and I can assure you that all the bad stuff you read about them is true. Don’t get me wrong, the people are very nice and the communicate well, the problem is that their hands are tied.

    Please please avoid at all costs. This is not like NTL/UPC etc where the pain is to be expected but you get their after some effort. is a lottery and their is often a fair chance that you’ll end up going to O2, Vodafone etc.

    Please take notice, it’s a horrible horrible experience.

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