How I solved all my 3 (Three) Wireless Data Modem problems…

Posted by FrankP

I took it back and got a refund.

This post is a little late as I have been snowed under, but I wanted to finish out the saga for once and for all!

I was beyond my 14 day money back guarantee, but as I posted previously, I was lucky enough to deal with someone in Three who gives a damn. It’s pretty hard to find someone like that in Three from what I can tell, but I found this person to be extemely helpful, accommodating and willing to engage.

Unfortunately, it seems to me at least, this person is not getting the kind of quality information they would need to do their job properly from the Three technical division or team, if indeed such a thing exists.

Here is the bulk of the final email i sent to Three having organised to return my modem despite being beyond my 14 day money back guarantee:

Thank you for passing on my details and organising for the return of my modem. I am going to go ahead with the return tomorrow morning.

I appreciate all your help, and I do not envy you your job at the moment. I imagine you are being bombarded with information which would not normally be within your remit, and it would seem as though Three do not have a firm grasp of the issues, which results in your being expected to dish out information you have been handed which is often contradictory and shows the lack of Technical focus in the Three organisation.

Every call to customer support and technical support results in customers being given different, and more often than not innaccurate, information and claims.

The call centres seem to be in way over their heads, and revert to repetition of formulaic scripts which mean absolutely nothing – which is extremely frustrating.

Here is a full list of the reasons I have decided to return the modem:

* Modem is still not behaving itself for all users. I, and others, experience frequent usb mounting/dismounting and ‘data modem invalid’ errors which require restarts. Proposed solutions do not work.

* Speed has certainly improved for downloading, although upload seems apped at 60kbsp – upload speeds still a major issue. The Three website doesn’t mention upload speeds anywhere, but technical support people working for Three have told me they would expect speeds of about a third of the download speed.

* Sending email is a problem – it seems the issue is that because Three use NAT, the result is that single public IP address is blacklisted. To get around this Three would have to have a working SMTP server in place themselves, which they do not appear to have.

* FTP is not working. Connection can sometimes be established but times out before anything can be uploaded or downloaded. (I realise this is due to be fixed this week.)

* Browsing is not consistently smooth – some believe there is a fundamental issue with browser posting events. Sometimes links must be clicked several times, or pages refreshed halfway through loading.

* There are reports of overcharging due to proxy issues.

Many thanks for all your help, and I sincerely wish you the best of luck! It seems to me like Three are in dire need of someone seriously technical to focus on the issues and offer a meaningful, coherent and honest technical release to it’s consumers. For me it’s too late, but there are many out there who might stay on board given some meaningful feedback.


So that’s it, I am done with Three for several weeks now, and am much happier for it. The experience was frustrating and time consuming, and their wireless modem caused me more stress than I can tell you. I am so glad to be rid of it.

If you are still having problems, I suggest you do everything you can to get a refund.

That’s me done on the Three issue!

My other posts on this issue:

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20 Responses to “How I solved all my 3 (Three) Wireless Data Modem problems…”

  1. Tom Raftery Says:

    So who are you getting Internet access from now Frank?

  2. FrankP Says:

    I now have broadband via Nova Networks, which has been reliable, speedy and they have been extremely helpful with any questions I had, such as how to set up a wireless router with their service.

    Not mobile, but everything works as it should do!

  3. Philip Says:

    The run longing saga .. another page check out this link to 3 mobile email!

    Quote :
    “Why Email on the move ?

    Never miss an important message again. Add Mobile Mail or Mobile Office Mail to your price plan. It picks up your mail and sendsit straight to your phone. It works just like it does on your PC. And it’s synchronised so you can read, create, reply and delete email messages, without having to check for new messages.
    It is secure and easy plus speedy. You’ll get an alert when an email arrives on your mobile”

    I am waiting for a reply from tech services ………but in the meantime read the above advert .

    My fix (for the moment) – I find the modem works fine but the email bit is a pain I use to send fine but produces a strange email address eg from and my pop email client to get mail that seems to work ok with virgin?

    Not the greatest arrangement and requires me to remind people to use a REPLY TO ADDRESS in each email . any ideas???

  4. Pepez Says:

    Lucky you as you managed to cancel the contract. I had Three mobile broadband just two days and that was enough. I was more than happy to leave the shop with a copy of cancellation papers in my hand. I store those very carefully both as warning and for the likely case that Three billing department keeps sending bills….

  5. Pepez Says:

    Congratulations for the freedom from Three!

    I had Three Mobile Broadband just two day and that was enough. I returned it back to shop because there is a three day money back guarantee. One of my best decisions was to get rid of that worthless service. I only wish I did more research before shopping in the first place…

  6. john Says:

    Dell Laptops To Offer Qualcomm Gobi Mobile Broadband

    Dell (NSDQ:Dell) and Qualcomm paired up Tuesday to offer next-generation laptops that enable users to access multiple 3G cellular networks globally, the two companies announced Tuesday.

    According to Dell, the company’s next-generation laptops will be imbedded with Qualcomm’s new Gobi mobile broadband technology, which lets notebook manufacturers ship Gobi-equipped notebooks in all global distribution channels to deliver roaming and connectivity capabilities across worldwide networks.

    More info at

  7. Marcus Cook Says:

    I have bought my 3 modem and are on pay as you go, this is truly worst internet connection I have had. I think I’d rather have a 56k modem than this thing, at least it would be abit more reliable. The list of problems is ridiculous, I get frustrated just thinking about them.
    The worst is that I’m lucky if I’m not disconnected after ten minutes.
    It’s slow, pricey, and troublesome. My advice is, don’t get one.
    I’m looking for something else!!!

  8. martin webster Says:

    why do you sound concerned about being fooled by 3 they make millions out of poor service and empty promices

  9. Donald Says:


    If CIA stops and make me fall, I don’t care, they can do it what they can, but they can not fix upload on wireless internet on Zlatibor, Serbia.

  10. Firetrap Says:

    I’m finally free of 3 Fraudband after a year with them. In that time, the only thing that was consistent about their service was its sheer awfulness. Any time I rang up I heard nothing but talk of “upgrades” that were about as authentic as Yeti sightings. I pity the people who can’t get any other sort of mobile internet or broadband and are stuck with 3. I wish too that people who are tempted by the flashy advertising would just do a google before they sign the dotted line. They usually only find blogs like this one *after* things have gone wrong

  11. anna Says:

    hi i bought a 3 mobile broadband and i like to say ,i’ve never had problems with it ever, i’ve had it almost a year it’s on pay as you go and my email’s come through fine.

  12. Paul Says:

    I am using Office Outlook successfully through the 3 dongle, even though i have a Virgin e-mail address.

    If you are unable to send email when connected to 3 Mobile Broadband, you should change your SMTP Server Settings to:
    with the Server Port set to 25.

    Hope the this helps someone out there.

  13. Sean Says:

    The 3 mobile broadband provider is terrible.
    I gave up on them after 4 months of useless service even though they still charged me each month as I was contracted for 12 months.
    When the 12 months were up I rang them to disconnect me from their service and they refused and said that I had to give them 1 months notice. I refused to pay the 20 euro for the 13th month and they hired debt collectors to harass me by mail and telephone constantly for a full month, I eventually gave in and paid the extra 20 euro just to get them off my back.
    Please do me a favour Google (3 broadband Ireland) on the right side of the search the 3 broadband network will have an advertisment, click on this advertisment several times as they will be charged a per click fee by Google every time it is clicked. Revenge is sweet. (Please let me know here whenever you do this Thanks)

  14. Russ Says:

    Quote ‘Paul Says:

    October 21st, 2008 at 7:40 pm
    I am using Office Outlook successfully through the 3 dongle, even though i have a Virgin e-mail address.

    If you are unable to send email when connected to 3 Mobile Broadband, you should change your SMTP Server Settings to:
    with the Server Port set to 25.

    Hope the this helps someone out there.’

    This solves the reply too issue!! thanks a lot

  15. mell Says:

    Hi Sean
    same happen with me,the contract finishing 23.01.2009-now,this month.I did not use the modem for over 6 months,but was strictly paying it as they say we have a contract..!Any way,today I gave them call to tell them-my contract finished(thank God!).The arogance of the ansfer I’ve got was shocking-as I am to give them 30 days!warning for canceling,they gonna charge me with another ,13th month!For what?For 6 months taking my money without me using the bloody srvices?!I spoke with 2 guys and get very frustrated and asked to speak with supervisor or manager…After 10 more stressful and angry minutes on the fone,finaly the supervisor agreed to not charge me for january as well,but I will still get a bill posted.The last bill ever I am to pay them will be 12.01.09,and if you ask me,they don’t deserve it but I don’t want legal charges and harrasment ,as you were suffering.

  16. Frank Says:


    I would just like to say that I have 3 mobile and I have found the customer service to be excellent, I have found the service is the best around in so far as speed and value for money, its not land line fast but I can watch movies and listen to the radio and send emails with little problem, and 10 gig for 20 euro really is a good deal

  17. sara Says:

    Does anyone know how to get rid of the 3 three mobile broadband webpage that keeps over-riding my Outlook Express and any webpage I am viewing ever minute, it’s driving me crazy! Thanks.

  18. Steve G Says:

    What is the range of travel with a UK account 3, like can it be used in France? And do I note a mellowing of critics since the early posts?

  19. Risteard Says:

    Just had a long debate with 3 this evening. Following promises and promises that my coverage problems would be addressed and these not being done I returned my modems. I was told that I had renewed my contract when I got a new modem even though this did not work properly. I must now pay 209.09 Early Termination Fee. They eventually said that secondary technical would carry out a check and refund me if problems found. Before that they were threatening me with Credit Companies if I did not pay. I have now switched to Eircom for reliability.


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