“I’m calling from Three with informations of benefit to you”

Screenshot 2014-08-12 12.42.29It’s that time again dear reader: Three UK’s CRM system has, as I predicted, chucked me back into the call queue for their sales team.

The last time the calls began was back in May. I ignored them for a few days and eventually answered on May 14th (I wrote a post then to chronicle the experience).

So almost three months to the day, I got another call from the now eerily familiar 0800 358 number range. The number that rang this afternoon was 0800 358 4481.

I answered and I shit ye not, I thought it was one of those phone jacker calls on account of the language the chap was using (e.g. phrases like ‘informations’ and so on.”

He was polite. He was particularly insistent. He offered me a free phone (“absolutely free”) from £16 per month. I countered by saying I didn’t like 24 month contracts. He then explained that Ofcom-something-or-other blah-blah all other operators do 24-month contracts. Something like that.

I declined.

He then suggested a SIM-only approach. Good thinking, I thought. However this time I was way ahead of him.

“I’ve actually just got one from Three,” I cut in.

Silence.

He began explaining how SIM-only contracts worked. I cut in again and tried to explain that I had physically attended a Three store on Sunday (hello Aronn who served me!) and picked up an £15/month unlimited data SIM. I also extended one of the other lines.

So I was fine, thank you.

“So you don’t want a phone?” asked the dejected chap. I felt for him.

“No, thank you.”

“What about for a family member?” he asked, once more. Five stars for persistence.

“No, thank you, I’m fine.”

And then I threw in a spanner. (This is for the Three executives who I know are reading. And also for the team over at Vodafone, O2 and EE to do some good old cackles over their afternoon espressos.)

“I do actually need one of the SIMs I bought to be activated….” I said, leaving a pause for effect.

“… But,” I continued, “I doubt you’ll be able to help me with that, right? I’ll need to phone someone else, right?”

The chap responded as I expected: “Yes, you will need to phone customer services.”

Expectations met: Total fucking shit.

I thoroughly admire the operation at Three, I really do. I am massively in favour of the new approach they’ve been leading recently (inclusive 0800 calls, USA roaming included, no price plan hikes during your contract and so on.) Their data network is excellent.

But their CRM is a pile of bollocks.

What, seriously is the point, in PAYING for someone to PHONE me — a “valued” customer (as the chap from the Indian call centre pointed out) to interrupt my day, to try and flog me something, when a) I’ve already been pre-flogged (at the weekend) and b) when the bod you’ve asked to call me isn’t given the capabilities to actually help me.

Shitty shitty shitty double shit. He couldn’t even transfer me? Let’s be clear: He obviously has the system credentials to be able to create new customer orders — so it can’t be asking too much to give the chap access to actually help me with other queries? I wouldn’t have minded if he said, “No look sorry I don’t have access, but let me transfer you right now…”

Heh. It’s amazingly bad. I love it, it’s so bad.

I will phone the Three customer services when I can summon the courage as I need to get this nano SIM card activated.

I am amazed that they keep on with their CRM calls.

By my reckoning, I should be getting hammered with sales calls from their 0800 358 number range in about 90 days. If you don’t answer the system just keeps on calling… so I should expect that to begin once more probably November 10th/11th. Something to look forward to, eh? 😉

Here, for the avoidance of doubt, is the growing chronicle of my Three CRM experiences. It seems they’ve moved from an annual call to a quarterly call.

– August 11, 2014, This post
– May 13, 2014: It’s that time again: Three’s CRM is calling me twice a day now
– May 10-20, 2013: [I’d just joined RBS so I don’t think I even had the time of day to look at my mobile]
– May 21, 2012: “Three tried to flog me some stuff today
– May 10, 2011: “Three UK: Fascinating example of a missed sales opportunity

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  • Upside

    Had 3 contract 6 months now and 20 mins ago I had a call from 0800 358 4481 I did not answer, if a 0800358 number calls again I will answer and say “I dont want a bloody upgrade” then hang up, if I want it I will come to you, dont try to convince me its a “great” deal as they say and simply waste my time, all cold calling telesales listen up and wise up

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan

    They will probably be trying to sell you a contract for your “family members”

  • http://whatleydude.com/ James Whatley

    This is a great set of posts. Keep it up!

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan

    Thanks James!

  • http://4gtalk.co.uk/ Adrian

    I imagine you can unsubscribe from marketing calls if you don’t want them.

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan

    You can, Adrian. I’m quite happy to keep receiving them.

  • http://4gtalk.co.uk/ Adrian

    Indeed, I’ve been following this series for a while! My comment was more for Upside, who seems to not want them at all.

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan

    I thought as much but thought I’d weigh in!

  • nigel

    I got a call from them just now. But since Yes Loans sold my phone number to spammers like Clarity Leeds I now answer unknown numbers by remaining silent while I Google the calling number. This particular system seems to wait for you to speak before connecting you to an operator, so it too stayed silent for 23 seconds until it gave up. The number has been added to the list to “pick up then hang up” that a very useful app called Mr Number allows me to maintain.

  • Me

    Thanks for the info. This number has been calling me for the past few days, have now blocked it. I already have two accounts with 3 so why they want to hassle me I don’t know.

  • James Rowe

    I’m getting one of these calls every other day. It’s part of a routine to miss the call (which tends to be while I’m at work with the phone on silent anyway) and then block the number.
    My list of blocked 0800 358 numbers is up to 6, and I will persevere until they run out of numbers, all 10000 of them. I’ve answered these calls before and it’s an ordeal to politely get them to go away (I’m not one to swear down the phone at these poor innocent people). I will win this war without having to speak to anyone.

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan

    Know what you mean James!

  • http://john.vanh.am/ John Van Ham

    I’ve been with Three for years, and never had a call like this. However I recently swapped to a slightly different SIM-Only package to get access to the newer facilities such as 0800, tethering (in particular) and so on. And all of a sudden just got one of these calls! The lady tried to offer me a really cheap phone, I explained the phone I’d bought out-right was much better. So she tried suggesting I get it for a family member, perhaps someone who was currently on PayG. I was a little perplexed because I’m obviously quite happy with my contract as I’ve just taken a new one out. Why would I then all of a sudden want a second contract? Anyway they politely went away after I explained was not at all interested. I’ll start to get rather annoyed if I get any more of these calls! And it will degrade my impressions of Three which up until now have really been quite high! Seems an odd strategy to be taking. I wonder how many contracts they actually sign people up to.

  • http://www.iRepairTech.com/ Rich Hikins

    Having googled the dreaded 0800 that keeps calling me, I found your most excellent site and enjoyed reading your review of three, which is almost identical to my experiences. However I just thought I’d point something out… You can opt out of these calls very easily;

    Login to My3, you can then change your Marketing Preferences in the settings.

    Hope that helps, although my guess when it comes to three is it probably won’t make a blind bit of difference!

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  • Daniel Burgin

    1 Just Hang on them And block them

  • Daniel Burgin

    1 have been with Three For years Now I havent had one of these calls Ever untill I Did An erly upgrade this year Ive only had one tho As I told the Bloke on the other end In No uncerten tearms that I have Just upgraded And not to Phone me Again or 1 would End the contract erly And told him then to F** off and hung up To-dah No more Calls

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