3UK bans customers wearing hoodies; Our 30-point guide for 3

Get that hoodie off! What do you think you are, some kind of wannabe gangster?

I kid ye not.

3 has demanded that it’s customers (potential and current) must adopt a service level prior to commencing their shopping experience.


Don’t you dare wear a Gap hoodie if you’re thinking of heading by the 3 store on Baker Street, London. There’s a big horrible sign on the window, A4 white paper, typed in ARIAL CAPS explaining that:


The sign is ostensibly aimed at the culture of ‘hoodies’ that’s apparently rife in the UK, particularly if you’re a Daily Mail reader.

If you’re not familiar with the term, Wikipedia has a brief overview:

In the UK, hoodies have been the subject of much criticism; some shoplifters have used the hood to conceal their identities from CCTV cameras in shopping centres.[3] Particularly when worn with a baseball cap, the hoodie has become a trademark of “chavs”; it has been called the “chav-style” in an Oxfam report

I wonder what the underlying message here is? What exactly can you steal from a shop where every handset on display is either plastic or bolted to the floor?

Or is it perhaps intimidating for staff having a load of moody teenagers cluster in the store, all wearing hoodies? I can understand that. But putting up a sign is hardly likely to solve that, is it?

Perhaps it’s hugely effective.

Although if you’re going to start putting up signs, you might as well demand everyone signs terms & conditions of attire — actually, why not demand a higher service level from all customers?

Here are my suggestions:

1. No hoodies.
2. No jiggly bangles that make an unnecessary noise of distraction when you move your wrists
3. No large earings. If in doubt as to the definition or scope of ‘large’, please call ahead — ideally with your 3 video phone — to obtain permission from the store manager.
4. No work clothes.
5. No football or sports colours.
6. No spectacles, four-eyes. Get them lasered or get some contact lenses.
7. No t-shirts. We’re not a holiday camp. We’re a professional mobile company. Likewise, no jeans. And NO torn jeans, either. No shorts.
8. No short-sleve shirts. You might think they’re cool but they’re not. Double cuff only, please. No comical shite cuff links either.
9. No funny ties. All ties to be one or two tone.
10. Absolutely NO Simpsons or Disney socks.
11. No umbrellas. Bad luck, innit.
12. No gum. No food. No McDonalds meals.
13. Absolutely no Vodafone customers.
14. Staff have been issued shoot-to-kill orders for anyone bearing a mobile phone in a ‘holster’.
15. No mobile handsets older than 2 years.
16. No smoking.
17. No burping, spitting or defecating within the store. If you feel you may need to pass wind, please exit the store to a distance of not less than 10m, prior to releasing said wind.
18. No dirty people. Please make sure you have showered at least 60 minutes prior to entering the 3 store. Clean underwear please. Staff will be checking.
19. None of those ‘My friend went to London and all I got was this lousy T-shirt’ rubbish.
20. Or those ‘FCUK tshirts’. They were cool in 2001. Not any more.
21. No manbags.
22. No handbags retailing for less than 200 pounds. Definitely no fakes.
23. No 3 customers wanting to upgrade. Push off an call Customer Services later.
24. All leather shoes must be polished to a visible shine.
25. Absolutely NO white Rebook Classics.
26. Nike Shox are fine, provided you didn’t buy them on eBay.
27. No skin. No stomachs on show please. NB, especially if you’re a man.
28. All belts must be removed for security purposes.
29. (See also 12) No liquids greater than 100ml. All liquids, medicines and makeup must be carried in a clear, unmarked plastic (biodegradable) bag.
30. No sweaty people.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

17 replies on “3UK bans customers wearing hoodies; Our 30-point guide for 3”

It's no different to bikers being asked to remove their helmets going into a bank.

Working retail with high price items is hazardous these days.

“and in return, we promise that we will not mis-sell you a Nokia N95 8GB on the pretence that it is compatible with Slingbox. We will not throw in a free Slingbox machine to sweeten the deal (yes, it is there on the website if you look hard enough), only for you to find out that it doesn't work on the handset that we've just sold you. We will endeavour to flog you the x-series gold package which is five pounds more expensive than the x-series silver because it specifically enables you to access your Slingbox media from the N95 8GB (which again, does not work with 3)….

“we also promise that when you complain to our Store Manager, Customer Services and Technical Support, we will NOT pass the buck and promise you a call back/money off your next bill and fail to deliver on our word. We will try our best to resolve issues in the speediest manner possible and not under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES fob you off with the asssurance that “only last week a customer came in and showed us the Slingbox working on their handset – they must have used bittorrent to find a cracked version”. We guarantee that when our Store Manager hands out his personal phone number for you to chase him up on a daily basis that he will not have his voicemail reveal that he is a T-mobile customer because even he cannot stomach the unbearable 3 service which puts the customer's needs last.”

“So, by removing your hoodie, you will look a lot less intimidating to our staff that and allow them to look you directly in the eye when they sell you services and packages that will ABSOLUTELY, 100% work on your handset. Eye contact is essential for our staff when getting you tosign up to a non-returns disclaimer which states that once you start a contract, you are able to stop it even if we admit that we got our facts wrong when selling you the phone in the first place.”

“Finally, a message to our aging customers who conceal their thinning hairline with a hood… We train our staff to treat new customers in the same way that your folicles are gradually receding on a daily basis… HAIR TODAY, GONE TOMORROW. (aka Sign 'em up am let an Indian call centre deal with the fallout)”

Thank you for your co-operation

Have a nice day

Management of the 3 Store, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey (or at least a customer's view of what we would say)

I hate this discrimination against young people, which has only come about because the Media portray a whole age group under one collective stereotype; which of course… We all must conform to.

This is what I call pathetic. Fair enough if you kick people out for loitering, being rude, not doing anything, harrassing or anything of the sort; but to tell people based on an item of clothing that they are not to enter shop is ridiculous.

I say this, with experience of it happening to me. I'm no ASBO Child, I've never been in trouble with the Police, and I'm not an anti-social person; yet, because I want to stay warm, I'm stopped going into shops? No way! This if anything is going to make me enter such shops, and make a point.

If, this discrimination was imposed upon religious garments there would be an uproar; “you can't do that, it's racism” “we have to maintain racial equality, you can't stop people from wearing what they like”, and I'm pretty sure it would get taken to court and such too.
But because the “youth” of today don't have a voice within society, and because Political Correctness extends only as far as our Governments want it too, it won't get delt with.

Nice list by the way.


It's more the catalogue of extreme bad service that 3 have offered me since buying the handset. Firstly, they sold me the N95 8G with a free Slinbox knowing that it doesn't work on this phone. Secondly, they pushed the x-series Gold package on me – again, knowing that Slinbox was not available on this handset.

However, what really gets my goat is the fact that it has taken two months of chasing and I still haven't had the problem resolved. An apology from the Store Manager would have been nice – but every time I call him, he's been really unprofessional (passing the buck) and fairly patronising. He tells me that a mate of his managed to get hold of a copy that is working and that he is sending me a link which will get things set up for me. This was five weeks ago. I'm chasing him every few days – something I don't expect to have to do.

Instead of fobbing me off, accept that they messed up. Offer me some money off my account to apologise or tell me when it will be resolved. Don't make me chase. It's put me right off 3. I've probably spent about half a day's worth of calls trying to sort this out – and I'm nowhere near getting an answer.

And what's the deal with a Store Manager for 3 using T-Mobile as their personal network provider? If you're giving out your mobile number to customers, make sure it's a 3 phone! Seriously!

The non-compatibility issue with Slingbox on the 8GB is one that many people have been experiencing. Radio silence from 3 on when this will be resolved. The 30 day trial from Slingbox is available from their website but has major glitches when operating on the N95 8GB and is only free for a month. If I'm paying for a package that includes Unlimited Slingbox Access (x-series Gold) then surely 3 should sort this out or stop offering it as a package.

I wonder how many other x-series Gold packages they have mis-sold on the promise of the Slingbox operability?


Anyone else had this experience?

I'm in full agreement with 3 over the hoodies and I wear one fairly regularly! I'm guessing 3 have no problem with them down? Strangely enough I will not wear one up if it's raining unless it's torrential rain. I don't want to look like a hooligan and scare old ladies.

Nike Shox, are you a fan of them too, Ewan?

They're not asking for an actual item of clothing to be removed, just for the hood to be removed (ie, pulled back from covering the face).

Reasonable if you ask me.

I live in Southern California. Due to a nice climate, lots of folks toddle around in very little clothing, esp. near the beach. It is common for shops & restaurants to have signs that say “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service”.

Is this discrimination against beach go-ers or surfers or beach bums or… or… or… No it is simply the rules they set for their space.

My brother and his girlfriend tried to go to a nice restaurant last night and were turned away at the door because he was wearing shorts and flipflops. Was he mad? No, he was laughing at himself for being so SoCal laid back in his attire.

If 3 has a problem with identifying shoplifters due to obscured features, then they have the right to post a sign at their door asking folks to take off hats & hoods & veils & other head/face attire. Should they word their sign in a way that is more readable, less stick up the butt and possibly a bit funnier? Yes.

So, maybe what we should do is think of some good funny copy for them.

Not being silly here but hoddy bans came in about 2 years ago!!!! (A very sad day )

I think you should go back in a month and see if they have a sign for “Only 2 school children at a time”

Those plastic mock-ups are useful. There's a supplementary theft you need them for which I'm not sure I should post on the internet. Ewan, you know where to find me if you want to know.

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