When it comes time to renew your mobile phone contract it’s never a bad idea to shop around, even if you’re happy with your current plan. It’s all part and parcel of a healthy competitive market.
That’s especially true here in the UK, where four major mobile phone networks and a number of MVNOs (smaller virtual operators) are vying for your custom. All of these companies run different offers for different types of customers at different times. So there's a wide selection of ever-changing deals around, not to mention varying coverage - especially when it comes to 5G.
Still, change can be daunting, and that can lead many people to continue with their current plan even when it’s no longer the right one for them. Thankfully, UK network operator Three has made it extremely easy to move on.
Here’s everything you need to know about cancelling your Three phone contract.
The first big thing you need to establish before you can proceed is whether you want to keep your current Three number when you move to your new network. Depending on your answer to this question, you’ll need to obtain a different type of code from Three.
If you’re happy to move to a new number, but want the transition to your new contract to be as seamless as possible, you’ll need to obtain a STAC (Service Termination Authorisation Code) from Three and give it to your new provider. Your STAC will be a 9-character code that’s made up of 6 numbers followed by 3 capital letters.
If you want to take your number with you when you leave, you’ll need to obtain what’s known as a PAC (Port Authorisation Code) from Three and give that to your new provider. Your PAC will be a 9-character code that’s made up of 3 capital letters followed by 6 numbers.
Perhaps the quickest and easiest way, though, is to text STAC and your date of birth (in the format DDMMYY) to 75075.
Alternatively, you can give Three a call (dial 333 from your Three phone) and talk to an advisor about leaving (currently option 3 on the menu).
That’s it from Three’s end. Now contact your new provider and give them this STAC number (which is only valid for 30 days), and they’ll arrange the changeover to your new contract.
Probably the quickest and easiest way, however, is to text PAC and your date of birth (DDMMYY) to 65075.
Another option is to give Three a call (dial 333 from your Three phone) and talk to an advisor about leaving the network (currently option 3 on the menu).
That’s it from a Three perspective. All that’s left is to contact your new provider and give them your PAC (note that it’s only valid for 30 days), and they’ll arrange to transfer your existing number over to your new contract.
Maybe you simply want to cancel your Three contract outright, without a view to starting another. This might happen if you’re moving to another country, taking on a new business phone, or opting to go without a mobile phone altogether.
If that’s you, all you need to do is call Three (dial 333 from your Three phone) and let them know that you wish to end your contract. You’ll need to give 30 days’ notice, after which Three will cancel your number and stop billing you.
Of course, if the minimum term of your contract hasn’t yet ended you may be charged a cancellation fee.
Three won’t charge you for the process of moving contract, though you will need to pay any outstanding charges. You will also be charged an early cancellation fee if you do so before the minimum contract period (typically either 12 or 24 months) is up, unless you’re still within the first 30 days of joining.
At the time of writing, that fee amounts to “the total of the monthly charges remaining during the minimum term of your agreement” minus a 3% discount.
To find out what’s left to pay on your Three contract, text INFO and your date of birth (DDMMYY) to 85075. Alternatively you can call Three (dial 333 from your Three phone) or use the Outstanding charges form through your My3 account.
You’re still technically liable to pay the aforementioned early cancellation fee even if you’re unhappy with Three’s network performance. There is no network guarantee, as such.
However, Three’s Terms and Conditions do stipulate that no cancellation fee will be charged if Three agrees that it has made changes that are “likely to be of material detriment to you”.
It’s always worth discussing any such complaints with a Three advisor to see what can be done. Just dial 333 from your Three number.
Pay As You Go (PAYG) customers can make the switch in the same way as detailed above, which will be particularly relevant for anyone wishing to transfer a PAYG number to a new network.
It’s worth noting, though, that any remaining PAYG credit will not be transferable.
Yes. You’ll receive a final bill from Three after you’ve left, which will serve as confirmation of the cancellation.
You can switch up to 24 numbers at the same time using the above STAC and PAC methods.
Business account holders should refer to Three’s business help section for more information. Alternatively, you can call 337 from your Three number or 0333 338 1004 from elsewhere and talk to a Three business advisor.