TENS of thousands of Three UK mobile phone customers were hit by a network meltdown today.
Phone users took to Twitter to say they had been left with no signal and were unable to access the internet on their phones or make calls since last night.
Three mobile phone users are raging after a mobile network meltdown todayCredit: Alamy
A map showed the areas across the UK hit by the Three mobile network problemsCredit: Down Detector
Customers raged that they were unable to use 4G, with a map showing thousands of Three mobile users experiencing problems from midnight.
Three apologised for the chaos and say they are “working on the issue”, with more than 9,000 customers without coverage from 8am.
But workers, including taxi drivers, have blasted the company and said the outage will slash their earnings.
It comes less than a year after nearly 25 million 02 customers were hit by a 4G network meltdown, causing mayhem for phone users across Britain.
Three hasn’t specified what has caused the outage, which isn’t uncommon as the reason is often considered market sensitive.
Anything from a software glitch to a faulty mast can cause havoc for some mobile users.
A map shows areas across the country affected by the Three outage, with customers in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool and Nottingham among those hit.
‘BEYOND A JOKE’
Taxi driver Papa S Fall, 47, from Sutton, Surrey, told Sun Online: “As an Uber driver I use my phone to log into UBER platform to receive requests from customers.
“So without my three internet, I am completely out of work. Hundreds of Uber drivers are having the same issue and till this morning we are still waiting. Very, very upset.”
Three UK mobile phone users took to Twitter to vent their fury
Three mobile phone users blasted the ‘complete meltdown’
A mum tweeted: “Three mobile network down. Luckily son has college visit otherwise he’d have had to travel to school without 4G.
“Anyone who has a child with #Autism will understand the relevance of this. Really feel for those children today whose anxiety will be through the roof.”
One customer tweeted: “Complete meltdown of @ThreeUK.
“No service anywhere, website not working, etc. Imagine being out at midnight and having to call 999 and not being able to do it. Incredible.”
Another said: “Been down since last night, I need my mobile network as its critical for work , no updates at all from three themselves it’s beyond a joke now.”
A message on the Three website said it was down for ‘essential maintenance’
And another customer said: “Hey @ThreeUK, have you tried turning the network on and off again.
“Seriously blackout for hours now and no statement.
One mobile phone user said: “Hey ThreeMobile, what have you done with my all my lovely mobile data?
“I’m bereft without it. Please sort asap.”
Can I claim compensation if my network goes down?
YOU may be able to claim compensation if you’re not getting the level of service that you have been promised, according to regulator Ofcom.
You will need to give your provider a “reasonable opportunity” to fix the issue before escalating your concerns though.
Where repairs take much longer, for example it takes longer than usual to access a mast site, you may be entitled to a refund or compensation.
If your provider fails to repair fault by a promised time, or you’re unhappy with how long it is taking to fix it, you should follow their formal complaints procedure.
You will be able to find these on the provider’s website or through their customer services team.
If your problem is still unresolved after eight weeks, you can escalate it to an independent Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme.
Your provider will be a member of at least one of them. You can find out which one by using the ADR checker.
A message on the Three website said it was currently down for “essential maintenance”.
An automated message on the 333 phone helpline says: “If you’re calling about problems with your signal strength, we’re working hard to fix this now.
“We’re sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.”
Smarty, the the sim-card network that uses Three infrastructure, said the meltdown was a “severe technical issue” for data and calls.
Been down since last night, I need my mobile network as its critical for work , no updates at all from three themselves it’s beyond a joke now
Three mobile customer
A peak of more than 5,000 customers reported issues with their service from 6am to 7am, with more than 4,000 logging problems from midnight to 1am.
Forty two per cent had problems accessing the internet on their mobile phone, with 20 per cent complaining they had no signal.
Ernest Doku, mobiles expert at comparison site uSwitch.com, said: “So many of us are completely reliant on our mobile phones for our work and social lives, and Three customers need every reassurance that significant steps are being taken to address this major outage as soon as possible.
“Customers should let Three know if they are suffering a loss of service, and it is interesting to see that so many are already asking on Twitter what compensation they are entitled to.
“Mobile phone users pay their bills every month and expect a high standard of service in return. Being unable to use your network for extended periods is simply not good enough.”
Last December, 02 was forced to apologise after millions of customers were left without data for nearly 24 hours and some couldn’t send text messages.
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The phone company told customers they would be credited for two days of monthly airtime subscription by the end of January – as little as 84p for some.
A Three spokesman told Sun Online: ““Three is currently experiencing technical difficulties with our services across voice, text and data which means that some customers will be experiencing an intermittent service.
“Our engineers are working on the issue now to fix the problem as soon as possible. We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to our customers.”