THREE is telling customers to turn their phones on and off again to fix a network issue that’s left thousands of users unable to make calls, texts or access the internet.
Phone users have complaining about a lack of signal since 6am this morning although it took until 9am for Three to confirm it.
Nearly 13 hours later, Three is now advising that customers carry out the most basic quick-fix in the manual: switch it off and on again.
In a statement that has been compared to something from Channel 4 comedy The IT Crowd, the provider is encouraging customers to do it a couple of times if necessary until your phone gets signal.
If that doesn’t work, phone users should switch their phone on to airplane mode before turning it off again.
And before you go thinking that it’s just something your mum might say, some people on Twitter are reporting that it actually works.
Richard Ogden said: “Anyone on @three turn your phone on and off and your data should be back working #threedown.”
Meanwhile, someone else wrote: “‘I’ve had no network for 8 hours but worked for me, now back on Three baby.”
That said, not everyone finds the trick a success.
One user said: “Lol Three suggesting everyone turns their phone on and off or turn airplane mode on and off AS IF I HAVEN’T DONE THAT OVER 100 TIMES TODAY ALREADY.”
Another frustrated user wrote: “My network has been down for 13 hours and no, turning it off and on again hasn’t worked surprisingly.”
Someone else said: “I tried turning airplane mode on and off but didn’t work so I restarted my phone by turning off then turning on again and then my 4G was working!”
A fourth customer wrote: “So I have turned my phone off and it’s back…. O no wait, its gone again….”
The provider has put the fault down to “technical difficulties”, which could be caused by anything from a broken mast to a glitch in the software.
It’s not uncommon for network providers to keep the cause a secret as its considered market sensitive.
Three has now said that it expects services to get back to normal by the “end of the day”.
It still hasn’t mentioned anything about giving customers compensation for the disruption.
You may be entitled to a refund if you can prove that you’ve been left out of pocket because of the outage.
Here’s our guide on how to complain to Three if you’re not happy with the service you’ve received.
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A Three spokesperson said: “Following technical difficulties with our services across voice, text and data, some customers will be experiencing an intermittent service.
“Our engineers are working to fix the issue and the service is returning to normal, and we expect it to be resolved over the course of the day.
“We advise our customers to turn their phones off and on or turn airplane mode on and off, which may resolve the issue.”