There are three ways to cancel your contract with Three. Find out how to cancel your Three contract, including exit fees, notice periods and keeping your Three number.
If you've decided you want to end your Three contract, there are three different ways you can cancel your contract with them. The best way to cancel your Three plan depends on whether you're planning to join another network. It also depends on whether you'd like to keep your Three phone number, or whether you'd like to start afresh with a new one on your next mobile network.
In this article, we'll discuss the three different ways to cancel your contract with Three. We'll discuss the Three PAC Code process, the Three STAC Code process and Three's standard cancellation process. We'll also discuss any early exit fees and notice periods that might apply when ending your contract through each of the three methods. Finally, we'll share a couple of tips on how you might be able to avoid paying these extra charges.
Cancelling Your Three Contract
There are three ways to cancel your contract with Three. Please select the option that best applies to you:
- I'm joining another network and would like to keep my Three phone number
Follow the PAC Code process to cancel your Three contract and to take your phone number elsewhere.
- I'm joining another network and would like to start afresh with a new phone number
Use the STAC Code process to cancel your Three contract.
- I'm not moving to another mobile network
Follow Three's standard cancellation process (a 30-day notice period will apply).
How To Cancel Your Three Contract: The Three Different Ways
The following table shows a side-by-side comparison of the three ways to cancel your Three contract:
|Three Cancellation Process||Joining New Network?||Cancellation Method||Notice Period & Charges*|
|PAC Code||✔ Yes (with number)||Online, SMS or phone||Not required|
|STAC Code||✔ Yes (without number)||Online, SMS or phone||Not required|
|Standard Cancellation||✘ No||Phone||30 days' notice is required|
Read on to find out more about each cancellation process, including all the steps you'll need to take to cancel your contract with Three.
PAC Code Cancellation
You can get a PAC Code from Three in one of the following three ways:
- Online: You can get a PAC Code from Three by logging in to the My3 Account website.
- By Text Message: You can get a Three PAC Code sent to you via SMS text message. Text PAC followed by your date of birth in DDMMYY format to 65075 to receive a PAC Code from Three.
- By Phone: You can get a PAC Code by calling Three. To do this, call them on 333 using your Three handset. Alternatively, dial 0333 338 1001 from any other phone. You'll need to call during Three's opening hours (Monday-Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 9am-6pm, Sunday 9am-6pm).
For step-by-step instructions on following the PAC Code process, please select the mobile network that you’re planning to join:
The PAC Code process is closely regulated by Ofcom (the UK's telecommunications regulator). You can therefore get a PAC Code from Three in three different ways: either online, by text message or phone call.
There's no need to give 30 days' notice to end your contract with a PAC Code. Providing you're outside the minimum term of your contract, Three can only charge you up until the date when your PAC Code is used. If you're inside the minimum term of your contract, early exit fees may still apply.
STAC Code Cancellation
Three's STAC Code cancellation process (Service Termination Authorisation Code) is also used when you're moving to another mobile network. However, with a Three STAC Code, you'll start afresh with a different phone number on your new mobile network.
For step-by-step instructions on how to follow the Three STAC Code process, please select the mobile network that you're planning to join:
Like the PAC Code cancellation process, the STAC Code process is also closely regulated by Ofcom. Compared to Three's standard cancellation process, the advantage of using a Three STAC Code when you're outside the minimum term of your contract is that Three will only be able to charge you up until the date your STAC Code is used (a 30-day notice period does not apply). If you're within the minimum term of your contract, an early exit fee may still apply.
Three Standard Cancellation
Three's standard cancellation process should only be used when you're not joining another mobile network. With the standard cancellation process, you'll need to call Three to tell them you want to end your contract. A 30 day notice period will then apply, over which you'll need to continue paying your normal monthly line rental.
Because the standard cancellation process involves a lot more hassle (including a phone call to Three customer services) and because it requires you to give 30 days' notice, we'd always recommend using the PAC Code or STAC Code process to cancel your contract where possible. In fact, you can simply order a free Pay As You Go SIM card from any mobile network (you'll then be able to follow the PAC Code or STAC Code process).
You can request a standard cancellation by calling Three customer services on 333. This is available from Monday-Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 9am-6pm, Sunday 9am-6pm.
If you're cancelling your contract within the first 14 days, you may still be within Three's cooling off period. In this case, early termination charges might not apply.
Early Exit Fees on Three
If you're inside the minimum term of your contract with Three, you'll need to pay something called an "early termination charge" (ETC) or "early exit fee". This will essentially pay off the remainder of your contract.
On Three, you’ll pay a early termination fee equal to the remaining monthly charges for the minimum term of your contract, less a variable discount which is currently 20%. This is detailed on page 25 of Three’s Pay Monthly price guide:
Lump sum equivalent to the total of the Monthly Charges remaining during the Minimum Term of your agreement less a variable discount, currently 20%. We reserve the right to vary the amount of the percentage discount from time to time.
The following example calculation is given by Three on their website:
|Cancellation fee calculation example|
|Total of Monthly Charges remaining during the Minimum Term||£25 x 6 months = £150|
|Less discount of 20%||£150 – £30 (20% of £150) = £120|
You can find out the early termination charge that applies to your contract by texting INFO followed by your date of birth in DDMMYY format to 85075.
An early exit fee will apply regardless of whichever cancellation process you follow. If it's likely you'll need to pay an early cancellation charge, consider the alternatives here that will allow you to side-step those charges (e.g. upgrading your mobile phone outside of the existing contract with Three, or using apps and accessories to improve the coverage at home).
If you're stuck within the minimum term of your Three contract, there may be alternatives to cancelling it (e.g. perhaps changing your handset outside of the Three contract or finding other ways to improve your coverage from Three).
If you'd like to reduce the size of your Three mobile phone bill, there may also be some alternative networks that will offer you a cheaper deal but with the same level of coverage as Three.
Changing Your Handset
If you're wanting to upgrade to a newer smartphone, you can follow the PAC Code or STAC Code cancellation process when moving to another mobile network.
If you're stuck within the minimum term of your Three contract, it's likely this would trigger an early termination charge. To avoid this, consider keeping your existing Three contract but changing your handset outside of it.
You can buy an unlocked SIM-free smartphone from retailers like Amazon, John Lewis and Argos. Your existing SIM card will slot inside the new handset, allowing you to use the remaining months on your contract. When your existing Three contract finally comes to an end, you can then switch to a lower-cost SIM-only deal.
Poor Three Coverage
If you'd like to cancel your contract due to poor mobile coverage from Three, it's likely that an early termination charge would still apply if you're inside the minimum term of your contract.
To avoid paying an unnecessary early termination fee, look to see if you're able to improve the coverage from Three. For instance, it might be possible to use a feature like Wi-Fi Calling for better indoor coverage on Three.
In addition, it's worth contacting Three customer services to see if anything else can be done to improve the coverage where you live. You can reach them by calling 333 from your Three mobile phone. For instance, there might be upcoming work scheduled in your area to improve the strength of the signal. Alternatively, Three might be able to provide you with apps or accessories to improve the coverage where you live.
Alternatives to Three
If you're happy with the coverage you receive on Three but would like to find a way to reduce your monthly phone bill, consider getting a SIM-only deal that piggybacks on Three coverage. You'll normally be able to get more data and at a lower price than your Three plan. This will help to save you money whilst giving you the same coverage you currently get on Three.
You can get the same coverage as Three on iD Mobile and SMARTY. You can use the following the interactive search tool to find an alternative to Three:
Showing 36 of 36 price plans that match your criteria
For more information, see our full guide to mobile networks that use Three coverage.
For more information, read our in-depth guide to early exit fees and how to transfer your phone number to another network. You can also see the Three website for information about cancelling your contract.