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.

Cancel Three ContractIf 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:

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 ProcessJoining New Network?Cancellation MethodNotice Period & Charges*
PAC Code Yes (with number)Online, SMS or phoneNot required
STAC Code Yes (without number)Online, SMS or phoneNot required
Standard Cancellation NoPhone30 days' notice is required

* If you're within the minimum term of your contract, early exit fees from Three will apply on all three cancellation methods.

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

The most common way to cancel your contract with Three is by following the PAC Code process (also known as the Porting Authorisation Code process). This is the cancellation method you should normally use if you're leaving Three to join another mobile network. You’ll take your phone number with you to the new network when following the PAC Code process.

You can get a PAC Code from Three in one of the following three ways:

  1. Online: You can get a PAC Code from Three by logging in to the My3 Account website.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

PAC Code Finder: Transfer Your Three Phone Number To Another Network

Select your new mobile network:

  More Options

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:

STAC Code Finder: Leave Three Using A STAC Code

Select your new mobile network:

  More Options

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:

Cancellation Fee
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
Monthly Charge £25
Total of Monthly Charges remaining during the Minimum Term £25 x 6 months = £150
Less discount of 20% £150 – £30 (20% of £150) = £120
Cancellation Fee £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

Three CoverageIf 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:

How much data do you want on your plan each month?

How long are you willing to commit for on a contract?

Which networks would you be happy to take a plan from?

Showing 46 of 46 price plans that match your criteria

iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited2GB£6.00
1 month
12 months
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited3GB£7.00
1 month
1 month
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited10GB£8.00
1 month
12 months
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited5GB£8.00
1 month
1 month
24 months
1 month
1 month
12 months
12 months
No contract
No contract
iD Mobile500Unlimited4GB£10.00
No contract
12 months
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£12.00
1 month
24 months
12 months
24 months
1 month
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited20GB£15.00
1 month
No contract
No contract
iD Mobile1,000Unlimited8GB£15.00
No contract
12 months
1 month
1 month
12 months
24 months
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited50GB£18.00
1 month
24 months
1 month
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£20.00
1 month
No contract
12 months
No contract
24 months
1 month
1 month
1 month
12 months
No contract
No contract
No contract

For more information, see our full guide to mobile networks that use Three coverage.

More Information

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.

Your Comments 373 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 373 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Carol Martin said:

    Hi Ken. I took a three sim only contract out 4 days ago. My phone is locked into my previous provider., so the contract is if no use to me. Can I cancel ? And will a cancellation fee app,y. I can’t afford to buy into a contract phone. Been back to shop in Liverpool where I took out contract and am waiting for answer from area manager..

    • Hi Carol,
      Thanks for your comment. It should be possible to cancel your contract within the initial 14 days without any penalty. To do this, you’ll need to get in touch with Three.

  • Hi Ken, I’m on a dead end.
    So it started way back, like 18 months ago, I moved house (had 3 SIM card already) and in my area is emergency calls only, so I started with complaints.. but the result is that I had gone to Ombudsman services even. but no result, they say that I knew what coverage is and don’t want to cancel my contract.
    anyway, my contract end 16.06.21 so 12 more payments £67 for emergency calls only … it’s really frustrating… Ombudsman guys were offering 2 options first: return device and they will cancel without fees, or reduce my monthly bill by £12 – I refused.
    then Ombudsman’s last word was: £62 and written apologize. (which I never received)
    so is this the last instance I can go? because my coverage still crap and I was on them promises, I send even chat scripts, where support was saying that they are doing improvements Bla Bla Bla, they know about the problem in my area bla bla, but Mr. ombudsman officer did not see anything bad in it. so I must stay another 12 months with them without service? and I asked now that I want to leave please, they again putting that termination fee. it’s not fair. I would like to see any of them with emergency calls only 24/7 and paying £67 monthly… anything else I can do ? or just like poor small fish in the ocean pay till the end and leave them forever?

    • Hi Mark,
      I’m really sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but sadly, moving to a home where you aren’t able to get coverage from your network isn’t currently a valid reason for getting a penalty-free cancellation. There are several things that you could possibly consider:
      1) Does your mobile phone support Wi-Fi Calling, or would Three be willing to supply you with a Home Signal box? Both of these would allow you to make and receive phone calls at home, without having any 3G or 4G signal from Three.
      2) Do consider returning your device, or selling it to pay for the cost of the cancellation. A rather large portion of your £67/month contract is actually going towards the cost of the handset (compare this to the equivalent SIM-only plan where they’re probably charging only £10 to £20 per month for the same amount of data). The difference in cost between your contract and the equivalent SIM-only deal covers the cost of the handset. At least by returning the phone, you’ll be able to stop paying for airtime that you aren’t able to use, and you can find a deal from an alternative provider that does offer coverage where you live. You can text INFO to 85075 to get a quote of how much a cancellation will cost you if you’d like to compare this to how much you get selling the phone elsewhere.
      I’m really sorry I can’t be of any more help 🙁

  • Hello, i had a 24 phone contract plan with 3, but recently my phone has been stolen so I went to cancel my plan but I have already paid the entire 24 month contact period and they continued to take monthly payments of £31, without ever contacting me or sending a letter to notify the end of my contact or and upgrade or lower monthly price. Resulting in around £90 being taken from my account. I am very upset a out this as I wanted to upgrade and maybe continue using three but now I am unsure. Please is there a way to get the money back.
    Thank you

    • Hi Zarqa,
      Sorry to hear about the experience you’ve had with Three. I guess this really comes down to whether there was proof you asked Three to cancel your plan. It might be worth putting a formal complaint in writing with them. Once you do this, they should review all of your previous communications (including the recording of any previous phone calls). They may refund the money to you if this shows they didn’t properly action your request.

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