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

Three
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).

Alternatives

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 32 of 32 price plans that match your criteria

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
iD Mobile1,200Unlimited2.5GB£7.00
1 month
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimited2GB£7.50
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£9.00
12 months
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£9.00
1 month
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£10.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£10.00
24 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£10.00
No contract
iD Mobile500Unlimited4GB£10.00
No contract
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited6GB£12.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£13.00
24 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£13.00
12 months
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited10GB£14.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited10GB£15.00
No contract
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£15.00
1 month
iD Mobile1,000Unlimited8GB£15.00
No contract
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited14GB£16.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£16.00
12 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£16.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited100GB£18.00
12 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited30GB£18.00
24 months
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£18.75
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited30GB£19.00
12 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£19.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£20.00
24 months
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited20GB£20.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£20.00
No contract
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£21.00
12 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£24.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited30GB£24.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£26.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited36GB£27.50
No contract
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£35.00
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 261 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 261 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Scott Kirby said:

    Hi Ken,

    My contract with three ends at the start of june. I spoke with them about paying my early termination fee of £20 and requested my pac code but they said i cannot do this as i am still in contract. If i chose too terminate early i would lose my number. Can they do this? I thought if i request my PAC and and am happy to pay the termination fee i could keep my number?

    Thanks

    Scott

    • Hi Scott,
      Thanks for your comment. I think what they’re saying here is you aren’t able to pay the termination fee in advance whilst you still have an active plan with them. You can request a PAC Code at any time without triggering the early termination charge. Instead, the charge is calculated on your final bill only once you’ve actually used that PAC Code to move to another network (the exact charge will depend on how many days you had left on your contract, so until you do this, they won’t know exactly how much to charge you).
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • Hi Ken, I have been contacted by debt collector group to pay certain large fees and after calling them on 3 separate occasions (and paying) I was told that Three would reconnect my service and I was still owing money from the rest of my contract despite having my plan cancelled by Three in July under the special condition premise I would return my mobile phone.
    Having returned my mobile phone and moved overseas I am still being charged the ridiculous cancellation amount despite not even having a physical handset? why is this so high still? how do i get around this?

    • Hi there,
      I’m really sorry but I’m not able to advise on the details of this situation 🙁 My recommendation would be to review the details of what Three previously promised you, possibly with the Citizens Advice Bureau. You can then decide on the next best steps.
      Ken

  • Hi I have a 24 month contract with 3 mobile but with a minimum term of 12 months does this mean I can cancel or upgrade my contract after 12 months ?

    • Hi David,
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, I haven’t come across this before – could you provide any more information on which product it is you have with Three exactly? Normally, a 24-month contract will have a 24-month minimum term so I’m not sure where the 12-month figure comes in!
      Thanks,
      Ken

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