Whether you're joining Three or leaving for another network, it's a straightforward process to keep your existing phone number.

Three PAC CodeIf you're leaving Three to join another network, or if you're leaving another network in order to join Three, it's super easy to keep your current phone number.

All you'll need to do is to request a PAC Code. It's totally free and the entire process of transferring your phone number should normally take no longer than one working day.

For detailed instructions, please choose the option that best applies to you:

Leaving Three For Another Network

If you're leaving Three to join another mobile network, you can take your phone number with you using a PAC Code from Three.

There are three ways to request a Three PAC Code:

  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).

It's always free to get a PAC Code from Three, and it's your legal entitlement to be able to recieve one. If any cancellation fees apply to your Three contract, they should also tell you what this will be at the same time as sending you a PAC Code.

The PAC Code you recieve from Three should begin with HTG and should be 9 digits long (e.g. HTG 123 456).

Once you have your Three PAC Code, you'll need to provide it to your new mobile network operator. For detailed instructions, please select your new mobile network from the following dropdown menu:

PAC Code Finder
Find out how to use your Three PAC Code

Your new mobile network:

Don’t want to keep your Three phone number? You can request a STAC Code from Three instead.

Three STAC Code (Leave Three Without Keeping Your Number)

If you’d like to leave Three without keeping your current phone number, you’ll need to request a Three STAC Code rather than a PAC Code. There are three ways to get a STAC Code from Three:

  1. Online: You can get a STAC Code from Three by logging in to the My3 Account website.
  2. By Text Message: You can get a Three STAC Code sent to you via SMS text message. Text STAC followed by your date of birth in DDMMYY format to 75075 to receive a STAC Code from Three.
  3. By Phone: You can get a STAC Code by calling Three. 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).

Once you’ve gotten your STAC Code, the rest of the process for joining your new mobile network remains the same. You can choose your new provider from the dropdown menu above for instructions on how to use your Three STAC Code.

Joining Three From Another Network

If you're joining Three from a different mobile network, you should ask your old mobile network to provide you with a PAC Code. The PAC Code will allow you to transfer your phone number to Three.

After getting a PAC Code from your old network, you should order your new phone or SIM card directly from Three's website. For more information, please select the type of tariff you're wanting to move to:

For a full list of the latest Three deals, please see this page on Three's website.

Get the Latest Deals from Three →

If you're buying your new Three plan through a reseller, tap on their logo for more information:

When Your New Phone Arrives...

Once your new phone or SIM card arrives from Three, switch it on and make sure everything's working correctly. If, for whatever reason, you need to return or change your handset or SIM card, it's best to do this before transferring your phone number.

Once you're happy to continue with the transfer, your PAC Code should be submitted through Three's online form. Alternatively, you can give the PAC Code to Three by calling 333 on your Three handset. You can also call 0333 338 1001 from any other phone.

Providing your PAC Code to Three
The PAC Code should be submitted through a form on Three's website.

If your PAC Code is provided before 5pm, your phone number transfer will normally be scheduled for the next working day (Monday to Friday only, excluding English bank holidays). For PAC Codes submitted after the 5pm cut-off, you'll need to wait one extra working day for your number to be transferred.

Sometimes, you’ll be given the option to provide a PAC Code at the same time as when you order your new phone or SIM card. We’d typically recommend against providing your PAC Code at this stage. Instead, waiting for the new phone or SIM card to arrive from Three first will allow you to make sure it’s working correctly and will make the process of cancelling or returning much easier.

Upgrading Your Plan On Three

If you're simply upgrading to a newer handset or tariff, it's not necessary to get a Three PAC Code. You can simply upgrade via Three's website. For more information, please select the type of Three price plan you're planning to move to:

More Information

For more information, please see the Three website. You can also read our full guide to using a PAC Code. This answers a lot of frequently asked questions and provides some additional tips on transferring your phone number.

For discussion, please see the comments below on this page. They show other people's experiences using a Three PAC Code or moving their phone number from another network to Three.

Your Comments 1,883 so far

We would love to hear your comments: either about using a Three PAC Code or transferring your phone number from another network to Three. The comments below are all from people who've done the same thing in the past. You can contribute by adding your own comments here.

To see all 1883 comments about transferring a phone number, please see the main PAC Codes article.

  • Moving from Three (3) to Lebara due to piss poor coverage despite their claims, fortunately I have a spare dual SIM phone on which to conduct PAC transfers and currently the Lebara SIM is displaying 5 bars of reception, whilst the 3 SIM is displaying ‘No service’. Just a shame Vodafone itself is stingey with its Big Value Bundles and also wanted to highlight a Lebara exclusive of 2Gb data, Unlimited UK minutes & texts for £5/m available

    Not one for me, as my preferred method of top up is by voucher.

    Jake transferred a phone number from Three to Lebara Mobile.

    • Hi Jake,
      Thanks for your comment. With regards to your SIM card from Three, this might be because their SIM cards won’t work in a dual-SIM phone. Alternatively, if you’ve already transferred your phone number from Three to Lebara, your old SIM card on Three will be disabled automatically.

      • Jake Mustard replied:

        Hi Ken,

        Just to let you you my Three SIM did work in slot 1 of my dual SIM phone, but with very inconsistence connectivity and poor reception, whist Lebara was consistent in both.

        Three coverage in my area is just exceptionally poor, no real issues with Vodafone, O2 or EE of which I have PAYG SIMs on all three, no pun not intended.

        Other than that great site, keep up the good work!

        • Hi Jake,
          Thanks for your feedback! Yes, a SIM card from Three will only work in a 3G-enabled SIM slot. On lots of dual-SIM phones, only the primary SIM card slot is 3G-enabled and the secondary SIM slot is 2G-only (though this isn’t always the case as there are now 4G+3G and dual-SIM 4G phones). That potentially explains why you’re only able to use the Three SIM card in your primary SIM slot.
          Hope this helps,

  • Hi Ken,

    Thank you for doing this!
    My contract with Three has finally come in last
    30 days. I’ve been waiting for this for almost 2 years as their signal and services have become worse and worse. I can’t believe that in 2020 I was barely having internet in London.
    I have since moved to Voxi, gave them my PAC and my number is now transfered.
    I guess, I am still paranoid that Three will still charge me for no reason and I won’t be able to get through their massive call ce tre queues.
    My question is, once Voxi switched me, Three should automatically know that we are parting ways and give me my final bill?

    Andrew A transferred a phone number from Three to VOXI.

    • Hi Andrew,
      Thanks for your comment. Once your PAC Code has been processed by VOXI, your account on Three will be closed automatically. No need to worry about them continuing to charge you – they should send you a final bill within one month of the account being closed. You can also check this through your My3 account, if you have one.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hi

    I have been with “Three network” for more than two years, my contract has been over in January 2020 but you are still charging me like before. Now for personal reason, I want to switch from Three to Vodafone, I have spoken to “Three call centre” more than four times in the last 8 days, to asked for the PAC number and the guys very time told me you have got PAC number between 24 hours or 48 hours, but now after 8 days, I have got nothing that is not legal. The last person I was speaking to on 23/08/2020 Sunday afternoon his name is “SUHEB”. Unfortunately, I am still waiting for this number!!!! Three customer service is very disappointed and is not reliable.

    Please Please..! give me the PAC number ASAP so that I can at least leave Three with a good memory.

    Kind Regards,

    Seyed Yamani

    Seyed Yamani transferred a phone number from Three to Vodafone.

    • Hi Seyed,
      Thanks for your comment. This is a third-party website so I don’t represent Three and cannot answer on their behalf. However, is there a reason you’re unable to get your PAC Code via text message or through Three’s website/mobile application? You can get a PAC Code straight away without needing to talk to a person by texting PAC followed by your date of birth in DDMMYY format to 65075.

  • Great site,Ken – you’ve done some excellent work. I wanted ro contribute my experience:

    I moved from Three to Virgin yesterday, the process was seemless. Steps:

    *There is no online form, you will have to call*

    1. Tuesday: from new Virgin SIM, I called Virgin CS on 789 (then option 2, then 5), waited 15 mins.
    2. After going through security, I handed over my PAC (which I had gotten from Three earlier) and number I wanted to keep. This was then checked and confirmed, and a transfer date given for Wednesday.
    3. Wednesday: I periodically put both phones in airplane mode, by 11 the transfer was done. Old SIM was SIM active for a while but the transfer was done.

    Dragon transferred a phone number from Three to Virgin Mobile.

  • Hi,
    I got my PAC code from EE put it into Three’s and chose today to switch…it hasn’t happened yet and it’s now 7.10pm – what time of day do numbers typically move across? Thanks

    Lianne transferred a phone number from EE to Three.

    • Hi Lianne,
      Your phone number should normally move over between 9am and 5pm. If it hasn’t, it’s possible the port might have been delayed. You should contact your new mobile network to enquire about this (so in this case, you should contact Three). You may also be eligible to receive porting delay compensation.

  • Hi,
    I was using a number that was on my partner’s name but now I want to get a sim only deal from 3 for myself and I also want the old number which was on my partner’s name to be transferred to my new number

    Stephanie transferred a phone number within Three.

    • Hi Stephanie,
      The best thing to do would probably be to get in touch with Three Customer Services on 333. I think they can transfer the account so it’s in your own name and then they can switch it over the SIM Only deal you want. If, however, you don’t want to go down that route, it’s also possible to transfer your phone number to another network (order a free SIM card here for that purpose e.g. from giffgaff), before transferring it back to Three.
      Hope this helps,

    • Hi Micha,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, it should be possible to cancel your contract as a 14-day cancellation. You’ll need to give Three’s customer services team a call on 333 to process this cancellation.
      Hope this helps,

  • My name is Ola and i am switching from Lebara to three network, i walked into your store to make the change on Saturday 19th October 2019 and as we speak am still on lebara network . i have been moved and its over 72 hours .

    OLA transferred a phone number from Lebara Mobile to Three.

    • Hi Ola,
      Thanks for your comment. There’s more information here on the expected timeframe for phone number transfers, but in short: if you provided your PAC Code on a Saturday, I’d normally expect the phone number transfer to take place on a Tuesday. If the number still hasn’t transferred by the end of today, it might be worth giving Three a call on 333 to check on the status of your transfer.

  • Eiralyn Alcantara said:

    Hi, I am Eiralyn. I didn’t know that I my contract renewed because they (three network) didn’t give me any notice that it was nearly ending my contract so it was automatically renewed. Since that happened, I just continued using my phone and date without any knowing that new contract has started. No, I wanted to move to Vodafone but I think I have bill to pay for Three since my contract automatically renewed. What should I do?

    Eiralyn Alcantara transferred a phone number from Three to Vodafone.

    • Hi Eiralyn,
      Thanks for your comment. At the end of your 24-month contract, your existing price plan will normally continue but on a one-month rolling basis (i.e. it doesn’t automatically renew for a further 24 months). Therefore, you can just follow the normal process for moving from Three to Vodafone without any issues or early termination charges.
      Hope this helps,

  • Gabriel Mihalea said:

    Mi name is Gabriel and I’m an three network client. I want to switch to Vodafone network but I’m still on contract till 2 September 2020. I don’t know if is possible to switch or I have to wait until my contract expires.

    Gabriel Mihalea transferred a phone number from Three to Vodafone.

    • Hi Gabriel,
      Thanks for your comment. You can move to Vodafone whenever you like, but it’s likely you’ll incur an early termination fee as there are still 11 months remaining on your contract. There’s more information here on what this charge is likely to come to (text INFO followed by your date of birth in DDMMYY format to 85075 to find out the exact amount you’d be charged).
      Hope this helps,

  • Georgina McKavanagh said:


    I’ve got my PAC code from three, but when I go through the transfer number over form on EE it says it’s wrong. I’ve quadruple checked it, and I know it’s right. I don’t understand why this would happen.

    Georgina McKavanagh transferred a phone number from Three to EE.

    • Hi Georgina,
      I believe your PAC Code from Three should start with HTG and be followed by six numbers (e.g. HTG 123 456). Is the PAC Code you have from Three in this format? If so, I’d consider getting in touch with EE Customer Services on 150 to let them know and to see if they’re able to accept this PAC Code for you.

  • Hi I got the PAC code and a message saying the switch (from a Vodafone number to Three) would occur. 24h later my phone is still not working, showing ‘no service’ – is there another step I need to do / anything to activate, etc.?

    Many thanks,

    Joana Santos transferred a phone number from Vodafone to Three.

    • Hi Joana,
      Thanks for your comment. Have you lost the coverage on your Vodafone SIM card? If so, it’s now time to switch over to the Three SIM.
      If you haven’t ever had coverage on your Three SIM card, this is a little odd as you should normally always have coverage (including before you move your phone number over)?
      Hope this helps,

  • Xiyue Zhuang said:

    I’ve been trying to get a PAC code from EE via text, but every time I request it Three sends a PAC code to me instead even though I sent it using my EE number. This is just really stupid. Will I have to call them instead?

    Xiyue Zhuang transferred a phone number from EE to Three.

    • Hi Xiyue,
      That’s really strange! To confirm, you’re sending the text message using your EE SIM card as opposed to your Three SIM card? If so, I’m not sure why this might be happening. However, you can side-step this issue by requesting your PAC Code online from your EE account area.

  • Keith James said:

    Hi I have moved from 3 to ee and transferred my number. Got PAC code from 3 gave it to ee. EE have transferred my number and sent me a text to say it is completed but the number is still live on 3. I can now use the same number on both networks. What has gone wrong ?

    Keith James transferred a phone number from Three to EE.

    • Hi Keith,
      Many thanks for your comment: this is a rather odd situation. What happens when you call through to the phone number (ideally, testing this from a different mobile network like O2 or Vodafone)? Does it connect to Three or EE? This shouldn’t normally happen, but usually it’s the responsibility of your new mobile network (so EE) to resolve problems with the port.

  • Hi, its 4 pm on thursday, I have just given 3 my PAC code to transfer my number from EE however, I leave the country tomorrow for 6 months at 11:30 am, will this cause problems with transferring my number?

    Anon transferred a phone number from EE to Three.

    • Hi Anon,
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, I don’t know what will happen in this case – typically, it’s recommended that you’re in the UK on the day of the phone number transfer. However, I’m not sure whether it will stop the number transfer working if you go abroad during that time. This is probably a question that’s best directed to Three (the mobile network you’re joining).
      Safe travels,

  • Hello
    I intend switching my Tesco PAYG number to replace my Three PAYG number. I have zero balance with Tesco and £28 on my existing Three number. Can I be sure the PAC process will not delete my £28?

    Jan Wilson transferred a phone number from Tesco Mobile to Three.

    • Hi Jan,
      Many thanks for your comment. The PAC Code process doesn’t allow you to move credit between network, and equally, doesn’t affect the credit you have on your new network. Therefore, you can rest assured, your £28 of credit will still be there after you port your number into Three.

  • I am preparing to switch from Three to EE due to repeated network failure. If I obtain a PAC code from Three can I then cancel payments once the code has been given to EE or will this result in my loosing my existing number due to inactivity.

    I should explain that my 24 monthly contract expired in October.

    Derek Smith transferred a phone number from Three to EE.

    • Hi Derek,
      Many thanks for your comment. There’s actually no need to separately cancel your contract with Three: it’ll be done for you automatically when your phone number moves to EE. It’s likely that a 30-day notice period applies on your Three SIM card, so they may charge you for up to another 30 days after you move your phone number over.

  • Hi Ken,
    Thanks for the great website. I am on a sim-only plan with Three. I purchased another Three monthly plan with a third-party and requested to transfer the sim-only number to the new plan. They said they cannot do this until sim-only plan ends after 30 day notice – then it can be changed to PAYG then transferred. Can I request a PAC to transfer it to a temporary PAYG and then back to my new monthly plan to speed up the process? Is there any valid reason why they can refuse my requests? Thanks.

    Jon transferred a phone number within Three.

    • Hi Jon,
      Many thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, SIM only deals (of the Pay Monthly variety) have a 30-day notice period associated with them. What this means is you’re required to pay for another 30 days of usage after you ask them to cancel the SIM card (as an aside: I believe Ofcom is currently looking into this as many people, including myself, think it’s a bit unfair).
      You could use a PAC Code to transfer the phone number to another network, but you would still need to pay for another 30 days of usage after giving notice to Three that you want to end the contract. So yes, in theory, this could be a little faster but you’ll still need to pay the same amount overall.
      To save the hassle of having to do this, I’d probably serve out the 30 days and then transfer directly on Three. Alternatively, you could ask them to transfer you over early (but they may still want to charge you for the 30-day notice period).

  • Hello,

    If I want to arrange for my wife’s number to be ported from EE to Three but onto my existing Three account as an additional line (sim only contract), is this straightforward or would I encounter any difficulties due to the change of name, especially when filling out any online forms?


    sjaeagle5 transferred a phone number from EE to Three.

    • Hi there,
      This should be fairly straightforward and I shouldn’t envision any problems with it (just make sure you’re transferring the phone number onto a new line rather than onto an existing line!). There are no ownership name checks when using a PAC Code (see bullet point 3 here) so it’s no problem at all transferring to an account in your name.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hi I have transferred from EE to 3 contract to SIM only and took my old number with me , everything has changed over to my old number after giving 3 PAC code , only problem is anyone with an iPhone is getting txts from my 3 temporary number and when they txt old number it’s only sending as a text message not iMessage ! Any ideas what’s wrong please

    Steve transferred a phone number from EE to Three.

      • I have a similar Problem- I don’t use iMessage but having moved from EE to three (iPhone to iPhone) all of my texts and some calls are showing as coming from the temporary number not my number that I have PAC coded across (and is working on my new iPhone for incoming calls) what can I do to solve this? Thanks

        • Hi Sue,
          I’d recommend following the instructions here, which will resolve the phone number issue for FaceTime and iMessage (may apply when you’re contacting other people who also have an iPhone).
          If you’re experiencing this problem on normal phone calls and SMS text messages, then this is something your new mobile network (Three) can look into for you.
          Hope this helps,

    • Hi there,
      Unfortunately, it’s no longer possible to obtain a PAC Code from EE once your account has been closed. If your account was closed without a PAC Code being actioned, it’s likely the phone number has now been lost. If you like, however, you could contact EE using the details here to ask them whether they’re able to restore your number.

  • Hey Ken, really useful set of information.

    For many reasons I have two monthly SIM cards and I’m looking to settle on one provider now.

    PAC typically refers to transferring a number into a new contract or agreement. But I can find no data on if PAC transfers in have a time limit.

    I know PAC codes have a 30-day validity once requested.

    So can you bring over a number to an account that has been running for a long time ?

    In this case its Vodafone to Three

    JayB transferred a phone number from Vodafone to Three.

    • Hi JayB,
      Thanks for your comment. As you say, PAC Codes have a 30-day expiry from the date on which you request them (if it’s gone more than 30 days, you can simply request a new PAC). There’s no limit on how long you could have been using the phone number on your old network (whether it’s been 10 days or 10 years, you’re still able to request a PAC Code in the same way to move your phone number to another network).
      Hope this helps,

  • Ken

    Thank you for publishing these pages – It had partially helped me. I have recently transferred a mobile number from TalkTalk to Talkmobile using their PAC. Unfortunately it then took 3 months of fighting TalkTalk for them to close my account as they claimed the number hadn’t been disconnected…

    My currently problem is the opposite. I transferred the number from TalkTalk to Three, but Three claim the PAC is not linked to a mobile number. TalkTalk has disconnected the number, saying it was successfully transferred. This is my ex-business number, so I was keen to keep it. Who is responsible for ensuring the PAC is linked to the number? Both parties blame each other…

    Nigel Aplin transferred a phone number from TalkTalk Mobile to Three.

    • Hi Nigel,
      Sorry to hear about the problems you’ve faced transferring phone numbers from TalkTalk Mobile to Talkmobile & Three. It looks like some really strange things are happening over at TalkTalk (whether this is due to problems with their system or with their customer service, I’m not sure).
      Typically, I’d say the destination network (in this case, Three) is responsible for the number moving over successfully to their network. Hence, I normally advise people to contact their new mobile network first. In your case, it sounds like you’ve already done and they’ve told you it was a problem with the original PAC Code from TalkTalk Mobile. In this case, the responsibility would fall with TalkTalk as it’s their legal obligation to provide you with a PAC Code that works!
      Unfortunately, if the two networks continue blaming each other for this mistake, I’m unable to really help you out much further except from to suggest you make a formal complaint in writing to both parties. But hopefully this gives you a good idea of the responsibilities held by each party, and best of luck resolving it with TalkTalk & Three.

  • Hi Ken,

    I joined Three 8 days ago, and my number from EE ported across 4 days ago. Since porting I have experienced extremely bad network service. I decided to go back to EE so ordered a new SIM from them with the intention of porting my number back from Three to EE.

    I called Three and said I wanted to cancel within my cooling off period (which ends 19 October) and get a PAC. They said that I firstly had to cancel, and only AFTER my line had been cancelled would they issue my PAC in approx 2 working days.

    The waiting time for my PAC and the 1 day turnaround for EE to apply it to my new SIM means that I would not have access to my number for 3 or more days. Is this the correct process, or should Three be able to issue my PAC before I cancel? Is there any workaround to minimise the outage time?

    Thank you for your advice.

    AmyGG transferred a phone number from Three to EE.

    • Hi Amy,
      Thanks for your comment. Typically, your mobile network is able to issue a PAC Code at any time and you’ll continue receiving coverage on the old network until your number moves over. If the account is cancelled without a PAC Code being used, the phone number will typically be lost (so that’s why a PAC Code should be requested in advance of the account being closed).
      With regards to cancelling your contract during the initial cooling-off period, I’d have thought the process would be similar to this. Saying that, I’ve never actually tried this myself so unfortunately I’m unable to advise about this 🙁 Sorry!

      • Hi Ken,
        Thank you for your reply. I ended up speaking with Three via their chat help, and they were able to provide me with my PAC straight away. I have now transferred my number to EE. Hopefully I will not get any surprise cancellation bills through from Three…

  • Hi Ken, I transferred with a PAC code to BT from Three a few days ago. BT messed up and accidentally deactivated my phone number. I am still within the cooling off period and after the experience of their customer service would like to get another PAC code and transfer back (as I gather the original transfer cannot be recalled) but BT are saying this can’t be done unless my phone is reactivated, which takes a few working days and so might take me beyond the cooling off period of 14 days. Do I have any options other than to wait and try? Is there a way to cancel my contract with BT now and then force them to let me transfer it out?

    James transferred a phone number from Three to BT Mobile.

    • Hi James,
      Sorry to hear about the issues you faced transferring a phone number from Three to BT Mobile. Have they told you whether they’re able to recover your original phone number? I’d have thought that things should be fine as long as long as you tell BT you want to cancel the contract during the cooling-off period (if it takes extra time for them to amend their mistakes, this is something they should be liable for and it shouldn’t prevent you from being able to exercise your rights to cancel).

  • Jack Hutchinson said:

    Hi Ken really glad I found this website it’s really excellent!

    I am currently on EE but living in Northern Ireland my signal indoors is awful!

    I am planning on moving to 3 because of their InTouch wifi SMS and calling app do you have any experience with this app and is it any good? If it is usable it would be a lifesaver.

    Also have you heard about EE doing away with an unlock fee this summer uswitch have mentioned it but I haven’t heard of it anywhere else!

    Jack Hutchinson transferred a phone number from EE to Three.

    • Hi Jack,
      Thank you for the kind words and really glad to know the website has been useful! I’m afraid I haven’t had much first-hand experience using the inTouch application so I’d have to refer you to other forums for this!
      With regards to unlocking fees, the government’s digital economy bill recently proposed an end for “charges to unlock phones at the end of contracts across major mobile phone providers”. No word yet on when or whether this will be implemented, but it’s possible it could encourage EE to scrap the unlocking fees earlier.

    • Kevin Wragg replied:

      If you are with EE and have a mobile phone that supports WiFI calling than EE has this as standard and unlike 3, doesnt need an app to make and receive calls via wifi. Most iPhones and many Samsung support wifi calling

  • Hi I was on three and changed to Giff gaff using a pac code , I kept my old three sim just in case . If I was to change back using this sim would I need to get a pac code again.

    Denty transferred a phone number from Three to giffgaff.

    • Hi Denty,
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, your old SIM card on Three will now be inactive and so you won’t be possible to re-use it again. You can however order a new SIM card from Three, and of course you can transfer your number to this SIM card through the normal PAC Code process.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hello Ken,

    My EE contract it’s ending and I move to Three. I already gave that PAC code to Three to move my old number. It’s three days from now and my number it’s still not move :/ Why?

    Surprizzo transferred a phone number from EE to Three.

    • Hi Surprizzo,
      Has it already gone past the date on which Three promised your phone number would be transferred to their network? If so, you can check up on the status of the port by calling 333 on your Three handset.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hi..i have moved from three to EE…however they told me I could not get a pac code because it has been more than 30days since my account has been terminated…my account was terminated last december…is there any way i can get my old number back please as I really need it…all my vyber contacts are sync with it

    rov transferred a phone number from Three to EE.

    • Hi Rov,
      Thanks for your comment. I’m really sorry but unfortunately there’s no way of recovering a phone number once the account has been closed 🙁 Typically, you should move the number to a Pay As You Go deal if you want to keep it active, or you should move it to a different mobile network before closing the old account.
      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news,

    • Hi Niamh,
      Thanks for your comment. Have you followed the entire process as discussed above in this article (getting a PAC Code from O2 and giving it to Three)? Once you’ve done this, your O2 phone number will be moved to Three (before this, your Three SIM card will be assigned a temporary phone number).

  • Hi,

    Can I just ask this, what if I just ported in my number to let’s say, lycamobile yesterday, and then I suddenly decided to go to THREE today. Can I ask immediately a PAC number from lycamobile now? Is that possible? Thanks in advance!

    Earl Andrew transferred a phone number from Lycamobile to Three.

    • Hi Earl,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, you can request a PAC Code from Lycamobile any time you like – though bear in mind, you’ll lose your credit on Lycamobile when your number is moved over.
      Hope this helps,

  • I’m transferring my number from Three to Vodafone and it’s almost a week since I requested the porting in. I’ve been promised two 3 separate days for the changed and it hasn’t happened. It’s very frustrating because I paying for and carry around two handsets.

    Is there anything I can do to force the issue?

    jim transferred a phone number from Three to Vodafone.

    • Hi Jim,
      Sorry to hear about the problem transferring your phone number from Three to Vodafone. It’s really frustrating when the phone number transfer doesn’t happen as planned, and I can definitely sympathise you in this situation. With regards to getting this moving ASAP, you’ll need to follow it up with Vodafone (the destination mobile network is responsible for actioning the transfer). In the first instance, you should call Vodafone Customer Services on 191 and ask them to check up on the status of the transfer. If you aren’t happy with how they deal with your request, you could then make an official complaint via this link. It can sometimes well be worth making a complaint – you should be given a person who’ll take charge of the issue and who’ll follow it up.
      Best of luck,

  • Hi.

    I think I made a stupid mistake. I transferred my number to a SIM-Only deal from O2 to Three but I did so without activating my SIM first. I had a phone on contract with O2 but the contract has ended so the phone is mine now. I’m not sure if I need to get it unlocked first before using my Three SIM. I don’t have any network coverage on my O2 SIM and I’m unable to activate my Three SIM. Help!


    Rhonda transferred a phone number from O2 to Three.

    • Hi Rhonda,
      Thanks for your comment. It may be necessary to unlock your handset from O2 before you’re able to use it on Three. I believe that O2 will typically lock iPhones on their network – are you using an iPhone or is it a different device? There’s more information about how to unlock your handset here (you may also find it interesting to read the guide on unlocking an iPhone and unlocking a Samsung Galaxy). It should be free to unlock your handset from O2 as you’re a Pay Monthly customer.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hi. I have a contact with EE for my wifes phone (contract has since expired so I have no early settlement charges to pay).We intend to transfer this to three. However am I able to transfer both the number and change the ownership of the account at the same time, so the new contract will be correctly ordered and registered from three in my wife name? Many Thanks.

    jonny transferred a phone number from EE to Three.

    • Hi Jonny,
      Thanks for your comment. You can indeed transfer the phone number to an account that’s in someone else’s name (there are no ownership name checks during the PAC Code process). You just need to make sure the new account at Three is set up in your wife’s name.
      Hope this helps!

  • I recently left Talkmobile for Three in order to gain access to LTE services, but the whole PAC number transfer/notice period still seems a little muddy to me, and customer service don’t seem to give me a straight answer either. Does anyone understand the process a little better than myself?

    So I requested a PAC code and gave it to the new provider on the same day – does this mean I’ll be billed for at least another 30 days which I won’t actually use because of the notice period or will I perhaps receive a credit refund for unused credit?

    My bill date on my old provider is the 4th of Each month so I’d already paid this month (November) in advance, requested the PAC on the 7th, and had the number transferred today, the 10th.


    Nathen transferred a phone number from Talkmobile to Three.

    • Hi Nathen,
      Thanks for your comment. The way it normally works is you need to give 30 days notice when cancelling a contract. Hence, if you gave notice to Talkmobile on the 7th November at the same time as requesting your PAC Code, they might ask you to continue paying the bill until the 6th December. Saying this, I haven’t actually checked the exact details of how this is done on Talkmobile, so it’s only a guess based on what happens on other mobile networks.

      • OK thanks for your reply. I’ll try to remember to post back with details of the process when I find out. Even if I end up missing out on a month’s worth of contract, it’s only £7pm so not such a big deal, but I can see why it would be a bigger deal for people on far more expensive contracts!


  • I transferred from 3 to Tesco, got pac code on a Saturday 24 Sept and gave Tesco was told transfer would be done by Tuesday 27th. The number did show that it’s on Tesco when I checked my account and there’s Tesco signal on my handset. Unfortunately am not able to make or receive any calls or msgs on the number and now it’s 1st Nov nothing still. I did contact customer care Tesco they said they’ve made an escalation to three because they’ve not fully transferred all my files. How long does it take for them to get a response from three? It’s so frustrating.

    Mercy transferred a phone number from Three to Tesco Mobile.

  • Hi Ken, I recently signed a contract with EE for the new iPhone 6 – I was with Three using a iPhone 4s. As the iPhone 4s was a hand me down, I had a great deal with Three for £15/month as I didn’t have to pay for the handset. I bought this with Carphone Warehouse and am now thinking of cancelling my contract (within the allowed 14 days which carphone warehouse are honouring). When I closed my account with Three last Wed, I gave 30 days notice but immediately requested my PAC code which I gave to EE and I’m all set up.

    However, if I cancel the contract with EE I was told that I will lose my current number which I have had for 15 years! Obviously I do not want to do this and was wondering if you perhaps knew of a way to transfer my number back to Three without my having to lose it? Thanks in advance for any insight you may have.

    Jayne transferred a phone number from EE to Three.

    • Hi Jayne,
      Thanks for your comment. Do accept my apologies as I think I’ve failed to understand your question! I believe you’ve just succeeded in moving a phone number from Three to EE. The contract on Three was closed when you moved to EE.
      Are you now wanting to cancel the EE contract and to go back to Three on your old tariff? Or is this simply a question about what happens to your phone number in 24 months time when the EE contract ends?
      Many thanks,

      • Sorry I didn’t make myself clear. I am able to cancel the contract with EE (within the next 4 days). The downside to doing this as they are saying I would lose my mobile number which obviously I do not want to happen. So if I went back to Three, is there any way I can get out of this contract and still keep my old number?
        Hope that clarifies?

        • Hi Jayne,
          You’ll be able to keep the phone number providing you’re able to get a PAC Code from EE. I’d have thought this should still be possible or are they imposing other conditions (e.g. not allowing you to get a PAC Code if you cancel the contract during the cooling off period)?

  • Colin williams said:

    Hi I’m with three and my old number was with three . My contract ran out but I didn’t want forward my number . But changed my mind after it ran out and want keep me old number …and rang them them they give me pack code said I had go with another network then ring them back for another pack code … y can’t they just change it .

    Colin williams transferred a phone number within Three.

    • Hi Colin,
      Thanks for your comment. The main networks are often reluctant to transfer your phone number from one account to another. The reasoning behind this is because you’ve actually signed up as a new customer on the second contract (new customers are often given a preferential deal to existing customers on the network). Three would rather you upgrade directly as an existing customer on their network – hence the reluctance to move your number over.
      In reality, it shouldn’t be a problem moving your number from one contract to another. My suggestion would simply be to persist when asking Customer Services to process your request. As a last resort, you can use a PAC Code to move to another network and then use another PAC Code to move back to Three (understandably, you want to avoid this as it causes more hassle).

      • Hi Ken,

        Just to advise that I had a similar problem while transferring from a Three to Three contract.

        As suggested, I persisted and got the outcome I wanted.

        Eventually, after 4 calls and much time wasted, I spoke with Ananb who was in the Three Customer Excellence Department and he literally bent over backwards to help me.

        Aside from this issue, I told him about the trouble I had getting this sorted and he said that in future I should call the Customer Excellence Department directly on 0800 358 4916 and they would sort it out. As he explained, to be in that department, staff needed at least 4 years experience in company so you were more likely to get things sorted.

        As their advert says, ‘when stuff sucks, make it right’. Certainly, Ananb had signed up to the company pledge but it’s a shame some of the others had not!

        Best regards,


        P.S. Great site by the way.

  • Hi Ken, lots of great information here, thank you.

    I tried to ask this question at the weekend, but suspect it didn’t post properly.

    If I have an old Three phone with PAYG credit on it (which I want to use up) and a new phone with a sim from Giffgaff (which I intend using straight away) is there any time limit on how long I can wait before transferring my old Three number to my new phone? You’d normally transfer your old number to your new phone almost straight away, but I suspect it could be a couple of months before I would want and need to do this.

    Colin transferred a phone number from Three to giffgaff.

    • Hi Colin,
      Thanks for your comment and sorry for the delay in getting back to you!
      There’s no time limit on transferring your number: you’re able to do this any time you want. So it’s definitely fine to use up your credit on Three before moving the phone number over to giffgaff. Indeed, I normally recommend against transferring your phone number immediately to a new network (it’s always worth spending a bit of time to ensure the new smartphone & network is working properly… it’s much easier to cancel the transfer if you haven’t yet moved the number over).
      By the way, if it’s too much hassle carrying round two separate handsets and if you’re already paying for a goodybag on giffgaff, you can expedite the process of using up your credit by donating the old credit to a charity you support (better than leaving this money in Three’s coffers!). See here for more information.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hi Ken,
    My mother passed away a few weeks ago and my contract was in her name. I am trying to leave EE to join 3 as they seem to have cheaper deals however I still want to keep my number.

    EE will not release my PAC Code as the contract is not in my name however the customer service team advised me to transfer the contract into my name and then request for a Pac code once I am the owner.
    The issue is that if I leave EE now and cancel both lines, they will erase any outstanding money my mother owes however if I want to keep my number, I will have to transfer the contract into my name meaning that I have to pay the cost of cancelling a 24 month contract before it has ended.

    How would I be able to get the PAC code for my number before leaving EE? (and not being charged after transferring the contract into my name)

    Abiodun transferred a phone number from EE to Three.

    • Hi Abiodun,
      I’m very sorry to hear about the situation: my thoughts are with you and your family.
      In regards to your question, I can kind of understand where EE are coming from: typically they have something called an early termination fee when you need to leave a mobile contract early. There are certain situations where they’re able to waive the fee (e.g. in the case of the account owner’s death). If you were to first transfer the contract into your own name, they would no longer be able to waive the fee under this rule.
      My initial thoughts are simply to lodge your request in writing with EE. I suspect this is something which really needs to be considered on a case-by-case basis. Hence, make a written request through the online form here. If they aren’t able to solve the situation, my other thought is to see whether they’re able to move the number over to Pay As You Go (this will wipe out any charges remaining on the contract; you’ll then subsequently be able to transfer the number elsewhere.

  • Hi Ken,

    Thanks again for the useful site.

    My billing period with T-Mobile (EE) runs from 12th to 12th (now out of my 2 year contract so have defaulted to a 12 month rolling contract). Should I place my order for a 3 SIM on, say, the 9th or 10th so that I minimize the amount of overlap of the 2 contracts? I imagine I would have to pay for a whole month even if I only use part of it?


    Andy transferred a phone number from T-Mobile to Three.

    • Hi Andy,
      Thanks for your comment. As your 24 month contract has now ended with T-Mobile, you’ll be placed automatically on a 1-month rolling contract (not 12 months as you mentioned in your comment). You’ll need to give 30 days notice before ending the contract so I’d recommend doing this as quickly as you can. Ask them for a PAC Code whilst you’re on the phone. You can then order a SIM card from Three. You can schedule the phone number transfer towards the end of the 30 days to minimise contract overlap. Don’t worry about ending your contract in the middle of a billing month (the charges for the final month are pro-rated based on the number of days you’ve been using the SIM card for).
      Hope this helps!

  • theresa ajanlekoko said:

    hello i got a new phone that is locked to ee but, the sim card i use is three which is on contact, i was wondering if i get the pac code will it transfer my three number to the ee sim i ordered and keep my contract the same.

    theresa ajanlekoko transferred a phone number from Three to EE.

    • Hi Theresa,
      Thanks for your comment. You can use a PAC Code to transfer your phone number from Three to EE. However, please be aware that this will bring your contract at Three to an end (you might need to pay an early termination fee if there are any months remaining on your contract). After switching your phone number over, you’ll have a contract on EE with all of the associated allowances (the allowances on your EE contract may differ from those on the old contract from Three).
      Hope this helps,

  • Hi, I recently transferred my account from EE to Three using a PAC code. Now when I log-in to the EE website and attempt to pay my final bill, it says number is invalid and refuses to log me in. How do I pay my final bill of £32 if EE doesn’t recognise me anymore??

    Mark transferred a phone number from EE to Three.

    • Hi Mark,
      Thanks for your comment. Have you tried logging in without your mobile number (there’s a small link where you’re able to do this underneath the normal box for logging in). If you still aren’t able to access your account, the chances are they may have closed your online account. It’s probably worth contacting EE Customer Services (dial 07953 966 250 from your Three handset) and paying your bill with one of the methods listed here.

  • I have been waiting for a week to transfer my number to Vodafone from Three. Not only has my old sim card disconnected but also I am not getting incoming calls on the new one. Thanks to this, people can’t reach me and I’m losing revenue as a result.
    Vodafone advertises the transfer as a straightforward service but it clearly isn’t when it comes to Vodafone. To make matters worse, getting through to customer service can take several hours… then they say it’s not something they’re able to resolve and to get in touch with the porting department.
    The service provided by Vodafone is appalling: I wish I could cancel this contract and I do not recommend Vodafone to anyone.

    Maria zapata transferred a phone number from Three to Vodafone.

  • Hi All I transfers from Orange to 3 last Tuesday My orange sim did not disconnect, i kept trying the 3 sim until it worked Tuesday pm but the orange one still showed a final and connection now when i ring the number now on (3) the orange phone still rings, now no credit left.
    I called 3 on weds, and orange, called 3 and orange Thursday, called 3 on Friday still saying it can not happen, called 3 again today Monday and the chap reckons it will be sorted out in 24-48 hours again
    can not receive calls on 3 can make them though calls come through on orange and switching it off says orange answerphone.
    Blimey 3 got a mouthful
    Still not sorted

    Ian transferred a phone number from Orange to Three.

  • Hi Ken,

    I am looking to take out a new mobile contract and get a new phone with a 3rd party provider on the 3 network.
    I am already with 3, provided by the same 3rd party 2 years ago and my contract is now up.
    I want to keep the same number, but I will have to cancel with 3 and then set up a new contract with them, as it is from a 3rd party and not direct with 3.
    How do I go about keeping the number? Do I need to get a Pac code and transfer it to a PAYG SIm first?

    Ian Boydon transferred a phone number within Three.

    • Hi Ian,
      In the first instance, I’d call Three Customer Service on 333. Ask them to transfer your number from the old SIM card to the new one: they should hopefully be able to do this (it might require you to speak to a customer services manager if this isn’t immediately possible). As a last resort, you can always port your number out to a different mobile network (e.g. with a Pay As You Go SIM) before porting it back to the new contract on Three. This, however, involves a fair bit of extra hassle so I’d try to do it directly if possible. For more information, it might be worth having a look at the comments on this page.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hi

    I transferred a number from a payg 3 (three) account to O2 Contract. Its been 10 days now and still no incoming calls. O2 are saying they have requested the porting files again and are waiting and cant do anything until they receive these.

    O2 made me change my SIM/disconnect me for 4 hours, unaccountable number of problem solving requests still no joy.

    Any advise?


    Saj transferred a phone number from Three to O2.

  • Hi,I have question about pac code which I receive from3 last Thursday , because i want to move to EE but later I think that was bad idea and I would like come back again to 3 and cancel my pac code .What do you think is any chance cancel pac code and become again customer 3 with my old number?

    mac transferred a phone number from Three to EE.

    • Hi Mac,
      Thanks for your comment. My advice would be to contact EE Customer Services as a matter of urgency – ask them to cancel the transfer of your phone number. If they aren’t able to do this (e.g. if the number has already been moved over), your only option would be to move the number back to Three (this may involve signing up once again on Three). You can contact EE by calling 150 from your EE handset or 07953 966 250 from any other device.
      Hope this helps!

    • hi ,thanks for reply on my question ,but I would like explain you that I still didn’t move to EE and use my pac code from three.

      • Hi Mac,
        Ah, apologies for misunderstanding your question! If you haven’t yet given the PAC Code to EE, there’s no further action required on your part. The PAC Code will automatically expire after 30 days and your contract on Three will continue as before. It’ll be just as if you hadn’t requested the PAC Code in the first place. If you later decide you actually want to change network, you can request a new PAC Code from Three at any time.
        Hope this helps,

  • What about any credit on the SIM you are transferring to? I have a 3 PAYG SIM with some credit, and want to transfer the number from a O2 PAYG SIM. Once the number is transferred to 3, will I still have the credit from the previous 3 number?

    Also, what happens to the previous 3 number?

    David transferred a phone number from O2 to Three.

    • Hi David,
      The SIM card on which you’re transferring your phone number to will retain any credit it had before the incoming transfer. So any credit currently on your Three SIM card will still be there after the transfer is complete.
      Hope this helps!

  • Hi,
    I’m currently with Three and at the end of my contract.
    I’ve called Three to upgrade, but they can’t give me any special deals.

    I’ve seen the same contract they offered, online with Three (through a separate company) which is cheaper.
    Can I transfer my number if I cancel my existing contact and take out this other one if they are both from Three?
    Thanks in advance.

    Parker transferred a phone number within Three.

    • Hi Parker,
      Thanks for your comment. Based on previous experience, most mobile networks are fairly reluctant to move your phone number from one account to another (the reason for this is it would allow you to bypass their normal upgrades process). Furthermore, they would need to pay commission to a third-party retailer for connecting your line (understandably, they hate to do this when you’re already a customer on their network!)
      What this means for you as a consumer is that customer support will often tell you it isn’t possible to transfer your phone number over. In reality, there’s no actual reason why they aren’t able to do this (it’s only an internal transfer and is incredibly easy for them to do). If you’re willing to spend a bit of time negotiating with customer services, it could be worthwhile trying to move over directly. If not, you could always transfer to Pay As You Go on another network then you could move your number back after a few days.
      For more information, do have a read of the first-hand experience of other readers trying to move a phone number within Three.

  • Hi Ken,
    Thanks for this very useful site…I feel lucky to have landed here!
    Mine is a peculiar problem – I hope you can throw some light on this:
    I was with Lycamobile and got a new contract with Three.
    To port my number across, I got a PAC Code from Lyca and gave it to Three.
    Within a day, I was able to make (outgoing) calls using my old number.
    However, shockingly, the incoming calls failed to reach my mobile; calling my number would only result in an “invalid number” message.
    Customer services at Three said that they have done their part of the porting, but are waiting for some files from Vodafone! I was surprised to learn that my mobile number’s PAC code was given my Lycamobile (my previous provider), BUT my number is actually owned by Vodafone (they originally issued my number way back in 1999) !
    Anyway, since then I have been calling Three and I get only one response “We have sent a chaser to Vodafone and are still waiting for the files”. I called Lycamobile and Vodafone – but they bluntly refused to help me as I don’t have any contract with them now (yes, true!).This has been going on since 12 Aug and I am struggling helplessly as my friends and family are unable to call me on my mobile.

    I tried complaining to the Ombudsman service (they ask me to wait 8 weeks!!) and also called Ofcom. Ofcom won’t take individual complaints, but confirmed that the onus of porting my number now lies with Three, the “gaining provider” – and that Three can take Ofcom’s help if they are not getting a proper response from Vodafone.

    I don’t know where to go now ! I could cancel the Three contract and get back to Lyca (or even Vodafone, for all the trouble they gave me!), but am concerned that my number could then land in a black hole as it won’t belong to any network provider during the re-porting !
    Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease help me !!


    SRK transferred a phone number from Lycamobile to Three.

    • Hi SRK,
      Thanks for your comment – I’m really sorry to hear about the terrible experience moving your number from Lycamobile to Three. As you mention, there is some work required on the behalf of the network which issued the number originally (Vodafone in your case though you can verify this info via this link).
      As you mention, the onus is now on Three to chase this up for you. I’m really disappointed that Vodafone haven’t been helpful in allowing you to transfer the number – this has led you to miss incoming calls for 9 days already. I would recommend you send an official complaint directly to Vodafone – hopefully this will speed up the process of getting your number transferred.
      Good luck and please keep us updated,

      • Hi Ken,
        Thanks for your response and advice.
        I am glad to let you know that the problem was resolved yesterday (21 Aug) after 10 days of agonising wait and dozens of calls!
        Three has agreed to compensate me one month’s price of my contract (£10).
        However, they say if I wish to complain further, I should take this up with Vodafone.

        I am happy that my anguish has ended – however, there doesn’t seem to be a system in place to avoid recurrence of such incidents either with Ofcom or the ombudsman service.

        As Vodafone did not complete the transfer of my files within 24 hrs, it breached the Ofcom regulated standard. As such it should be straight-away penalised. Besides that, for the loss of service, frustration and the helplessness that they subjected me to (imagine being despised when I contacted Vodafone as I don’t have anything to do with them directly), I deserve a better compensation.
        I am also unhappy that Ofcom’s role is only “monitoring” the mobile companies – and the 8 weeks period that someone has to wait before the case is taken up .

        Someone needs to ensure that this doesn’t repeat.
        So I am going to take this battle to Ofcom, Ombudsman service and Vodafone till I get a satisfactory response and compensation.

        I welcome your comments in this regard.


        • Hi SRK,
          Thank you for updating us – I’m glad the problem was finally resolved. I do agree that the mobile companies need to be better held to account: in this case Vodafone caused you to miss your incoming phone calls for a period of 10 days. This is pretty unacceptable – Ofcom’s General Conditions of Entitlement say they should be doing a lot better in this regard. So I would definitely support you in taking this further. I hope you’ll receive sufficient redress from Vodafone and with the involvement of Ofcom this will prevent other people from experiencing the same problems in the future.

  • Hi Ken,

    Great post. Very informative. Quick Q though.

    I’m switching to Three from EE and getting a new iPhone. I’ve got the PAC code. From previous experiences, once the phone is set up with a sim card, the phone incorporates the mobile number for iMessage etc. So when the PAC code is done – ie the number is switched to my new iPhone – do I need to ‘tell’ the iPhone or does it do it all automatically?
    Kind regards and thanks!

    Mark transferred a phone number from Three to EE.

  • Hi Ken,

    First of all, thanks for the great site, very useful and informative.

    I’m in a situation quite similar to that outlined by Pat on August 4th. Both accounts in my case are with Three, my original contract is coming to an end soon but I was able to get a much better deal by opening a new account than by following Three’s upgrade process. The salesman with whom I bought the new account suggested I follow the same process that Pat was thinking of – pick up a PAYG SIM for any other network, get a PAC code for my original account and transfer to the PAYG, give it 24hrs or so to complete then request a PAC from the PAYG network and transfer that onto my new Three account.

    I gave Three’s customer service a call to see if there was any possibility they could simply do an internal transfer between my two accounts, and they said this wasn’t possible – the only way they would accommodate my request would be if they were to change my original account over to a Three PAYG account, which would require I give 30 days notice and at the end of this 30 day period my account would convert to PAYG and they would then be able to do an internal transfer to my new account.

    I thought the 30 day wait seemed a bit excessive for a simple number transfer on the same network, so I mentioned the idea of using a 3rd party network as described above; he initially said that “it would not be possible”, and when I asked for clarification – which required a few minutes on hold while he checked with a supervisor – he came back and told me that “he didn’t think it could work, and certainly couldn’t guarantee it would work.” He seemed to be suggesting that Three would refuse to process the incoming PAC at the end of the process if the number had been on their network at any time in the past.

    In the end I didn’t make any changes to my account and now I’m really not sure what I should do.

    So – phew – that’s my situation. Is there any chance you might be able to shed some light here?

    Thanks very much,


    Tim transferred a phone number within Three.

    • Hi Tim,
      Thanks for your comment. There’s really no reason why Three isn’t able to process your number transfer internally (as you say, it’s pretty ridiculous for an internal transfer within the same network). It may be worth asking the Customer Services agent to talk to their manager (often, this will get them to agree to transferring your number over directly).
      With regards to your question, Three certainly won’t refuse to process an incoming PAC if the number was previously used on their network. It’s very common for people to change their networks and then to subsequently change back to a network they were previously on (many other readers have done the same thing).
      Hope this helps,

  • Hi Ken,

    I’m moving from EE to 3. I bought a SIM only plan from 3 and I am currently on pay-as-you-go on EE. Everything I’ve read so far on keeping my number when switching networks talks about ‘both’ devices. I only have the one handset so should I leave my EE sim card in and wait for it to stop working then put my 3 card in? Or should I use my temporary 3 number in the mean time and wait for that to stop working and then restart it?

    Lauren transferred a phone number from EE to Three.

    • Hi Lauren,
      Please accept my apologies! When writing, we often assume there’s two different handsets (an old one and new one). In many cases, its actually the same handset (only the network & SIM card is changing). I hope this didn’t cause too much confusion!
      To answer your question, you have the option of using either SIM card until the transfer takes place. If you’d like to continue receiving calls & texts on your existing phone number, I would recommend continuing to use your EE SIM card. Be sure to keep the 3 SIM card somewhere convenient (you’ll need to change the SIM cards over as soon as the number transfer takes place).
      It’s also possible to use your Three SIM immediately. In this case, you’ll be using a temporary number until the transfer takes place. It’s not necessarily a problem but you’ll miss calls & texts sent to your number.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hello, i ported my vodafone number to three, before couple days receive text restart my phone , and i can make calls and send text but i not able receive incoming call or text, When calling straight goes to voicemail welcome to lyca mobile (vodafone). , i already contacted ree they told me cant see any problems and on system shows everything works fine, they told me i have to wait they will send to technicians to chekc again, maybe someones know why still cant receive calls? Is problem from vodafone or three? Looks like porting done only half. Thank you

    Paul transferred a phone number from Vodafone to Three.

    • Hi Paul,
      Thanks for your comment. Sorry – I was a little unclear on your original mobile network: was it Vodafone, Lycamobile or Lebara Mobile? To give a quick overview, Lycamobile actually uses the O2 network (maybe you’re referring to Lebara which instead uses Vodafone as their network coverage provider?).
      Anyway, with regards to the situation, it looks as if the porting is incomplete. The problem could be on either end but your best bet would be to get in touch with Three (dial 333 from your Three handset). They should hopefully be able to resolve the situation (and can liaise with your old network if required).
      Hope this helps,

      • hi Ken,

        sim card is vodafone, but i dont know why voice mail says welcome to lyca mobile please leave your message, i already tryed contact three few times ,they told me wait ,but nothing happends, its 6 days nothing happens, also i was in three store and they gave me new sim card, but thats not help, still cant receive incoming calls and text and my voicemail still lyca but network is vodafone, the sim was brand new i get pac code and fill online form on three website, and on 18 jun get messages to restart my phone, i can make a the calls send text and use data internet, looks like split service, , but not sure why on vodafone network says welcome to lyca mobile. also three send me email to check this, but 4 days no anwser. maybe problem with old network?

        • Hi Paul,
          That’s positively bizarre – was your phone number originally issued by Vodafone or Lycamobile? You can check the spreadsheet here if you aren’t totally sure. If it was originally a phone number issued by Vodafone, I guess the phone number has transferred to the wrong network. If the phone number was issued by Lycamobile, it may have gone back to the original network. Either way, it’s exceptionally bizarre and I’m also at a loss to explain what has happened!

          • well that vodafone sim card was brand new unpacked, i contact vodafone and get pac number, and when sim was unused i tryed to call so before says welcome to lycamobile, i really dont know why on vodafone says lycamobile, dont know where is the problem. but they check the number in vodafone and generated pac code , i dont think vodafone can generate lycamobile pac code ?

          • Hi Paul,
            It is very bizarre – I’m not sure why your Vodafone SIM card would have given that message (but it’s still worth checking the spreadsheet I sent to see if the number was originally from Vodafone). This article from 2009 gives more information on how to use the spreadsheet. Once you know the SABC and D/DE codes, check the company the number was issued to. This should give you some more information when going back to Vodafone/Three.

  • Having switched from O2 to 3 without problems I have noticed that my phone (a moto G) shows its phone number as being the original number assigned to the 3 SIM rather than the phone number I ported from O2.

    Is there anyway to ensure that the correct number is displayed for my phone?

    Ken transferred a phone number from O2 to Three.

    • Hi Ken,

      Thanks for your comment. Is this a problem with your Caller ID (the number which shows when you make a phone call) or a problem on the handset itself? For caller ID, the best thing to do is to contact Three Customer Services (call 333 from your Three handset). For the latter (a problem on your handset), a quick restart will normally solve the problem (you may also need to re-register through apps such as WhatsApp).

      Hope this helps!


      • Hi Ken,

        Thanks for the reply. I was able to edit the SIM number on another Phone (Samsung Galaxy ACE DUOS) by going to Contacts/Settings/Own Numbers and editing My Number.

        So it now shows up correctly on both the phone and caller ID.

  • Georgie Robson said:

    Hi Ken,

    Thanks for all the information provided above. I wish I had read it before I started the transfer from 3 to giffgaff as it’s Saturday now and so my old number will not transfer until Tuesday. Should have transferred between Monday-Thursday!
    I have a couple of questions:
    – My new giffgaff SIM has now been activated and everything is working fine. Can I put my old 3 SIM back in my unlocked Nexus and use it until Tuesday?
    – If I do this will I have to go through setting up the Internet connection again do you know?

    Georgie Robson transferred a phone number from Three to giffgaff.

    • Hi Georgie,
      Thanks for the comment! It’s no problem at all requesting your number transfer before the weekend: you’ll still have coverage on your old Three SIM card until the number transfers over. So yes, do feel free to stick the Three SIM card back into your unlocked Nexus smartphone. When doing so, it might be necessary to restore Three’s APN settings. On Tuesday, when your number transfers over, you can put the giffgaff SIM card into your Nexus device and restore giffgaff’s APN.
      Hope this helps!

      • Georgie Robson replied:

        Thanks Ken,
        I did swap back to my Three SIM until today and fortunately I did not have to restore the APN settings.
        I just tried to use my phone this morning and finding I was not connected any more to Three I have inserted my Giffgaff SIM and hey presto everything is working. I haven’t even got to go through all the setting up again to use the Internet.
        Modern technology is wonderful! I’m over 60 and really appreciate it – and blogs like yours too that help when I do get stuck. So thanks again for your help.

        • Hi Georgie,

          Great news – thanks for updating me on the status of your phone number transfer! Glad to know everything worked smoothly 🙂 And thanks also for the kind feedback… I’m really glad to have been able to help!


    • Hi Dawn,
      Unfortunately your old account at Three will close after the PAC Code is used. Hence, your Three SIM card will no longer be active and you’ll lose any remaining PAYG credit. You’ll no longer be able to make or receive any phone calls. My recommendation is to grab a new SIM card from Three – it’ll work in your handset (even if locked to Three).
      Hope this helps!

  • Hi Ken,

    I am currently with Vodafone. I opted for a new contract today with three. However the contract begins on the 10th September. My Vodafone contract terminates on the 15 September.

    If I am to request a PAC code, can I give it to three AFTER the 15 September, or will it no longer be valid since my Vodafone contract will be finished after that date.

    Basically what I’m asking is: is it necessary to give three the PAC code BEFORE the 15 September or can I give it to them after the 15th (providing the PAC code is within the 30 day expiration period)

    Many thanks in advance

    ben transferred a phone number from Vodafone to Three.

    • Hi Ben,

      Thanks for getting in touch about your move from Vodafone to Three. If you’ve already told Vodafone to terminate your contract on the 15th September then I would definitely move your number over as soon as you possibly can (i.e. call on the 10th and give them your PAC).

      If it’s simply a case of your 24-month term ending on the 15th September then don’t worry about it. Your contract at Vodafone won’t end automatically: it’ll continue just as before. You can move your phone number over at leisure. When you do this, Vodafone will send you a pro-rated bill for the final month (i.e. for the part of the month where you’re using Vodafone).

      Hope this helps,


  • I took out new contract and wished to keep my old number. I got PAC code from vodafone and the shop assistant phoned 3g to tell them number, it has now been over 24 hrs and still no number transfer. any suggestions please

    amy transferred a phone number from Vodafone to Three.

    • Hi Amy,

      Thanks for your comment. Providing the PAC code was provided to Three before a certain cut-off point, the number transfer should have taken place on the next working day. It’s possible that the cut-off point was missed: your number transfer might take place tomorrow instead. If it doesn’t, I’d give Three a call on 333 and double-check the status of your number transfer.


  • I have 3 phones on a Three Business contract and would like to transfer them to standard contracts via a local three store. Is this possible using PAC codes?

    Or do I have to move to another provider as, the unhelpful Three Business Team informed me, it is Impossible to directly transfer to their retail business. Which seems ridiculous as they were very happy to do the reverse not four years ago!

    I wish to do this to take advantage of the One Plan at £35 which is not available to Business users. I have also decided that I am fed up with doing all this on the phone and wish to speak to someone in person. I know that’s a bit old fashioned but hey that’s my choice.

    The store have contradicted the advice and info given by the Business and say its simple just get the PAC codes! But who is right? Please help

    Dean transferred a phone number within Three.

    • Hi Dean,

      I’m not sure about Three’s internal processes and whether they have a system set up for moving from Business to Consumer. I think Three’s Customer Services are the most likely to know but this is probably a fairly rare request so you may need to talk to people’s managers, etc. You could also try @ThreeUKSupport on Twitter – they’re exceptionally helpful in my experience. Failing that, porting out to another provider and porting back in will do the job (albeit with a lot of extra hassle). You could grab a free Pay As You Go SIM from another network for this purpose.


  • James Williams said:

    Hi Ken

    I’ve got myself a new 30-day rolling contract from 3, and have my PAC code from T-Mobile for my old 30-day rolling contract.

    I’m just wondering when the best time to commence the transfer with 3 and use the PAC? My billing date with T-Mobile is the 18th, and I am just unsure when would be the best time to use my PAC, bearing in mind it has 30 days before expiration.

    I only want to make sure that my cancellation won’t be too costly.

    James Williams transferred a phone number from T-Mobile to Three.

    • Hi James,

      Thanks for the comment! I think the best thing to do would be to use your PAC Code as soon as possible. At present, you’re paying for both contracts at the same time. Once the PAC code has been used, you’ll only need to pay for the SIM Only deal on Three. For the number transfer, you should ideally choose a time period when you’re unlikely to receive important calls/texts.

      Hope this helps,


  • Hi Ken,

    I want to terminate my Vodafone monthly contract(approx. 9 months left to run) and switch to 3 network because they can offer me a good deal on iphone 4s.Is this as simple as it sounds?I know I will have to pay the outstanding monthly rental for the contract.Will they allow me to terminate this contract and also provide me with my PAC number?

    Bill transferred a phone number from Vodafone to Three.

  • I have two accounts with three network. My one is due to end next month and another one is until the end of this year. I want to cancel the first account and transfer my existing number (which I had for 7 years) to another account however I have just been told that I can’t transfer numbers within the same network. Why is that? I have been loyal customer, brought more customers to three and still stayin with them. Why can I not keep the number with Theee however different account? Please advise

    Liuda transferred a phone number within Three.

  • I have two contract one with o2 and other with three, I would like to swap the number. Is this possible or do i need to stop the contract. I want both the contracts rolling.
    one (three) contracts started in dec 2012 and other (o2) ends in Dec 2013, Please help.
    Many thanks in Advance

    J Frank transferred a phone number from O2 to Three.

  • hello sir
    im so happy as u help online. actully recently me and my fiance got 2 deffrent phone contracts for 24months. but we want swap our numbers with eachother.. i called to 3 but they said they can't do because both are on 3. must be one from another network provider. i thought i get another pay as u go sim card,then convert my number on that then on another sim card. plz u tell me SIR what will be nice idea,i got loadz experince..i really glad of yor help sir….
    your thankfully

    B SINGH transferred a phone number within Three.

  • Hi,

    I'm on a 30-day rolling contract with Orange and I would like to switch to Pay as You Go with Three. Is it possible? The point is I have to give a notice of 30 days. What shall I do?

    Thank you,


    Andrea transferred a phone number from Orange to Three.

  • Hi there

    I'm trying to change or swap my old 1month rolling contract number with 3 to my new iphone 5 contract on 3 but they are saying they don't do internal number changes,
    is this the truth or are they using it as an excuse to keep paying them to keep my old number alive which they say i'll lose if i cancel my old contract
    ive never had problems porting numbers before but you'd think an internal swap or transfer would be simple stuff to them


    Dan transferred a phone number within Three.

    • If you were told this by the three store then no suprise there as the stores are a franchise and are only interested in contract sales try calling customer services. Ive recently left 3 (Long story, short version ive recieved poor customer service) and got my PAC code from them and transfered my number noproblems to Virgin.
      Unfortunately because you already have a new account you cant use the threat of leaving to help get what you want.

  • Hi Ken.

    If I pay the charge for Vodafone to change my number, will they then give me the pac code for the number I'm changing from?

    I'm doing this as I wanted to change my network to 3, but I cant afford to just buy out my Vodafone contract as there is something like 7 months left on it.


    Paul transferred a phone number from Vodafone to Three.

    • Hi Pete,

      As far as I'm aware, there isn't really any alternative to buying out your Vodafone contract (though you might be able to ask them to switch your existing contract onto a different number and then to release this number to Three). There shouldn't be any charge for the PAC Code itself. Apologies – I guess this probably isn't the answer you were looking for.


  • James Crawford said:

    i have Pay monthly sim with three, & Wife bought me a new phone for my birthday HTC One X on contract with 3, phone arrives but it doesnt open to insert old sim . I phone to tell them i want to keep my old number & im told. I cant …. then i can, if i take my old number to another network, then take it back to 3 (Ludicrous & yes 3 did tell me that)…. then they can do it after all, but it will take 30 days, as i will have to give 30 days notice to contract pay monthly sim. After much rage, i go for the 30 day notice version, even though that involves walking around like a drug dealer, with my 2 phones for a month…….Guess what happened after 30 days, yes correct F#@K all. Still have the 2 phones , 2 bills & 2 Fkn angry with 3, any one know how to sort this as apparently i cant cancel new phone. Just want to keep my old number for business, with the features of the latest android technology……shouldnt be that difficult you would think.

    James Crawford transferred a phone number within Three.

  • Hi.
    I’m hoping you may know the answer to my dillema. I feel stranded.
    I was/am on three mobile, I checked their website to make sure I could make calls abroad ( I’m in Argentina for 6months) website said I could so brought my sim along with me here. I got here and no signal at all.emailed three and they confirmed they have no agrement in place here even though website says different.lucky I had a spare Lebara sim with me which does work.got my PAC code for Three gave it to Lebara a couple of days ago. Two questions really; 1 does my Three mobile need to be in a phone for the transfer to take place? 2 Is it going to cause a problem the fact that I am out of the Uk whilst the transfer is taking place. Personally I don’t think either is going to cause any issues but I’m no expert. Thanks

    Devan transferred a phone number from Three to Lebara Mobile.

    • Hi Devan,

      Thanks for the comment! Unfortunately I don't know the answer to your precise question – but when a PAC Code is issued, it is usually recommended that you turn off/reboot your phone. For this reason, I suspect it should make no difference whether you are in the UK or abroad when your number is transferred.

      Hope this helps,


  • I was with orange network for number of years at least 6 years, last year i decided to move to 3 network as they have a good offer then, Orange has given me my PAC not by request but beacause i was cancelling my contract as i was at the end of it. Orange has sent me my PAC through the post but I decided to have a new number so i did not use my PAC but I was clear that I was cancelling my contract then they even sent me a letter acknowledging that i was leaving and all, but beacause I dont monitor my account, I only realise after a year that they are still charging me. I have spoken to them yet they said they could not do anything about it but to only cancel that contract…..HELP is ther a way to have my money back?

    Jamilla transferred a phone number from Orange to Three.

  • Hi,
    I am transferring from o2 pay as you go to 3pay monthly, I have had my pac code and given this to 3. I was told the transfer would be done on Tuesday, so I checked my old phone and there was no signal, later my partner called my old number to check that it had been transferred and someone else answered my number! The number has been transferred to another 3 sim! I have then called 3 and asked them for my transfer straight away, but they have told me that they have to get more information for o2 and I have to wait another 72 hours! Am I within my rights to speak to their supervisor and get this done today??? Any help would be much appreciated 🙂

    Alex transferred a phone number from O2 to Three.

  • Hi, I've made a pretty amateur mistake with my phones.
    My old one on 3 has a standard size sim in it, and my new one with t mobile has a micro sim.
    Without even checking this I actives my PAC code from 3 and my number has now been changed over.
    So what can I now do?

    John transferred a phone number from Three to T-Mobile.

  • It seems the advice for Three to Three transfers is wrong.

    I was told you CANT transfer a number between Three SIMs and I should put my old SIM in my new phone. When I told them I couldn't (new phone takes microSIMs only), I was told I'd have to pay £5 for them to send me a new SIM with the old number and would loose all the credit on my new phone …… lol

    Guess I'll transfer the old number to another network and back again … or maybe just keep it there

    Ant transferred a phone number within Three.

  • Hi, i have been three customer for 8 years and have recently taken a separate offer online offer online via online. I wanted to cancel my existing 30 day rolling contract with three and transfer my old number to the new contract. However three have told me its not possible numbers via three-to-three ie cross network, only network-to-network and have instead tried to enticed me to keep my existing line. I am pretty sure its possible but i am rather confused now. Can someone please help me, thanks.

    john transferred a phone number within Three.

    • * sorry i ment, its not possible to transfer numbers from contract to contract on the same network only from a different network.

  • Hey Ken,

    I have just got a new contract with Three.

    My previous contract is a Rolling month contract of which I plan to cancel, can I Change it to a PAYG (So I can keep the number) and then have it put onto my new contract?

    I’ve been told that if I cancel the contract my number will be lost, as such I need to downgrade it to PAYG then swap it to my new one.

    Last question; do you know if it’s free to call Three on a Three mobile?

    Many thanks,


    Thom transferred a phone number within Three.

    • Hi Thom,

      Sure – actually I think you could just ask Three to transfer your number from your rolling contract onto your new contract! This would skip the step of moving to PAYG. With regards to Three-to-Three calls, no these are not generally free. Some tariffs such as 'The One Plan' give you an allowance of Three-to-Three minutes however: with 'The One Plan' you get 5,000 Three-to-Three minutes per month.

      Hope this helps!


  • Hi.

    I am currently on vodafone and still have 3 months left on my contract. i would like to get a phone from Three 3 network now so will have 2 phones running untilm my vodafone contract ends. Can i get a pack code from vodafone when my contract ends and then transfer my number to 3 a few months into the contract?.

    aj270303 transferred a phone number from Vodafone to Three.

  • I am moving provider for a better deal. I was with tmobile and intend to move to 3mob. I have served my cancellation notice and have requested a PAC code and tmobile are saying I have to wait a further 30 days if I want this code. I am confused and feel cheated!! Help

    fungie transferred a phone number from T-Mobile to Three.

  • Hi. Transferring in UK from 3 (PAYG) to Vodafone (Monthly).
    On Vodafone Website, it says the SIM Card needs to be in the UK for the Number to be ported over.
    Why is this and will it cause any problems if the SIM isnt in the UK?

    Tobster transferred a phone number from Three to Vodafone.

  • Hi Ken, its been over a week trying to get my number ported from Vodafone to 3G. When I call people from 3G my ported number shows up to the receiver, but if they return my calls then it still comes to the Vodafone sim. Vodafone say its 3G’s fault (they have the pac code), 3G say its Vodafone’s fault (they have not released the number) who is really to blame and what can I do about it? 🙁

    Shez transferred a phone number from Vodafone to Three.

  • I was using Lyca mobile and then i decided to switch to 3. I get the PAC Code from Lyca and gave all detail to 3 to switch over my number.
    But 3 refused to do so by replying , "they are not allowed to switch numbers from the lyca to there network"

    It was quit strange , I still keep my both numbers with me …. any one who can guide please …. I don't want to keep lyca network but definitely want to keep my number….


    dinfahim transferred a phone number from Lycamobile to Three.

  • hi guys i had a 3 sim and i was using the all in one deal pay monthly and i could use the internet, now ive got giff gaff and i cant use the internet it says something about SP settings and you need to change your packet data connection any one got an idea how i can use the internet using giff gaff (ive got free internet) and ive got a 5230

    ussy transferred a phone number from Three to giffgaff.

  • Hi
    I wonder if you can help. I am transferring from 3 (really bad signal) to Tesco Mobile and my phone is going through the PAC process today from 8 til 4 pm. Once the number has transferred over to my new phone does that mean my contract with 3 has ended? Do I have to contact them to confirm? They are not a very good customer services to deal with so am a little worried.



    Suzy transferred a phone number from Three to Tesco Mobile.

  • Hi I am coming to the end of my Three contract and I was wondering if I could transfer the three number to my Vodafone contract, problem is its 12months in?

    Any advise would be really apprechiated!!

    Paul transferred a phone number from Three to Vodafone.

  • Hi. I have a rolling contract with 3 okay and my dad has a rolling contract with orange. I like his tariff and he likes mine. So i would like to swap sims and keep our own numbers. Pl advise what the exact procedure as Im nt sure.Hope you can help Thanks

    adam transferred a phone number from Three to Orange.

  • Hi Ken, I am a little bit confused and found on the internet you would give me a good & helpful advice.

    I am on the last month of contract with THREE. I wanted to upgrade and stay with THREE but they do not have a handset which I want to upgrade to. I am deciding to finish this contract and do not upgrade but I want to keep my current telephone number. I know that to go to pay as you go I just need to speak to THREE's advisor that I want to just move to pay as you go.

    The thing is that I want to get a contract with O2 now because they have exact handset that I want. Confusion starts now because I have no idea how to transfer my number from contract with THREE to contract with O2. What I have found is that there are 3 steps of this ! First : I need to get my number transferred to pay as you go at THREE and then obtain a PAC and transfer my number to O2 pay as you go and then to O2 contract ….. Is this right??

    please help me !! thanks so much

    Kamil transferred a phone number from Three to O2.

  • Hi there, my number ported from 3 to Vodafone a few days ago and appeared to be working finely. However, it transpired that I wasn't receiving texts and calls from a friend who is on 3. I turned my old 3 phone on and sure enough I still appear to be connected to 3! At the same time as being connected to Vodafone on the same number! Thought this would be impossible! Any advice greatly appreciated.

    Dawn transferred a phone number from Three to Vodafone.

  • Hi Im Marta. My 3 contract will end in 3 months, but Ive decided I will take another contract form vodafone because my 3 reception is terrible. I was just wondering if it is a big problem to transfer my number just after my contract finish lets say i will have 3 months vodafone number and then i will transfer my 3 number ? or can i do it while im also on 3 contract?? its all a bit confusing.

    Marta transferred a phone number from Three to Vodafone.

Leave a Reply