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Repeatedly charged for data despite mobile data turned off

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Repeatedly charged for data despite mobile data turned off

I noticed recently that my credit had been going down at a much faster rate than usual, and after checking my usage I see repeated charges of €2 for "internet" despite me never turning mobile data on. Only in emergencies do I use mobile data, 99% of the time the I'm on wifi when using the internet or anything data-related on my phone.


These charges don't occur every day, for example I've been charged the last 3 days in a row but not the day before that (and yes I had credit then) and the times are sporadic, mostly when I wouldn't be using the phone, i.e. 2am, 6am... completely random.


I turned my phone off deliberately last night and saw I was still charged €2 an hour afterwards, so it's not like some spurious app has bypassed any settings, it's being taken directly from my account for no reason. Can someone help?

147 REPLIES 147

I have same problem again all back ground apps refresh off and all data the took just now another €2.00 and I am not using my phone I am out gardening

I cant affrord this I lost my job with no income since March 2020 due to COVID-19 but three don't care. No help and same old story. 

If you need small amounts of data for Strava anyway, why not spend a fiver of your credit on a data add-on that lasts 28 days? Much cheaper than paying €2 per day every time data is switched on.

I've had the same problem with Vodafone in the past, so it's not just Three. Issue resolved itself after I changed phones - it had been a handset issue that meant the phone could still use data in certain circumstances even if I'd every possible setting disabled.

I haven't received any reply at all from Three since I escalated this issue last week. I'm not surprised as I'm suspecting they didn't log a support ticket at all and told me they did just because I was being difficult. I will contact them again this week and will contact ComReg if no satisfaction. Regardless if other networks do the same thing, they shouldn't take data charges when data is off on the phone. Of course it always happens when you're out of bundle so the credit that's left to use quickly disappears and you've no option but to top up, when you shouldn't have to. Like others say, it amounts to quite a lot of money per month, some people can't afford it. 

Not true at all. I can't post a picture now as My Three is DOWN AGAIN. But I was charged for use of mobile data when i still have data left to use from my bundle.
So You are saying that all phones manufactures make their phones to use data when it's off at odd times every 2hours(almost exactly 2h) including google and huawei - but then 2 prepay sim cards from three(same plans but one switched back to 3 at the beginning of this year and second with 3 since few years) and 2 exactly the same huawei phones and one of theme is sending data and the other is not - both not rooted etc, running latest android.
And two google pixels 3a(again not rooted) but one with 3 and one with Vodafone prepay and data being used at odd times only on 3 sim card - how can it be like that - phones are only picking random people to use their data and left other alone?

Check how many topics about three charging for that you have in this forum and posts in this topic with silly explanation why and how date is used and WE are being charged for (not)using it.

Hi all,


Most people have smartphones which are primarily data connective devices and need a connection to function correctly. So in a sense @Firbolg firbolg is right. However, as I can't go through each of your phones, can you all check the below list. It's quite generic and settings/names are different and yet similar across all smartphone manufacturers.


1: All mobile data off

2: Wifi Assist and iCloud and Google sync/similar is off

4: Push notifications are switched off

5: GPS location switched off

6: No MMS sent or received

7: No long SMS ( wrapped to MMS send/receive)

8: Automatic updates switched off

9: turn off background app refresh

10: No external devices linked to your phone ( MiBand, FitBit, Smartwatch)


The only way to ensure that a data connection doesn't occur is to put a data block on your account. This can be removed at any time too. Another idea is to switch to an All You Can Eat Data plan and top-up on time every 28 days.


We hear you all on your Community and some of you have reached out to us in PM. Do send me a PM if you haven't done so already. I'll need your full name, number, address, and date of birth to access your account here. With this info, I'll link in with tech to investigate the connections and/or add a block for you.



Not applicable

I didn't say all phone. I was talking about a specific phone I had
just bought from 3, delivered to my home by 3. No previous phone from
3 had the issue. There was something in the particular type of phone
what wasn't sitting well with there infrastructure. But if its
delivered with 3's firmware and software, why should I have to pay for
it if I didn't create the problem. I changed all 5 people in my house
to Tesco mobile because of the problem. That's how serious I took it.
I've never had a problem since, and by the way, I used the same
problematic phone on the Tesco mobile network without ever seeing the
same issue.



I was offered to block the data on my account already by one of your colleagues. I am not interested in this option. Why should we have to block data on our phone for something that is not our fault?


I always turn off everything at night to save some battery on my phone. I rarely turn on data at home as I'm using the wifi. The rare occasion I do is if I'm outside in the garden and can't connect to wifi. I am usually on the all you can eat data for €20 and yes it is a good package. However, the issue presents itself when the package has expired, and whatever credit is left on the phone then is rapidly gone and I have no choice but to top up. Last month I couldn't afford the €20 at the time and decided to top up by €10 which should have been sufficient for calls. Half of my credit went onto data I didn't not use as everything was turned off. I requested a refund of these charges and was told my case was sent to technical support. I am still waiting. I don't need technical support (I'm actually working for an IT company and has some IT knowledge), I want a refund. And this happened before, but I'll let the other months slide. 


I am strongly considering going to ComReg and show them that Forum Thread and others. 

When your 28-day AYCE data expires, if you don't want to top-up with another €20 you can buy a 500MB data add-on for €4.99 of your credit. Otherwise you'll be paying €1.01 PER MB for any data which will literally wipe out any credit on your account in a matter of minutes of data use.


Charging €1.01 per MB is absolutely bonkers but Three is a commercial company and can charge what it feels like so there's no point banging your head against a wall arguing with them about that IMO.


Buying the 500MB add-on when you don't want to top-up is an absolute no-brainer though and I do this myself from time-to-time.

Thanks for the info but that won't fix the issue as my data is off and I am not using data... that's the whole point all of us on this thread are trying to make. We have data off so that means we don't want to use data and no charges should be debited from our credit. I'm well aware of the data charges outside the AYCE package that's why I turn off the data to avoid paying them and so that I can use my remaining credit on calls instead. But it doesn't seem to make any difference to Three as they're charging us regardless if data is on or off.

I'm in contact with Deborah from Three on PM so let's see what the outcome is.