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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

Hey Guys I can see where the issure might be:


When you do a software updated you can revert some settings. This would cause your phone to pick up data when you are not using it, also back ground refresh is a killer, if you loose internet and go out of the house for a cycle or walk your phone can revert to using your mobile data if you don't have this switched to off, same for push notifications. Your smart phone is actually smart in what it does but it is stuiped and you have to set your setting yourself on the phone or it will use other means to use your mobile data if you don't.

In my case data, background and network usage are all turned off via the settings every evening. I do it manually. I also have the data manually turned off when I leave the house when I'm out of the AYCE data bundle so that what you describe doesn't happen. I sent the info to Deborah who has escalated to technical support and I am waiting to hear back. 
I am still requesting for a refund though. Whether I get one remains to be seen. In the meantime, I ordered a new SIM card from Virgin who has a very good offer for prepay for the next few months and will be switching as soon as I can get my phone unlocked (waiting on Three to contact me for that, there could be another battle ahead). 

These GPRS charges are happening to me as well. I have an iphone. I noticed it when my credit completely disappeared when I should have had loads of cash available. It had suddenly disappeared, so I logged on to see all these GPRS charges. I topped up with a plan to see if the charges reappeared after the 28 days. My data plan expired today, between midnight and 2pm I was charged 4.63 EUR against GPRS. I have lost so much cash credit to this, it is disgusting. I've been home working all day and my phone has been connected to wifi so to see data charges today is poor. 


make sure when you updated your phone that the new update does not reset to put these options on:

Location services

Mobile data

Background refresh app mean that if this remains on you'll get charged fees if you are outside your internet range in house or work. Turn if off and check it too see.


Also your phone is pretty savvy it will look for other means to a internet option if it cannot get your WiFi at your house. The phone is not smart you have to tell it what to do but if you don;t it may find other means to logo into your mobile data. Go through your phone and make sure all is off. Tick most things off. I have had this problem on and off but since I stopped using my iphone for strava the charges are gone expect one day last week charged €2.00. Even signing up to online store could charge you for the text unknowing. 



Yes. Have experienced the same problem. I have mobile switched off, yet 2 euro being randomly taken from my account for mobile data usage. I asked 3 to explain why they were charging me for mobile data I hadn't used on these particular days. My graph of mobile data usage confirmed that I had not used any mobile data on these days. After a few days of arguing my case with them they refunded 6 euro which they had taken from my account in one week alone. I thought this was the end of the matter till I discovered another 2 euro taken from my credit today for mobile data which I haven't used. I am on an older 3 plan and I feel this is a ploy to push me on to a current plan where I would have to top up every 28 days unlike the plan I am on now where I am not required to top up every 28 days.
I feel I have no recourse but to change to another network . I have been a loyal 3 customer all my life and feel this is not a satisfactory way to treat customers.

@KDNY Hi there, I'm sorry to hear that you feel this way. I assure you that we are investigating this for customers who have all possible data switched off on their phones. Have you had a look at the possible features that can cause a data connection on your phone? See the list below. If so, please send me a PM with your full details 👉 name, number, address, and date of birth. Can you include the type of phone you are using too? 


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)


I have this issue also and just like a previous contributors, I feel this is a scam by Three to take our phone credit illegally. I also NEVER switch on Mobile Data as I am always on the house WiFi. Is it possible for Three to disable Mobile Data so that my too clever phone doesn't bypass my settings? 

@KMul Hi there and good morning. I'm sorry you feel that way, and we're here to help. Because of this thread, and all the previous contributors, I've been investigating this with the relevant teams to find out why this charge is applied when you have all forms of data switched off from your phone. In most cases, it's small amounts of data in the region of 3KBs that triggers the daily charge on some of our legacy plans. Can you confirm the amounts of data usage on your phone via My3? From my side here I'm able to block mobile data from your phone. Let me know about the amount of data used and the date too 👍


If anyone else on this thread is continuing to experience this €2 daily charge, please let me know.


@Murdee @KDNY @Fiona43 @TC2 @Anonymous @Anonymous 

Hi Deborah, Thanks for looking into this. I can see the following deductions when I look at Unbilled Events/Data:

21 Jan 2021   15:42:38  0 kbytes  GPRS   €0.00

21 Jan 2021   11:15:09  0 kbytes  GPRS   €0.00

21 Jan 2021   09:16:07  2 kbytes  GPRS   €2.00

20 Jan 2021   11:02:11   0 kbytes  GPRS   €0.00

20 Jan 2021   09:03:10  1 kbytes  GPRS   €2.00

11 Dec 2020  16:43:52   0 kbytes  GPRS   €0.00

11 Dec 2020  14:44:51   0 kbytes  GPRS   €2.00

10 Dec 2020  20:31:57   0 kbytes  GPRS   €0.00

10 Dec 2020  18:32:56   1 kbytes  GPRS   €2.00

29 Nov 2020  16:12:29   0 kbytes  GPRS   €1.97



@KMul good morning, thanks for sharing that. Is there anything before November 2020. Did you get a new phone around that time?

I'd like to take a closer look at your account, and check if I can refund some/all of those charges.( no promises though) Can you send me a PM with your full name, number, address and date of birth?