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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?

151 REPLIES 151

hello thanks for reply, yes I have everything switched off but I read the formula's here yesterday and discovered location services was on, I have clicked this off now too but I cycle and need some data for strava. I have just switched off the icloud, thanks

Great stuff @Fiona43 Don't forget to check out our new plans with All You Can Eat Data 👉 Prepay Plans 

This has happened me on more than one occasion. Each time I get the same reply telling me that I am out of bundle and received charges for the data I used. Last month I had €54 credit left at the end of the month, slowly Three started to chip away at this. I had to use my data once, so I couldn't undisputedly say how much Three robbed but in the region of €30. This month, however, I had €27 credit left when my bundle expired. I kept my phone connected to the wifi, turned off my data and I have wifi assist and smart switch all turned off. When I woke this morning, €0 left in my credit. No text to say I was charged for data this time. Wrote to Three customer care and they kept telling me it was for data used. Could not provide proof of the data charges but told me to look on my MY3 account and I would see my charges there. Three are essentially robbing our money and getting away with it. 


Virgin Media are offering €10/month for all data, calls and texts for 12 months. Ordered the SIM from Virgin and getting away from Three as soon as it arrives. Better plan for less money and Virgins customer care have been nothing but excellent for my broadband supply.

I have just contacted your chat support for the same issue. I was charged €0.96 five times between yesterday evening and last night. I too have the data off and my GPS and other background apps are off and yet I have been charged. The agent stopped short at saying I was lying. I suspect this has been going on for prepay for quite a while and I had requested a report last month. So I was being very careful using data this time to see if I would be debited if it was off and I was! It is unacceptable and pure robbery. I have been a customer of Three for over 20 years and also a customer for broadband. 

The agent escalated to the technical support and I requested a refund. I will make further complaints if not resolved in a satisfactory manner. I can now see from this forum thread this practice has been going on for years. Disgusting.

Hello AJ,

Same thing has been gong on with me. 3 told me basically it was me using the mobile data at 4am in the morning and I asleep in bed. I have turned off all mobile data and I need some data for Strava cycling but I have turned off all background refresh and anyother data related stuff but I do have to put it on for my hours cycle every day but I was charged once 3 days in row €3.00 for data I never used. I have 3 internet connections from Virgin and 3 sims at the house and it was been charged and I fast asleep but since I closed off backgrond fresh on apps I have been charge once last week another €2.00. I am sick of the problem. I did too contact 3 and they told me if my phone looses any internet when I am at home that the phone my iphone 6S will automatically go use my data regardless if I put it on or not, I think they are controlling it and we have no power, its like they are doing the rounds to get more out of prepay customers. I think they have a way of doing it on there end because all my data is always off now but I am thinking of leaving them, they give me zero help and assistance. Check it out


Be safe!

Thank you Fiona. If they are switching on data on our phones, then it is without our consent, which is even worse. I've been with Three over 20 years and now considering to switch. But I'll pursue it with ComReg as well.


I checked the report that was sent to me last months and I can see the same thing happening during the night a few times, when I'm out of the All You Can Eat Data plan. Usual small amounts like €0.34 or €0.76 a few times. 


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Thank u very much indeed for that information. I will definitely check out
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It happens the same to me. Ive requested refund about week ago and was told that technician will look in to it. Never got my money back or any further message. Very poor customer service and as i can see common overcharge.

Is this only happening with Three? I just switched and I see all the time data(GPRS) usage from 1kbytes up to 1240kbytes tonight. I have a data bundle but still was charged for one session(only 11cents thanks God). Data off, localisation off, emergency location off,no apps running in background,no data supporting WiFi etc,nothing else to switch off except the phone itself. Google pixel 3a.

I checked my partner's phone same as mine(pixel 3a) nothing changed in options and she wasn't charge for any data transfer at all at strange hours but yes she is not with three but other network.

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