Customer Review

29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This particular offer makes no sense to me!, 28 Oct 2012
This review is from: 3 Original Broadband Ready to Go 12GB Preloaded Sim Card for Mobile Broadband or Mobile Wi-Fi (Accessory)
(Please see my update posted in early March 2013 at the end of this review. The principles I mention below are still relevant but the value for money position in relation to these 12Gb SIMs appears to have improved on this page).

In response to a comment on my first iteration of this review I agree it is important to distinguish between the performance of the 3 Network and value for money issues. I am a regular user of the 3 Network using my Huawei Mifi modem on trips between London and the Sussex coast, and, coverage is good for most of the way, with decent speed too. In the past I had a Vodafone card but on my particular route, the 3 Network SIM card gives better performance in terms of coverage. When my mobile phone contract comes up for renewal I'll seriously consider the 3 Network as my phone provider too.

It will now be obvious that the star rating above relates to the value for money here rather than the product performance. To me, this particular 3 Network broadband PAYG SIM card offers questionable value at its current price, although, you should compare prices of these SIM cards at the time of purchase as the cost does seem to change quite quickly. Based on current prices this card is more expensive than buying a 12GB card on the 3 Network Mobile Broadband Site which actually promises 12GB of data to be used within 12 months as the user wishes. Some reviewers on this page suggest that this particular SIM card actually offers 12 x 1 GB per month rather than 12 GB to be used flexibly over a year. Also, it would cost considerably less at current Amazon prices to buy 4 PAYG 3GB SIM cards (total = 12 GB of data) for the 3 Mobile Broadband Network and each card is valid for 3 months.

In summary, no problem with the network provider in this case but given that this is a "commodity purchase" and the same product is available at many outlets the price is the critical factor here.

UPDATE. Since writing this review I see the price of this SIM card has fallen to a level which appears to be far more competitive with the 3 Network's own prices. Clearly, prices fluctuate, and my advice remains to check prices on Amazon & the 3 Network at the time of your purchase to see you are getting best value.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Nov 2012 23:30:46 GMT
Martin Ross says:
I completely agree, maybe I'm missing something also.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Nov 2012 07:51:34 GMT
Last edited by the author on 6 Nov 2012 07:51:53 GMT
Paul Madge says:
Martin, thanks. I was beginning to think I was missing something. Regards Paul

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jan 2013 10:25:02 GMT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jan 2013 14:06:23 GMT
Last edited by the author on 25 Jan 2013 10:42:16 GMT
Paul Madge says:
Thank you for your feedback. I accept the point that in most reviews the focus is on the functionality and quality of the product, although, price is also a consideration. However, this is a case where the product is a "commodity" e.g. capacity on the 3 Network and there are a wide variety of sources for what is effectively the same commodity. Therefore, given the nature of the product the only key differentiation between suppliers is based on the price charged for 12 GB of data on the 3 Network, so, that is why my review is focused on the price being charged rather than the product. (I have posted reviews of the 3 Network performance on other pages such as those for the 3Gb cards).

I feel I have covered the issue you raise in my revised review above. Even if I had not updated my review to take account of your comments, looking at the feedback I've received, and the similar nature of a number of other reviews of this 12Gb card offer, I feel I've been fair. Regards Paul Madge

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Mar 2013 01:25:58 GMT
Last edited by the author on 3 Mar 2013 01:43:25 GMT
TeaJam52 says:
Thanks from me too for pointing out what should have been obvious. Well handled with the Music critic chum, though I guess 1 star may be harsh if prices fluctuate.

I have had Three mobile broadband on a rolling contract for a year and a bit; and on their PAYG prior. T-Mobile as was before that. I got a really good mobile dongle upgrade deal from Three over the phone last year (if you can persist and get through all their sales waffle), so I have had a healthy 15gb monthly allowance at I think 15.98. However things are EXtreemely tight for me (sob), being mostly out of work a few months; and I have been thinking of starting to buy the 10 to 11.00 sims with 3gb instead. (I can do a 30 day cancel or whatever on my current deal). At current use that may last me 2 months at a time.

I am in kind of a catch 22 though. This is my only source of broadband (no landline). I know I never use more than 2 - 3 gb regularly, all at home on my desktop PC.
However I have recently had an old laptop restored and I bought a good smartphone (GS2 ICS), tv and wireless PVR in the summer while working.

I want to ring to get a deal on a first MiFi Dongle from Three so I could then cut back on the extra 5 bundle I'm paying TalkMobile since July to give my phone 1gb data instead of the contracted 500mb. With the MiFi I can also use the laptop more without taking the USB dongle from the PC. (I need to buy a 10-15 WiFi adapter for my old PC though).
I could start streaming more BBCi/SMART TV to my PVR/TV, although a network cable works as is after a fashion. Ultimately when I am back at work I would get a cheap android tablet also.

All this would mean I could start using a lot more than 3gb a month again and start to miss the 15gb deal; but I think I should make a move soon to disposable 3gb Three sims, and then maybe the 30 MiFi dongle. I'm sure data prices will come down and I could get the 15gb p.m. deal again. I see they are doing 15gb now for a long contract.

I wonder how much longer Amazon wil sell these 3gb data sims. Three are certainly far better value on data than rip-off O2/Vodafone (ex customer) and T-Mob/EE deals.

Sorry for the late night musings. Food for thought Mr Madge, thank you.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Mar 2013 11:58:03 GMT
Last edited by the author on 3 Mar 2013 15:58:46 GMT
Paul Madge says:
TeaJam, thanks for our feedback. You and I are on the same page wondering about the future of these SIMs. Part of me thinks that they may not carry on but perhaps with 4G coming in their price might fall. I was in a 3 Store recently and mentioned that I bought their SIMs on Amazon, the sales lady said 3 were "relaxed" about the cheaper SIMs on Amazon.

I strive to be fair to sellers and other customers in my reviews, so, based on your comment about fluctuating prices I've added an update to my original review suggesting that purchasers check prices at the time of purchase to see they get the best deal.

You mention Talkmobile. I think they're a great value and use the Vodafone network so work well, and, digging around on their website they've got some good bargains in SIMs.

Hope with Spring coming things pick up on the work front. Kind regards Paul M

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Mar 2013 12:17:53 GMT
Last edited by the author on 3 Mar 2013 15:53:26 GMT
TeaJam52 says:
Paul, thanks for taking the time to reply.

I actually felt bad later about saying 1 star was a little harsh, so my apologies. I might have done the same, as you were trying to alert others.

Interesting 3 store comment. I was offered 12gb for around 52.00 in a 3 store while staying in Eastbourne over a weekend in Summer 2011, before my rolling contract while I had a PAYG dongle. I could not get a London store to offer the same when I got back. So prices haven't changed too much. They may be franchised shops.

Yes I was very pleased to get a Galaxy S2 for 140 up front with Talkmobile (via E2Save) with 250 mins, 5000 texts and 500mb for 10 pm x 24. Good coverage on Voda as you say. The S3 had been out a short while, but a still a top spec phone at a great deal. I was very happy it arrived with the latest Android 4.0 from Samsung and not the older version as advertised.

You will always get someone criticisng about sticking to the product, and often not very nicely, but I think you were right in this instance on reflection and you wrote in a polite, reasoned way. You may often be tempted to use up the 12gb in 6 months or less. 4 x 3gb sims makes more sense at the current saving, and it is worrying if one or two say they were limited to 1gb a month; though I can't see that being the case unless Three have changed their wording.
I see now you have added an update.

Thanks for the good wishes. Tony.

Added: you may have been referring to Talk Mob data sim deals so I will check later this evening.
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Paul Madge
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Location: Uk

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