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Leaving Three

In February I started the process of moving my phone and my wife’s phone to Virgin from Three [1]. The reason is that Three didn’t offer any good phones on affordable contracts, the cheapest that was suitable was a HTC Desire HD which would have cost me $55 per month, while I could justify spending that for my own phone (which is used for responding to SMS from Nagios to fix client servers) I didn’t have the budget to spend that much on my wife’s phone too – and I really want us to have the same type of phone for ease of support. So I chose Virgin who offers the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 for as little as $29 per month – I chose a $39 per month deal that included 1500MB of data transfer and also had three months free which makes it effectively $34.12 per month.

When using previous phones that weren’t particularly smart I had also carried a Netbook and a 3G modem with me most of the time. Now that I have a phone that is a ssh client I don’t need that so I tried to cancel the contract today.

Three allows you to do almost everything over the Internet except cancel a contract – their web site doesn’t even give a phone number to call for that purpose. This must keep their support people busy, Vodaphone (which has just merged with Three) has recently had a horrible security breach because their sales booths used public Internet access for all customer data [2]. Also there is currently a law suit against Vodafone for poor network performance and misleading claims about service areas [3]. My experience with Three performance has been reasonably good apart from the fact that they advertised 3G service in Bendigo and provided none.

As Three are apparently desperate to retain customers they offered me free service for 6 months if I don’t close the account now. So I have a SIM that supports 1G of 3G data transfer per month for no charge until December (worth $90). What can I do with it? I don’t own a 3G modem as I gave that to my parents (who are quite happy with pre-paid 3G net access via Three) and the phones that I have which can be used for tethering are a little slow (usable for ssh and basic web access but not for Youtube etc).

Is there a way of selling such a SIM? Note that my name is still on the contract and any excess data or roaming fees will be billed to me so I can’t just put it on ebay.

I guess that one thing I can do is to use the SIM for receiving phone calls. For example if a friend was visiting from another country and wanted to receive calls without paying roaming fees I could lend them a phone.

Any ideas?

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