X-Series mobile mail is billed. Not. Yes it is. No it’s not. Who knows. Dunno. Er.

Link: xseries: X-Series Answers 04

Right, so remember last week, I was a total idiot and sent myself a 15 second video of rubbish (me, walking to the cinema) just because I could? And then I got the bill telling me that cost me £1.35 + VAT. Remember that? Ok, now read this bit from the X-Series blog.

So 3 UK writes: The 1GB fair use limit applies only to the “unlimited data” services listed, which currently include web searching and surfing, mobile mail and pod casts. These services are not very data intensive and it will be difficult to reach this limit in a month.

Now I’m hugely confused. What the hell constitutes ‘mobile mail’. I thought that’s precisely what I was doing, mailing the video to myself?

I really don’t know. I can’t believe how difficult it is to comprehend. It’s unlimited, or it’s not. Surely?

Well I got billed for it, anyway. So that much is true. Mobile mail ain’t included, clearly. Yahoo Mail, on the other hand, seems to be. At least, that’s what the customer services lady told me.

What a crazy situation. Stupid. Class-A stupid.

Here I am, a few days ago, praising the living daylights out of Three, … it’s rather painful to be the arse-at-the-back-of-the-room saying, ‘er, right, yes but…’

If anyone actually has a clue on the status of this, do let me know. Otherwise, my position on Three is currently: Wickedly good, but with arse billing exceptions dreamt up by some crazies.

  • Glenn

    One of the senior executives of Three has a posting on the X-Series blog (http://xseries.three.com/blog) about the X-Series Fair use “Philosophy”.

    Why don’t you mail your scenario to blog.xseries@three.com and see if they can justify charging for e-mail. Could be just an initial glitch in the system/philosophy.

  • ewan

    I was going to do so Glenn — until I spoke to customer services and the lady explained that if I didn’t use Yahoo, then it wasn’t included in the data.

    It’s driving me nuts!

  • Glenn

    I really think you should send it into the blog. Because you’ve been given an answer by someone who might be trying to be helpful by giving her interpretation of how three mail works compared to how web mail works.
    Three seem to be trying to push an idea of how mobile data services work from an executive level. There are bound to be differences of opinion and details to be ironed out between an executive vision, how techies interpret the vision and how the vision is implemented.
    A perfect example is the Skype implementation using GSM to the server first appears like cheating, but from an implementation point of view it’s quite clever. Three have even said they are looking into getting around the roaming problem with Skype.
    So you never know you might be pointing out a hole that seems obvious to us, but just hasn’t been filled at Three’s implementation level yet.

  • ewan

    I got a message from Darren, one of the chaps on the X-Series blog, earlier — so I’ll discuss it with him and hopefully have a solution shortly Glenn.

    One of the key reasons I’ve not wanted to contact the X-Series team is because I’ve been dreading a response! I really, really hope it’s just a billing mistake…

  • Hey Ewan,

    A very serious question.

    What about you use google search, google returns you 10 result. And, if you access to those results, does these access bill you?


  • ewan

    fongmickey — I don’t quite know if it’s billed or not. You see I paid for a 10mb allowance a while ago so when I access the web from the browser, the access is recorded yet not billed. I don’t know if that’s because all web access is ‘unlimited’ or because of my inclusive amount of data still being on the plan.

    I’m sorry I can’t be more accurate.

  • John Campbell

    I believe that by “unlimited mobile mail” they mean mail sent or recieved by the “mobile mail” application. As far as I can tell, what they mean by unlimited data is “unlimited http data”. 3Mail is excluded since it’s billed per message, rather than per amount of data transferred. It’s also sent over smtp rather than http for what it’s worth…
    The logic makes sense, it’s just a bit silly. If nothing else, they should at least make it clearer.


  • ewan

    I agree John, the logic does make sense, but I think it’s absolutely RIDICULOUS to say that you get ‘unlimited mobile email’ — which, as you correctly point out, you DO get. Just, when it comes to sending mail, you have to make sure you send it via the mobile mail APPLICATION rather than the 3Mail service.

    It’s so challenging that I, a bit of a geek when it comes to mobile, didn’t understand it. It’s only now I’m beginning to understand what happened.

    That, I’m sure you’ll agree, is simply not good enough. Not for a company venting forth on fair use policies and so on.

  • P e t e

    I emailed the x-series blog a while back to try and get this info out of them (think it was answer 2 to their “ask us a question” thingy) but it would appear that their answer was in fact a further very skillfully worded answer, rather than in fact giving me the info I was after – namely if you access a POP account (and I was meaning via the email client on the phone) will it be inclusive.

    Looks like the x-series offering may not be quite as good as the PR spin would lead you to believe.

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  • mikiec

    Right, now I’m even more confused!! 🙁 When I browse to a website, I get told that I’ll be charged for it. I phoned 3 customer services and was told (after a long wait) that it was just a standard 3 message, but the charge doesn’t apply on X-Series, but I’m still not convinced.

    Does anyone know whether surfing to websites, eg http://www.champcar.ws is free on X-Series or chargeable?

  • Hi,

    I’ve been told by 3 business customer support that surfing to any website is included in X-Series. You don’t have to access it via yahoo or anything daft like that. It would also be extroadinarily difficult and unreliable to track whether you followed a link from yahoo, so that does make sense.

    My question though, is whether direct access to pop3/impa4 mail accounts using the phone browser is even possible on X-Series. I’m waiting for X-Series to be launched for my 950i but I’ve been told categorically that the mail ports are blocked even on X-series other than to the 3 server. Is this not the case?

    And I join with everyone else in needing to know, assuming it is possible to access mail accounts directly, whether this will be charged extra or included.

    Thanks for any help


  • It seems there’s an error with some X-Series add-ons. Three seem to
    think that email is excluded from the 1Gb allowance – I had a proper
    nightmare getting £12 refunded after having sent a 10Mb email!

    However, no matter what customer services say, email is specifically
    definitely INCLUDED in your 1Gb allowance.
    If they suddenly sneakily change the T&C, I have a timed screenshot of
    the page of terms from today that I can send anyone if they need it.

    Once again, WEB usage seems to be working fine, but they seem to be
    charging EMAIL at the old rates (something ridiculous like £1.50/mb,
    forget exactly what she said now) which is most definitely wrong! Be
    persistant and very clear with customer services, and you WILL get a

    I had to bite my tongue though – they said that they were “willing to
    make this goodwill jesture as I was a valued customer of three!”. I
    made her admit that this was nothing to do with goodwill, it was the
    very least they could do having incorrectly billed. She saw the point
    (eventually) and I finally got an apology.

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