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Three UK Scraps Go Binge for Unlimited 4G and 5G Streaming UPDATE

Friday, October 2nd, 2020 (10:28 am) - Score 66,192
three uk go binge

Mobile operator Three UK has suddenly decided to remove their popular “Go Binge” service from new 4G and 5G based mobile plans, which previously gave customers access to unlimited data (mobile broadband) when streaming from popular video, music and social media sites (Netflix, Snapchat, Deezer etc.).

Admittedly Three UK already has a number of general “unlimited data” plans, but Go Binge was popular because it enabled those on cheaper plans – with a capped data allowance – to continue accessing popular streaming sites and without having to worry about running up a big bill via excess data charges.

Unfortunately, all of this suddenly changed on 1st October 2020 when, without warning, the operator removed Go Binge from their plans for new customers altogether. The good news is that existing customers can continue to use it, at least until they inevitably need to re-contract or upgrade in order to get a better price or plan at the end of their current term.

The operator’s website now states: “New plans taken out after 1 October no longer include Go Binge … If you already have Go Binge, you won’t lose it. If you’re on one of the [supported] plans and have previously opted out of Go Binge, you can ask us to switch it back on. Just give us a call.

A Three UK spokesperson told ISPreview.co.uk:

“Following a recent review of our products, we have decided not continue with our Go Binge offer for new and upgrading customers. As many of our plans offer generous or unlimited data, we recognise that the way we stream and consume services is changing and we are updating our propositions to reflect this.

We are now exploring new ways to continue rewarding our customers, whilst providing exceptional value and better connectivity for every customer.”

Some may of course speculate on whether or not this is related to a recent Net Neutrality ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (here), which last month appeared as if it might make it more difficult for operators to offer zero rating plans (i.e. unlimited data, but only for certain services), but Three didn’t respond to that when asked.

UPDATE 11:36am

We’ve added a comment from Three above.

Leave a Comment
51 Responses
  1. Avatar Alan P says:

    I’m not sure the EU’s net neutrality was designed to stop people enjoying zero-rated services like streaming media. Of course then you could argue well if Netflix is zero-rated but say Amazon prime isn’t then it’s unfair to Amazon? But that’s what deals and contracts are all about. Then again the EU wanted to introduce a link tax too, and horrible online copyright laws so who knows maybe they did mean it.

    Perfect reason to swap to Voxi now though. They don’t seem to be stopping any of their free streaming services.

    1. Avatar James says:

      Net neutrality is a pretty big deal. I think it’s completely unacceptable to favour one provider, as it disincentivizes consumer choice.

      So yeah it should be meant and these type of deals need to be removed across the board.

    2. Avatar Connor says:

      Couldn’t agree more James, last time I was on Three I thought the whole Go Binge thing was very anti net neutrality.

    3. Avatar freddie says:

      They only started it last week

    4. Avatar James™ says:

      If you actually read the Go Binge T&C it was open to anyone who wanted to join

    5. Avatar Ian Tommins says:

      This is exactly the point of net neutrality rules. Previously someone might have been interested in a 4GB plan because it included Go Binge, and they would then choose to watch Netflix instead of Amazon.

      Without Go Binge, that 4GB plan is uncompetitive, so Three are forced to offer 6GB for the same price and customers are then free to use that data to watch whatever they want.

      Zero rating doesn’t just hurt Amazon, it especially hurts smaller start up services that can’t afford to pay to be included in the zero rating offer.

  2. Avatar Chris says:

    Well, this may be just a move to cut on data traffic in an attempt to balance their network. I would however think twice before getting a plan with them no matter how good it may be. They were good a few years back, but right now their coverage sucks. I’m in Surbiton and can barely make phone calls. In some areas there is no signal at all so it is really frustrating. My 12 GB plan is useless if I can’t use it due to network issues which are on going in the last year no matter how many complaints me and others have had

    1. Avatar Lizzy says:

      Never been able to use it in my home, always had to walk along the street. Used to be reasonable at the coast. Can still make phone calls from there, but even getting emails is a long job.
      Last year, could stream, wasn’t great but managed. Now paying for something I can’t use.

    2. Avatar Christine. says:

      I am in dispute with 3 right now. I am in Southend on sea. Consistently got no service for calls or texts. I got myself a GiffGaff (02) SIM, which worked immediately. Now 3 are saying I owe them £69 pounds or debt collection will be invoked. My plan was £9 per month, plus a mobile charger I foolishly agreed to at £20. They say I had 3 devices! But the Indian chappie who phoned be me on my landline said he couldn’t tell me what these 3 items were because ok f customer security! I said I agreed I owed£29. I was not willing to pay over the phone. He said I could pay the £69 and dispute it later! What a bunch of shysters.

  3. Avatar Zakir says:

    Strange I have 5G broadband from three network and when I enter my post code says they are expanding in my area but I already get 5G signal on my hub over 100mbps to 200mbps E3 area.

    How I got the hub used a post code that has 5G which says on the website 5G available then got it delivered to my home address.

    1. Avatar Leex says:

      If you use cellmapper it might give you 5g coverage information (set it to NR/5g filter and zoom out) from other people who have mapped the area

      not many people have 5g enabled phones with cellmapper mapped yet but someone usually has done some small mapping of it

      Don’t trust mobile provider coverage maps at all and also don’t even believe youron 5g when your phone shows a 5g icon

      5g icon means your on a 5g supported mast but it be LTE only (it actually connect when you get closer) in cell mapper you need to see lte+NR and NR/5g line needs to say CONNECTED (not UNRESTRICTED) as well

    2. Avatar Aleksandr Metslov says:

      Spillers alert

      200mbps? Matte, your address in the 4G.
      Sorry, I don’t have memory erasing machine, so you have to cope now with reality.

    3. Avatar Connor says:

      200mbps isn’t a good 5G signal, though the way Three advertise their 5G is weird.

      I’ve personally managed to get a 5G connection about a mile from where Three says I should get it.

  4. Avatar Michael V says:

    There’s a shame they only had a few but never really pushed the service to make it well known to their customers.
    Having an agreement with Netflix but not Amazon Video may not have been on Three. This is what agreements are about & maybe other video services didn’t want in… For example.
    Zero rated data on apps is good, as one Operator may offer some services while another operator may offer different services. It’s competition between the mobile network operators. But of course the rule is having some data allowance to use it.

  5. Avatar Marcos says:

    OFF SUBJECT – BUT can anyone help me here. I am trying to establish if CITY FIBRE are about to roll out in COLCHESTER, ESSEX. They have recently competed nearby IPSWICH and SOUTHEND as GIG Cities. I am failing to get an answer from CITY FIBRE. Colchester Council does have it’s one dark web roll out but I can help this will take an absolute age. CITY FIBRE are rumoured to be hitting the town, but I am unable to get this confirmed. help anyone !

    1. Avatar Connor says:

      Firstly, what’s with your random capitalisation? That makes responding very off-putting.

      CityFibre however usually do cities on the basis of having an anchor client, for example a contract to do a city centre and then build residential from there. Having dark fibre doesn’t mean you’ll 100% get it soon since that’s probably the Entanet network they took over after the merger.

    2. Avatar Dick harry says:

      When you put a Colchester postcode in their site it says they have no rollout planned

    3. Avatar Andrew Ferguson says:

      Completed what exactly in Ipswich?

      No sign of it being available to the public to actually order, which is the opposite of complete in most peoples books.

  6. Avatar Marcos Gilson says:

    Apologies for random capitalisation. You haven’t really answered my question though.

    1. Avatar DaveyF says:

      Have a look at planning applications or keep pestering cityfibre for a firm answer.

  7. Avatar freddie says:

    Well makes sense.. As vodafone now do it in theirs.

    1. Avatar freddie says:

      Or rather I should say Vodafone started offering it about a week ago.

  8. Avatar Stephen Wakeman says:

    If it was a move to comply with net neutrality legislation, then how can customers who already have it be allowed to keep having it and even opt back in to it after opting out of it?

    If one of the goals of net neutrality is to even the field, then considering the benefit contravenes this and acts as a reason for existing customers to stick with Three, how would this be in keeping with the spirit or intent of it?

    For this reason I do not believe that the removal of Go Binge has anything whatsoever to do with net neutrality.

  9. Avatar Manjit Singh says:

    Don’t buy anything from three they are scrap no network and Internet is crap
    I buy 2 contracts i stuck with them
    No problem solve no answer plz don’t buy anything from three buy ee gud

    1. Avatar Stephen Wakeman says:

      If you find you have no or very little service then you can contact Three and complain. If they don’t allow you to exit the contracts early due to poor or no service where you primarily use your phones, then you can escalate your complaint to Ombudsman Services. If you can prove that Three are not providing the service that you are paying them for, they are likely to rule in your favour and allow you to exit the contracts.

    2. Avatar Michael V says:

      @Manjit. Your comment is pointless. It’s no good asking people not to buy, as for some, like me, Three is the best choice & EE is the worst. And with 4 accounts, I’m happy to give them my money.

    3. Avatar Andy says:

      I have a great signal and service with three. EE (BT) are an absolute joke service around here with rubbish customer service. Id avoid them at all costs.

    4. Avatar Bob says:

      EE is overpriced garbage

  10. Avatar st says:

    its a shame three have scrapped go binge even on unlimited data when I went to the usa go binge didn’t go towards my 12gb usage so snapchat and Netflix was unlimited abroad out of the eu countries

  11. Avatar Les says:

    I was a loyal customer for 15 years with numerous contracts with 3. When they introduced their feel at home plan it included turkey, as I was a regular visitor to turkey. Then this year I went to turkey and within 2 days of going I got a text from 3 saying I had used £80 of roaming charges.

    I at no point recieved notification that Turkey was no longer a feel at home country and when I contacted 3 I was told that they would write off my current spend as I was unaware of its removal.

    Then I got hit with a bill for £120 and when I rang 3 to discuss this I was told that there was no record of me being told my bill would be wrote off.
    I have a call recorder on my fone and I have the recording of the guy telling me it was being wrote off. So as for 3 network they have lost my custom and I have managed to talk a lot of people of renewing there contracts with other networks

    1. Avatar Bob says:

      Every time I enter a country, I get a text telling me if I’m in a feel at home country or not.

  12. Avatar Myles Dugenfelder says:

    As as unlimited data 3 user I am outraged at this. Oh wait it’ll make no difference

    1. Avatar Koda says:

      I mean technically it does make a difference. A positive difference. Previously if you were an unlimited data user with go binge switched on it would force your Netflix streaming into a low quality mode. Without go binge you can stream it in the highest quality available.

    2. Avatar freddie says:

      You forgot the bit where it’s NOT unlimited,. Push it over 1TB and wait for the phone call.

      I dare ya

    3. Avatar Bob says:

      @Freddie

      Been doing exactly that for two years, some months I use 2-3tb, never had any issues. Speed always stays the same.

  13. Avatar Zeph says:

    I wonder how much of this has to do with cost savings. By all accounts, Three have not performed well financially of late and their owners are pressurising them to cut costs. Anecdotally, one of my friends said three contacted him recently saying that he was out of contract, they wouldn’t be doing that plan again,and he must change his plan – and they tried very hard to put him on something more expensive. Not sure I’ve heard of a network being that aggressive before.

    1. Avatar Dean says:

      This happened to me, I received e-mails telling I had to upgrade. I went into store and they were not able to help, however when phoning them I ended up with a cheaper contract which was also half price for 6 months. My unlimited plan went from £20 a month down to £18 a month and half price for the first 6months.

  14. Avatar Derek Maxwell says:

    Three’s truly unlimited plans are already so inexpensive that this hardly seems problematic. Realistically, the services that were zero-rated were probably the largest bandwidth users on their network.

    Of course, the challenge is actually getting a solid download speed. I guess that’s the problem with cheap – there’s a reason why it is so inexpensive. I regret signing a Three contract after moving from the US and am considering just paying the ETF to move to a faster network.

    1. Avatar freddie says:

      I agree. I went to EE and it was so fast on 4G I gave up Virgin’s top package as it was faster. But on 5G it was slower oddly enough. But they only wanted £32 a month for unlimited 4G so that’s not much more expensive than 3 but much better quality.

    2. Avatar Adrian says:

      I just exited two three contracts after 4 months and had the exit fee waived on both. My signal was fine for two months, then dropped to where I was seeing streaming tv services become unusable.

      Took two months of complanning about quality, but they eventually told me there was nothing they could do and let me go.

  15. Avatar Ben says:

    I think you’re way off the mark with net neutrality. 3 have recently started marketing for their MVNO known as Smarty network. This network now provides all the benefits of go binge.

    1. Avatar freddie says:

      Ben you are smoking crack. Smarty has been around for years and they never have and probably never will have Go Binge. Unless you are saying it’s active but NOT advertised? Please show me the website page that backs you up.

  16. Avatar paul says:

    Sure as eggs are eggs, my contract is up just as go binge goes. Fortunately, I was already on “unlimited” contract, so it will be academic to me.

    When I completed my deal (£11 for 6 months unlimited!), the agent mentioned both net neutrality and data security. Not convinced on the data security angle, but the net neutrality bravo sierra seems to ring true.

    Maybe I’m cynical/selfish etc, but for the sake of £3 between 30gb and unlimited – not going to shed too many tears for those losing go-binge. £22k/month cheaper than broadband, and especially if/when 5G kicks in, i’ll be more than happy. Already I’m getting between 25mb and 45mb – just won’t be able to professionally game using it!

  17. Avatar Tomas Jankus says:

    Ok, boomers. Your turn is poor here.

  18. Avatar Scott says:

    I always assumed go binge was three having locally installed Netflicks caches so inter isp and so backbone data usage was less. Each city for example would store all of netflicks data in hardware system installed from netflicks.

    There own CDN?

  19. Avatar Bob says:

    Am I missing something? Surely go binge is irrelevant on unlimited plans anyway?

    1. Avatar ? says:

      Look at the comment by st above

  20. Avatar Mike says:

    Hopefully means less peasants gobbling up bandwidth.

  21. Avatar Mickey says:

    I currently have a £10 unlimited data and 600 mins, discounted plan from 2016. Received an email today (06/10) stating that I’m being automatically transferred to a more expensive (double the price less data) plan as my unlimited data plan no longer exists. I’ve got 3 family members with Three so I guess if you are out of contract they are just void your contract and move you to a more expensive deal. Can they do this if I don’t give them permission?

    1. Avatar Ray says:

      Yes welcome to 3 network charge existing customers double the amount and let new customers cheap plans…. I really hate 3 for this reason they did this back in 2015 with the one plan……

    2. Avatar Web Guy says:

      Yes, I closed 2 accounts after their One Plan was deleted (was paying £15/month with unlimited data, generous minutes and texts).

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