Three refuses to explain why your text messages went to the wrong numbers

Outages of the Three network on April 22 meant some customer’s SMS messages went to random recipients and have been read by the wrong person, but the UK network won't be contacting customers affected by the issue.

A Three spokesperson told TechRadar, “We’re aware that some customers have reported receiving misdirected texts or texts from unknown numbers. We are investigating these incidences [sic] but if any customer is concerned about this they should contact Three customer services.”

That means any customer will need to contact Three directly to know if messages went to the wrong places.

TechRadar asked Three direction what the network will be able to do for customers affected and were told: “If customers have any concerns about misdirected messages they should contact customer services who will address each situation on a case-by-case basis.”

However, customers are now complaining that the outage has caused confidential accounts to be compromised, and now the Information Commissioner's Office has confirmed to Ars Technica that it will be 'making enquiries' into the incident.

It's not clear if there will be compensation for your messages going to the wrong people, but it may happen if you use the customer service line.

TechRadar also asked for a gurantee this wouldn’t happen again on the network, but Three did not provide one.

No guarantee

It’s thought the problems came from a technical network issue rather than any other external factors, so whether Three will be able to stop this happening in the future is currently unclear. 

Customers who sent messages may not know if they reached a wrong number as Three isn't actively telling those affected, while those who received strange messages have been told by Three "to ignore all text messages that you deem incorrect."

If you think you’ve sent personal or confidential data from your Three phone and want to know if your message was received by the right person, you should contact Three’s customer services at 333 from your Three phone or 0333 338 1001 from another device.

James Peckham

James is the Editor-in-Chief at Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.