If you were hit by Three's outage last week, you could be compensated – but only if you ask

The logo of mobile phone network Three is displayed on the screen of a smartphone. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)

Mobile network Three has said it will compensate customers who were affected by its data and signal outage last week – but only if they ask.

The “technical difficulties”, which started the evening of Wednesday 16 October, according to the Down Detector website, left tens of thousands of customers unable to use their phones. Voice, text and data services were affected.

But Three has said it will not automatically hand out compensation. Customers must contact the company directly, via phone or its online live chat service, and file a claim.

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Many successful complainants have already received compensation of up to £20 in credit, MoneySavingExpert reported.

One customer, called Nigel, told MoneySavinfExpert: "After I also complained about an unnecessary wait, I managed to negotiate a £20 credit to my next bill."

Emma-Louise McMahon said: "I just got £10 compensation because I had a car accident at the time and was unable to use my phone to call for help or search for my insurance details. I wouldn't have complained if it hadn't caused such problems, but I'm happy that they've made a gesture of goodwill."

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Three only officially acknowledged the outage on Thursday morning, when it apologised and assured customers it was “sorting this out right now”.

The problems were resolved for most customers by Thursday night, with Three saying its engineers would continue to work through the night on “any remaining issues”.

The problems were caused by maintenance work on Three's network infrastructure. 3D Mobile, a virtual network that shares Three’s infrastructure, was also effected.

Three customers can contact Three directly by calling 333 from their mobile phones, or via online chat. They will need to provide their name, address and phone number.

However, customers are not guaranteed to be eligible for compensation, as the company is “dealing with each case on an individual basis”, it told The Sun.