MINNESOTA -- I am a disabled adult with some life threatening medical issues. My phone is constantly not working for some reason or the other. The technical support staff is a joke, totally unknowledgeable. They make you sit on hold for at least a half hour at a time then string you along for another 45 minutes not knowing what they're doing. The automated system strings you along and will disconnect you. You can never get a straight answer about the issues.
INDIANA -- All I wanted was to buy my mother a cheap phone. Well it started out that way. I got her the phone and put it on the "free" (actually $5.99 plus tax) plan on Tracfone. Until I knew it worked in our area. I decided to change the plan. The website would not let me change the plan until the free plan was canceled. So I canceled it. Then it stated I could not enroll the phone until the service date was up, which was yesterday.
So I got on the website to change the plan and lo and behold the phone was inactive. I was informed it needed to be reactivated with a airtime card. I didn't have a card, so I bought one through their chat support and was told I could then change the phone to the family plan to avoid this again. Ok. I get on the website, no dice. Still cannot change the plan on either phone. I get on chat support (mostly cause they cannot speak English on the phone) for the 4th time and get a representative that says she can do it all for me.
Great! I asked to change both phones to the Family plan. "That's a charge for 11.36$. Do you want to proceed?" I said "Wait, is that now?" "I did not say you would be charged now, it would be on the next service date." My next service date was 3/26/15 so I agreed. Guess what? I was charged twice in one night! 4 times in a month! Once for my monthly plan last week, once for the airtime card, once for the enrollment in a different plan, and so on. Even when they say they won't charge you they do.
I explained this to the next representative who got on, since the previous representative didn't answer my questions and switched me to someone else in the middle of the chat. This was 4 hrs and 5 reps later I might add. I was not very nice at this point. I asked this other representative since I was flat out lied to, could I get a discount or some sort of credit. An emphatic "No" was my answer. So I get charged 3 times in one night just to switch a plan to SAVE money, who's the sap? Don't be like me. Just say no to their deals, or never change your plan. You'll pay for it.
All and all, this cheap phone for my Mom and myself ended up costing me 50 dollars in other fees in the span of one night. So if you think you are saving money with them, don't. They are just as bad if not worse than their parent company, Verizon. Double talk, lies, and denial is their middle name.
I purchased what I thought were minutes from our local convenience store as I usually do. Not until after I authorized the purchase with my debit card did I realize the clerk rang up the wrong item. Instead of purchasing 200 minutes, I paid for a double minute card, costing $49.99. However, still believing I had purchased minutes, I made several attempts to plug in the pin # to add airtime, but was told the # was invalid.
Since my phone is already triple minutes, I neither need a double minute card, nor can it be installed on my phone. I checked the receipt (the transaction does not come on a card, but is printed on a register receipt). The receipt says "Double Min 49.99". I went back to the store and was told that once a Tracfone purchase is made, no changes, exchanges or refunds can be made. All must go through Tracfone.
I called Tracfone and 1st spoke with a girl in Belize. I gave her and 3 successive supervisors the pin # for the purchase (the 2nd one, Tyrell in Belize told me there was no supervisor in Tracfone that could assist me). I offered to scan and email my receipt, and requested that Tracfone convert my $49.99 payment into the corresponding value of minutes. I even went back to the store after being shut down by Tyrell, and there were no buttons the clerk could push to make any refund or exchange for me.
When I went back to the store and was unable to get compensation, I actually had to PURCHASE more minutes-60 @$19.99- just to retrieve messages and be able to use my Tracfone! Any reasonable person and/or company would consider this a considerable smack in the face. So at this point, I'm $70.00 (49.99 + 19.99) down, with only 60 minutes to show for it. In my 3rd and 4th attempts with customer service representatives to get my purchase exchanged for minutes of the same value, I was given the same response: "As a one time courtesy (yet another smack)", I would be given $19.99 worth-60 minutes.
My 4th customer service representative verified that 200 minutes cost $39.99, but for my $49.99, she could only give me 60 minutes, along with a certain number of extra service days. All reps acted as if offering to triple those 60 minutes to equal 180 was a gift, HOWEVER, I already have an automatic triple minute for life phone-I should be getting 200 x 3=600 min. for 39.99 with refund of the extra $10 I paid!
Given that I have 6.2 years' worth of service left, extra service days is meaningless to me. The reason I have so many service days left is because I have used Tracfone for years and am a very loyal customer. I am the type of customer who is easy to keep - to insult me and take my money with no service provided is a seriously foolish business move - I am a regular, dependable source of income. I was even told to go back to the convenience store a 3rd time - to run a fool's errand for Tracfone reps to keep me from bothering them (smack #3).
After 1 hour and 18 minutes of this (on my second day of trying), I had to take my daughter to the doctor. I had been on hold approximately the last 30 minutes of the call waiting for my 5th supervisor (smack #4). I left the house with the phone on hold.
Tracfone representatives: rejected my offer to send my receipt, saying that what I was telling them about the amount I paid (on receipt and which included the pin #) was untrue; repeatedly rejected my request to exchange the useless double minute card for corresponding amount of minutes; verified that 200 minutes cost 39.99, but only offered me 60 minutes for my 49.99.
Ignored that I have been a loyal customer for as many years as it takes to accumulate over 6 years of service days (I would guess it has been approx. 7 years); would rather I dispute the $50 payment, risking the loss of that revenue, even though adding minutes to my phone would cost Tracfone nothing, even if I had NOT paid for them; would rather lose me as a customer, and all the revenues from my future purchases, which would be in the hundreds and more $s; and would rather I tell people of my experience (giving a business $50 with the only service provided was to relieve me of my money and call me a liar).
The sole reason I have pursued the issue through 4 representatives before being shot out into eternal hold is that I dread going out to find another phone service. None of the representatives were native English speakers, and I couldn't help but think they had no idea what I was talking about. I had to frequently ask them to repeat themselves because I couldn't decipher what they were saying.
Additionally, my own words were being echoed back to me on top of what the reps were saying, and the background noise was nearly as loud as their voices. I could not at times tell whether they were talking to me or someone next to them. One told me that my log said a previous representative had offered to compensate, but I rejected the offer.
Now, I must call the debit card company to start my dispute. I will recommend only using credit cards when dealing with Tracfone, because if one has a problem, resolution is not an assumption that can be made. I recommend one behave as if doing business in a 3rd world country, because that is the type of iffy, risky transactions you will be making. It is a gamble. It is unwise to use cash or debit with Tracfone.
To behave in an ethical manner as would be expected in the United States, Tracfone would offer me 200 minutes, plus a refund of the $10 extra dollars I invested in the company, for which I have received nothing but stolen time and a hole in my wallet. I am a seriously unvalued customer who 5 representatives considered completely unworthy to assist or maintain as a client. I trusted this company to deliver service after I gave it my money, and it honored that trust by keeping the money and slamming the door in my face. Its representatives behaved as if they have nothing left to lose by disposing of me and my business.
I received a 3g phone to replace an old 2g phone. It took over three hours to transfer minutes from old phone to the new replacement and I was using their customer service. The CS representative was not knowledgeable enough to help me get all the information transferred to the 3g phone and rude. My 3g phone still does not have browser capabilities. I cannot send or receive pictures. All the 3g phone can reliably do is allow me to text. If I use the 3g phone to make a simple call both myself and the recipient of the call must hold the phone 6" away from our ears as the volume is cranked up so high.
In an emergency situation the 3g phone could not be relied on... and this is why I carry a cell phone. To recap: customer service is uninformed and often bad mannered, the 3g phone is flawed and unreliable. I bought a Virgin Mobile phone yesterday. I will use up all of my TracFone minutes and then toss the phone in the garbage... where it and TracFone Customer Service belong.
I have been a TracFone customer from October 2002 through June of 2013. Sometimes my wife and I had two phones and sometimes one. Over the years I have recommended TracFone to friends and relatives, several of which have taken my advice. Once my minutes run out, we are done forever. Apparently the management of TracFone feels that screwing a loyal customer out of 112 minutes is worth the loss of revenue and the bad publicity.
Over the years customer service has not been great. When I called, I expected to wait on hold for about 20 minutes and then talk to someone in India where you (or they) had to repeat things several times to be understood. This is what I expected and this is what I got until now. I accepted this level of service because of the low prices and the fact that I could do a lot of things on-line. I only had to call on the phone once every year or two.
Recently a relative died and we were left with a phone with 112 minutes on it. TracFone has a policy that lets you move minutes from a phone you are taking out of service to one that has service. There appeared to be no way to do this online, so I waited until I had an hour of free time and called. At the end of one hour on hold, I had to leave for a doctor's appointment, so I was forced to hang up and lose my place in line.
It took me four days until I had enough time to try again. This time my call was taken after “ONLY” 40 minutes on hold. I was told that normally I could transfer the 112 minutes, but that my airtime had expired 10 hours before my second call and I would have to pay for another month of air time for the 10 minutes needed to transfer the minutes over to our other phone. When I told them that the time was expired because they made me wait on hold for an hour, they would not listen. They kept claiming they were not at fault and I would have to pay. I then asked to talk to a supervisor. I was given excuse after excuse as to why I could not talk to a supervisor.
Finally after asking six times, she said she would put me on hold and try to get a supervisor. After a few minutes, she came back and told me that no supervisors were available and one would have to call me back. I gave her my name and phone number and she promised a supervisor would call me back. It has been six days and there have been no calls. I even checked my caller ID log to make sure I didn't miss a call (I do have voicemail). So feel free to become a TracFone customer if you like dealing with a company that will keep you on hold for hours, cheat you out of money you paid, treat you like **, and lie to you about calling back.
INDIANA -- There are many issues within your company I feel should be brought to your attention. You have lost a at least 6 TracFone users and letter has been written to BBB and Washington State Attorney Generals office for further investigation of your company. We ordered this cell phone for an 85 year old family member to be able to contact and communicate with family and friends. It arrived very promptly and online order was very easy.
Upon, trying to activate it all else within TracFone FAILED. After sometime of trying to activate the cell phone on line I was directed to call customer service. At which time I waited 14 minutes to speak to a customer service representative. I spoke to a gentleman named ** who seemed to not be very knowledgeable and was unable to get the phone to activate. Code after code it still would not allow for calls in or out.
All he kept saying was "it is activated, so let me try this." This went on for AN HOUR AND TWENTY MINUTES before I asked to finally asked if this was something he thought could be solved if not I would like to be transferred to get an exchange or refund. Nothing else was said to me the line on the other end went dead and I was on hold for another eight minutes.
Where I got your #1 worst employee. She refused to say her name, the tone in her voice was unpleasant, she appeared to be eating in my ear the entire time we were on the phone. I explained the situation to her that I we had just spent an hour and twenty minutes on the phone trying to get this phone to be functioning and she replied "ma'am I don't think it is us I think it maybe you." Let me tell you I work a hospital HR department with many cell phones and computers everyday where we depend on them. (and not just TracFones) I know cell phones and technology and have used cell phones everyday for the past 15+years.
HOW RUDE of one to challenge ones intelligence especially the paying customer. After this I admit I was not happy. I asked about returning the phone because I was done with her and the lack of customer service. She told me I would have to PAY to send it back and then I could get some kind of a refund. I said "Why should I have to pay to send it back when you sent me a faulty phone."
She replied "you are the one who wants the refund!" If we can't figure it out an 85 year old sure would not be able to. I did ask for her to explain to me what I could do different for it to work and finally after I saw her tone getting worse I asked to speak to a supervisor in which I was told "there is not a supervisor on at the time" and was put on hold.
She came back and said "I SPOKE TO MY SUPERVISOR and you will just need to mail it back using USPS, FedEx, or another carrier where the package can be tracked."Funny how she can talk to her supervisor but when I ask there is not one working! I said again I will need to pay for it? In which she replied "Yes, ma'am you will need to pay for it and after we receive the phone we maybe able to reimburse you something!" Something is not good enough.
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- Quick answer: I found a low wait, no wait 800 number for TracFone. Call 1-800-323-2366. Again, that's 800-323-2366. Long answer: If you plan to replace your traditional phone with just a TracFone, prepare to suffer. If you plan to rely on TracFone as your only phone, prepare to suffer in infinity. If you want to kill off your elderly family members by giving them a heart attack (induced by horrendous frustration), give them a TracFone.
As for my [horrible] experience with TracFone: I purchased the T105g at Wal-mart for $10. I purchased the "50 minute value plan" for $10/mo, thinking I would attempt to downsize my cell phone bills. (So far so good, but then the TracFone shows its true colors). The "unlimited double minutes" tagline is very misleading. You only get double minutes if you purchase the (overpriced) minute cards at stores or online. If you purchase a "value plan" and "minute bundles", you will not get double minutes. If you purchase a "value plan" and "minute bundles", you will not get double minutes. This is not mentioned anywhere or anywhere prominent in the literature or on the website (if it is mentioned, it's hidden like the interest rate section of a pre-Obama era credit card application).
Instead of downsizing my life, I have found a confusing myriad of "special bonus codes" that I failed to use in the correct order and thus I don't get the little bonus. (The cheesy looking people in the TracFone website/coupon book stock photos aren't smiling because they're happy with TracFone. They're smiling because they think you're a fool for buying a TracFone). The 10 minute bonus codes sound lame. And in many ways they're beyond lame. But they go a long way when each 20-second call costs an entire minute.
Inbound "wrong number" calls will cost you. The previous owner of my TracFone number is evading his/her creditors. I now get their Spanish language robo calls, and I get charged if I simply pick up the phone and say "hello" to "Dora the collector." Most recently, I was low on minutes, so I purchased a "50 minute bundle" online for only $10. The charge shows up immediately on my credit card, but three days later my minutes are still m.I.a. A friend called when I had only 10 minutes left. The call cut-off like the cut-off of a lifeline caller/friend on the game show "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire." (Great! Now my friends think i'm officially low class for having a pre-paid cell phone!)
But wait, my TracFone experience gets even worse. Customer service calls to TracFone are not free. Or in other words, your minutes are used up when you call TracFone customer service. If you call their widely published number, you will go through all of your minutes. Having ditched my traditional $60/mo cell line, and not having a land line in my home, I went to a payphone to call the 800 number listed on the TracFone website. I waited 90 minutes one evening, with no answer.
Just horrible. Repeating music that made me want to split a vein, wondering what std I was going to contract from the dirty pay phone (bring sanitizing wipes and drive to a nice neighborhood if you need to do the same). I began walking down the line of pay phones, trying the number with different prompts, while leaving the other payphones off the hook. No luck whatsoever. On day 2, I emailed technical support with my pleas for help (does anyone really enjoy emailing customer service, tech support ???). On day 3, I get a reply from tech support, with instructions and the new, low wait/no wait customer service number.
The email tech support instructions were of no help. But the email mentioned "that I should have 100 minutes on my phone now" (50 minutes from my 50 minute bundle, 50 extra minutes. Thanks to "unlimited double minutes!"). The email included instructions with the 800-323-2366 number to call. Back to the payphones! I called this number [from a dirty payphone], and the customer service representative was very nice and helpful. She solved my problem after 20 minutes on the phone. But then she also kindly informed me "that because I purchased a "50 minute bundle, I do not qualify for the double minutes.
I kindly asked if I could be compensated for the 2 hours I've spent at payphones and she declined my request. Seriously. After what I've been through with TracFone. All the nickel and diming, misleading advertising, pay-per-minute phone support, etc etc. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if TracFone gives out a "perpetual hold customer service number" (800 - with hopes that practically everyone uses the online customer service forms which saves them a bundle (all those calls to third world call centers really add up!). I don't know this for sure. But the drift of everything I have experienced tells me that it's highly likely.
Bottom line: I have found TracFone to be my worst nightmare, eclipsing my experience with Sprint pcs from 5-10 years ago. I honestly didn't think this was possible. The only person who could possibly enjoy my experience is Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. I had some very important and urgent phone calls to make this week, and I waited three days to finally get my problem resolved. Awful. Awful. Awful.
9700 NW 112TH AVENUE, FLORIDA -- Incident. I have attached below some of the e-mails that have been going back and forth between TracFone and myself. I purchased a new phone on June 21 2010 and tried to have it activated with my old TracFone #. On June 21 they told me my phone will be active with transferred # in one hour after phone conversation/activation. At that time they had transferred my minutes from my old phone to my new phone. To date if I try to make a phone call I get a message saying if this is an emergency please hang up and dial 911, your tracfone has not been activated.
When making calls to the phone, it goes immediately to voicemail. They have sent me two new sim cards and the problem still remains. I have been calling practically every day. I spend hours on the phone during the day and then go home at night and spend hours more on the phone to no avail. The thing is I have 1000 minutes left on the phone and need to either get the phone working or my money back. See below. Thanks.
I have been on the phone practically every day with your customer care. Every one gives me a different story. My phone still doesn't work even with this second sim card that you have sent. I spend hours upon hours on the phone with you guys. I keep getting instructions to call back again in 24 hrs. When I call and give either my serial # or case or ticket # the customer service representative doesn't see any information on any of my previous transactions.
I purchased this phone on June 21 2010. You guys have ported my # like 3 times now. I need my phone to work. Can someone tell me what\'s really going on? Below I have pasted some of the most recent e-mails I received from TracFone.
Damage Resulting. I have been without tracfone service from June 21 2010 till now. I use this phone to take calls from customers. No one is able to reach me for over a month now. I am in the office machine business and bill 110.00 per hour per job. I have spent approx 4-5 hours a day on the phone with TracFone to no avail. They constantly lie to me. Every one gives me a different scenario when I call. Contact me.
9700 112TH ST AVE, FLORIDA -- I got a TracFone for emergency use. It gives me a check restriction-34 message in my home and nothing more happens. I'd really like to know what that means? The website offers no help. They make you register your personal and phone information to access the site, then each time you try to contact them for service you are required to enter all this information over and over again.
And this does no good since the website contact just refers you back to the 800#s that you can't reach because your phone does not work. If you find a phone that does work and use their 800# you can count on 10 minutes on hold. This is a very effective program to discourage all but the most desperate of customers with copious time to commit to contacting them.
I too gave up and accepted the cheap phone was useless. I am in Jacksonville, Florida. My home just a few miles from the Federal Reserve building. I'm not out in the woods. Yes I receive no service. If I wander around town I can get reception but it's spotty and the idea of completing a call is just a dream so far. It's been a year.
I contacted the State of Florida Office of Public Council and began to receive a series of declarations from a **. I have written frequent emails asking numerous questions (like what does "check restriction -34" Mean?) and received zero answers. He chooses to send these proclamations once a week. "We are sending you a replacement phone" e. g. Upon receipt of the replacement it blew up on the charger the first day. This replacement phone came with a return envelope. I wrote asking for direction how to proceed. After several days I used the enclosed return envelope to return the defective phone.
** replied a week later he was sending a replacement envelope. I had emailed him two days earlier I'd already returned the defective phone in the return envelope. I wrote again "its already been returned." A week later he wrote "We are awaiting the return of the defective phone to proceed." A week after that I received another proclamation "we are sending a replacement phone."
During these passing weeks the old phone on which I had 600 unused minutes, was put out of service. I had to register the replacement phone when I received it to activate service. In doing this it supplanted the old unused phone. So because their original phone that never worked prevented me from using the 600 minutes, I lost them. Heads they Win tails we lose. Pretty good odds for them.
That are very proficient at protecting their interests. I am on a program which adds 68 minutes per month. This addition was not made for February and the phone disconnected completely. Making sure I had absolutely NO phone access while they got around to replacing the two defective phones.
I shall continue to try to contact the office of public council. They don't answer their emails either, apparently. I wish I knew of some agency that actually is interested in improving cellular services. They seem to have everything their way. Take it or leave it isn't even an option. It's they take and we leave. But they have no competition because all cellular companies have the same attitude. And when they become notorious, they just change the names e. g. Comcast or AT$T. Same lousy coverage same lousy indifference to customers. And we pay and pay... Thanks and good luck.
9700 NW. 1 12TH AVE., MIAMI, FLORIDA -- I would like to commend the United States federal government for attempting to provide a vital free cellular telephone service to our many elderly and handicapped individuals that may possibly due to circumstances beyond their control may find themselves living in poverty, that may otherwise not be able to own a telephone at all.
These are the very people that often need a telephone the most and that would often otherwise be denied of such a vital and possibly life-saving service. Compassion for the less fortunate among us seems to almost be forgotten in the shadow of those that would abuse our system for their own personal gain because of selfishness and greed. Should we become callous to the outcries and suffering of all those that are in true need because of the abuse of a few.
Although I commend our government on their good intentions I must also severely criticized their choice of service providers through this particular cellular telephone company (TracFone wireless of Miami Florida which owns safe link). I personally tried to do business with them and found them to be one of the worse cellular telephone providers I have ever encountered. If our government wants to help the economically repressed and handicapped with cellular telephones they really could not have made a worse choice of companies to provide this service on behalf of the United States government.
Sometimes our government seems to be penny wise and pound foolish. I would think that many telephone companies of higher quality would trip over each other trying to compete for such a large and lucrative contract with the United States government and that there is no reason that our government must settle for this particular provider.
I believe the best recourse of action for any person having problems with this organization would be to contact the Atty. Gen.'s office and other consumer types of watchdog agencies and to convey to them factually, accurately and truthfully whatever negative experiences people may have endured in their attempts to do business with this organization (TracFone) which is why such agencies exist (for consumer protection).
The fact that the poor people must depend upon the service and are receiving it free does not excuse TracFone's unconscionable behavior because they are being well paid by taxpayer dollars to perform their contractual obligation to those in need of the service. If we do nothing about such things and think that we can not make a difference: then we are beaten before we've begun. Only when good people sit idly by and do nothing can the bad people and organizations prevail over us. We must take action if we want results and if nothing to cause changes nothing will change.
It was our courage, compassion and conviction for a better way of life that at one time founded this unique and special nation. We must continue to defend the broken, handicapped and elderly among us also that cannot always defend themselves or we are no better than those that oppress them. And they, the oppressed must also on behalf of themselves and others like themselves take action and not think that they cannot make a difference because of the severity of their difficulties and belief that no one really cares, because some of us do care.
We should all remember that in the twinkling of an eye any one of us could find ourselves handicapped for life and lose everything we ever worked for. Think about that as we drive to work today. Think about that as we send our children off to school. Think about that all the time because it could be any one of us on any given day of the week. Yes, believe it or not, any one of us may also find ourselves living in poverty, crippled and broken and eating very little and not even a simple telephone. Think about it.