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.
After years of going to the mat with Verizon, my former carrier, my contract by the grace of God finally expired. A Verizon representative actually had the unmitigated "nads" to call and ask why I wouldn't renew, imagine that! On Dec 22, 2010 I purchased a Tracfone LG420G for $15.00 and a 60 min / 90 day service card for $19.95 from my local Dollar General store, very reasonable.
Got home and began the initial charge powered up and went to the web sight. Their sight was straightforward and phone activation was effortless, then I tried to register my time / service card and received a dialog stating there was a problem and an 800#. My first thought, oh ** here we go again.
Dreading the challenge I expected to encounter I called, went through 1 level of auto attendant, put on hold and to my surprise in less that 2 min connected to a technically proficient, graciously polite and patient gentleman who was difficult to understand and explained the situation. I heard the keys clatter then he was back on line saying "your card wasn't properly scanned, I will have to connect you to a different department". He graciously wished a Merry Christmas and put me on hold.
In seconds I was connected to another gentleman almost identical to the first but even more difficult to understand, he requested I fax him a copy of the receipt and the front and back of the time card, gave me an 800# to fax a case # to reference and informed me that my phone came with double minutes for life as long as my service days didn't expire, we thanked each other exchanged holiday greetings and hung up.
The web sight was still open and so far this was the most positive experience I ever had with a carrier. In a leap of faith I purchased a 600 min package. Min later I flipped the phone open and had 1210 min and 400 service days. I couldn't fax until the following day, I faxed them in the morning, went to breakfast and when I returned to my shop found a message from a very difficult to understand lady informing me they hadn't yet received my fax
which I resent. The following day the additional double min and service time had been properly credited. Problem solved. The fact that they called me to follow through resolution, I was impressed.
After years of torture dealing with deceitful, predatory charlatans at last I might have found a wireless carrier with integrity that keeps their word. At least this is the best experience I ever had with a service provider, the deal is what it is nothing more, nothing less, a breath of fresh air. I still have outstanding disputed bills for stuff I didn't ask for over a year old with my former carrier, chalk it up to experience like a bad divorce, it was worth anything to get them out of my life.
1st off the good things about TracFone. We wanted a prepaid cell phone and tried several other companies they did not work in our service area so we switched to TracFone. We have been customers for 2 years. I never had any problems with until June 2010. On 6/7/10 I tried to purchase minutes online. I used my credit card and it said the transaction could not go through to call customer service. But I later found out they charged my credit care almost $70.00. Then I tried my debit card and said the transaction went through but I never received my minutes. I called my credit card company who said they could not reverse the charges until they posted on my account.
I then called TracFone which was closed so I had to wait to the next business day. I got a gentlemen who said no problem my credits would appear in the next 24-48 hours on my credit card and debit card. Well I waited nearly a week and still no credits nor minutes. I had to buy a card from the store to get minutes on my phone. I am unemployeed and on my resumes I have submitted to employers have my TracFone number on it. I am 3 payments away from foreclosure, so I need a job and fast. So after adding minutes by a card I was able to use the phone then one day it said sim card is unregistered.
So I had to spend more time on the phone with TracFone only to find out they want me to send $21.58 to them to turn the phone on. They said they gave me to many minutes which is not my problem. I also had to dispute the credit card and debit card charges again, after several emails and calls to them they still had not resolved it. They never answer emails. Also they would not let me port my phone number to a new phone because I owed the $21.58 which still puzzles me since I paid for minutes before I received them. I spent a total of 6 hours on the phone with people that don't speak English and are not helpful.
I ended up getting a new phone but now all my resumes I sent out still have my old phone on it. Oh and by the way I went with a different company which seems to be much better so far. I get 1000 minutes 1000 text for $30 a month... wow. I was spending about $150 a month on TracFone so this will be such a saving I hope.
I did finally get my credit back on my credit card but still have not got it back on my debit card plus they closed my online account so I can't take away my payment information. I was sadly disappointed with them and feel they took advantage of me. Do some research before you pick a prepaid cell phone or any cell phone. I am not saying that TracFone was totally bad we had great service until June but then all heck broke lose. I filed a BBB complaint. But have not heard anything yet. I am very curious what they will say about there A+ rated company. Buyer beware.
I was charged incorrectly. I have double charges for 4/20/10. I should have 2 charges for $15.21 and I have 4??? I checked my account on 4/27/2010 and saw that the refund had not been made, so I called back to your company. I was at that time told that the records showed that the funds had been released and that I should call my bank and see why they had not processed this refund. I called my bank and left a message. They called me back on 4/29/2010 and said that they did not see anything from TracFone for me. So I called your company back on 4/29/2010.
When I initially called on the 29th I was first told that there were only 3 charges made for $15.21, not four, which was incorrect. However I did find out at this time that there was an additional $10.14 amount that was charged to my account on that same day. After much discussion (one and a half hours worth) I was told that she did see the 4 charges for $15.21 and one for $10.14.
Now I realized that there are 5 charges that were made to my credit card on 4/29. Not the two that I authorized. I thought I would receive some resolution now, much to my dismay I was then told that she could see all 5 charges, but she refused to return the money for the 3 charges (that was not authorized by anyone for you to take out of my account) because I was told "We show that you did receive the minutes from the other 3 charges as well." That is not true. I only received 120 min on 2 phones for a total of 240 and total of $30.42.
I was then told that they could not take my word for fact that I did not receive the minutes and they would need to verify on my 3 phones that I did not receive the minutes. At this point I became more than frustrated. My money had been taken out of my account without my authorization and it had taken me 10 days to have someone from your company admit it, only to find out that my moral ethics were to be questioned and they could not find out if this were true or not without me having the 3 phones physically with me so I could go to code entry mode and type in *#0 then tell them what the screen said.
I would understand if this was the first time I had contacted your company, however I had contacted the company several times by phone and by email and no one had ever questioned me about verifying anything. I had to spend over 2 and half hours on the phone during the day with your customer service representatives to do absolutely nothing to right the wrong that your company had caused. I did have one phone with me, so one of your representatives agreed to return one of the $15.21 charges since he could prove my phone had not received any additional minutes.
I was then asked when I could have all 3 phones with me to get the other 2 verified. I told them I would have them all by 6:00 and asked them to call me back at 6:00pm that day. No one ever called me back, so I called the company once again. I explained the situation and the representative verified that none of my three phones had received any additional minutes besides the 2 phones getting the 120min that each of them should.
Finally I expected to have your company's problem taken care of. I had spent numerous days and way more of my time trying to get untrained unprofessional representatives to help, so I'm not sure why I thought I was near the end of my quest to get back the money that you had no right to take out of my account. $15.21 + $15.21 + 10.14 so now you owe me $40.56 minus the one refund that was issued (of course that is assuming that I will eventually get that refund, as of 4/30/2010 I have not).
So to recap:
1st - I was told (by email) that there was only one charge.
2nd - I was told (by email) that there were 2 additional charges and that they would be returned to me in 24 to 48 hours.
3rd - I was told (by phone) that the funds had been released and there must be a problem with my bank and I needed to contact them.
4th - I was told (by phone) that they could see that there was the 4 charges for $15.21, plus one additional charge for $10.14, but that one of my phones had received the minutes from the 3 additional charges so they could not refund me the money I was owed.
5th - I was told that yes they could verify that I had been charged erroneously and that they could see that none of my phones had received any additional minutes that I had not purchased.
Now you would think this would be the end of my complaint email and that I would have the 3 charges that I did not make returned to me and that I would have enough minutes complimentary added to my phone to show me that all of this I had been through was worth something. But no neither of those two things did happen nor has happened. The last communication I had with a representative I was told that she could not refund the 2 remaining charges that never should have been charged because another representative had issued me one of the refunds. What? Are you serious? This is the outright most unacceptable service I have ever received.
Unprofessional bad business. I have used your company for several years now and have never had this much trouble. I finally explained that I would be disputing the charges through my bank since there was not one representative from your company out of the 6 or 7 I had been in contact with that was capable of understanding what had happened and how to fix it. So the reason I've documented all of this is to give the TracFone
company one more chance to fix this problem and compensate me for my time and extended effort to fix a problem I did not create.
If I can't trust your website to charge the correct amount when I purchase minutes from you and I can not trust your customer service representatives to fix the problem in an acceptable manner and reasonable amount of time I see no way possible to continue to use your service. I propose you refund all 3 charges that should not have been charged and add 500 complimentary minutes to each of the 3 phones I now have active in your service. I will begin communication with the FCC, the Better Business Bureau, Internet pages ETC. if I have not received both of these request by 5/5/2010.
I regret that I have now had to spend another 30 min typing up all of this, but I loathe the ideal of having to go through one more representative that is so ill-equipped to handle to simplest of problems. In the event that for some unexplainable reason you do not rectify the problem as requested I would like to think that someone from your company would pull up all communication from 4/16/2010 through today and use the phone calls as a training tool of what not to do. This company will lose more and more customers who can not have a simple problem fixed and who must spend hours repeating the same story to different people who also cannot help.