My TracFone Experience
I have used Tracfone for 3 years, because it seemed the most economical option. I have put up with their inconvenient methods before (such as streams of codes to fill in, bad customer service), but this time I have had it.
My Tracfone died, so I ordered a new one. I was told I would have to wait for the new one before I could have the number from the old phone "ported" into the new one, and I would have to call back to have that done.
So I called back when I received the new phone, and was told the number transfer process should take 3 to 5 days.
I phoned back at that time and was told I need to give it 5 to 7 days.
I phoned back and was told I should give it 10 days.
It has been 12 days, and still no resolution. This is unacceptable.
I just emailed about my situation through their website and received an automated reply that said to give my situation 7 to 10 more days. You've got to be kidding me.
To further frustrate things, no one I have spoken to speaks English well (Tracfone has clearly outsourced their customer service to foreigners), they are hard to understand, they are not friendly, they are not helpful, and they don't even attempt to not sound like they are reading from a script.
When I spoke to a supervisor, same thing--it was only after about 7 minutes that she finally began having a real conversation with me instead of just mindlessly reciting lines. Of course, this still didn't do me any good.
Furthermore, when I initially called about my dead phone, I said there were minutes on it that I'd need to transfer to the new phone. The rep said fine, I could do that after the number ported, and after it was activated, etc.
However, when I brought this up to the second representative, she told me that I wouldn't be able to recover those minutes since I can't turn my old phone on (because, er, it's BROKEN!, that's why I was calling!). I challenged her on this based on what the previous rep had said (and based on the fact I already paid for those other minutes). She told me "what you SHOULD have done is . . ."
And I must say I lost my cool then. I've followed their instructions just as they've given them. I will avoid them and counsel others to do the same.
I propose a new motto for Tracfone:
"AVOID THE HASSLE. AVOID TRACFONE."
Yesterday, 2/23, called TracFone customer service line and immediately asked for a supervisor. Was transferred to "Emma" who identified herself as an assistant supervisor. (I've worked in a call center before and more likely than not, Emma, and any other "supervisors" are merely regular reps with good stats). End result of that conversation: "Sorry for the inconvenience. We will give you 20 free minutes, here's the Interaction number for that. The problem will be resolved tomorrow."
Let's see, first it's 5 to 7 days, then 7 to 10, then a couple more days, then "tomorrow." Wouldn't you know, it is "tomorrow," and it's still not ready.
My first call today, I spoke with "Supervisor Onicka." After about 10 minutes the line was disconnected. Perhaps that was an accident?
My second call, I asked for Onicka, gave her ID number, and the rep put me on hold. He came back and said she was off the floor. Hmmm . . . Maybe she was, it's possible.
She transferred me to another supervisor, and this time I spoke to "Supervisor Alex" who said he was in charge of the floor. I confess that although I was fairly calm, I did use a few expletives, such as "This is going to be fixed today, because I am tired of this BS." (I did no name-calling, though, but I want to accurately portray everything here.)
"Alex" put me on hold and talked to other mysterious departments (who I was not allowed to speak with directly) and after 10 or 15 minutes, he said it would be done on Thursday, which just shy of a week from now (today is Friday), which would be 3 weeks total (minus 1 day) from when I first called.
I explained that this was unacceptable and told him to transfer me to his supervisor. He seemed reluctant to do this at first, but he did transfer me, to an "Oliver." I briefly explained the situation to Oliver (no expletives), made it clear that this needed to be resolved today, and he hung up on me.
Yesterday I mailed a certified letter to TracFone's EVP of Operations, and a copy to their CEO and the person in charge of Executive Resolutions, explaining the situation to date and listing my expectations.
I may go ahead and file a complaint with the BBB as well.
I really don't understand why, in 2006, it would take more than 1 hour to "port" a number internally anyway. But 3 weeks? I just don't get it.