IDAHO -- I purchased a TracFone about 8 months ago around April of 2007. I thought it would be a good start for my 15-year old daughter to learn some responsibility. This way we would have to purchase minutes ahead of time and she could not run up a huge bill. I had to call TracFone's line activation department around 9 times over a period of 6 days to get the phone activated. Their computer showed the wrong cell phone provider in this area. When we finally got this resolved the phone worked great, no problems.
After about 8 months the antenna on the phone broke, no big deal. You know how teenagers can be a little rough. TracFone was great about it. They said it was still under warranty and they sent me a reconditioned phone as a replacement. Well here is where the things started to go bad. They sent the phone to Fortson, Georgia instead of Idaho. I gave my address to the TracFone representative and she repeated it back to me. How she got so confused I will never know.
I gave her my ZIP CODE twice. Instead of 7-10 days it took about three weeks. OK no big deal. I can kind of understand. I have the phone now and it looks like new. My daughter should be up and running in no time, yea right. I called the line activation department one to three times a day over a period of 6 days for up to 35 minutes at a time.
I was hung up on twice. I was told maybe the phone they sent me wasn't working properly, so I bought a new phone and more minutes. They transferred everything over to the new phone. I have called twice a day for two days. I was hung up on once. I was transferred from one department to another. I still don't have the phone activated. The last conversation I had with them, I asked if I could be reimbursed for the phones and the minutes I have purchased. I was told I would be reimbursed for the one new phone I bought, not the phone they sent me under warranty and not for the minutes.
There policy is that they don't reimburse for minutes. I explained that I purchased the minutes in good faith, they told me the phone would work in this area. In fact my original phone worked great for 8 months. I asked if I return both phones and I can't use the minutes why can't I be reimbursed for minutes not used? They said it's their policy.
When you speak to someone at TRACFONE it's hard to understand them. I have been hung up on three times. They speak in a thick accent. I can't get a hold of someone in the USA. The people I do get a hold of just have me repeat what the last person had me do. I explained about the cell-phone provider in this area being Alltel and that's what worked on our first phone. They just seem to be following a prompter on a monitor in front of them asking the same questions and running me through the same tests and solutions and none of them work.
STANLEY, NORTH CAROLINA -- In June 2007 I bought a used Tracfone from a cousin with 300 minutes on it. I purchased the Free Double Liftetime Minutes for $149.00, this included 800 minutes. After 3 months I needed a new phone so I called TracFone [who you can't understand] but was told that I could transfer my minutes and card over to a new phone so I purchased a new phone called and got the minutes tranferred. In June 2007 I bought a used TracFone from a cousin with 300 minutes on it. I purchased the Free Double Lifetime Minutes for $149.00, this included 800 minutes.
After 3 months I needed a new phone so I called Tracfone [who you can't understand] but was told that I could transfer my minutes and card over to a new phone so I purchased a new phone called and got the minutes transferred. For about 60 days everything was fine, I then purchased 2 cards for 120 minutes each at a local store[ they were on sale].
After getting them added to the phone I found out that they were not doubled. I called Tracfone and was on the phone for over an hour and was told I couldn't transfer the card. [Had been told I could] I finally hung up and called when I was calmed down, got someone in the Philippines again. I explained the situation to her and she said yes she could put the card on my new phone and did so. She did give me more minutes than she was supposed to but I had been on the phone so long and was so aggravated that I didn't say anything because I didn't want to start all over.
By this time with the cards I had purchased and the double time I had over 2500 minutes so I kept up with it close. I had a second phone [for husband] that had 250 minutes left on it and in December I decided to put them on the main phone instead of keeping up with 2 phones. On the phone again for an hour, straining to understand but the guy took the minutes off my old phone without any problems and was supposed to add them to the main phone. I told him they weren't showing up, he replied it may take 5 minutes.
I was on my way out the door for an appointment, Minutes never showed up. when I got home I called back. Had all the SN# and everything from both phones, I called and was on the phone for 46 minutes and was then turned over to a supervisor. Waited online for 2 hours and 5 minutes, [wasn't going to give in] when I finally got to talk to the supervisor she said that I had not removed minutes from any phone and added them to this phone. What can a person do, you can't go through the line and do it yourself. You get their names and write a book about it and it doesn't help.
Anyway I finally hung up, called back a little later got another person who put the minutes on in less than 5 minutes. I could see them on my phone. I thought all was well but still kept a close watch on my minutes. In the meantime my cousin [who I bought the phone from] had her Discover Card on file for the phone I bought from her. She got a charge on her Card for $183.00 dollars for Tracfone, she disputed the charge with Discover and spent hours on the phone with Tracfone and couldn't get any answers. the customer service reps treated her like she was crazy. Discover gave her money back.
Two days ago when my husband tried to use the phone he got a message that said the phone was deactivated. [had 2627 minutes and airtime until 2010 on it] When I called Tracfone again was told I would have to call back the next day after about 45 minutes hold. Called back the next day after 30 minutes I asked to talk to a supervisor.
I told her from the beginning I was going to tape the call. After another hours and being put on hold [while I talk to a supervisor, which is what I thought I had] I was finally told that I had purchased a double minute and a 120 minute card on a charge card in September and it had been taken off my card. I had never used a card to do that and had not bought that second double minute card and another 120 minutes card [had bought my cards at a local store].
I then told her about the charge on my cousins card and she had the nerve to tell me that I had to have the card in my hand and made the purchase because they had to have a pin number on the back of the card before they would have done it. I have never even seen her card and didn't know that at one time [not on this phone, but the one I had got from her] she had a card on file. the supervisor told me they wouldn't do it with a card on file unless I gave them the 3 digit pin number on the back. I never did and never would have done that.
I'm not a crook and have a good relationship with my cousin. After another 30 minutes I told her that they may have put the minutes on my card [although it didn't add up to the right amount of minutes] could she take those minutes off and leave the nearly 2,000 minutes I had on it. She was a supervisor but she didn't have the authority to do that.
The only way my phone would be activated again would be to pay $183.00 for the double minute card and another card. Hell will freeze over before I give them another dime. I have lost approximately $225.00 - $250.00 on this phone. I will contact the BBB and as many people as I can to let them know the kind of business Tracfone is doing.
I only wish I had known this before I got one. I will also contact a local TV Station that has a investigator to check out companies who do people wrong. I know this is a long post, I have written a book of notes on the calls I have had to make to Tracfone. Some people may have good service and get along fine with them but there are a lot of us who have been cheated very badly. It will be worth it if only person don't have to spend the hours I did on the phone with... all because I was trying to save a few dollars on a cell phone. Never again!!!!!! I'm sure I have spent more than 10 hours total on the phone with them.
GARDNER, MASSACHUSETTS -- I have been a customer of Tracfone for probably over 8 years now. My 1st phone was given to me for Christmas by my sister. It was an analog phone, which I had for 3 or so years. One time when adding minutes I had a problem with it, and was directed to call the customer service which I did without a problem, and was told that the phone was no longer serviced by Tracfone so I need to send it back and get another one free of charge. That went without a hitch.
This new digital phone worked fine for several years also, then about a month ago I started to have problems of no service in places I had service before. After a week of this, I contacted Tracfone through the website and was told that the phone would be obsolete by 2008 and they would send me a new one free of charge. I received that phone about 2 weeks ago. After I received the new phone, my old phone started working fine again so I was in no rush to activate the new one.
I read online horror stories of their customer service, of the long waits on phone, disconnections, etc. when activating phones/transferring minutes etc. So I put off activating the new one. Yesterday I decided to try it during my lunch hour. The automated service said wait time of 30 min., so I hung up. Later in the day it said the same thing, again I hung up.
Today I tried right before 9:00 EST when they open, I got someone on the 1st ring. Yes, I was put on hold a lot, I could not transfer my number which was not big deal, but my minutes were transferred. I was on the phone maybe a total of 1/2 hour. My new phone was active in about 1 hour, even though the person said it would take an 1/2 hour. But get this, my old phone still works, so now I have 2 phones that work with the same amount of minutes on them. So I plan on using the old phone as long as I can.
I suggest that when calling customer service, do it as close to 9:00 EST to get them before it starts getting busy. That is easy for me since I am on the east coast, but even if you have to get up early in the other time zones, it may be worth it.
I heard comments about the customer service people having heavy accents, repeating things, etc. Yes, she did have an accent, but I had no problems understanding her, that maybe because that I work for an international company, and I am used to dealing with accents almost every day, whether it is German, Swedish or French Canadian. She did repeat everything but I like that so I can make sure she understood me as well, I do not consider that a problem. Overall I would rate the customer service good. I have not had any major problems with either the service or customer service.
I bought a refurbished TracFone and the 250 minute one-year card from www.tracfone.com. I have had a problem with my TracFone from day one. It took from the day I got it (4/9) until 4/27 to finally get the thing activated. I tried to port my Verizon number, and received a new sim card the second day or so, but that didn't work because the number didn't port. That didn't bother me, as long as I got the phone to work.
I called customer service. The person I talked to asked for my SIM card #, the new sim card I had just received, and told me that the SIM card wouldn't work in my area. She said she would send a new one. I waited 3 days and never received a new one. DON'T LIE AND TELL ME YOU'RE SENDING A SIM CARD IF YOU'RE GOING TO DO NOTHING. I called back and the next person told me that my number didn't port and that he would have to send me a new sim card so that I would have a phone number. Sim card # 3.
On 4/24 it did come, I popped it in the phone, went through the activation online, on the phone, and nothing happened again. I called back on two different occasions, was walked through a ton of code-entering. Once they got the phone "activated" they asked if I had an airtime card to add, to which I gave them the number. The typical ending answer would be to "wait 3-4 hours and if it isn't working then call back." Which I did. Again and again.
In the early morning of 4/27 the phone actually was working, and actually had its very own phone number, but out of my 250 minute card (ended up being 400 minutes total with bonuses, every time I tried to activate the card it told me that much) I only had 120 minutes on my phone. And that happened by accident by one of the people trying to help me get my phone activated, I entered a code she read me and 120 minutes show up on my phone.
So I called back on 4/28 to find why the remaining minutes weren't received. The last time I called TracFone was the worst. I called and ended up with a man who I hung up on because I couldn't understand what he was saying because his English was so heavily accented. No problem, I could deal with that.
Calling back I got someone I could understand. I explained that I didn't receive my original 400 minutes, but I had 120 (which seemed to confuse her) and asked why I didn't receive the other 380 minutes. She checked the airtime card and told me that the card had been redeemed on 4/12 (funny... my phone wasn't even working then!!!) and that I had used my minutes.
I said no, I couldn't have used my minutes because I didn't get the phone to work until 4/27. Is someone else using my minutes? She said no, that I had used them. At this point I was very angry. Finally, during one of the many "I need to consult with someone, can you hold" episodes, I asked if I could talk to her supervisor since she wasn't helping me.
After 15 minutes or so on hold, he came on the line. I told him my problem and he told me the same thing, that the phone card had been activated and the minutes had been used. I told him that I hadn't used them. I was so furious that I then told him I wanted a return authorization number to return the piece of crap and get my money back. He said he would have to talk to his supervisor. I asked if I could talk to his supervisor. He said sure, let me get her, and I spent another 15 minutes on hold to have the same man come back on!!!
Then he said he would try and get me my minutes. No return authorization number. He fiddled with things, I entered codes, and when nothing worked, he lied to me and told me that the system was down, he couldn't give me my minutes tonight, and to call back tomorrow. WHAT?!! Tracfone's service motto must be "Call back tomorrow so maybe you would forget about the whole thing because the maze of customer service is so aggravating customers would rather forget they wasted their money than keep dealing with customer support."
So he ended up LYING TO ME because when I got huffy with him, mainly because I had by then spent over an hour on the phone with customer nonsupport, he fiddled around some more and ended up telling me FINALLY HE SENT THE REMAINING 380 MINUTES and that I should receive them shortly. I have waited. I am still waiting. Still 380 minutes missing. After all of these many phone calls and hours on the phone I have still not received the original 400 minutes that I PAID FOR!!!!
This morning, while trying to help myself and going through the instructions online (which are a hell of a lot more helpful than anyone I've spoken to through customer support) suddenly I received a text message that says "0 units and 380 bonus minutes added. Please turn phone off and on. Time: 7:38pm 4/30/07 I don't know if my phone wasn't set correctly and I just now got this message or if it's been there all the time. But I've since turned the phone on and off, on and off, and nothing. NOTHING!!!
The worst part about this whole ordeal (worse than the lying) is that you only have one freaking phone number to which you always get people that can't help, follow that crappy script which is very annoying because if you get someone off their script they don't know what the hell they're doing, and to which English is not their first language, which I would think would be essential to providing helpful customer support. Divide up the phone line and specialize people, then maybe SOMEONE would know how to fix the problem!
OREGON -- I was with Tracfone 10 years. I hated the phones & customer service, but I was able to use the phone and it was cheap. I had 2300 minutes accumulated with a lot of text and data time. I tried to make a call and got the message that I had to buy more time. Called CS and they didn't know or care what happened to my time. I signed up with Consumer Cellular & they seem much better.
FLORIDA -- Well, where do you want me to begin? #1. Your instructions are impossible. Before I go MAD please have someone from TracFone call me and get me connected. Thank you. **. At the end here you ask for an image. Well, just imagine I am pulling my hair out! Ouch! Come on, have someone help me through this insanity or expect my phone to be shipped back to you. Thanks.
PENNSYLVANIA -- I bought this phone for my mom and when I activated the phone I did not get the promotional 400 minutes. Why not? That's why I bought this, not sure what happened, but I had to buy the minutes when I should have gotten 400 minutes with this phone.
I wanted to upgrade my Tracfone, purchased another Tracfone from HSN. HSN and Tracfone both said I could take my Tracfone # with me on the upgrade. There were still minutes on the old phone. CS for Tracfone and HSN said no problem you can keep your same Tracfone #. I got the new phone and activated it. I had my old # and it was working on the new phone so I put minutes on the new phone and the phone worked for about two weeks then stopped working. It said the SIM card was unregistered on face of phone.
After 1.5 hrs on the phone CS said they would send a new SIM card, but it would take a week to get it. Waited a little over week no SIM card called CS again, where is SIM card? Told it was cancelled, but could not say why, another 1hr + on phone they said would request for SIM card again.
I got the SIM card called in to get activated was told my phone # was not available even though I had that # on my Tracfone for almost 2 years and it was working on the new phone. Now they will not give me my phone # back, nor will they refund the minutes I put on the new phone that no longer works. I do not want a new phone # for obvious reasons, numerous notifications to medical sources, family, friends and business sources etc. A big pain! I am out of almost $150.00 for less than 30 days of service and a phone that does not work.
I did every thing I was supposed to do, it was Tracfone who engaged in deceptive practices by saying I could take my # with me and actually giving the # to me for 2 weeks then taking it away and refusing to make me whole. As soon as the "shut down" is over I plan to make complaints with FCC as well as the Illinois Attorney General.
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- Approximately late November 2012 bought through QVC a Tracfone LG800 with very good deal of 1400 minutes, over a year of service with renew date February 2014, and lifetime triple minutes for every one minute you purchase. Initial cost was $100.00. Phone worked great from my home for about 5 months.
Then one day from my home I could not get a signal. I called Tracfone and after 2 hours and a dozen or more of long sets of numbers to enter into the phone and constantly asking to repeat that I can't understand what you are saying (heavy accent) we finally got a signal. Phone worked until I hung up and tried calling a friend got a weird message "emergency calls only".
A few days later I called again, and again was put through the same crap of entering long sets of numbers. I still could not get a signal. I insisted upon speaking with a superior and was given a number to their corporate headquarters. It turned out to be a detour to customer service. I told them to connect me with a supervisor and she said I have to enter all these numbers first. I told her that has been done several times it doesn't work, connect me with a supervisor.
During one of my calls to service she just hung up on me because it was quitting time. I didn't realize they have hours only until 11pm. Imagine that, no 24 hour service. Then my sister-in-law spoke to them and got another phone number to call which turned out to be the same number I had. Again they had me entering long numbers. So after fighting with them I finally convinced them to send me a new phone. Received the so called new phone which was really a reconditioned one. It still does not work at home. It will work in some areas outside the home and not others.
"Everywhereness"??? I really look forward to nights in dead of winter getting into my Jeep and driving down the road to call my friends. I have been cheated out of my $100.00. They picked my pocket! My recommendation is stay away from Tracfone. You never know when they may decide to change the signals. Oh and their commercial about "Everywhereness" is a lie. I'm everywhere and I can't get that "Everywhereness" signal. Ticked off in New York.