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!
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- I bought a new TracFone, and tried to transfer my old phone number onto a new phone. Representative on the phone was very rude and unprofessional. And did not activate my phone. I tried to use automatic service prior to that, because I normally don't want to deal with representatives, and **, oh well. I called 1-800-867-7183 number, opted out of all options what I wanted, and it took me to a freaking representative. I really did not want this to happen. Because I could have saved myself some frustration and aggravation.
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.
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- I have just spent 82 minutes on the phone with a customer service representative This was my second call to TracFone today. I did not set up a mailbox when I activated my phone. I now need one. When I pressed 1 to set up the mailbox I received the message "Welcome to AT&T voice mail. We need more information to direct you to the appropriate Mailbox." Then "To leave a message, dial the 10 digit number for the person you are trying to call". The other option was "If you have a mailbox on this system, press the # sign." Neither option applied but I pressed the # sign and got "Please enter the mailbox number specified by your system manager!" So I called for help!
The first representative put me on hold 6 different times for 2 to 4 minutes each time and kept coming back to tell me that "The application is loading". He finally came back on after placing me off and on hold for 27 minutes and said he could not help me but he was transferring me to someone who could. I held for another 17 minutes and then hung up and called back.
The second representative told me after 82 minutes of repeating the phrase "The application is still loading" that "it appears the application will not load" and he said there was "nothing else he could do for me today". I asked him to transfer me to a supervisor and he sent me right back to square one in the general queue. These guys know that we pay by the minute right? We do not have unlimited talk time or rollover minutes. I tried to enter an online request for support but the web page went to nowhere land when I hit the submit button!
On hold for an hour, then I get India, then was told I had to call a different department. Was on hold another 45 min only to transferred back to the first department. I was so frustrated I asked to deactivate the phone with over 500 minutes remaining on it. Better service at a McDonalds. BEWARE! BBB now involved. I guess it's only a good phone for drug dealers. I certainly am not one.
With TracFone you have the ability to purchase minutes "on demand" from your phone. It is a convenient feature. I had the payment connected to my debit card. I lost my debit card so I needed to change my payment method for the TracFone. TracFone's website allows you to enter a checking account as the payment method. So I did, because I was waiting for my new debit card to come. I tried to buy minutes but I kept getting a text message that said "Credit card denied, call customer service". I thought maybe I had to wait for the database to be updated with the new payment info so I kept trying it periodically. I tried 7 times and finally called customer service.
They said, "We don't accept checking accounts". I said, "Well, then why is it an option on the website?" Since most of the customer service people barely speak English they will just keep repeating the same line to you like a parrot, so you finally have to give up and just accept that answer. Monday comes and I look in my checking account and lo and behold I have a hold placed on my account for 7 charges from TracFone. So I call them and tell them that they charged my checking account and I didn't receive any minutes.
They say, "We don't take checking accounts only credit cards or debit cards." I say, "I know but you charged my account anyway." Well, they keep repeating this same line like a parrot. They don't have a clue. I say I want to talk to the billing department. They say, "This is the billing department. We don't take checking accounts, only debit or credit cards." AHHHHHHH I hang up before I start shouting at the top of my lungs. I go to bank and explain. They take holds off money.
Today I look and lo and behold they took the money out and I got 2 bounced check fees. I went to the bank and filed fraud charges and it's going to take me up to 30 days to get my money back. I explain to bank that it is impossible to get my money back from TracFone. They are complete idiots.
Luckily the bank (Bank of America) took the claim because normally when you permit a vendor to take the money out you have to get the money back from the vendor and the bank will not file a claim for you. So hat's off to BofA for having some compassion. I start look for new cell phone plans. Don't bother going to Walmart's Straight Talk - TracFone owns them and it's the same crappy customer service you get with TracFone. TracFone has the worst customer service on the planet.