TracFone Complaint - Not A True Cell Phone Company
MONROE TOWNSHIP, NJ -- On June 7th, 2008 I went to the local Wal-Mart SuperCenter to purchase my usual selection of groceries. I also needed a cell phone to use while I would be in Monroe Township, New Jersey for the next week as the house I was staying at did not have phone service. I came across the cell phone shelf in Electronics and noticed the prepaid phone offered by TracFone.
Since I didn't want to tie myself into an expensive contract for a phone I only planned to use for a short period of time, I decided that a prepaid cell phone would be the best option. I selected a Motorola TracFone and a 120 minute card and went to the counter.
Before I paid, I wanted to make sure that it would work where I needed it to. At the register in Electronics, I asked the Wal-Mart associate if it would work in Monroe Township, NJ, and she picked up the phone and called TracFone. The person at TracFone first told the associate, then told me, that the service in Monroe Township would be crystal clear. I put my faith in this information from the person from TracFone and bought the phone and card.
I then took the cell phone home. Activation went pretty quickly. It had a good signal so I knew the phone was working fine. I made a test call to my home phone and it was very clear. I felt relieved that I would have a trustworthy phone ready for my trip to New Jersey, or so I thought.
When I got to the house where I would be staying, I turned on the phone to make a call and I was in for the surprise of my life. No signal! Occasionally I got one bar and was able to make short calls but I frequently got drop outs. It went like that for the entire trip.
On the last day of the trip I went to the New Jersey Wal-Mart and told the associate about the trouble I was having with the phone. He told me "I hear that all the time. That is why I don't recommend that brand."
I made some inquiries with other cell phone companies about TracFone and they told me that that TracFone really isn't a true cell phone company, but instead their signals bounce off of towers owned by big names such as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, thus the signals there easily fall victim to interference!
In July I purchased an AT&T Go Phone. I have had no problems with the phone and it worked just fine during several out-of-state trips, including to the same house in Monroe Township, NJ. I continue to use the Go Phone to this day and I get a crystal clear signal every time I make a call.