Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tracfone Blues

I bought a tracfone, for emergencies, like when my car broke down.

I bought it at Walmart. The phone plus minutes cost me quite a lot but I thought I was set, for a good six months.

Until, that is, I tried to activate it.

I tried online, registering the phone and the minutes card. It wouldn't work afterwards. That night, I tried to get back on their website. It was down. Even their customer service number was down "due to circumstances beyond our control" the message said.

Tracfone hell has continued with numerous exceedingly lengthy calls to their customer service. Some of them I cannot understand due to heavy accents. I'll finally get somebody who thinks they understand the problem, only to be put on never ending hold. One guy gave me several very very lengthy codes to type into the phone, which I did. He then said "give it an hour, leaving the phone on, and all will be fine." All wasn't fine. While my minutes display and the end date of my service, which is ticking away, the phone isn't activated. The minutes displayed are 40 short of those I bought, too.

The next time I called, the man finally told me it was the wrong SIM card for the registered phone and briefly accused me of switching them out, when I didn't even know what a SIM card was. I do now. Then he said he'd send a new SIM card, arriving at the very latest, yesterday. But he assured me most likely I'd have it by last Wednesday. It's not arrived.

I don't know what to do at this point. I can't throw that money down the drain and their customer service sucks, to be honest. Ideas?


  1. do you have the receipt? take it back, exchange for a different brand. i highly recommond verizon wireless or at and t wireless - where you buy time cards or buy time with your debit just like withy trac.

  2. Jody,
    Can you take it back to WalMart? They should refund your money if you have the receipt.
    When we needed a cell phone just for traveling and emergencies, we got a NET10 for like $30 with the first 300 minutes/2 months included.

  3. I've been looking for the receipt. I know I saved it. It is somewhere. I plan on taking it back on MOnday if I can find that darn receipt. The Walmart clerk told me who has better reception around here and has the cheapest rates. She said Tracfone piggy backs of such and such networks so has the best coverage around here of the cheap prepaid fones. But not if it can't be activated, that's for sure. I was warned against T Mobiles prepaid fones and plans both by a Walmart clerk and someone who works at Fryes in Wilsonville, who has T Mobile prepaid and said it sucks. Verizon's plans are too expensive and the Net10 they warned has very little coverage. I took the clerk's word on that, but maybe it's not true.

    They had them outlined, pros and cons of each, teh plans possible on each type and network, there, in a graph format.

  4. are my messages not getting in here? Internet explorer kept breaking down on me so i am not sure what is received and what isn't...i am trying foxfire now....let me know if you are getting my comments, please.

  5. thanks Jody; I was getting worried here...I really like my new one - the verizon one - i am not a cell phone person either but i've basically figured out how to email the photos i took on there and i have plenty of time left still.

  6. Please take a look at this link for suggestions on dealing with your issue: