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Tracfone uses deceptive sales practices

I have had a tracfone for several years with few problems. This past year I bought a new phone that came with prepaid service and minutes for a full year. I asked the rep specifically if this phone would work anywhere in the USA, as I planned to use it while traveling. I was assured that "yes maam, it will work wherever you go in the USA." It did not work anywhere beyond 24 miles from my home in one direction. It did not work from my home. When I called the reps approx. 5 times over a weeks time period, I was repeatedly read to from a flow-chart by reps and supervisors and finally told that I would need to take my land line with me and call them from the area that I was having problems getting service from. They could not send me a new phone unless I did. Needless to say, they never sent me a new phone.Yes, you read this correctly. It was pure lunacy! I documented every call and submitted a claim to my credit card company to reverse charges on my purchase. To this date my credit card company has sided with me. I will never buy another tracfone. Deal with a company that has reps from this country that you can talk to face to face.
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#131801 Review #131801 is a subjective opinion of poster.
New York, New York

Buyers beware.... Worst Service Ever!!!!!

Buyers beware.... Worst Service Ever!!!!! I am on my third TracFone... I had purchased this phone via their website. The first phone that I had received ... did not work. So after being on the phone with them 1 1/2 hours... the decided that they would replace me with a another one... which was refurbished! Guess what? This one did not work either! Then they decided ...after a little over 2 hours on the phone with them... the decided to mail me a third... And surprise... this one does not work either! After being on the phone with them for a little over a 1/2 hour with them today, they told me that I would not get my money back and I will not get another exchange. So here I am out over $50, over 3 hours of my time and I do not have a phone... As for my 2 cents... stay away from this train wreck!
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#131273 Review #131273 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Tracfone Phone Service

Tracphone may have cost me my business!

Im a service provider who relies on 24/7 phone service. After being a Tracphone customer for 3+ years I decided to upgrade my old Trackphone to a new Tracphone. I was told by Tracphone to move my phone # to and activate the newer phone could take up to 24 hrs of downtime. This was acceptiable on Sunday. So after turning off service to my older model on Sunday morning they tell me my number is to old and they need to send me a new sim card to connect the new phone. I will get it in 3 to 5 days! They cant turn on the old phone, cant activate the new one. Im SCREWED!
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1 comment

Why in the *** would you use a secod rate provider like tracphone in the first place for any busness?. So was the couple $ you saved worth it

#131111 Review #131111 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Austin, Texas
Tracfone Sim Card

Cannot get my name with my Tracfone.

It makes no sense to me that I cannot get my name, Fred Atchley, with my Tracfone number. I bought the Tracfone new. At first the name with my Tracfone number was Ago Roberto. After my wife and I talked to at least 6 different customer service people in 3 different countries, they finally changed the name to "wireless caller." If there was a name originally and there was, and if that name could be changed to wireless caller, which it was, why could it not be changed to my name, Fred Atchley? Our e-mail address is lillis-fred@***.com
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1 comment

I didnt know you could do this. If it didnt take forever to talk to someone , I might try it.

#129384 Review #129384 is a subjective opinion of poster.
San Antonio, Texas

Net 10/Trac-phone lied to me for 6 weeks!

Net 10 wireless (Trac-Phone) lied to me for 6 weeks. I asked for a detailed call listing which they said they can provide and faxed the information they requested. After a few weeks I didnt receive anything so I called again. They gave me a second set of instructions which I followed. Nothing came. I called again, the agent told me the information was being sent to me DHL and was on its way. Nothing came. I called again and they said everything I was told was wrong. I was lied to every time I called. I paid good money to have the information they requested notarized and faxed to them. They gave me false information, false instructions, empty promises and even hung up on me mid sentence 3 times!!! All their agencies are in other countries and they don't care about their consumers, just the money they get from them. DONT buy anything Net 10 or trac-phone.
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I've been through problems with them too. They shut me off after getting my payment.

Then told me that the SIM card was bad after hours of programing codes. My new phone has had 3 new SIM card and still dosnt work.

They have to send me another SIM card. I contacted the BBB and am keeping them up to date with my nearly month long problem.

#128997 Review #128997 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Palatine, Illinois

Tracfone phone upgrade nightmare

Tracfone doesn't tell you that if you "upgrade"your phone that you will be without service for a week or more.....the vague answers you get from customer service are infuriating, and in this day and age of computers why does it take this long for carriers to switch your information, and on top of that I called daily sometimes 2x a day and they just told me that the request to the carrier just had to be resubmitted!!! hello!!!! change the website and recorded message that says keeping your number and units is "quick and easy".....Not! And why is the carrier information is so secret........
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Sorry, the previous post was from me, not lin whats her face. Got the lines mixed up.


I would never contact your company because by the looks of your grammar I would not be able to understand you, of course that's probably part of your scam because then you can say that the customer didn't understand what you were saying and therefore it's not your fault. Its not your accent or nationality, BUT your lack of speaking FLUENT English.

Whatever you're selling, please learn to spell and say the words well. BTW, you might want to make a suggestion to your boss and put "If you'd like to speak to a literate person, please press 1.

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#128935 Review #128935 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Tampa, Florida

Deactivated my phone in my area and gave me a cheap replacment

I called to reactivate my phone and was told it is no longer usable in my area. They would send me a new phone and what comes in the mail the cheapest model they can send you and it is a reconditioned used model. When I called to complain they told me that my phone I paid 30-40 dollars for is now only worth 14 what a RIP OFF. I was told this is the phone I get and sorry about your luck basically. I will not use them again. I want everyone to know what a ripoff they are find a new company to use.
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1 comment

I had the same problem and the people at this email address helped me fix my issue. I know that the email is going to the company themselves but the people handling these emails are very good.

Give it a try.

The email address is Oh yeah, send them your name, cell number or your phone serial number or you can chat with them live @

#128789 Review #128789 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Tracfone Phone Service

Complained about having 350units on my phone, and they cut it off. Was I ever pissed off.

In 2007, I purchased two TracPhones with over 400 units. I was down to 350 units one one of the phones. I was surprised when they cut off my phone with those minutes still on the phone. I complained to those idiots at TracPhone about me paying them for something I did not get benefit from. My complaining to them didn't make any difference at all. I suggest anyone thinking about buying anything from TracPhone, should seriously consider looking else where for anything relating to cell phones. What else was so disgusting that the people I complained to spoke english so bad, it was terrible.
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I'm new to Tracfone, having just switched from Verizon Wireless. Immediately after activation (we have 2 phones) we started getting all of these calls from every area code in the country.

Of course you can't answer all of these calls or you would be out of minutes in no time. Does Tracfone sell your number from jump or is this an isolated problem.

This never happened with Verizon. We only switched to lower costs.


Those minutes don't last forever and the expiration date is clearly sown on the phone every time you look at the display. If you add more airtime before the expiration date your current minutes roll over an add to your new minutes.

If you don't, everything is lost. Learn the terms of the service next time before you activate a phone.


I guess you didn't read the box or instructions did you? It clearly states that any unused minutes will be lost if you do not renew in a set time limit.

Don't complain about something that is your fault.

If you want to blame someone, blame your self for not reading. ***

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#127240 Review #127240 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Reston, Virginia

Tracfone Customer Service:Nonexistent

For about two years, my Tracfone worked great, so I told my girlfriend to get one. We had a few issues with hers. All the customer service people sounded like they are from India. It took many hours to fix simple problems via phone, so I tried the website. Most recently,both of our voicemail accounts stopped working. The website help uses a menu system with limited choices, which of course, does not include the problem being experienced. Ever. Which means one's only real choice is to e-mail or call one of the Indian people. E-mail gets automatic responses with a long list of instructions on how to fix a problem that you don't have. A telephone conversation is a constant struggle to understand the Tracfone employee, while they SLOWLY read a script, and ask the same questions over and over, usually the phone serial number, your address, credit card info, etc. which appears to have no bearing on the issue at hand. When I asked for a supervisor, I was told to call back, and disconnected. Nice, eh? When the Tracfone works, it is okay, although I've noticed a lot more disconnects and fading/garbled calls in the past 6 months.
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Before you toss your phone or do something worse (like switch to Cricket), contact TracFone SuperCSR Elston by e--mail: elombillo@***.com for assistance.


To fix said problem:

Throw device in nearest dumpster and purchase a Cricket.


I've had tracfone now for about 10 years or so. Usually, problems can be worked out, but having more problems now.

Seems they tinker with different settings, like voice mail, roaming, etc. All of sudden you phone might not work from home or go roaming, or not work out of calling area. They will tell you to go get another phone when I know the settings are what's causing the problem. I used to be in the field.

More over recently I was having a problem roaming at home. Called not one but several times, and spent HOURs on phone They disabled the barely used phone and told me it was defective. NOT so. I had nearly 2000 minutes.

The only transfered 1100 to the other phone. Took me several phone calss and hours to get those minutes back. So essentially Tracfone lies. Costs a lot in times, doesn't work well.

Now the Voice mail won't work!!! I found another phone for my child called Kajeet.

I might start using one of these myself. Enough is Enough!


:(i lost my phone ,in a roolover crash. a long with 530 min.

it was smashed . went and got anew one .was told icould get all my lost time and my number of old phone got 120min card 2weeks later find out dont have my nuber or my time .its been 3weeks 2sim cards and still no number no time they should be shut down inda blows *** :(


You hit that right on the button. Customer (dis)service is more like it. :(


I'm out of minutes & can't check my voice mail & wanted to get yall to assist me in recovering my voice mail password; but I play *** gettin in touch with yall!!! This is the first time I was ever able to discuss this with yall.

Please email me with a reply? My email address is keldox_69_sam@***.net


Now that I have activated my phone I can not add time to the phone. The card I bought is useless, and you might say the Phone is useless without the extra minute's.

Just what can I do to correct this problem.


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#127061 Review #127061 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Fort Wayne, Indiana

Tracfone is terrible

Well, I have to agree with almost everyone here. Tracfone has terrible customer service, outsourced to other countries, mine were to the Phillipines. I bought a tracfone, it worked for less than 2 weeks, and I only made one call in that time. The phone died, and I have now had 3 phones that don't work. After speaking to a "supervisor" and being assured that I would get another phone, and NOT the Motorola V170, and being told it would be overnight expressed to me, all I got was a new battery, 5 days later. I'm complaining everywhere. I hope someone reads this, and it stops them from buying a tracfone. I've contacted a lawyer now, and the BBB, the Attorney Generals Office, here in my state, and in the state of Florida, where they are located. I have also contacted the Secretary of State, here in my state, and they're state. We'll see what happens, but I'm sure I'm out my $120.00 that I spent for minutes, and the phone. We'll see.
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I get a tracfone and daid money I it and

did not use it when I do it told I don't

have no time on it than is a joke.


You probably are, sorry for your problems but I'm guessing a lawyer is going to cost you alot more than your card investment and probably not do anything but take more of your money. Again I'm sorry for your issues but I love my tacfone.

I'm a light user and dumped AT&T after paying for a monthly plan I rarely used. I'm saving so much now and I'm still on the same network because Trac uses AT&T in GSM areas.

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#124891 Review #124891 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Tracfone Phone Service

Trac Fone Blows Another Chance to do Things Right

My father purchased a card with the intent of expanding the number of days, but confusion over the terms led to an incorrect purchase. Both the store clerk and my father made the same error trying to understand the terms. The store clerk had already attempted to activate the purchased service before the error was discovered, so he could not obtain a refund. TracFone support offered to exchange the erroneous purchase for 180 extra days of service and 180 minutes of time. This is roughly the equivalent of purchasing 2 of their $19.99 options with a few extra days thrown in to cover the price difference. We accepted and a happy resolution was at hand, but then our call was mysteriously disconnected. We immediately recontacted customer service, but suddenly everything had changed. They would not offer the 180/180 option again and refused reconnect us to the support rep who had offered it. They wouldn't even tell us her name. INstead they changed the offer to 250 minutes and 90 days, which was not acceptable. We tried to escallate to management but the offer of 250/90 remained unchanged with each "manager" we spoke to. What good is having an escallation procesdure if the only thing they can do is echo the same options that led to the escallation? We asked for a refund, but the unused service had been "activated" and could not be refunded. But they would have to deactivate that same service in order to process the 250/90 option, so we knew this was false obstacle. All our calls to TracFone support are hampered by the horrific quality of the headeset microphones the reps use. They sound as if they are speaking while gargling and what words can be made out are electronically distorted. If you check around the web, you'll see this is a well-documented issue. You'd think a company selling communications products would be more aware of the amateurish image this conveys, but TracFone may have a good reason for allowing it to persist. My father abandoned efforts to activate a $60 card because he simply couldn't understand the support rep. I think TracFone hides behind the lousy quality of their support lines becuase they can embarrass customers into accepting poor solutions to their problems. The caller feels self concious constantly having to ask the rep to repeat what he/she said until they take whatever deal they can get just to get out of the call. I will defend most of the support reps, though. Although most reps did have thick accents and spoke through the cheap-o headsets that garbled their voices, almost everyone we spoke with treated us politely and professionally, even though their hands seemed tightly bound by policies designed to make consumers regret the day they ever thought of using this rip-off mill. The big exception is a "manager" named Sherry Davis. She spoke with a condescending sing-song tone that immediatley angered us. She also refused to honor the 180/180 terms the other rep had offered. The call became angry and contentious. Ms Davis said we could not escallate higher than her. Her disrespectful attitude and confrontational tone are prime examples of why so many complaints about this company are on the web. If she is the highest level of management available in their support department, you'd probably be better off taking your complaint to a block of wood. At least a block of wood has the potential of serving a useful purpose and is less bound by bone-headed "policy." If you haven't bought a TracFone yet, then don't. Right now, two cans and some string are a more attractive option than anything TracFone can offer.
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That's a known resolution to alot of problems with Tracs CS. Hang up and try again later with a fresh attitude and your favorite drink.

Butting heads with the same people get both parties nothing but higher blood pressure. Also don't activate cards with CS or through the wireless phone.

Log on to and do it from there. Less chance for error and before you do, do a research for bonus minutes which are easy to find and can be done through web site addition of minutes.

Tracs CS is terrible and they are not properly trained but more than not are good people and willing to help if you keep your cool and speak slowly in simple terms.


Fair is fair--I slammed TracFone, but now I have to say they have resolved the problem. My wife called a different support number and started the whole process over as if it were a new problem. The support rep escallated the issue on his own initiative. The manager offered us 280 minutes and 180 days--more than we had asked for originally. Within 10 minutes we were good to go. This bunch absolutely knows how to do things right.

It would appear the policy Sherry Davis was locked in was a figment of her tiny imagination. My new advice is if you can't get what you want, don't waste time with them and don't take what you don't want. Hang up, wait a day and just keep calling support until you get what you want.

PS: It's also funny seeing all the TracFone ads on this site popping up next to the complaints.

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#124265 Review #124265 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Washington, District Of Columbia
Update by user Oct 01, 2013

(Verizon not Verison....doesn't seem to be a way to edit my post.)

Update by user Oct 01, 2013

It has been over five years since I posted my original complaint. I've learned a lot about Tracfones over this time period.

My mother lives in a nursing home in a rural area. Neither Verison or Alltel...

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You are very patient---------- and dumb.

I would have given up long ago, dumped the phone, and got a Verizon phone if thats the carrier you want.

Its not complicated.....

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#124107 Review #124107 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Lima, Ohio
I used TracFone for over three years and I highly WOULD NOT RECOMMEND IT to anybody. You have to keep all your receipts and scratched off cards that you use to add minutes. If the cards don't work, and most of the time THE CARDS DO NOT WORK, they will put you...
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Scam , bought card and phone ! Phone was Broken I couldn’t make calls text or browse I was unable to set up account , bought another tracphone and the they did not let me switch minutes from utterly broken phone to new phone : because I did not have account and password

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#123869 Review #123869 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Washington, District Of Columbia
Tracfone Phone Service

On Hold !!!!!!!!

I recently had to upgrade my Tracfone to keep my service. In exchange for a stainless steel phone at $230.00 they sent me a plastic replacement that sells for $19.99. Recently the phone just stopped working. After being on hold for 45 minutes they finally decided to send a new sim card. When the card arrived I followed the procedures and repaced the old one. I called tech support to have the phone reprogrammed, knowing that the problem was the phone not the card. After being on the line with them for 2 1/2 hours, I still don't have a signal and all my minutes disappear. They issue me a ticket # and transfer me yet again. Another hour goes by and I'm still on hold. Finally they tell me to wait for one hour to give the phone time to reprogram. Well, guess what? No signal and no minutes. From the second time I call again, knowing what is ahead. Sure enough I was on the phone for over 3 hours this time. They were nice enough to let me listen to that great ad of theres over and over between the narratives of what was going on at there end (Step by Step with that thick accent that you can barely understand). Well its 10:30 now and the third department necessary for my continued journey of bad commercials and a bad connection finally comes to an end when the techie tells me the department is now closed and I will have to call again tomorrow. So I'm going to be on "hold" till tomorrow when I can start my day off with Tracfone whispering sweet "NOTHING" into my ear for another four hours. For those of you looking to buy a new cell phone. Your best bet is to get a car with On-Star so you can at least be hands free while getting somewhere while on hold.
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While it was in bad taste to make a comment about someone's accent I do agree about tracfone taking forever to answer their phoneline. Last two times I've called them it's been over a half-hour wait to speak to a tech. I don't even know if they will be able to help once I've been connected.


im still waiting for my safe link mins and every time i go to it it sas its not working

im getting upset


I think that tracfone is an excellent company with excellent customer service and I think that this person is a complete *** to be making fun of someone's accent. How low can you go?! :(


TracFone doesn't sell 230.00 handsets.

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#117263 Review #117263 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Huntingdon, Pennsylvania
Tracfone Service Transfer

To My Fellow Trac-Fooled;

I have tried 4 times at the TracFone website to add the $40.00 worth of minutes to the brand new phone that I recently bought. The TracFone site does nothing to address the problem; I've entered the Card PIN # four times into the Tracfone itself, and all I get is a message telling me "System Unavailable" and to call the service number, 1-80*-867-****. This leads to a phone communications ***-hole at which nothing related to the problem can be chosen from the menu and the electronic voice guy can only pick out "yes," "no" or numbers. There is nothing in the manuals or on the website to deal with the actual reality of the situation. Last week my sister and teenage niece (experts in all things cellular) were actually able to talk to real humans at the service phone number; I'm amazed that they even got through! They spent 40 minutes talking to 2 different people in the USA and a gentleman in India, trying to install a 200-minute card PIN# onto this Motorola C139. He was polite and it seemed like it might actually work, but I was being optimistic! I was able to find a lot of complaints about this on the internet; maybe some contact with a real person instead of a phone robot might yield some useful information to get this device operational. I quickly found the Pissed Off Consumer web page. The 1-31-08 Ksilarty "I got help" review (****2202.html) with the TracFone corporate office's Executive Resolution team (1-80*-876-****) apparently yielded useful results, so there may be hope! I personally do not have endless time to fight with the problem anymore (Five hours just this Friday evening!) Since I have been unable use the $39.99 card, I am guessing that the PIN # is still unregistered (I still have less than 20 minutes total time showing on the phone itself.) I will give the card to someone for whom it might be useful and test out my rock hammer on the actual phone. Bird_Dog_55
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Sent to on Jan 20, 2011:

TracFone Wireless Inc

9700 NW 112Th Ave

Miami Fl 33178


Enclosed please find a copy of receipt for a 60 minute airtime card purchased at Dollar General on December 17, 2010. You will also find a copy of my webpage as it appears with all my current phones which total (2).

My first issue is with the airtime card I purchased on December 17, 2010.

That same night, I scratched and entered the number 216741****82103 into my computer for redemption and it was not accepted.

I called Tracfone on Dec 18, 2010 to correct the problem and was told by representative this airtime card was redeemed in November of 2009. They weren't interested in hearing how I just purchased the card within the last 24 hours and had no answer for me.

Next step I promptly called Dollar General, place of purchase and they told me airtime cards are NOT REFUNDABLE under any circumstances. I also went in to store, spoke with manager and told same thing.

Next step, I contacted the Corporate office of Dollar General and spoke with a Marsha at the office. She promptly looked into the matter and returned my call stating the airtime number has NOT BEEN REDEEMED and advised to call Tracfone.

I called Tracfone and after several hours on the phone trying to resolve this, it became hopeless trying to communicate with representatives that are very courteous but lacked a comprehensive understanding of the English language through it all.

My second issue is the active Tracfones listed on my account.

The following Tracfone is NOT ACTIVE:

TracFone has an active phone on my account - serial number 0601464**** - with service ending on 3/18/2011. That is an old Nokia phone not used by me since 2006 or 2007. Notice there is no picture of it that appears, and it is not even listed as a phone in your system.

SO, HOW CAN IT BE ACTIVE UNTIL March 18, 2011???

I do hope you can resolve at least one issue here. I really like Tracfone and have never had any problem until now.

Signed xxxx (me)

Results: Feb 10, 2011 a representative named Reuben called me first thing in the morning in re to this letter. Although he asked me questions again that (if he had my letter in fron of him would understnd) but anyway - good outcome he gave me the 60 minutes as we spoke - so it was worth writing this letter.









I can appreciation your frustration in trying to connect with a live person at tracfone - it can't be done. However, in support of tracfone, I've sent e-mails asking for instructions in operating my tracfone and have always received timely and informative responses that I could use to solve my problems.

Many people fail to register prior to utilizing tracfone minutes which you need to do first. Hope this helps your future endeavors.


I can appreciation your frustration in trying to connect with a live person at tracfone - it can't be done. However, in support of tracfone, I've sent e-mails asking for instructions in operating my tracfone and have always received timely and informative responses that I could use to solve my problems.

Many people fail to register prior to utilizing tracfone minutes which you need to do first. Hope this helps your future endeavors.


You can add the minutes from your phone. Just go to prepaid, add airtime, enter pin then enter bonus code. If your mins are not added within 10 mins, turn your phone off and back on and they should be there.

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#115536 Review #115536 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Tracfone Phone Service