Pittsboro, Indiana
3.1K views
Not resolved
26 comments

This is a bit of a saga, so bear with me.

About a year and a half ago, I realized I couldn't make/receive texts or calls. When I called Tracfone, a customer service rep told me my phone had been deactivated because I had been using Google Voice. I have never used Google Voice. I told her I hadn't, she told me multiple times that I had. I was fuming at being all but called a liar, but I remained polite, got my phone reactivated, and thanked her. Note: this deactivation of my phone lost me the phone number I'd had since I was 17.

A few months ago (August, I think), I had the same problems again. I called customer service and was informed that, again, it was MY fault and that I shouldn't be trying to text or make phone calls with fewer than two bars of service. No other explanation was given for the deactivation.

Two weeks ago I noticed the same issue yet again. By this point, I of course assumed my phone had been deactivated. Yet, deciding to give credence to the explanation that I shouldn't try to send/receive texts/calls with fewer than two bars of service, I tried making a call in my backyard, where the signal sometimes soars to a whopping three bars. I got a message telling me my phone had been deactivated.

I spoke briefly to a customer service rep on Tracfone's forum. She asked for my phone's serial number, I gave it to her, and then:

CS: Your phone is permanently deactivated. We can no longer reactivate your phone. You may purchase a new one to transfer the phone number but not the minutes.

Me: Okay. Thanks for your help, but I have a couple questions. Why wasn't I informed my phone was going to be permanently deactivated? And why can't my minutes be transferred?

CS: The appropriate department's record shows that your phone was not properly deducting minutes. Thus, most used minutes are unbilled or not deducted. This is the reason why we can no longer transfer the minutes on your phone.

You'll note she completely ignored my question about why I wasn't informed. Also, texts on my phone cost 0.3 of a minute. I have roughly 600 minutes. That's 2000 texts' worth of minutes. I would have to have sent/received over 1,000 texts without noticing that my phone wasn't deducting minutes for their decision not to reimburse me or allow me to transfer my minutes to a new phone to not be a complete and total RIPOFF. I'm sure you can understand why this seems unlikely. I sent out a mass text on November 21st - the last text(s) I sent - and noted then that when I sent a text to ten people 3.00 minutes were deducted. 0.3 x 10 = 3.00 Clearly, minutes for texts were being deducted correctly.

If the issue were with calls being deducted improperly, I make them far too rarely for Tracfone to not be blatantly ripping me off. I have made/received SIX calls this entire year, from January to December, per my phone's log, and none of them lasted more than two minutes. At any rate, I almost offered to video myself attempting to send a text. Even today, mid-December, an attempt to send a text 1) does not work but 2) subtracts 0.3 of a minute.

When my father heard about this yesterday, he decided to contact Tracfone himself. First, they informed him that I was using premium text messaging services. This is a lie. I've never signed up for any texting service (unless you count Twitter, which is 100% free). But no worries, Tracfone had another lie in the pipeline!

When my father told them, "no, she hasn't used those" they AGAIN accused me of using Google Voice. My father researched it a bit, read Tracfone's terms of service, and asked Tracfone how using GV would violate their ToS. They told him that using Google Voice does NOT violate their ToS. So either they're lying now about GV being allowed or they lied twice about why my phone was deactivated in order to blame me, implying that I was lying in the process. Knowing that my phone could not have been deactivated because I was using GV makes me wonder, why DID they deactivate my phone the first time? And of course I always wonder when interacting with them: why did they lie and blame me?

At any rate, when my father informed them I was not using Google Voice - and even if I had, they'd just told him I could - they went back to their original lie (for this go-round): that my phone is defective and not properly deducting minutes.

Allow me to play devil's advocate for just a moment. Let's say my phone were defective. Does YOUR product being defective make it appropriate to imply your customer is lying and accuse them multiple times of violating your Terms of Service, with not one shred of proof? Does it make it appropriate to blame every deactivation on your customer's actions, even when nothing they've done violates your ToS? Does it make it appropriate to cut off someone's phone service THREE TIMES without any notification whatsoever, leaving them to find out - thankfully not in an emergency - that they had no working cell phone?

And my biggest question: are Tracfone's employees just completely incompetent or is it Tracfone's policy to allow their reps to make things up - like usage of Google Voice violating their ToS - to blame their customers for problems they encounter?

Product or Service Mentioned: Tracfone Cell Phone Upgrade.

Monetary Loss: $195.

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Anonymous
#1577104

This is called; "Tracfone *** I have been caught in "Tracfone *** before and finally dumped them. I am now with Consumer Cellular.

Now my wife is experiencing troubles with her Tracfone, so I just added another line for her on my Consumer Cellular account. We will save her from "Tracfone *** before she even gets there...

Anonymous
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada #1280031

My trackfone deactivated and when i went to call to repay the bill it simply said my phone was disabled as it would if you dont log into it. So i went to the website and put in my phone # and serial number and it said it wasnt recognized. I dont make enough money to keep buying phones, i cant even figure out why it happened, i think i might work towards sueing.

Anonymous
#1168875

TRACFONE HAS RECENTLY DEACTIVATED MY PHONE TWICE IN TWO MONTHES. WHEN I CALL FOR AN EXPLANATION THEY DONT SEEM TO KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT.

WHEN A TRACFONE BYOP/4GLTE IS DEACTIVATED THEIR SYSTEM REQUIERS YOU TO BUY MORE AIRTIME.

THE SIM CAN BE MOVED TO MORE THAN ONE PHONE. BUT IF YOU MOVE IT TO ANOTHER PHONE THEY MIGHT DEACTIVATE YOUR PHONE TO SELL YOU AIRTIME THAT YOU DONT NEED JUST TO REACTIVATE YOUR PHONE.

AlexTrac
to Anonymous #1169382

Hi. I’m Alex from TracFone Wireless.

We're sorry for the trouble. To resolve the problem, please send us an email with your account information to TF.CorpResolutionTeam@tracfone.com.

Anonymous
Fairfield, California, United States #1148689

had simular problem. ultimatley had to buy new phone.

would not transfer phone number to new phone. had to get a new number. many hours on the phone with tf. had many service days left and minutes as well.

made me purchase minutes card to transfer to new phone even though they could not transfer my phone number i had for over ten years.

very polite people when talking on the phone, but very poor customer service overall. maybe tf should hire AMERICAN workers in AMERICA!

AlexTrac
to GEOFF #1148857

Hi. I’m Alex from TracFone Wireless.

We're sorry for the trouble. To resolve the problem, please send us an email with your account information to TF.CorpResolutionTeam@tracfone.com.

Anonymous
#1099444

I found out that my tracfone has been deactivated, and tracfone expects me to purchase more minutes when I still have 250, and 105 service days. *** will freeze over and pigs will fly before I ever deal with tracfone again. Anyway, what respectable company would spell phone as fone.

AlexTrac
to Anonymous #1099550

Hi. I’m Alex from TracFone Wireless.

We're sorry for the trouble. To resolve the problem, please send us an email with your account information to TF.CorpResolutionTeam@tracfone.com.

Anonymous
#1033108

Tracfone is becoming to big. Time for you to find a wireless company that wants your business.

Tracfone doesn't want

your business.

This you'll have to live with. Good Luck!

Anonymous
#1023406

My phone just got deactivated (August 22nd) will have to wait until Monday to find out which reason they will provide for me! Glad to be informed and can't wait to find out!

Lschinaia
Terre Haute, Indiana, United States #946923

Tracfone is full of liars and double talk parrots. They tell you one thing and do another.

They don't stand behind anything they do or say. Just like their parent company Verizon. I asked Verizon once how much it would cost to activate a phone they said, "It's 40 dollars." I said, "Oh ok, how can I sign up?" They continued, "It's $100 dollars for a plan and sign up of $75 dollars." I repeated, "You just said $40 dollars, you realized your talking in circles, double talk" No answer. Evasive chat support.

Just like Tracfone.

Either they are masters at the bait and switch, double dealing, or they don't know what in the freak they are talking about or don't even speak english enough to parrot back the right info. Either way, they both suck.

Anonymous
Los Angeles, California, United States #933744

I know that if I was accused of using google voice I would be honest about it and ask them what it is. As having never heard of or used it, I would not know about it.

When someone says that they have not used something, then argue that it does not violate the terms of service it does say that that person probably used that service.

Other than that someone could have been using the same phone number, basically an illegal cloned phone to access that service.

In either case the best thing was for the company to deactivate the phone because it was being used by an unknown party, or in a manner not consistent with the terms of service.

aramina
to Puck #933869

Why would I care what GV is? It's about as relevant to my life as you are, which is to say: not at all.

And I assume you're the person giving me the "company response." I see. Well, I told y'all both times that I had never used it. The first time I even told you, truthfully, that I'd never heard of it and had no idea what it was.

"When someone says that they have not used something, then argue that it does not violate the terms of service it does say that that person probably used that service."

Okay, let's play it your way and pretend I used it. Your reps say using GV doesn't violate your ToS, therefore it cannot be a legitimate reason for deactivating my phone, so once again: either 1) you lied and GV isn't allowed, or 2) you lied about why my phone was deactivated and blamed me in the process.

Regardless, you are lying, and regardless, I have still never used GV.

Riiiight, someone cloned my phone. That totally explains why, instead of saying, "there's something odd going on with your phone, let's look into this," your reps would say I was using Google Voice - no wait, it was using it when I had a bad signal - no wait, it was premium text messaging - no wait, it was the phone not working properly - no wait, it was a unicorn vomiting on it - no wait, it was the Loch Ness monster taking it for a swim - et cetera et cetera ad nauseam. Because phone cloning causes crappy customer service and a refusal to answer perfectly reasonable questions such as: "why didn't you notify me you were deactivating my phone?" It makes perfect sense! If you're brain-dead.

Nice try, by the way, at implying once again that I'm at fault.

Do you have posters on the wall at work reminding you to shovel the blame onto your customers, or are you all so terrible at, you know, customer SERVICE that it just works out that way?

Also, for the record, if you thought this pathetic attempt at excusing your company's actions was going to achieve anything except making me loathe you more?

You were wrong. I will never give your company another penny, and I have and will continue to tell everyone I know how horrible Tracfone is.

Anonymous
Thousand Oaks, California, United States #695038
Woah. I have not had this problem; but here's the catch. I pay Straight Talk the $45/mo for unlimited everything. They say that you can not stream music etc (use a higher than low-average amount of data) or they will throttle your service speeds.

I stream Spotify and Pandora while commuting in my truck, and have not had any problem.

You might be wondering what this has to do with TracFone? Easily answered; my APN (cellular network) is pointed to tracfone.com. So I am using Walmart's prepaid service brand "Straight Talk", Straight Talk is really a service of TracFone, and in the end I am actually using T-Mobile's network for placing/receiving my calls and data. (You choose if you need a T-Mobile or ATT SIM when buying their $15 sim kit to get started with you own device).

My suggestion; Move over to Straight Talk, just know TracFone is still get a chuck of the profit. Keep in mind I can only speak of the T-Mobile side of the service. There may be a different level of service experienced on AT&T GSM side because they could have a completely different SLA (Service Level Agreement) and not have to take care of the customer's as well. :)
Anonymous
Greenville, North Carolina, United States #633781

On the phone with TF. Same BS about phone not properly deducting minutes and permanently deactivating it.

Glad to know I am not alone.

Total BS. Done with TF, but not before telling everyone I know on FB, work, email contacts.

Anonymous
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States #623611

15 March 2013

This experience just happened to me, only my phone was deactivated because the minutes weren't being deducted. I was given no notice, no voice mail or no text message before the deactivation.

However, they refused to reactivate my phone and told me I'd have to buy a new TracFone.

They'd transfer my phone # to the new Fone, but my minutes would not be transferred. I told them they were therefore saying that I had hacked their phone - therefore the reason the minutes weren't being transferred.

sales
Fort Myers, Florida, United States #621114

I just got of the phone with TracFone customer service, after almost 2-1/2 hours on a merry-go-round. The problem started today 3/10/2013 when I tried to use my cell phone and was unable to make any connection. I then noticed that the phone read that the Sim-Card was un-registered.

I telephoned TracFone customer service and reached someone in the Philippines, I explained the problem, and I was told that my phone was disconnected because I reached my end date and didn’t put more minutes into my phone so they disconnected my service. Today is March 10, 2013 and my end date is March 22, 2013, so my question is way was my phone disconnected?

They could not provide an answer, and had to transfer me to someone higher up. After a few moments another person came on the phone and asked me for all the same information all over again. After they entered it into their so called computer they said that my sim-card was out of date and that I would need a new one. I asked how that is possible when only purchased that phone (Motorola model TFEX124G) less than a year ago. I have 1219.80 minutes left on my phone because I use it very little and only in mostly emergency situations. They said they would have to send a new sim card to me.

As I questioned their explanation I was transferred to yet another so called manager. Again I had to supply all the same information for them to enter it into their little computer. This time I was informed that there was nothing wrong with my sim card and that they could re-activate my phone, but in order for them to do it I would have to purchase more minutes. MORE MINUTES!!! I have 1219.80 minutes now in the phone and my deadline wasn’t until March 22, 2013, so I said just reactivate the phone. They refused to do it without the purchase of more minutes. It’s not the money it’s the principle of the matter. I had 2 weeks of service time left and I do not like getting cheated. They broke their contract by shutting me down before I reached my end date. I needed my phone so I went online and purchased more minutes and sure enough the sim number was alnowledge and the minutes were added to the phone and it was re-activated.

TracFone is the most un-professional company I have ever done business with and the lies that came from the customer service reps were worst than the talking points given to the American public after the Benghazi incident in Libya that left four Americans dead by Muslim tourists.

Another question I have is why on earth are we giving employment to people in the Philippines, India, and Vienna South America when we have so many Americans unemployed? You would think that TracFone would support the people they are providing phone service to.

I will find another company to do business with, this goes without saying, but not until I use up every single minute of the now 1399 minutes, that’s over 23 hours of talk time, I have left on the phone, and it’s the principle not the money. So to all my friends if you need to make telephone calls come use my phone please. Thanks.

OH; by the way watch for my You Tube video showing how TracFone handled my calls and how they lied to cover-up their blunders.

Anonymous
to sales Orlando, Florida, United States #660032

You said you were going to post your story on YouTube. What do I type to see your story?

Let us know ASAP so we can see it. Thanks.

Anonymous
Medford, Massachusetts, United States #618586
:( I'm tired of them *** me off, I hate Tracfone! I can't afford another phone and I'm still stuck with their ***!

I try to talk to them and ask them something and help me change my phone settings and stuff! They call me freaking liars too!

I hate those morons! I wish they were shut down!!!
Anonymous
to Their costumer service ***ks b Orlando, Florida, United States #660036
try Verizon or Consumer Cellular. They have "No Contract" phones that you pay by the month.

You only pay for what you use. A family member of mine has Consumer Cellular and is happy with it.

Check it out. :)

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