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Immediately Need for Replacement SIM Feels Like I'm Being Ripped Off

Posted Sat August 13, 2011 1:15 pm, by David M. written to Tracfone Wireless, Inc

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I just purchased a new tracfone at Target. I followed the instructions to activate the phone via the website, and the website tells me "We apologize for the inconvenience, but the SIM card you entered needs to be replaced. For further assistance please contact our Customer Care Center at 1-at 1-800-867-7183 / 1-877-836-2368."
If I had wanted to call tracfone CCC, I'd have poked my eye out long ago. That the phone needs a new SIM right off the shelf feels like they are selling old products as if they are new. I expected to be able to use this phone immediately.

Stop selling phones that require a new SIM right off the shelf.


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by KatKat Posted Tue August 23, 2011 @ 11:01 PM

The "de-activated SIM card" seems to be a straight-up scam from the
TracFone company. Here's a copy of my recent exchanges with the
rip-off artists at Tracfone;
ME: Tracfone expired the existing SIM card for this phone and
de-activated the account. Because this is an emergency phone and not
regularly used in our household I didn't discover the de-activation
until the middle of August. I called Tracfone and was sent a new SIM
card... which wiped out all the accumulated carry-over minutes as well
as the service-date. When I called customer service they were only
able to restore the service date to the 11-3-11 date that had
previously been on the phone but were "unable" to verify that there
was any air-time in the phone prior to the de-activation and so
refused to restore the time that should have been left in the phone
carry-over tank. To the best of my recollection there were over 2000
units associated with this account prior to being wiped out by the new
SIM card Tracfone sent. I wouldn't be quite as upset if I had
requested a new SIM card or if this change was in any way initiated by
us, but this was something initiated by the Tracfone company which we
only discovered when the phone no longer worked for us. I have always
been happy with the Tracfone service, but this in combination with a
plan to drop analog reception has me very disappointed with the
inability of the Tracfone company to resolve this issue to my
satisfaction. I have a VERY hard time believing that company records
don't allow for verification of how much time was associated with this
phone prior to their de-activation of this phone and I am particularly
upset that the phone would have been "de-activated" at all when I had
purchased activation to 11-3-11.

TRAC: Based on Tracfone policy, minutes and service days will not
carry over once phone is reactivated beyond 60 days from the time of
the deactivation period.
Record shows that phone was deactivated last 6/2/2011 and was
reactivated last 8/20/2011. That's the reason why you lose the
remaining minutes and service days. Thanks.

ME:I understand that this is the Tracfone policy, however we didn't
know that the phone was deactivated. As far as we knew we had paid
for service until 11-3-11 and only discovered the de-activation when
we tried to use it some time around the first of August.

I would expect to be de-activated if we had gone past the 11-3-11
service date, but, we did not.

We had no reason to expect that Trac would de-activate phone contrary
to the purchase information on our last yearly activation card and
then summarily fail to honor both the service date and air-time tank
associated with this phone.

I would very much appreciate an offer of resolution to my concerns.

TRAC:We already called the appropriate department and based on their
investigation, there's no minutes left on your phone. Thanks.

Thank you for being our customer. To respond, please reply to this

ME:Yes that's correct. "there's no minutes left on your phone", and
that would be because Tracfone deleted the minutes that were paid for
and accounted to the phone at the same time they de-activated the
phone that was paid to be in service until 11-3-11. I still have not
been given a satisfactory explanation for the de-activation of a phone
with over 2000 minutes of calling time and active service paid through
11-3-11 that has caused all this trouble in the first place.

I would like to know why this phone was de-activated, please. And I
would also like to know to whom I can direct my complaint regarding
the emptying of my air-time minutes.

Thank you for your immediate attention to my request.

...And this is where it stands so far... this, and of course my plan
to dump TRACFONE for a different service.

by David M. Posted Tue August 16, 2011 @ 4:42 PM

My follow-up to this post is that Tracfone contacted me because of my
original posting and cordially made sure my questions were answered
and that my phone was working. They gave me the phone number to much
better support than you get when you call the "main" tracfone support
number. The agent who responded was very capable.

The short of it is that after waiting 20 minutes to speak to a
tracfone customer support agent the day I tried to activate my phone
on the web, the agent was actually able to activate my phone. I did
not require a new SIM card as the website had told me. And she was
even able to port my phone number from an old tracfone. The level of
service she was able to provide exceeded my expectations. I had
originally posted to planetfeedback while I was on hold for twenty

What I suggest is that the tracfone website notice be updated to say
"You may require a replacement SIM card." Or "this phone cannot be
activated via the web, but we can activate when you call..." That
would go down a lot better than the "you need a SIM card" message,
which just sounds like "you're screwed."

by andbran Posted Sat August 13, 2011 @ 1:41 PM

since phones dont have expiration dates how are they suppose to know
if the phones need new sim cards? this actually a problem with the
manufacter. they are probably the ones who put in the old one so you
will have to pay to replace them. think about it.


Re: Immediately Need for Replacement SIM Feels Like I'm Being Ripped Off by David M. Tue August 16, 2011 @ 4:33 PM

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