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TracFone No Longer Allowing Users To Combine Two Phone's Minutes & Service Days

Tracfone recently made a change for the worse to process for transferring phone numbers, days of service and minutes between phones.

When a current TracFone customer upgrades or replaces a phone they naturally want to transfer their phone number, airtime balance and days of service from the old to the new phone. Customers with multiple TracFones might want to move their number and/or airtime balance from one phone to the other.

The way the transfer process used to work was that you could transfer just the airtime and service days, or just the phone number or both number and airtime/service days. When transferring airtime, the old phone's minutes and days of service were added to whatever was on the phone receiving the transferred airtime.

With the recent change, phone number, airtime and days of service must all be transferred together and the minutes and days of service replace whatever was on the phone receiving the transfer. As a result of this change, customers will lose minutes and service days that they have paid for.

I believe the reason TracFone made this change was to discourage customers from using the deeply discounted phone plus airtime bundles sold by HSN, QVC and eBay storefront ShopCellDeals as a substitute for airtime cards. Right now you can buy a Motorola EX431G with 2000 minutes and a year of service from HSN for $79.99.  A one year 400 minute (1200 minutes tripled) airtime card costs $99.99. The HSN deal includes 800 more minutes for $20 less. Until the recent change, you could buy the HSN phone, activate it and transfer the minutes and year of service to your (presumably better) phone and save $20 and get a free phone to keep as a spare, sell or give to a family member. You can still do this, but under the new rules, doing the transfer means losing the phone number and whatever airtime and service days are on the phone you transfer to.

I don't blame TracFone for trying to prevent people from using phone bundles, which are intended to attract new TracFone customers, as cheap airtime. Unfortunately the change also hurts customers who aren't trying to game the system but have a legitimate reason to transfer phone numbers or airtime between phones.

Source: HowardForums

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48 comments:

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  1. tracfone wants more NEW customers buying those HSN tracfones. tracfone does NOT want existing cheapstake users transferring those minutes and days to existing active phones. TOO BAD. so, go buy more refill cards at full price if you want more minutes and airtime! LOL

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    1. simply browsing for info and found regarding tracphone which i own and use, so that's why you see a recent post here.
      anyway, you will never beat the value of a tracphone.
      all mine are triple minutes plus promo codes.
      anyone wasting basically 60 bucks a month for some big deal pos cell phone needs a psych eval., plus when their's are down, somehow my tracphone works LOL
      case closed

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  2. Yet another reason to avoid Tracfone

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    1. I recently purchased a Tracfone android, and had to activate it by buying a time card. I wanted to transfer my old Tracfone number and time to the new phone without losing the time already on the android. They did it for me, after I thoroughly explained the situation to them. This was done by the Tracfone executive resolution team. Nice folks!

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    2. how do you contact the "Tracfone executive resolution team " thanks...

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  3. I wish more carriers would let you transfer a balance from one line to another without losing that number I have like $35 bucks on a pay as you go T-mo line and another T-mo line I pay $15 a month unlimited text plan. I want to transfer money over but you can't without losing number it's stupid. If Tracfone can do it I know a National Carrier can.

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    1. cannot transfer on tracfone like that anymore.

      to transfer your balance to another phone, you have to transfer your number.

      NO MORE adding balance from one tracfone number to another tracfone number. the balance stays with the tracfone number.

      Delete
  4. This could have been done in a batter fashion. One way for example would be to limit the number of transfers to a specific phone. There are multiple other limitation strategies that could have been used.

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  5. No matter, these units were paid for so what would the difference be if they were used individually or combined.
    When those who purchase the bundles to discount their air time purchases quit doing so, then Tracfone will simply see a drop in those sales as well.
    All Tracfone is doing is to try and squeeze more out of the already over charged Tracfone user, hopefully they will exit Tracfone en mass.
    Tracfone is also cutting the $12 plan spiff for PPC dealers as reported here and has also moved to enforce the restriction on discounts of PPC /Tracfone PINS as well, documented on the PPC HoFo forum.
    As Mexico forces American Movil to divest, they are increasingly consolidating in the US and they need to be broken up here in the US as well!
    Doubt if we see that happen anytime soon from the political Duopoly run by the Oligarchs here in fascist USofA.

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    1. ha, a jealous tracfone hater. too bad tracfone continues to make a ton of money and want to continue to make more. regular people won't care about this criticism. only phone nerds like the above jealous tracfone hater will gripe and complain that they cannot get the same deals they used to get and cannot cheat the system anymore. TOO BAD. lol

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  6. There's a restriction on Tracfone PIN discounts?

    Why is Mexico making America Movil break up?

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  7. I imagine you can still buy a phone from HSN or QVC and use your invoice number and current cell phone number to add time and days to your current phone and then sell the new phone you just bought. Worked in the past that way.

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    1. I hope you imagine correctly but I need to be sure. Is someone going to try and report back?

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    2. When I tried doing that a few months back, it failed. I was told the minutes that came with the new phone had to be added to the new phone. I don't know if that still applies today or not - but unless told otherwise, I would assume it does as I think they are trying to close the loop on people adding minutes to their old phone and selling the new phone.

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    3. Strange, I have done this exact thing in June of this year. I bought the L39C which came with 1200mins/text/data. Using the order # it gave me an airtime pin which I then applied to my wife's phone, NOT the new phone. Has it changed since then?

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  8. Is this an ATT phone? How can I tell if QVC or HSN phone with minutes is on ATT?

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    1. All Tracfone smartphones are on the Verizon network.

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    2. That's true. For the non-smartphones, models ending in C like like the LG 306C are on Verizon. For GSM non-smartphones, ShopCellDeals will tell you which network the phone uses if you ask using eBay messaging. For QVC and HSN, I don't know of any way to tell which network a GSM non-smartphone uses.

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    3. Tracfone smartphones (Androids) and models non-smartphones (model # ending in C) will be on Verizon. GSM Tracfones (model # usually ending in G) will be either AT&T or T-Mobile (from QVC or HSN, most likely AT&T - but no way to be 100% sure until your receive it and then either check the Tracfone bar code at the bottom edge of the package - if it ends with P4, it has an AT&T SIM card and ending with P5 means T-Mobile SIM card. For a LG840G the bar code I'm referring to starts with TFLG840G..... with the P4 or P5 at the end of that string).

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  9. I have heard that the minutes lost on the reiving phone areNOT lost if the phone is non-smart-phone...can any one verify this?

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  10. this new info should be on box and sellers on TV should make this new info available to new buyers

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  11. First of all, it appears that the issue of minutes, etc. not combining only occurs when the receiving phone is a smartphone. The dumb phones and feature phones will have minutes added together as they always have.

    Furthermore, it appears that what's happening with the smartphones is NOT TRACFONE POLICY, but rather an excuse that TF's CSRs have come up with because they don't know how, or don't want to manually add back the receiving phone's original minutes/texts/data. Part of the reason is that the receiving phone must be deactivated to accept the donor phone's number, and when that happens, the minutes/text/data buckets disappear from the CSR's view. Numerous individuals have reported that the lost minutes/texts/data have been added back after elevating the issue. If it were really policy, that wouldn't happen.

    However, to regain any lost minutes/texts/data, you should have some "proof" of what the amounts were right before the transfer began. If you use the Tracfone website, you can do a screen print of the results. You will also receive a text message on the smartphone.

    Then, when you call, you MUST have the CSR acknowledge the exact amounts (minutes/data/text) that are currently on the receiving smartphone, and have them AGREE that they will have to be manually added back after the transfer. If they tell you that the minutes will be lost, or that they will be automatically combined once you dial *22890, DO NOT ACCEPT THAT. Ask for a supervisor, or hang up and call Executive Resolutions to do the transfer. If you continue with the initial CSR, you will end up having to call Executive Resolutions anyway to get the lost airtime back.

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    1. You don't need proof because they are required by law to track the minutes for each serial number and SIM card. That is Federal law. But I did print the screen and took a photo of the phone itself. They still didn't want to give me the minutes, so I just filed a small claim and VOILA!, I got the minutes very quickly I might add, and they gave me 400 of each "for my trouble." Sometimes it pays to sue people.

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    2. It COSTS time and money to file in small claims court, so it is better to know effective procedures and follow them if you want to preserve your whole balance. This post is very useful for that.

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    3. I have an active Tracfone smart phone and an old Tracfone LG flip phone. Both are currently active and both have 3000+ minutes on them. I want to combine them both on the newer (smart) phone. I don't care if I cannot port the number. Is there really no way to do this? It sounds like the older phone will just be lost after it's year runs out, along with all the minutes. :-(

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  12. Has anyone been successful in combining service days/mins from two active phones WITHOUT transferring phone number? I've called Customer Service several times. They all say this can no longer be done. If phones are active and I've paid for mins/service days, I don't understand why they no longer will do ths.

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    1. I have an active Tracfone smart phone and an old Tracfone LG flip phone. Both are currently active and both have 3000+ minutes on them. I want to combine them both on the newer (smart) phone. I don't care if I cannot port the number. Is there really no way to do this? It sounds like the older phone will just be lost after it's year runs out, along with all the minutes. :-(

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  13. Tracfone GSM sim card I.D. #'s end in C4 for ATT and T5 for T-Mobile. I just received a new feature phone from HSM that I called about and requested 'must have' an ATT sim card when I placed the order. It arrived with a T-Mobile sim card...wouldn't ya know...Tracfone sending a new one.

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  14. CAUTION, DO NOT HIT the preview button below, you'll lose everything you just entered!

    Scroll through the same window you type in, then hit submit, not preview.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Tip: You must have 3rd Party Cookies enabled, then Preview & Submit both work.

      I have that (3rd party cookies) disabled most of the time, but I enabled it to post a comment here (& will disable it again once I'm done).

      Also, ALWAYS type in (or copy/paste to) Notepad, then you will never lose a comment again!

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the tip to the OP. I can now use Safari again.

      Delete
  15. SO WHERE'S MY COMMENTS. Guess because I state the facts, tracfone decide's to delete it & not show it to the world! HUMMMMM

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    1. Preview works for me in Chrome and Firefox. It might be an issue with the specific browser you are using.

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  16. I have for years, transferred ported numbers from tracfone to other carriers and since smartphones, lost m/t/d as well. the latest time the CSR gave me 500mb of 3000+ and that wasnt very nice. so I threatened class action lawsuit and post to Howard Forums etc and suddenly I was transferred to executive resolution english speaking REP that restored the lost buckets. 3 hrs of misleading phone calls and ticket number followup to the restoring REP. do take screenshots of the your balances before the transaction and verify. Record the conversations if your state allows for quality assurance and training.

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  17. I just wanted to say this article is no longer true (I don't know if it was ever true either)...I just transferred my minutes & service days (without phone number) from one TracFone to another, no problem. I called a rep, not sure if you can do this (just mins & days, not phone num) online?

    So as of May 2015 this article NO LONGER APPLIES.

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    1. To Moderator: please delete this old version of this comment (the one I'm replying to: "May 17, 2015 at 10:33 AM")...I posted a better version later.

      Delete
    2. AFAIK, you still can't transfer minutes online without transferring the number. I think you were lucky to find a CS agent who was will and able to make the transfer for you.

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    3. Yes, I mentioned doing it with a rep & not doing it online. The only option I see online includes transferring the phone number too.

      I'm glad to see you responded so quick, I thought this was just an outdated article. I can post more info if other ppl are still (May 2015) having trouble doing this.

      Delete
    4. Deleting a comment deletes all the replies. I can do that if you want but I think the conversation makes sense as it stands.

      Delete
    5. Short version: I guess don't delete it now, but plz try to find & paste my corrected version over it.

      Long version: Unfortunately you replied to the "May 17, 2015 at 10:33 AM" version of my message & the thread is now rooted to it, so I guess don't delete it now. However, can you see the other version of my msg in the moderation queue?...(it's almost the same, but with bold & slightly updated text)...it should be dated sometime between "10:33 AM" & "10:44 AM"...if you can, please copy/paste (the source code of) my updated version over the "10:33 AM" version...if you don't still have a copy of my updated version, I can submit it again, as a reply, then you can copy/paste that & simply delete/not approve the reply. I think the corrected version was posted around "10:41 AM" or so.

      Reason for this mess: I had the same Preview problem of "losing" my msg (but I had it in Notepad so I didn't actually "lose" it)...I hit Preview, my msg disappeared, I pasted it again, hit Preview, it disappeared, pasted it again, hit Submit, it disappeared (but silently worked), then I went to enable 3rd party cookies & updated & posted my msg 1 last time (that went into moderation & never appeared), but in the meantime, the 1 I submitted at 10:33am is what actually got posted & replied to. The msg kept disappearing, so I was trying to correct it, but the time I hit Submit, it did work, but I couldn't see that it had worked.

      Delete
    6. Sorry I deleted your other comment as a duplicate. You can repost it if you wish.

      Please post it as a new comment not as a reply to the original. That way I can delete your original comment and its largely off-topic replies. Blogger doesn't allow comments to be edited so I can't replace the original with your updated version.

      Delete
  18. What phone number do I use to contact Tracfone "Executive Resolutions?"

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    1. TracFone has made it difficult to call Executive Resolutions directly. You can try calling 1-305-715-6500 Monday – Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM ET but you will probably get redirected to the regular offshore support.

      Currently the best way to get help from TracFone is by going to TracFone's FaceBook Support Page and either creating a ticket or using the chat option on that page.

      Delete
  19. Thank you, Dennis :)

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  20. I have successfully added minutes and service days from 1 android to another without loosing any service days or minutes from either phone. It took about 15 minutes max. I made sure that the CCR understood what I wanted before allowing any changes, I also did a fresh balance check on both phones prior to making the call. They combined my minutes text data and service days onto the phone I wanted. I did not port the old phone number though. I have found that if you press 1 for yes on doing a short survey after your call that the service seems to be much better.

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  21. I can second what HappyDreamer said. I even got just part of my service days, all my minutes, and not my phone number transferred so that on my old phone I could still have some service days available in order to port that phone number to a third phone. It worked! Only took 7 minutes once I knew this little trick - I tell you all about it on my blog post here: http://mye-life.blogspot.com/2015/12/tracfones-dirty-little-secrets.html

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  22. Am I missing something or have I run into a Walmart salesman less informed than I am ? All I want to do is keep my original phone number,not as worried about mminutes. I changed from 1 Tracfone to another, although I switched from Net 10 to Straight Talk. I was told it was impossible to keep the same number? Unfortunately I now have 2 active, but different phone numbers. Was this correct information? Is it too late for me to take action? Both phones are still on their monthly plans? I could appreciate some direction? TY to the people.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You should be able to transfer your number from Net10 to Straight Talk.

      Contact Straight Talk, preferably by online chat, and tell them you want to "port" your Net10 number to your Straight Talk phone. If your Straight Talk phone uses a SIM, Straight Talk will probably need to send you a new SIM.

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