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.