Home - , , - Defense Mobile Reportedly Shuts Down CDMA (V) Service With Only One Day's Notice to Users

Defense Mobile Reportedly Shuts Down CDMA (V) Service With Only One Day's Notice to Users

Defense Mobile's on again, off again shutdown seems to be on again. Defense is a multi-carrier (Sprint, AT&T, Verizon) MVNO that offered service exclusively to to military personnel, veterans and their families.

On Wednesday, June 29, Defense Mobile mobile customers received notification that the MVNO was "winding down" service on the Verizon network. The same notice was also posted on Defense Mobile's Facebook page and on the Defense Mobile website.

Users were advised to port their numbers to another service provider  as soon as possible to avoid losing service and their phone numbers. Defense Mobile recommended TracFone's Total Wireless as a provider that was compatible with Verizon network phones and that would be able to assist Defense Mobile customers with porting their numbers.

Users who were expecting a reasonable amount of time to port out were in for a shock. According to multiple user comments on this blog and on Defense Mobile's Facebook page, service to Verizon network based Defense Mobile phones was shut off in the morning of June 30, barely a day after customers were notified that there was any issue with their service.

Defense Mobile customers who lost service Thursday  and want to salvage their numbers have two options.

  • You best bet is probably to follow Defense Wireless' suggestion to contact Total Wireless at 855-848-8866 and ask for assistance with porting your Defense Mobile number to Total Wireless. Defense Mobile customers on Facebook are reporting that Total Wireless told them that Total has all the information needed to port-in Defense Mobile numbers. TracFone companies don't have the best customer support reputation but it seems like Defense may have cut some sort of a deal with Total Wireless to facilitate number ports between the two companies.  
  • If you want to port to another company besides Total Wireless you will need your Defense Mobile account number and passcode. If you don't have this information you can try using the Open a Support Ticket option on the Defense Mobile site to request it. However I'm not sure if anyone is still answering support tickets or even responding to port out requests at Defense Mobile. I submitted a support ticket several hours ago and have not received a response. 
There were a number of warning signs that all was not well with Defense Mobile. On May 11 we reported that Defense had notified its dealers that it was going out of businesses. Users who called the company's customer support number on May 11 were greeted with a message saying the company was ending all services at the end of May. A few hours latter, Defense Mobile told Prepaid Phone News that the company wasn't shutting down completely but was shuttering its AT&T based service while maintaining service on Verizon and Sprint. Defense Mobile also stopped activating new accounts May 11 and made customer support email-only at the same time. The AT&T based service ended on June 15.

Warning signs or not, it's inexcusable for any mobile service provider to cut off customers with only one day's notice. There are lots of unhappy customers complaining on Defense Mobile's Facebook page and on Twitter.

37 comments:

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  1. Indefensible.

    All the more reason to trust no one other than the largest 4 carriers and their divisions. Even American Movil wouldn't do this.

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  2. Horrible. Not to be the bearer of bad news but total wireless is plagued with incompetence and system issues. I've spent countless hours trying to fix system issues affecting my service. I hope defense customers have better luck than me.

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  3. Total Wireless should not be the replacement for Defense Mobile service because Total Wireless is notoriously known for lying to consumers. First,they will tell you that you can bring your own phone and tell you that it can be activated and then take your first payment. afterwards your service will not work and they will refuse to give you a refund. The complaints about Total Wireless is growing online and i do not understand why Wal Mart is allowing Total Wireless to be sold in any of their locations. Just google total wireless customer reviews and you will see all the complaints especially from the site called pissed off consumers. I have personally purchased a sim kit in order to test their service and sure enough! i got the same negative treatment. Also Defense Mobile insulted many men and women who served the country by shutting down their service without proper notice. Some of them were still on active duty. I'm beginning to become convinced that using cricket ,t-mobile or verizon stores is the only way to be safe. Because these MVNOs are coming and going like grass here today gone tomorrow

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  4. EyeAmNoLongerInfectedJuly 2, 2016 at 3:27 AM

    Hey, how is everyone who took the BYOP plunge to Total Wireless doing with setup and service these past few weeks. I think a lot of readers would like a survey and comments to create a new article on Total Wireless. Their prices on Verizon 4GLTE are great.....but how happy/angry/"meh" is everyone on it so far?

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  5. I would put the Movil ones way behind the Big 4. But I think they are rather unlikely to pull a PTel and hide the going out of business situation from customers and vanish with people's money in a few days.

    Now. Has anyone actually heard of anyone having any luck with Total Wireless?

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  6. This is why I don't use these no-brand MVNOs.

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  7. Defense Mobile executives should be prosecuted.

    Total Wireless is lessened by America Mobile. They have the same horrible service as other Ameria Movil brands like Tracfone, Net10, Simple Mobile, Page Plus, Safelink, etc.

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  8. It's a shame that this reflects poorly on other MVNOs.

    However, without laws mandating advance notice of shutdowns, the buyer beware rule is in full effect.

    Now, only big carriers are safe to do business with, lest you be stuck in the middle of nowhere without any means of communication.

    Ironically, this is a fine example of how regulations would help rather than hinder small businesses.

    If customers can't trust MVNOs, and MVNOs aren't forced to be trustworthy, then it wouldn't come as any surprise if MVNOs eventually started falling like dominos.

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  9. It's up to the others like Selectel to provide reassurance and guarantee that they won't do this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're dreaming. Nobody will do that.

      Delete
    2. Any MVNO that refuses to assure to its customers that it won't mistreat them is not behaving ethically.

      If "nobody" will do that, then no MVNO deserves business, except from some who won't care if they lose their number and a month or two of payment.

      Delete
  10. I love Selectel. They never failed me and they are so nice and courteous on the phone. I am afraid however that will soon follow the path of Ptel. I spoke to one of the executives at Ptel and was told they are experiencing tons of customers fleeing to the new total wireless lte service. Unfortunately total wireless is just screwing things up for these customers.
    I urge everyone who is unhappy with total wireless to give Selectel a try. Coverage is great and customer service superb. You won't regret it.

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  11. Poetic timing for a service that discriminates to have their chickens come home to roost. Good riddance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Must be a true entitled Millennial to hate our veterans and to spit upon the sacrifice they have made so we can sit in our basement and play videogames all day.

      "Discrimination" in favor of those who have sacrificed so much? Haha

      Delete
  12. Sounds to me like Verizon has cut off their service to DM and are ultimately the ones who are screwing those on the service. Verizon could hold the service open until users are ported out. I would say that all DM subscribers file a FCC complaint ASAP to see if there can be any intervention.

    PTel actually gave at minimum a week to port out. They initially posted that you had a few days, but that was extended. Harbor on the other hand gave little notice.

    Those complaining about TF and I used to be one certainly have not used the service in the last year. Customer Service has greatly improved, especially through chat and they just revamped their website UI as well.
    As far as TW, it seems TF's problem was that they did not correctly anticipate the flood of subscribers and I would say even had they that it only natural they may be seeing activation issues with that flood of new subscribers.

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    Replies
    1. PTel was actually advertising for new customers on their website for days after they had told a few people secretly that they are going out of business. They were very reluctant to put information that they had actually closed on their website. That was inexcusable.

      Any 5th grader could have updated the website to show that within 5 minutes.

      Delete
    2. Oh, so it's Verizon fault. That makes sense. Regardless that there's most likely a contract between DM & Verizon that has to be honored. I guess DM just set-up shop and started capturing V's radio waves and reselling them. Verizon found out & simply pulled the plug on that.

      Delete
    3. If they paid their bills maybe Verizon wouldn't have to cut them off.

      Delete
  13. Total wireless issues go well beyond new influx of customers my friend. They were there way before the 4G LTE happened. They have been there all along my friend.

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  14. A month or two ago, I had a friend who had a simple technical problem to talk to TracFone about. She was on the phone with them for days, they never solved the problem. They did mock her though... it was pretty bad.

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    Replies
    1. Use chat and you will have a better experience, not sure why, but that has been my experience for the last year.

      Delete
  15. I'm really afraid to even contact Total Wireless support. They are so inefficient that I avoid calling at all costs.

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    Replies
    1. I would say TW is a little behind the curve and would expect their C/S to improve over the coming months.

      Delete
  16. When Brightspot went under last year they gave advance notice, sent me a free sim card for t mobile, one month of free service and a 25 dollar gift card from Target. Now that's how you do business !!

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  17. I'm hoping cricket won't close since they belong to ATT

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    Replies
    1. Is Cricket or Metro PCS or boost or virgin were to be shut down, the owning huge companies are still there and they would be able to take or serve the customers somehow. They could not get away with vanishing overnight like this Indefensible company.

      In fact, typically the business changes of these companies are known of months in advance.

      Delete
    2. I agree. These changes are typically known well in advance. The delay is usually the MVNO who doesn't want to tell customers about the troubles.

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    3. Pure speculation. There is no "typical" shutdown and none of us have any details.

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    4. Cricket is wholly owned by AT&T so they're probably more stable than fly by night MVNO squeezing every last penny out of customers when they know they're being cut off.

      Delete
    5. It's not speculation on the big ones. They can't secretly plot such things and get away with it.

      It is speculation, but now a reasonable prediction, on the smaller ones. It has been "typical" for a while now that these little MNVOs shut down and fly away in the night, shafting their customers. We have plenty of "details" on those that have.

      If Selectel can't provide some assurance, pack your bags and go elsewhere.

      Delete
  18. If you are going over to TW.....1.use a call recorder app to record all of your calls 2.send a copy of your chat transcript to your email when you are done-it has a transcript # and identifying info. Prior to "chat" you can open a text file(this type of file works for chat) on your desktop to go ahead and prepare your questions and your account info and Account #s and PINS. Copy and paste into your chat once started. Set a timer for 2 mins. Start the timer after the CSR says they are working on the problem. Make sure you at least post something every 2 mins like thank you or ok. America Movils systems are set to automatically disconnect you if there is no communication within 3 minutes. Use your IMEI with the last digit off by one and make a note of it. This is a checksum and this will keep you from being slim-locked. Read through the posts here http://www.prepaidphonenews.com/2016/05/total-wureless-lte-sims-are-now.html 3.Buy the $1 SIMS for CDMA 4G LTE of NET 10/Tracfone/PagePlus/StraightTalk--whichever is a buck at the time. This will save you from having to wait for TW to mail you one. 4. Do not set up autopay or pay by credit card. Buy a plan PIN online through WallyWorld and apply the PIN to your account. Way too many problems with America Movil making multiple transactions on credit cards. 5. If you don't like what you hear from a TW CSR, turn right around and contact them again. You will get another rep that just might handle things right away and efficiently. None of them make notes on the accounts, so your rep will not even know you just asked this same question 5 mins. before. Good Luck!

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  19. " The delay is usually the MVNO who doesn't want to tell customers about the troubles. "

    Typical example being PTel, in which CS told a few people here and there in email and phone calls that they were shutting down, but their web site was all "business as usual" for a while, even to the point of trying to sell new accounts.

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  20. I feel bad for people who lost their numbers when they were just trying to save some money. Unfortunately these things teach us all a very important lesson... We all should know what it is...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you implying the lesson of "you get what you pay for"?

      Well, these MVNO's are often more expensive than the prepaid divisions of the big guys. Are you meaning, then, "a fool and his money"?

      I guess another lesson, sad as it is, is to not trust small business when it comes to choosing a mobile carrier. Just like I have also learned never to trust a carrier storefront/dealer (always go online)

      Delete
    2. Defense Mobile wasn't particularly inexpensive. I think most of their customers used Defense Mobile because they wanted to support the company's policy of employing veterans and contributing to veterans support organizations.

      Delete
    3. I think the lesson is different for different people. For me is... Do not trust your phone number to just any MVNO, you may end up losing it.
      With so many MVNO's it's hard to know who will last and who won't but art least we can attempt to make an educated guess. I think a lot of defense subscribers really wanted to support the business but ended up losing their phone numbers. Very unfortunate.

      Delete
    4. The best Defense is a good Offense.

      Delete
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