Home - , , , , , , - TracFone Acquisition of Walmart Family Mobile and GoSmart Confirmed

TracFone Acquisition of Walmart Family Mobile and GoSmart Confirmed

Family Mobile Terms & Conditions
It looks like the rumors of TracFone buying Walmart Family Mobile (WFM) and GoSmart are true. Both brands Terms and Conditions pages have been updated to reflect TracFone's ownership.

The GoSmart Terms page says 'Your agreement for wireless service branded as “GoSmart Mobile Powered by T-Mobile” is with TracFone Wireless, Inc.'

The Walmart Family Mobile Terms page says 'Your agreement for wireless service branded as “Walmart Family Mobile Powered by T-Mobile” is with TracFone Wireless, Inc.'

The acquisition of WFM's 1.4 million customers and GoSmart's 300,000 brings TracFone's subscriber count to approximately 27 million. TracFone is by far the largest US MVNO and is also the country's largest prepaid operator with 10 million more prepaid customers than second place T-Mobile. TracFone is a wholly owned subsidiary on Mexico's América Móvil, which operates in 15 countries and is the fourth largest mobile operator in the world with 289 million subscribers making América Móvil larger than Verizon and AT&T combined.

TracFone has a history of growth by acquisition. It purchased Simple Mobile in 2012 and Page Plus in 2013. When it acquired those two MVNOs it made no immediate visible changes to either while gradually moving customer and dealer support to TracFone's off shore call centers. I expect it will do the same with GoSmart and WFM. Customers should see little immediate change, but within 12 months I expect WFM and GoSmart support to be integrated with that of the other TracFone brands.

With TracFone now operating the TracFone, Net10, Straight Talk, Simple Mobile, Telcel América, Page Plus, Total Wireless, Walmart Family Mobile and GoSmart brands it's getting harder and harder to find a prepaid service that is not part of TracFone.

It looks like consolidation is the future in the US prepaid industry with smaller MVNOs merging, being acquired TracFone or going out of business. Consolidation unfortunately means less competition and that will likely lead to higher prices.

Source Walmart Family Mobile and GoSmart via HowardForums

76 comments:

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  1. Run away, far away. TracFone is one big quagmire.

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    1. i have a $150 straight talk iphone and it's good. i didn't get throttled early and speeds are good. maybe because i'm on the 6 month plan. been with them a couple months and haven't had to call them once

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    2. Verizon or AT&T based? I've been satisfied with the network stability and performance of TracFone AT&T BYOP but the billing issues and slow, incompetent CS is a major pain point.

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  2. Agreed, i ran, and got on verizon prepaid for the coverage and priority higher than on mvno and needed tethering, hmmm im wondering if that means Tracfone will take away tethering from Walmart Family Mobile?

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    1. I'm sure they will take more than that.

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    2. Blocking or charging extra for tethering is actually illegal under current Net Neutrality law. It's high time for the "taking away" of tethering to vanish.

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  3. TracFone is slowly swallowing all the smaller MVNO's, pretty soon they will be the only ones around. When that time comes, I will go back to post paid. Never TracFone/America Movil, never!!!

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    1. Good for you. I wish all customers thought like that. We have the buying power which is what moves things in this economy. We don't realize how much power we have.

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  4. The bigger fish always eats the smaller one, that is the case with TracFone and the smaller MVNO's. They get eaten and turn into a nasty green zombie...

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    1. Its just a matter of time. We will continue to see more and more acquisitions by horrible TracFone/AM. Dealers and smaller MVNO's will suffer alike.

      Delete
  5. FCC forced ATT to sell some assets, why are they allowing Tracfone to have a monopoly on MVNO's!!!!!

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    1. They don't have a monopoly.that would be Facebook, Google.

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    2. Facebook and Google don't have any sort of monopoly either. You might want to crack open a dictionary some time.

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    3. Facebook and Google are must certainly monopolies, In any other administration they'd be broken up, they are bigger than some governments, they're actually each bigger than standard oil when they were broken up, you're probably not old enough for "bust the trusts".

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    4. A Monopoly exists when a single company or person controls the entire supply of a specific commodity.

      Google and Facebook are enormously powerful companies that hold dominant market positions but they aren't the sole suppliers of anything. Facebook is not the only social network. There are other search engines, advertising networks and cloud computing providers than Google. Android is not the only mobile operating system and so on.

      Google and Facebook's dominance nay be worrying but they are not by definition monopolies.

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  6. Tracfone customer for 10+ yrs still love-em

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  7. How will this impact the independent dealers who resell gosmart?

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    1. It will probably impact them the same as the ones that sell Page Plus and the other TracFone brands. Not an optimistic outlook, let me tell you.

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  8. Tracfone has all those customers and they still can't bother to have proper customer service.

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    1. I agree. They can't even take care of the customers they have now and here they are acquiring more customers to just neglect them, just for the sake of being greedy.

      Delete
  9. Lol. These post are completely reflective what you will find on Tracfone online reviews. Also, you will often find someone like Bob with a twist, Tracfone customer for 10 plus years TILL THAT ONE DAY, 1) The phone number got lost . 2)Plan expired and so did the number. 3)Transfer of thousands of minutes in air time to a new phone went BLOOP! into cyberspace to be lost forever. It only takes one bad day to end a decades long relationship with Tracfone..

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    1. And yet some guy/girl has the nerve to blame the customers for TracFone's poor CS by saying people can't problem solve and are dumb*ss*s...as if the poor customer could make the data they lost magically reappear and such.

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    2. "And yet some guy/girl has the nerve to blame the customers for TracFone's poor CS by saying people can't problem solve and are dumb*ss*s"

      In my defense, that's usually the case.

      Then, after having no problems with TF the entire time, I ran into a string of terrible CS reps that ultimately failed to get my lost balances back.

      Say what you will, but TF's terrible CS is the kind of thing you can't fully grasp until you're living the bad reviews yourself.

      It actually seems to serve no purpose whatsoever, other than to annoy and mislead honest customers.

      It actually makes you wonder why TF even has a CS department in the first place, because it seems like a pointless waste of revenue.

      Delete
  10. I'm very troubled to see TracFone turning into a crazy monopoly one mvno at a time.

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    1. it is scary, I agree. It is happening this time two at a time...

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    2. I like how you people see tracfone as a monopoly, Thats silly, Tracfone can buy all the mvno they want, in the end they will be dead, Give it 5-12.5 years. let me explain. They only let tracfone exist now because the big 4 (sprint verizon att tmobile) cared little about prepaid 10 years ago as all the rage was in getting the end consumer into 2 year contracts, Now with 2 year contracts literally gone, The big 4 will start a push towards consolidatioin of the prepaid market and its very easy for them to push tracfone to death, Once they monopolize the rates at which they charge tracfone for using there networks, tracfone will die a slow and painful death. Its very easy to see this happening very soon. For those of you who don't see, Let me explain simply like this, Tracfone leasing cell tower's from the big 4 and in this situation once the big 4 raise tracfones rates then tracfone has no option but to lose. Watch closely over the next decade. LOL

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  11. At this rate, customers will only have two choices: Tracfone, or the carriers themselves.

    Then again, I wouldn't be surprised if Slim Pickings eventually went and bought the carriers too.

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  12. Maybe companies should be forced to use one single name for their services: Tracfone Mobile

    That way people are not lead to believe they are going with a different company when they switch. Same with T-Mobile/Metro PCS and Sprint/Boost

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    1. That is what happens with TracFone. People actually think that they are separate entities. When I told my neighbor my troubles with Total Wireless she said, well try Page Plus.

      Maybe they should advertise as TracFone's Page Plus or America Movil's Total Wireless...I know the names would be lengthy but at least people won't think they are going somewhere better. More like going from the frying pan to the furnace.

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    2. The best litmus test is searching the main website (Ctrl+F) for "tracfone".

      If Big Slim's running the show, you'll see these two lines in the fine print at the very bottom of the page.

      "© 2016 TracFone Wireless, Inc.

      (insert carrier) is a registered trademark of TracFone Wireless, Inc."

      Pretty soon, you'll be seeing it on Boom and Ultra too.

      FUD whiners be warned, Big Slim's using the Google playbook of buying everything up until he owns all but the most niche MVNOs.

      RIP, US prepaid market.

      Slim Shady's Customer Circus will be the death of you, at least as far as savvy customers are concerned.

      Tracfone will eventually become the bad cop to price hiking carriers' god cop, and the threat of having to use a Tracfone will keep us faithful to our telecom overlords.

      Once that happens, TF will finally have attained its goal of becoming the one and only "Prepaid Satan".

      It'll serve as an ominous bogeyman who strikes frustration into the hearts of any heathens foolish enough to question the glory of our almighty postpaid.

      At least we'll all be united in our hatred of prepaid satanists, who'll sustain the beast with their patronage because they'll be too poor to afford any better.

      And then we'll eventually become them ourselves once carriers start taking customers for granted, thus shattering our faith in the telecom overlords and driving us to their only competition.

      At least until the carriers start cutting prices, triggering a whole new price war that lets us all snag 24-core smartphones with 16GB of RAM for pennies on the dollar.

      But by that time, voice-and-motion-controlled augmented reality glasses will be the new in-thing, and we'll all be miffed that the prepaid models only have 2GB of RAM.

      The future's so bright, I'm getting mine with transition lenses.

      Maybe Tracfone will even improve their custoner service one of these day.

      Maybe.

      Delete
    3. "...Maybe Tracfone will even improve their cuSTONER service one of these day....."

      You might be onto something there...

      Delete
  13. Walmart Family Mobile is no loss at all but GoSmart has some decent plans. Too bad. It's also strange to see T-Mobile sell off 300,000 of their own customers to TracFone.

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    1. Gosmart's doesn't have LTE data.

      And since LTE is what the carriers are focused on, that means you'd be stuck on a dying, refarmed network that T-mo's hoping to eventually shut down.

      At this point, 3G-only plans are little more than schmuck bait.

      As for Family Mobile, I didn't even realize they were a postpaid MVNO until recently, just because of how stupid that is.

      In reality, neither one was worth it and nothing of value has been lost.

      Delete
    2. GoSmart does use LTE. They throttle speeds to 1 Mbps ("3G speeds" in GoSmart lingo) when on LTE or HSPA, except for Facebook which gets full speed. GoSmart is still a good value for unlimited calling, texting with cheap data and tethering if you can get by with 1 Mbps - and most can.

      Delete
    3. "you can get by with 1 Mbps - and most can"

      That's BS and you know it.

      125 kilobytes per second would be the kind of thing you'd see in the third world, if only the third world's internet speeds didn't put ours to shame.



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    4. I agree with RL. 1 Mbps is more than adequate for web browsing and audio streaming. This site was published using a 1.2 Mbps DSL line until two years ago. It's not uncommon to see sub 1 Mbps speeds on any mobile network when it's heavily loaded.

      Delete
    5. I used GoSmart for a couple months earlier this year and streaming audio, video, and Skype video calls worked acceptably. Those services would work better with higher speeds, of course, but not required.

      I wrote a short review of GoSmart at the end of the comments in this article:

      http://www.prepaidphonenews.com/2016/01/gosmart-makes-changes-to-data-plans.html

      Delete
    6. "1 Mbps is more than adequate for web browsing and audio streaming"

      Is the 1Mbps consistent or is it like cricket and Verizon MVNO's where best case scenario is 8Mbps or 5Mbps respectively? that makes a big difference. My friend on Page Plus who lives by LAX usually gets 0.5 Mbps.

      Delete
    7. "Is the 1Mbps consistent?"

      In my experience, several speed tests were consistently 1 Mbps and video streamed from Crackle saw no interruptions after some initial buffering when using an LTE connection. Much more usable than Page Plus 3G (Verizon) which varies from 0.2 to 1.5 Mbps in my area. Your experience may vary with different location, device, and application.

      Delete
  14. A separate tag should be added to every Tracfone owned brand in the News by carrier column. Something like *TF* or *AM* or something better.

    Project Fi is missing the (s, t) tag and FreedomPop should have a (t) tag as their GSM sim will connect to T-Mobile as well as AT&T.

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    1. Forget the tag just put "Tracfone" after each brand name. Like this: Page Plus (Tracfone) that should warn everyone what they are getting into.

      Delete
    2. @Dennis
      Would it be possible to create another column (below the News by carrier column) to list all the Tracfone brands?
      It's getting hard to keep track of all the brands now owned by Tracfone and people really need an easy to find reference to all the different brands that appear to be (and formerly were) unrelated but are now part of the same incompetent, dishonest mega MVNO. I'm sure many would find such a list very helpful.

      Delete
  15. I file all these comments under "Cheap Data comes with Compromises. Verizon Prepaid or AT&T Gophone are the only prepaid companies I would trust. I have been on Verizon Prepaid for over 3 years now. I just want my phone to work and I'm willing to pay $45 a month and get less data, with less hassles on Verizon Prepaid.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yeah, if money were no object, Verizon Prepaid would rule, and MetroPCS, Cricket, Boost, h2o, etc would lose all their customers.

      Delete
    2. I pay $42 a month, No tax on Verizon Prepaid for 2GB of data. I can thether with all my data and I get great speed and coverage. I use Callingmart to pay my bill. If you bring a T-Mobile or Sprint phone to the places I travel for work, It would be a paperweight.

      Delete
  16. Oh dear Mother of all that is sacred!!!! Whenever Tracfone acquires another MVNO, the customer service goes down the drain and customer satisfaction does as well. MY condolences.

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  17. I think is time to hit tracphone with an antitrust monopoly suit.

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    1. Good luck with that.

      They're not actually monopolizing anything.

      Other MVNOs just don't have the resources, subscriber base or cutthroat attitude to compete at such low margins.

      And when the guys who own the infrastructure are also competing, there's just no way to win that fight long-term without being an unscrupulous megacorp.

      Delete
    2. Also, words mean things. Monopoly means control by one. There are 4 or 5 carriers now and many MVNO's. It's certainly not time to hit American Movil with a suit of being a monopoly, when it is no where near meeting the definition of one.

      "Other MVNOs just don't have the resources, subscriber base or cutthroat attitude to compete at such low margins."

      It seems other MVNO's do have a cut-throat attitude: PTel and Defense Mobile had no problem cutting the throats of their customers by making off with their numbers and refusing to provide service that customers paid for.

      These other MVNO's choose to engage in nonsensical business plans and customer-hostile practices: you can't blame American Movil for what these companies choose to do.

      Delete
  18. "you can't blame American Movil"
    It is actually America Movil and they are not American by the way.

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    1. Mexico is part of the Americas.

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    2. Actually it's América Móvil, not America Movil and the company is incorporated in Mexico which is still in North America.

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    3. I think the OP meant American as in US based not part of the American continent. That's how I understood it anyway.

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    4. I agree that's probably what he meant but it's still untrue and unacceptable to non-US Americans.

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    5. It is really untrue and uninformed to call those from the rest of the Americas non-American.

      América Móvil is based in one of the great large nations of the Americas. It serves many other nations in the continents.

      Delete
  19. I agree with you but unfortunately the majority of US-Americans don't. Just see what's going on around. Its a real eye opener to see how people really feel.

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  20. Remember the Miss who said "US Americans" and everyone laughed? Now, at least here, saying US Americans is acceptable. However, shouldn't 'USA Americans' be the correct form?

    Except that for Europeans we don't say 'UK Europeans' or 'Italy Europeans'.

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    1. "Except that for Europeans we don't say 'UK Europeans' or 'Italy Europeans'."

      Most of the nations of the world have more sensible names for nations, so this is not necessary in most of the world.

      Delete
  21. I guess the point I see people trying to make here is we should be inclusive of others that are Americans although they may or may not live within our borders. Like people from Argentina are Americans because they live in the American Continent. I guess the term is not exclusive of US citizens.

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    1. Inclusivity used to be a nice concept, before religious adherence to PC made people blind and ignorant to the practical realities of a politically incorrect world.

      On a related note, AM is literally the perfect stereotype of a shoddy Mexican product screwing up the American prepaid market, all because they can't be bothered to adopt American values like local customer service, reliable technology and a focus on training customer service reps to behave respectfully.

      And if they're stereotyping THEMSELVES by refusing to integrate into our economic culture, you can't blame burgerlanders for pointing out that AM ain't truly American.





      Delete
    2. In a tech forum, it might be best to spell out "political correctness" because PC means a certain general grouping of microcomputer.

      Anyway, this has nothing to do with political correctness. The Americas is a huge region: stretching from Baffin Island down to Tierra del Fuego. Those in the US are a minority of those who have a right to call themselves Americans.

      "AM is literally the perfect stereotype of a shoddy Mexican product screwing up the American prepaid market...."

      You might have a case if there didn't happen to be so many American companies with terrible customer service, technology, etc. And especially non-local customer service. I use a carrier that is definitely not "America Movil" and does not have local customer service. Millions do. We get it, you hate Mexicans. But your rabid racism doesn't prove anything.

      "And if they're stereotyping THEMSELVES by refusing to integrate into our economic culture."

      I see you have an axe to grind, and are using an ignorant stereotype of Mexican-Americans that has nothing to do with anything, let alone the US Constitution (which PROTECTS our freedom to refuse to submit to what some few believe is the dominant culture)

      "you can't blame burgerlanders for pointing out that AM ain't truly American."

      You can't "point out" something that is not true. Again, AM is purely American, and it has chosen a great name, since it is found in many countries all over the Americas.

      Delete
    3. I'd trust Carlos Slim over the guys who ran "Defense Mobile". Easily.

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    4. "I'd trust Carlos Slim over the guys who ran Defense Mobile. Easily."

      Unless DM had universally terrible reviews and widespread reports of scamming customers via "system outages", I'd trust DM, Ptel and the local panhandlers down the street before I'd ever give Shady Slim another penny.

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    5. I did some Consumer Reports-type lookups, and was surprised that America Movil doesn't come out so bad compared to other carriers.

      But I do take the horrific anecdotes seriously.

      "I'd trust DM, Ptel and the local panhandlers down the street before I'd ever give Shady Slim another penny."

      DM and PTel shafted EVERY SINGLE ONE of their customers. But in the US at least, the majority of America Mobile customers are happy with their service.

      Delete
    6. "DM and PTel shafted EVERY SINGLE ONE of their customers. But in the US at least, the majority of America Mobile customers are happy with their service."

      DM and Ptel provided adequate service before deciding to cash out and screw people over.

      Tacofone just cashes out BY screwing people over.

      There's a difference.

      Delete
    7. "TACOfone"

      Nice smear of Slim for being Mexican. You must be that same racist from earlier.

      Now for some facts: TracFone gets customer service ratings in line with other companies, including those run by people of races you find superior. According to most customers of Tracfone, it provides adequate service.

      From:

      https://www.amazon.com/product-reviews/B002ZCW91Y

      (overwhelmingly 5 star reviews)

      There are other references to high reviews from Consumer Reports.

      As Dorian said: "I think America Movil...is a crappy company but not because it is Mexican but because their business practices are questionable like many other US owned companies."

      Bashing them for being Mexican comes from a lazy attitude of some Americans over the fact that Mexicans do some jobs a lot better than US Americans (which is how Mexicans compete with US Americans for jobs). So they start to go all racial supremacist to make up for it.

      Delete
    8. "including those run by people of races you find superior"

      Nice try, but the Formula 1 guys don't operate an MVNO...do they?

      As for TF's rating, I go by a much more accurate standard:

      https://www.consumeraffairs.com/cell_phones/tracfone.html

      Single stars across the board, my friend, backed up by my own negative experiences with TF.

      "Mexicans do some jobs a lot better than US Americans"
      "lazy Americans start to go all racial supremacist to make up for it"

      Now you're getting the hang of it.

      After all, racism isn't about hate, anger or bitterness (unless you're a liberal, in which case yours probably is).

      It's about blatant hypocrisy, baseless generalizations and laughing together as we all ironically crack jokes at everyone's expense (including our own).

      Delete
    9. Racism against Latino's is no laughing matter:

      https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2007/hate-crimes-against-latinos-rising-nationwide

      If you are using "He's Mexican" as any part of your reason to criticize Carlos Slim, you will endear yourself to fellow Klansmen, and no one else.

      Delete
    10. "As for TF's rating, I go by a much more accurate standard:

      https://www.consumeraffairs.com/cell_phones/tracfone.html

      Single stars across the board, my friend, backed up by my own negative experiences with TF."

      Nice try. I went to that same site and checked a dozen other carriers: large and small, from MetroPCS to Verizon even to the beloved Consumer Cellular.

      ALL of them had one-star ratings. Refer again to Dennis' comments.

      Delete
    11. All user reviews and ratings can and likely are skewed by paid shills, especially "brand reputation" agenencies.

      ConsumerAffairs.com is a for profit business that solicits and accepts money from the companies rated on its site. I consider their reviews particularly suspect.

      Delete
    12. "ConsumerAffairs.com is a for profit business that solicits and accepts money from the companies rated on its site. I consider their reviews particularly suspect."

      You'd think that if companies paid for reviews, they would look better than the pits. And they all look like the pits. I wonder if this is more of a case that the only time someone puts in a review about any company on these sites is when they are mad as hell.

      Delete
  22. I agree, any type of stereotyping is damaging. I think America Movil (sorry Dennis I can't use accent marks on this computer)is a crappy company but not because it is Mexican but because their business practices are questionable like many other US owned companies.

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    1. Very well said. The above bashing of Carlos Slim for being Mexican was deplorable. It actually made me defend him.

      Delete
  23. I think when people use racial slurs/innuendo/insults it shows not only their ignorance but their inability to function in a society that doesn't look and think like them. Using racist remarks doesn't make you right, explaining your ideas in a logical respectful manner does.

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  24. The latest WFM devices - LG Stylo 2 PLUS, Samsung Galaxy ON5, LG K7, CoolPad Catalyst are all LOCKED to Tracfones' WFM. Look for the RED insignia on the lower right of the product packaging that clearly states that it is LOCKED. All older WFM devices can be used openly on the T-Mobile Newtork. Just look for the red insignia to quell any concerns.

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