Home - , , - TracFone Loses Customers, Increases Revenue and ARPU in Q1, 2018

TracFone Loses Customers, Increases Revenue and ARPU in Q1, 2018

América Móvil, the Mexican based owner of the TracFone and associated brands, reported a loss of 371 thousand US prepaid customers in the first quarter of 2018. The loses primarily came from Safelink, TracFone's Lifeline service, which lost 522 thousand subscribers. Tracfone's other brands gained 151 thousand customers. TracFone operates the Straight Talk, TracFone, Total Wireless, Simple Mobile, Family Mobile, Page Plus and Telcel America prepaid brands in the US.

TracFone finished the quarter with 22.76 million subscribers compared 23.1 million at the end of Q4, 2017 and with 24.74 million a year ago at the end of Q1, 2017, a year ago.

In an unusual move, TracFone this quarter published a partial breakdown of its subscribers by brand. At the end of the first quarter, Straight Talk had 9 million customers, SafeLink 3.7 million and all the other TracFone brands combined had 10 million.

TracFone's revenue for the first quarter was $2 billion, compared with $1.94 billion in Q4, 2017 and $1.98 billion a year ago in Q1, 2017. In other metrics, Q1, 2018 churn (the percentage of subscribers who leave each month) was 4.1% compared with 4.6% in Q4, 2017 and 5.4% in Q1, 2017. Average monthly Revenue Per User (ARPU) was $24, unchanged from Q4, 2017 but up from $23 a year ago.

This quarter marked the sixth consecutive quarterly subscriber loss by TracFone. I spite of that, TracFone seems to be doing reasonably well. Revenue, and ARPU are up and churn is down. Lifeline subscriptions are down across all carriers as a result of stricter eligibility and verification requirements that went into effect at the end of 2016.

Globally, América Móvil, which is the world's fourth largest mobile operator providing service in 20 countries, had a tough quarter. Global revenues fell 50% year over year, which the company blamed on damage from hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the declining value of the Mexican peso. América Móvil suffered a loss of 11.3 billion pesos in Q1. On the bright side global mobile subscribers grew by quarter over quarter and year over year. América Móvil ended the quarter with 279 million customers worldwide.

Source: América Móvil

Tags: , ,

32 comments:

Comment Page :
  1. Bad customer service, poor record keeping (or so they claim), and the lack of truly unlimited data to make up for it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Too expensive MVNOs' and and their "unlimited data", are not unlimited...

    ReplyDelete
  3. whatever they offer even a free services I wont be a customer for this crooks ever again

    ReplyDelete
  4. Customer is not stupid anymore. They deserve it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Revenue is up, not sure why you guys think thatsta negative...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seriously. It's a hatred-for-Tracfone projection fest here...

      Delete
    2. Everyone who was going to jump ship already did, and everyone left is paying increasingly more as they go through the natural process of transitioning to a mobile-only unlimited data user.

      Delete
    3. Not everyone needs or is willing to pay for unlimited data. TracFone won't go away anytime soon since they cater to low usage customers who have WiFi available most of the time and will pay $10/GB as necessary while saving lots of money. All you can eat buffet is not a requirement everyone.

      Delete
  6. Straight Talk was the only good point for them. In one year, they lost 1.5 million SafeLink subscribers and 800,000 subscribers for all other non-ST brands (Tracfone, Net10, Simple Mobile, Page Plus, Total Wireless, Telcel America, etc.).

    No wonder they broke Straight Talk out from the other figures. But Straight Talk can only boost them so much. The carriers' postpaid divisions and 'flanker' brands are competing heavily on price for unlimited data plans and giving away free phones.

    And ARPU is probably increasing only because America Movil is further cutting labor costs. That can only be done so much before it degrades customer service even worse than what people expect, and increases churn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cutting costs does not affect ARPU which is how much the average customer pays for their service.

      Delete
    2. You're right. It's APPU, not ARPU, that would take into costs.

      Although the overall point still stands that as they continuously attempt to reduce costs, they will likely increase dissatisfaction and churn, and decrease overall subscriber counts.

      Delete
  7. It's a weird situation. Normally subscriber loss means lower revenues.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Service revenues declined but an increase in equipment revenues more than made up for the decline. That's what happens when you start selling $159.99 iPhone SE's and $199.99 iPhone 6's instead of $19.99 Alcatel Pop Icons.

      Delete
  8. So Tracfone lost some low profit government subsidized subscribers and gained more customers in the high priced brands of course they ended in a plus!

    ReplyDelete
  9. BILL FROM MICHIGANApril 25, 2018 at 4:44 PM

    IVE HAD 2 TRACFONES FOR 17 YRS.IM HAPPY WITH THEM.CUSTOMER SERVICE SHUDNT BE A PROBLEM.JUST REQUEST A U.S. OPERATOR IF U NEED SERVICE AND THEY HAVE TO PROVIDE U WITH ONE.I BUY MY MINUTES ON EBAY FOR YEARS BUT 1ST I GOOGLE TRACFONE PROMO CODES AND PICK UP EXTRA MINUTES FOR FREE[SOMETIMES AS MUCH AS 300...IF U WANT THE LATEST PHONE AND GADGETS THEN GET AN I PHONE OR SOME $500.PHONE THAT U THINK U NEED..TRACFONE WORKS FOR ME THO...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You could have gotten a lot more than 300 free extra minutes, if you'd taken advantage of the recent Target website triple-minute deal discussed on SlickDeals.

      People were getting 1,000 or 3,000 or even more (with TurkForum promo codes) free extra minutes/texts/MBs of data.

      Delete
  10. Customer service... I can't understand them and they can't fix their app that gives me my balance. Going elsewhere in a few days. Bye.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you using an old phone on Kit Kat 4.4 or something?
      The TracFone App has been fantastic for over 6 months. I've been trusting it to add all my Airtime/data cards for past 6 months & it's been flawless.

      Delete
  11. In regard to TF the service, I would say most of those haters are former users not familiar with the many significant improvements TF has made over the last 1 1/2 + years.
    That said, my pet peeve is their unwillingness to lower their data costs, if TW can offer 5GB rollover data for $10 they should at least be able to do half that for TF customers and secondly, to add reasonably priced minute only plans(cards)to their smart phone plan line up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's keeping you from moving to TW? Apples to oranges comparison. They're in the business to make money, not give away data.

      Delete
    2. Amen Brutha!

      Delete
    3. Ya right, you are all hot and bothered with TF profitability over a shift that would benefit you and everyone else if using the TF service.

      Your stance is pretty weak and it is not really an apples to oranges comparison, if TF Inc. can offer 5GB rollover for $10 on TW then they would be losing no more offering even half that data for the same cost on TF in comparison, other than the dollars they are bilking their current customers for.
      What TF Inc. is doing is just taking advantage of their TF service customers.
      It is also not only the TW sub that has bolstered the amount of data for their customers, so TF service is actually the holdout in regard to giving their customers a better value for their dollar.

      As far as switching, maybe one does want to switch to the VZW network and or maybe one does not need to pay for Unlimited Talk and Text.

      Delete
    4. Anon 11:15 wrote "What's keeping you from moving to TW?"

      I would assume that Anon 5:47 is a lite or medium user who doesn't want to pay a monthly phone bill. Instead he wants the pay-as-you-go freedom of Tracfone, which only requires payment after minutes/texts/data are used.

      Delete
    5. AnonymousApril 26, 2018 at 11:19 AM wrote
      "Ya right, you are all hot and bothered with TF profitability over a shift that would benefit you and everyone else if using the TF service."

      Do you go to restaurants and cherry-pick and item price out of an expensive combo meal and expect them to sell you that item individually at your calculated individual price list you're expecting with TracFone vs TW data prices? Maybe contact TracFone directly and ask them to lower the data price to what you are looking for and see how they respond :)

      Delete
    6. Anon 11:19 wrote "TF service is actually the holdout in regard to giving their customers a better value for their dollar."

      There's actually a theory on SlickDeals that TF is slowly experimenting with improving value (by giving more minutes/texts/data) -- and that they are testing it out with 'fake' glitches, like the triple-everything glitch on cards from Target's website.

      If more experiments like this give TF executives an idea of how many minutes/texts/data they need to offer at each price point ($9, $19, $29, $39, etc.), they will make that shift permanent, in order to keep customers.

      Delete
  12. At current burn rate Safe link will be close to 0 in 18 mo.

    Hoping you continued 50% declines in the future Slime. A business that is a prime illustration of that infamous P. T. Barnum attributed phrase.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "There's a $ucker born every minute".

      Yep, and anyone on Movil is just that. Don't worry, if you haven't been burnt, you will be one day.

      Delete
  13. Even though I'm a long time TracFone customer, I must admit their CS sucks based on reading the forums - especially when they steal balances from people transferring service between phones.

    I'm hesitant to recommend TracFone to people due to the potential of getting screwed by TracFone CS.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard about accounts getting screwed up even on their monthly plans, so it's safer to stay away from Trac if you care about keeping your number.

      Personally, I'm out thousands of minutes, messages and megabytes thanks to Big Slim, so I know first hand that it's not just trolling or FUD.

      And while I've given Cricket a second chance after a year of hating on them, I still won't trust Trac ever again, at least not until they offer premium customer service via US call centers to US customers on any monthly plan.

      Delete
    2. There's less chance (although not zero) of getting screwed while transfering Tracfone balances between phones if you:

      a) take a screenshot on the Tracfone website of remaining minutes, texts, and data immediately before the transfer

      b) do the transfer through chat

      c) when entering the chat, ask the rep to confirm the minutes, texts, and data on the account shown on the website

      d) after the chat rep completes the transfer, ask the rep to look up the minutes, texts, and data

      e) make sure the after and before numbers are the same, and complain if they are not

      f) escalate any discrepancies to their 305 area code executive resolutions department, and

      g) be ready to file complaints with the FCC, FTC, and state AG if you spend more than 2 hours trying to resolve major problems.

      All of this is a pain in the butt.

      Delete
  14. Simple Mobile a Tracfone brand is the top seller of smartphones and refill cards in Best Buy stores.

    ReplyDelete
Comment Page :


Comments must be approved before they will appear.