Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16

Thread: "No Service" on my Tracfone

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Woodland, CA
    Posts
    25
    Phone
    LG800
    Carrier
    Tracfone
    Feedback Score
    0

    "No Service" on my Tracfone

    I live in the Sacramento Valley of California only 15 miles northwest of Sacramento. I have a TracFone Motorola W376G which seems to get poor (or no service) in most places. If I get more than 50 miles from home I usually get "No Service" even when I'm still in the valley. My service also drops when I drive into the foothills on the west side of the Sierra Nevada mountains just 15 miles east of Sacramento. I also get the "No Service" message on my phone when I walk into the Costco or WalMart stores right here in town.

    I've sent a couple of e-mails to TracFone customer support but all they do is reply with a standard form letter telling me what a great coverage area they have.

    One of my co-workers has a TracFone that's similar to mine but it does not have the camera or blue tooth capabilities and he gets great connections all over the western United States. He's only found one place where he had no service in the middle of Nevada.

    Is there anything I can do to my phone to improve my connection? I like the phone and would hate to give it up, but it's pretty useless for me. The main reason I got it was for emergencies while traveling, but it seems I'll have to limit my trips to 50 miles or less if I need to use it.

    I also have a Nextel cell phone that's no better than the TracFone. In fact they both display "No Service" in all of the same areas where I travel. I bought the TracFone because I was very unhappy with the coverage area for the Nextel but now it appears I've wasted my money on the TracFone.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    132
    Carrier
    H2O, Tracfone
    Feedback Score
    0
    I wonder if switching SIM Cards is the answer? From what I've learned from others here at these forums is that Tracfone sometimes sells even the same model GSM-type phone, but with different SIM Cards, which essentially means that if the phone includes a P4 Sim Card that it will primarily use an AT&T network, and those with a P5 Sim will primarily use a T-mobile network. And that while there will sometimes be roaming between AT&T and T-Mobile networked Tracfones, that the extent to which the phones will roam to each other towers (SIM4 vs SIM5) isn't exactly known. (Or something like that???) So maybe your buddy's phone uses primarilly T-mobile towers and your phone primarilly ATT, or vice versa. If so, then maybe switching SIMs might help? Maybe. Not positive.

    I suppose the other more obvious potential resolution would be to just dump your current phone and try to find one exactly like your buddy's, model and SIM-card type and all.

    Good luck!!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Western Pa.
    Posts
    1,805
    Phones
    w370
    LG 200C
    Kyocera 126C
    Carriers
    Net10
    Feedback Score
    0
    Rob3235 has the right idea. You need to determine which carrier the phones are with. Check your sim card in your phone. You can look at the sim itself or just check the sim card number in the prepaid menu.
    The card will have a designation C4 (Cingular/At&t) or T5 (T-Mobile).
    sim number identification
    At&t sims have 890141 as the first 6 digits.
    T-Mo sims have 890126 as the first 6 digit.

    If you and your friends phones are on different carriers then you should get Tracfone to switch you to the other carrier. If the phones are currently on the same carrier then it must be your phone that is performing poorly. I would tend to bet on the different carriers.

    The phones should roam to each other networks but only if it cannot receive a signal from it's native provider. You have already said the phone displays no service so that means no native signal. I would think the phone should roam to the other carrier, if they are both there.

    The at&t coverage map and the T-Mobile coverage map both show about the same coverage.

    Normally we recommend At&t over T-Mobile even when coverage is about the same. Let us know about the sim cards.
    There's no present. There's only the immediate future and the recent past.George Carlin

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Woodland, CA
    Posts
    25
    Phone
    LG800
    Carrier
    Tracfone
    Feedback Score
    0
    The SIM has a C4 printed on it and the number starts with 890141. If it's an AT&T card I should be getting very good connections because they are one of the better carriers in California (Verizon is probably the best). I don't think Cingular or T-Mobile are as popular around here.

    I sent another e-mail to Tracfone customer service yesterday and received one of their typical form letter responses this morning. Here's a quote from their letter:

    "In order to better assist you, please contact us by phone from the area
    where you do not have service. You can reach one of our customer care
    representatives at 1-800-867-7183."

    Don't know how I could possibly do that because I'll be sitting in a campground where there is no other phone available to call from and I certainly can't call from a phone that has "No Service".

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Woodland, CA
    Posts
    25
    Phone
    LG800
    Carrier
    Tracfone
    Feedback Score
    0
    I won't see my co-worker until next week because he's semi-retired and only works two days a week, but a few months ago he said his Tracfone was an older model so I suspect it is a CDMA phone.

    Does anyone know if there is a CDMA flip phone available from Tracfone that has blue tooth and camera that would work in zip code 95695? It looks like Verizon is the CDMA carrier in this area and they have a much better coverage area than AT&T or T-Mobile.

    jimates, I spent a couple of hours reading your post at fatwallet (I think that was the name) and you've got a ton of great information on Tracfone there.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    75
    Feedback Score
    0
    Your ZIP is in an area that has both ATT and Tmobile coverage on tracfones. But if it is in a rural or hilly area the CDMA phones may get better reception. A few months ago I was at a state park near Helen, GA with a group of friends. It was a rural mountain area. The only phones that worked were Verizon. The phones that didn't work were ATT, Tmobile, Sprint.

    Or you may just be in an area with that dreaded dead zone that the Verizon commercials warn about other carriers' products having.

    To see the CDMA phones go here:
    http://www.tracfone-orders.com/bpdir...view&market=CO

    There's not much of an offering there currently.

    If you order a phone you need to use a zip code that only uses CDMA tracfones. Try 59801 Misoula, MT
    You can activate it anywhere that it can pick up a signal, so don't worry about ordering with a different zip code. If there's a Verizon signal where you are it will activate.

    Activate the phone with the Zip Code where you will use the phone if you want a local phone number. Try it with the free minutes. If it works then you can call Tracfone and transfer your minutes from the other phone. If you want to transfer the phone number you may be without service for a few days.

    When you do the transfer they may ask you to enter code numbers on both phones and give code numbers to them. It is much easier if you call from someone else's phone or a landline.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Woodland, CA
    Posts
    25
    Phone
    LG800
    Carrier
    Tracfone
    Feedback Score
    0
    You're right about the CDMA offerings. Only two phones. I might give that LG200C a try in May. For $19.99 I don't have much to lose if I don't like it. I won't be doing any traveling until May so I wouldn't have any way of testing it now. As I stated before I got the cell phone to use in emergencies while traveling but forgot to state most of our travels are in rural or hilly areas. We go camping and fishing several times a year. We also own quarter midget race cars and some of the tracks we race at are several miles out of town.

    I was taking another look at the coverage maps for ATT and T-Mobile this morning and it looks like T-Mobile "MAY" have slightly better coverage in Northern California. If I get a chance next week I may call Tracfone and request a new SIM for my phone.

    Yesterday I was watching the bars on my phone while sitting in my office and I consistently had 4 or 5 bars. Today, sitting in the same office & same chair, I have 1 or 2 bars......... Go figure!!!!!

    If I get a T-Mobile SIM for my phone and change it over would it be very difficult to go back to the AT&T SIM if I don't like T-Mobile?

    By the way, I'm not too concerned about keeping the same phone number if I change phones. I've only given my # to about 6 people and hardly ever receive calls. I usually use my Nextel phone during the week since my employer provides it, and then I use the Tracfone on weekend.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Woodland, CA
    Posts
    25
    Phone
    LG800
    Carrier
    Tracfone
    Feedback Score
    0
    I saw my co-workers phone today. It is a Motorola W370 and it has the C4 SIM card like mine. He was up in the mountains this weekend and got a great signal everywhere he went. In my office he had 5 bars showing on the display. I usually only have 2 bars. I live just one mile from my office and I get zero bars in my house.

    At any rate, I think we can rule out the SIM cards. The only difference between his phone and mine is that he does not have the camera or blue tooth, I do.

    Is it possible that I just got a bad phone?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    2,811
    Carrier
    PagePlus - No Dealer Required
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by modmidget
    I saw my co-workers phone today. It is a Motorola W370 and it has the C4 SIM card like mine. He was up in the mountains this weekend and got a great signal everywhere he went. In my office he had 5 bars showing on the display. I usually only have 2 bars. I live just one mile from my office and I get zero bars in my house.

    At any rate, I think we can rule out the SIM cards. The only difference between his phone and mine is that he does not have the camera or blue tooth, I do.

    Is it possible that I just got a bad phone?

    I had eluded to this in another thread: My son's and my wife's w370's will often have more signal bars than my w376. Sometimes I have none and they have 2-3. All on att. My first w376 was exactly the same,
    Having to wait even an hour to get a prepaid wireless plan pin from an online dealer or pin seller is NOT great, good or even mediocre customer service when you consider this instant internet age we live in. Why let anyone convince you otherwise? Understaffed is what it's called.(Two is not a team)

    I recently tested the "don't mention a PP Dealer by name" rule here on PP Hofo......trust me, it is still in effect - got me a 7 day ban.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Woodland, CA
    Posts
    25
    Phone
    LG800
    Carrier
    Tracfone
    Feedback Score
    0
    I just called Tracfone tech support. They are sending me a new SIM card. If that doesn't fix the problem they will send me a new phone.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Woodland, CA
    Posts
    25
    Phone
    LG800
    Carrier
    Tracfone
    Feedback Score
    0
    Well, the new SIM card didn't help. I'm still getting very poor connections. Yesterday I was sitting in my car in the parking lot at my office and had no signal. Also lost the signal when I walked into Wal-Mart Sunday afternoon. I called the Tracfone support # and got into an argument with the support person. She kept telling me I needed to go to the location where I had no signal then call them so they could trouble shoot the problem. I kept telling her there IS NO other phone to call from in the parking lot but she didn't really care. After more than 20 minutes on the phone with her I finally just hung up because we were getting nowhere. Then I called the Florida office and the woman had me key in several long strings of numbers to reprogram the phone. Don't know if that helped or not because I'm sitting in my office right now and I'm watching the connections bars go from 5 bars to 1 bar to 4 bars to 1 bar to 3 bars to 5 bars and on and on and on.

    Last week the support guy I talked to said that if the new SIM card didn't fix the problem they would send me a new phone. Today the woman in Florida said they would not send a new phone because they can't guarantee good connections and she doesn't think there is anything wrong with the phone.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    2,811
    Carrier
    PagePlus - No Dealer Required
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by modmidget
    Last week the support guy I talked to said that if the new SIM card didn't fix the problem they would send me a new phone. Today the woman in Florida said they would not send a new phone because they can't guarantee good connections and she doesn't think there is anything wrong with the phone.

    Call them back and simply tell them that "the lcd screen is turning off on it's own". "Intermittent lcd display". "Goes blank quite often".

    Why intermittent? Well that way if they happen to check out the fone and it works they wont quibble about the replacement. They'll think that it just happens to be working then and could go out at any moment.I don't think they even bother with checking them out anyways.

    They will send you a new fone. Don't think about it as lying.....think about it as getting them to do what they should have done in the first place.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    California
    Posts
    183
    Phones
    Samsung T-451c
    Samsung R451c (for now)
    Motorola W376 (retired)
    Carriers
    ST
    before that, Tracfone
    Feedback Score
    0

    thats strange..

    I have a W376 with an ATT sim that always works GREAT in sacramento. No problems, ever. before that, I had a w370 that also worked great there. I go there a lot, (am going there next week)...I dont know what to tell you...
    [1 bar??...only ONE BAR of Signal????...but it's a TRACFONE!!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    3,696
    Phones
    Samsung T201G
    Motorola W376
    BlackBerry 8703e
    Carriers
    AT&T (Tracfone / Net10)
    Feedback Score
    0
    I have noticed that Motorola phones have been declining slowly in signal quality (from experience and what I see here). My V170 (an older model) pulls in signal from almost anywhere (my C139, based on the V170 but in bar form was also excellent). My C261 is good but many times lags by about one bar and in low signal areas is somewhat choppy. The W370 is based on the C261 but in clamshell form. The newest model, the W376, is complained about on here almost daily regarding signal quality. Several have compared it with a W370 and said that that phone is much better in the signal department than the newer W376. I wonder if Motorola is cheapening the quality of its phones in hopes that the people that buy them live in the city where anything will work. Please comment.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Woodland, CA
    Posts
    25
    Phone
    LG800
    Carrier
    Tracfone
    Feedback Score
    0
    I found some other web sites with W376 reviews and it's beginning to look like my problem is pretty common. One guy said he got his W376 replaced twice by Tracfone and they (3 of them) all worked about the same. He had weak signals or no service at all. I was thinking about trashing this phone and buying the new LG600, but the reviews I found say that phone doesn't receive signals as well as the W376, so I'll forget that idea.

    I was looking for a phone that would work a lot better than my Nextel, and after researching all of the possibilities last year I was positive Tracfone was the way to go. Boy, what a disappointment. The Tracfone doesn't work as well as the Nextel even though the Tracfone coverage maps show better coverage than Nextel.

    The one thing everyone seems to agree on is that the W370 pulls in much weaker signals than most of the other phones. I guess that's why my co-worker always has a signal on his.

    By the way, I have a friend that sells all kinds of stuff at flea markets and he had a bunch of those gold colored, stick on, internal cell phone antennas for sale at $5.00 each. I told him they were a joke and I refused to buy one from him, so he gave it to me. I know they are a fake and don't really work but since it has been lying in my desk drawer for nearly 5 years I decided to stick it in the W376 this morning. The phone has not dropped below 2 bars or lost a connection all day. It does fluctuate from 5 bars to 2 bars and then back to 5 bars, but at least it seems to have a study connection. GO FIGURE!!!

    icefire, like I said in my first post, I'm 15 miles northwest of Sacramento and I must be in a fringe area but if I head east out of Sacramento I start losing my sign at Folsom (also about 15 miles from Sacramento) and get no signal at all by the time I get to the Placerville area. I've never seen this phone go into roaming mode.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Bookmarks