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Thread: Need Recommendation On CDMA Tracfone

  1. #1
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    Need Recommendation On CDMA Tracfone

    I have a Motorola 376G with DMFL. Phone suits my needs, but does not work at my home. I have to drive about a mile to get signal. It's a GSM phone and runs off AT&T.

    I'd like to get a CDMA Tracfone that runs off Verizon. Verizon works perfectly at my home; I know this because I bought a LG290C Saturday from StraightTalk at Walmart. Works beautifully at my home and runs off Verizon.

    I called Tracfone CS to get a recommendation on a phone that would work off Verizon in my Zip Code. The local retailers sell GSM phones exclusively.

    The CS answered by saying the Samsung t301 would run off Verizon in my Zip code. I am skeptical about this because the t301 at my local Kmart is the t301g, and I'm given to believe the "g" stands for GSM. If I bought that phone, which is on sale for $19.99 at Kmart with DMFL, I'm afraid I'd end up with yet another GSM phone that works on AT&T and thus would not work at my house.

    Kmart also says the LG290C -- the phone I purchased at Walmart Saturday for ST for $79.88 just because I knew it ran off Verizon and would work at my house -- also is on sale for $19.99 at Kmart. That's a $60 price difference for the same phone between Tracfone and StraightTalk, and the Tracfone version came with DMFL.

    I activated my new ST phone. It suits my needs perfectly and has five bars of signal at my house, compared to zero bars with my 376g phone, which is unusable at my house.

    Regardless, I'd prefer to get a CDMA Tracphone with DMFL that works on Verizon and thus would work at my home.

    My StraightTalk plan is the $30-a-month one. I'll never come close to using the allotment of 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts and 30 MB of data, so I'm overpaying even at $30 a month. I suspect the $30 plan is fantastic for many, many users; I'm just not in that customer profile.

    A Tracfone that runs off Verizon and carries DMFL is a perfect solution for me. On the low end it would save me $10 a month compared with ST and on the high end $20 a month because I'm a light talker and do very little texting.

    I'd appreciate some thoughts on the precise phone I should order from Tracfone or a retailer. I'd hate to end up with a second GSM phone.
    Last edited by ValleyGulch; 05-24-2010 at 09:45 AM.

  2. #2
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    G is for GSM, C is CDMA

    You can punch in a CDMA zip code on Trac website under "buy phones" such as 63552 (Macon, Mo) to see what CDMA phones are offered (pickins are slim). Use that zip code when purchasing but supply your real zip code at check out. They will ask you to confirm the difference in zip codes....just confirm it....



  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ValleyGulch
    I have a Motorola 376G with DMFL. Phone suits my needs, but does not work at my home. I have to drive about a mile to get signal. It's a GSM phone and runs off AT&T.

    I'd like to get a CDMA Tracfone that runs off Verizon. Verizon works perfectly at my home; I know this because I bought a LG290C Saturday from StraightTalk at Walmart. Works beautifully at my home and runs off Verizon.

    I called Tracfone CS to get a recommendation on a phone that would work off Verizon in my Zip Code. The local retailers sell GSM phones exclusively.

    The CS answered by saying the Samsung t301 would run off Verizon in my Zip code. I am skeptical about this because the t301 at my local Kmart is the t301g, and I'm given to believe the "g" stands for GSM. If I bought that phone, which is on sale for $19.99 at Kmart with DMFL, I'm afraid I'd end up with yet another GSM phone that works on AT&T and thus would not work at my house.

    Kmart also says the LG290C -- the phone I purchased at Walmart Saturday for ST for $79.88 just because I knew it ran off Verizon and would work at my house -- also is on sale for $19.99 at Kmart. That's a $60 price difference for the same phone between Tracfone and StraightTalk, and the Tracfone version came with DMFL.

    I activated my new ST phone. It suits my needs perfectly and has five bars of signal at my house, compared to zero bars with my 376g phone, which is unusable at my house.

    Regardless, I'd prefer to get a CDMA Tracphone with DMFL that works on Verizon and thus would work at my home.

    My StraightTalk plan is the $30-a-month one. I'll never come close to using the allotment of 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts and 30 MB of data, so I'm overpaying even at $30 a month. I suspect the $30 plan is fantastic for many, many users; I'm just not in that customer profile.

    A Tracfone that runs off Verizon and carries DMFL is a perfect solution for me. On the low end it would save me $10 a month compared with ST and on the high end $20 a month because I'm a light talker and do very little texting.

    I'd appreciate some thoughts on the precise phone I should order from Tracfone or a retailer. I'd hate to end up with a second GSM phone.
    1 - You are correct. The t301g is a GSM only phone.

    2 - Get the Trac LG290c phone. It is CDMA. But be careful. The Straight Talk LG290c ran on Verizon because Straight Talk is a Verizon-only service. But Trac can assign it to any CDMA it has an agreement with -- Verizon, US Cellular, etc.

    First get the Trac LG290c and activate it. (Avoid lower versions of the LG series because they do not have DMFL.) Then check back here and we can help you check whether it is indeed on Verizon. If not we can help you get it reassigned to Verizon.

    Welcome to HoFo.

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    Thanks, 25jive1. I'm just wanting to make sure the "c" phone I get will activate on Verizon. AT&T just doesn't cut it in my specific neighborhood. Verizon comes through perfectly.

    Wish I had never purchased the 376g GSM phone, although it does work just fine for my purposes as long as I'm not at my home. I'm going to end up with three phones, including the ST phone I just bought, which is an odd outcome in itself.

    A year ago I had zero cell phones.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by annepani
    1 - You are correct. The t301g is a GSM only phone.

    2 - Get the Trac LG290c phone. It is CDMA. But be careful. The Straight Talk LG290c ran on Verizon because Straight Talk is a Verizon-only service. But Trac can assign it to any CDMA it has an agreement with -- Verizon, US Cellular, etc.

    First get the Trac LG290c and activate it. (Avoid lower versions of the LG series because they do not have DMFL.) Then check back here and we can help you check whether it is indeed on Verizon. If not we can help you get it reassigned to Verizon.

    Welcome to HoFo.
    Thanks, annepani. I appreciate your note and the welcome to HoFo.

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    Hope I am not hijacking ValleyGulch's thread. If If want to do the same, can the CDMA phone be activated first before the transfer? Like to test out the phone before doing the actual transfer/port.
    Thanks.

  7. #7
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    Yes, and I would call the corporate CS and insist that it be activated on Verizon. That way, the browser and picture messaging can be tested.

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    I've ordered the LG290C from Tracfone for $29.99 with DMFL. Although Kmart was $10 cheaper because the model is on sale there, I decided to go through Tracfone because of a disclaimer on the Kmart site:

    "The model shipped to you may vary based upon the technology within your area," the Kmart site said. I did not want to take a chance that Kmart would send me a GSM phone.

    Tracfone automatically applied a coupon code for free, three-day ground shipping through FedEx. That saved me $4.95 -- and I didn't have to do anything to get the free shipping. In fact, I was expecting to pay the $4.95, and Tracfone deducted it without asking.

    I'll report back in when I receive the phone.

    Thanks for walking me through this.

  9. #9
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    Tracfone website allows you to order a phone based on where is will be used the most or where it will be used after being given by you to someone as a gift. A store will not allow you to do this.

  10. #10
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    Does anyone know where a full user manual for the LG 290c can be found? My check of the web has led me nowhere.

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    NOTE: I also posted this in the StraightTalk forum, thinking it might be useful there, as well.

    StraightTalk says it will release "new service plans that will give you even more wireless flexibility," according to an email I received this morning.

    Pricing was not discussed in the email, but StraightTalk said it "soon" would add a "My Account" feature described as a "personal gateway to manage your account effortlessly."

    Could this mean there will be a plan or plan priced lower than the current $30 plan?

    That would be good news for a user such as myself; I'll never come close to the 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts and 30 MB of data allotted under the $30 plan.

    It would seem that a lower-priced plan is in the offing because ST already has priced the "unlimited" plan at $45 -- unless it also plans to add a higher-priced plan that would include tethering.

    Only a few days ago I added ST because I knew it operated on Verizon and I could not get a signal at my home on my TracFone 376G, which operated on AT&T.

    And yesterday I ordered a LG290C from Tracfone -- the exact model I bought for ST -- because the TF LG290C came with DMFL and was better suited for my usage pattern than the ST phone. As long as the TF would get activated on Verizon, I'd have a phone that would work at my home and would cost less than $30 a month.

    I'm now thinking I might not activate the TF when received -- in favor of waiting awhile to see if ST is coming out with a sub-$30 plan or some kind of plan that would permit users to keep the ST phones active for less than $30 a month.

  12. #12
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    UPDATE:

    I received my new LG290C phone via FedEx from TracFone today. As annepani advised above, I activated the phone.

    I am happy to report that the phone, which is CDMA, activated seamlessly. I am equally happy to report that the process of transferring my minutes from my 376G phone, which is GSM and operated via AT&T, occurred seamlessly through Tracfone CS. I now have a Tracfone that works at my house!

    Some things of note:

    * I believe the CDMA phone defaulted to activating on Verizon. I've reached this conclusion based on the signal strength and the fact I did not have to go through Tracfone customer service to activate the phone. My new LG290C has five bars; the old 376G GSM phone, which used AT&T, had zero. I had to contact customer service every time I bought minutes for the 376G because the phone could not update owing to the lack of a signal. The 376G did not work at my home.

    * The Tracfone LG290C came with 10 minutes loaded good for 60 days. When I activated it, the time doubled to 20 minutes.

    * The Tracfone version of the LG290C is slightly different than the LG290C from StraightTalk. The LG logo is near the top (above the screen) of the ST phone; the LG logo is below the screen of the Tracfone version.

    * Tracfone told me today that I could not get online with this phone because of my location. However, I tested the browser and was online immediately. I'll rarely if ever use this function, but it's nice to know it's there.
    * I got the briefest of scares when the Tracfone rep started talking about sending me a SIM card for the 1290C during our discussion on transferring the minutes from the old phone. I said right away that the 1290C was a CDMA phone and already was working perfectly, that I didn't need TF to send me anything and that I didn't believe a SIM card even would work on this phone. The rep dropped all talk about SIM cards after that. She was very polite.
    * The reason I believe the phone defaulted to Verizon in my Zip code is that AT&T has no coverage at my house and U.S. Cellular has no footprint here on its coverage map.

    Because the 1290C has DMFL, I might get a year's card for $99.99. The card comes with 400 minutes, plus 250 bonus minutes when entering a coupon code. This would give me 1,050 minutes, plus the minutes carried over from my 376G. These minutes likely would be more than enough to carry me though the year. My average monthly cost for a cell phone that actually works at my house is less than $12.

    I don't know what I'll do with my StraightTalk 1290C; I may end up being a ST customer for only 30 days unless ST comes up with a plan suited for my usage profile and priced less than $12 a month.

    TracFone was just a better deal for me with the 1290C because of my profile. The Tracfone 1290C was a lot cheaper than the ST version and did not commit me to $30 a month to keep the phone active.

    So, I wanted to let you guys know -- and also to thank you for your comments. This purchase did prove seamless. I feel better knowing I have a phone that works at home. My experience with the 376G was not seamless. I was unhappy that the phone did not work at my house and a little frustrated that Tracfone did not recommend a solution. All in all, the Tracfone reps have been unfailingly courteous to me, but they never did solve the problem of the 376G not working at my house.

    Any comments on purchasing strategies for minutes would be appreciated. There might be ways I have not considered to lower my average monthly cost.

    I'm sticking with TF. I think I could save a bit more via one of the Sprint plans, but Sprint does not have a good footprint in my region. Verizon, on the other hand, does -- and that's why I'm a happy camper today.

  13. #13
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    ^ That last line about Sprint's lackluster footprint is why I use Tracfone/Net10 myself. More than likely the phone will work, even if it is roaming. If I want to carry one of each GSM and CDMA, then it is 99.999% guaranteed that one of the phones will work (barring those nasty "personality updates").

    $12 a month isn't bad for 1050 minutes and a year's service including the phone (minus phone it comes to $8.33 a month or 9.5cpm). I pay $15 a month on Net10 for 1800 annual minutes. Even my sister can usually stay close to that usage pattern (I will probably have to add one extra 300 minute card a year on her phone, I don't even use 1800 minutes a year so they build up on my phone). $180-$210 yearly is a lot better than the $540 a year that my sister and mother used to pay on Cingular for 450 minutes and no data or texting!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ValleyGulch
    UPDATE:

    I received my new LG290C phone via FedEx from TracFone today. As annepani advised above, I activated the phone.

    I am happy to report that the phone, which is CDMA, activated seamlessly. I am equally happy to report that the process of transferring my minutes from my 376G phone, which is GSM and operated via AT&T, occurred seamlessly through Tracfone CS. I now have a Tracfone that works at my house!

    Some things of note:

    * I believe the CDMA phone defaulted to activating on Verizon. I've reached this conclusion based on the signal strength and the fact I did not have to go through Tracfone customer service to activate the phone.

    * Tracfone told me today that I could not get online with this phone because of my location. However, I tested the browser and was online immediately. I'll rarely if ever use this function, but it's nice to know it's there.

    * The reason I believe the phone defaulted to Verizon in my Zip code is that AT&T has no coverage at my house and U.S. Cellular has no footprint here on its coverage map.
    Hi ValleyGulch and welcome back.

    Glad things have worked so well this far. Now please do one last thing for me to confirm that you are indeed on Verizon:

    Go to http://wirelessamberalerts.org enter your number and click on Submit. The system will respond with your underlying carrier. Hopefully it says Verizon.

    Once again, welcome to HoFo.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by annepani
    Hi ValleyGulch and welcome back.

    Glad things have worked so well this far. Now please do one last thing for me to confirm that you are indeed on Verizon:

    Go to http://wirelessamberalerts.org enter your number and click on Submit. The system will respond with your underlying carrier. Hopefully it says Verizon.

    Once again, welcome to HoFo.
    Hi annepani,

    Yes, it says Verizon. Thank you. Appreciate your help.

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