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Thread: Tracfone: Does TMFL transfer when buying a used TMFL phone?

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    Question Tracfone: Does TMFL transfer when buying a used TMFL phone?

    Hi guys. I know the minutes will not transfer from someone else's account. I just need to know if I buy a used TMFL phone, and transfer my Net10 phone number over, will I be able to get triple minutes when I buy new cards? Or does TMFL actually require the purchase of a brand new phone for each phone number / account holder?

    I've read through some of the fine print and I didn't see anything that addressed used phones and TMFL.

    I know this is probably a bit premature, since TMFL is pretty new, there may not be any used ones out there, but even if I have to buy new to get going, I'll want to buy a used one for a backup.

  2. #2
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    First of all, only Tracfone offers some TMFL phones, not Net10.

    As far as I understand it, the TFML comes with the phone and cannot be transferred to another phone, but you might want to check with CS because I have no first-hand knowledge of this.

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    Some/many phones come with DMFL built in. I think.
    Others come with a card for DMFL.

    I have the same question. If a new phone is purchased without DMFL AND and DMFL card is applied, THEN, that phone is sold/given to someone else does the DMFL continue? What if phone had a card applied for DMFL and the time and units expired? Then sold/given. Does that phone still have DMFL? In other words, a phone is purchased new without DMFL and a DMFL card is applied. Then that phone sits unused for a year. Time expires on phone. If the new owner reactivates the phone with a new number/account, are the DMFL still on phone or does 2nd owner need to purchase another/new DMFL card?

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    Yes, the DMFL (even if applied later with a card) or TMFL stays with the phone. It is tied to the phone
    serial no. ; you cannot transfer this feature to another phone. I have had several phones run out of
    time/minutes and sit in a drawer. Later when I have reactivated the DMFL remained on the phone.

    Have no experience with TMFL, but assume it will be the same.

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    Ok, great, thanks guys, that's what I needed to know! Now I just need to get lucky and find two used TMFL phones... one for me and one for pops!

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    Question

    You know what, let me ask something else here along the same lines. I understand that you must have either a DMFL or TMFL phone, or buy the DMFL addon card, to get the double and triple minutes, and that it is apparently tied to the phone serial number.

    ...but,

    Let's say, for example, your DMFL phone, whether built in or with a DMFL card, gets broken, and you take the sim card out and place it into an old SMFL phone. You're supposed to be able to do that, right? Just swap the sim card and you can instantly use the new phone? But, will the double/triple minutes that you purchased legitimately on the DMFL/TMFL phone transfer to the SMFL phone, or will they be instantly cut in half or by 2/3'rds.

    For example, if I bought a 1500 minute card and applied it to my DMFL phone, making it 3000 minutes, and then I move the sim card into an old SMFL phone, will it still read 3000, or be instantly halved to 1500?

    One reason I am asking this is not just to be able to use a back up phone, but because it would be nice not to be stuck using a phone that I don't really like. My dad would much prefer to use a flip phone, but you can't get TMFL on them, but if he could buy the TMFL phone, add minutes to it, and then pop the sim card into a flip phone, that would be great. I mean, after all, Tracfone wouldn't be losing any money that way; they'd still be selling the more expensive TMFL phone, plus selling a cheaper phone along with it!
    Last edited by spaceboy909; 10-16-2011 at 07:48 PM. Reason: typo

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    Sim cards cannot be swapped between handsets. Even when you buy a brand-new phone with a brand-new sim, Tracfone knows that the two go together. The red card in the package has both the sim and phone serial numbers on it. They are associated together in the system. And especially when you power on the phone, the phone's serial number gets actually written onto the sim, so you for sure can't swap it out. If you put it into another handset, you get Sim Rejected. If you put another phone's brand-new never-powered-on sim into another handset, it won't instantly say Sim Rejected, because it hasn't been marked yet, but the phone will not operate with it. Sims purchased on ebay, etc., may or may not work, depending if they were ever associated with a handset.

    The DMFL/TMFL status of a phone is tied to the phone's serial number. It doesn't evaporate when the phone changes owners or goes through a deactivation/reactivation. Adding a DMFL/TMFL pin is the same as if the phone was born that way. Sometimes there is a problem with Tracfone's record-keeping, so make sure to keep your evidence.

    The minute tank is part of the handset. The sim has nothing to do with it. On Tracfones, the sim does not identify a money account like it does on other systems. The handset identifies the account but Tracfone has no idea how many minutes you have left because the handset does not transmit that information. That's why you have to tell the csr the parameter values yourself. If you have no way to access the parameters, Tracfone will have to research your call records, which takes weeks, and you have no recourse if they figure your minutes wrong. The safest thing is to periodically write down your parameters 30 and 0 so you have some record of them. You cannot just say you had x minutes left.

    You can certainly use a TMFL phone to maximize a minute purchase and then transfer the entire amount to another phone. The total doesn't change. You bought the minutes fair and square, and that's how it stays. However, you do have to transfer the entire airtime tank of a phone, not just a portion of it. Then the donor phone goes inactive, because no days or minutes are left.
    You cannot transfer starter minutes, but any minutes added in conjunction with an airtime purchase or comped by cs are ok. The starter days will transfer, too. If you want to reactivate a GSM phone, you may need a new sim. Tracfone isn't totally honest about whether this is truly necessary. It is believed that sim reprogramming is possible, but since hardly anyone there knows how to do it, it is easier to start over with a new sim. Just don't be in a hurry, because delivery can take a few days.

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    Lisme: Thanks for all of that detailed info, that really cleared it up.

    That's a real bummer that Tracfone does it that way. It would be so much better if you could simply 'open a TMFL account' by buying a TMFL phone, but then swap phones however you choose, since Tracfone would not lose any money that way. I think I'll email them the suggestion, but, I doubt my tiny lil' voice will be heard by them.

    So, if I understood you correctly, I could technically purchase TMFL minutes on a TMFL phone, and then essentially do an 'account transfer' to a non-TMFL phone, but, if I needed more TMFL minutes, I would have to transfer the account back to the TMFL phone to get them, which, would be, a royal PITA, of course, and there's no way I'd mess with that.

    I suppose though, if one had enough patience for it, and talked a ton inside of a year, you could buy a bunch of 1500/4500 min. cards at once, enough to cover you for a whole year, then make the transfer to a different phone, and you'd only have to do the double transfer once a year!
    Last edited by spaceboy909; 10-17-2011 at 03:31 PM. Reason: typo

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