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Thread: Reactivating T-Mobile TracFone using same SIM card

  1. #1
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    Reactivating T-Mobile TracFone using same SIM card

    Has anyone been successful reactivating a TracFone, using the same SIM card long (months) after the airtime expired?

    I know it is possible to change the phone number on an activated SIM card, as T-Mobile directly, once did this for a prepaid phone when it was erroneously activated with the wrong area code. They sent a new phone number to it, over the air, while using the same SIM card.

    A T-Mobile TracFone expired close to a year ago and am curious as to whether adding a new airtime card and using the same SIM, would reactivate the phone, as long as the phone is listed in your account on their web site.

  2. #2
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    No, you need to activate the phone in order to add airtime. When you try to activate, you will be told (either by the CSR or the online system) that you need a new SIM, which they will send you for free.

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    It would seem you could if you were re-activating with the exact same phone number that was on the old SIM originally. As Millept said, there is no way they will even try it for you. I have never heard a reason for why this cannot be done. No one seems to know the details.

    Can anyone report any confirmed unusual experiences when re-activating?

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    After a certain number of days of not paying for the phone, Tracfone reclaims that phone number and can issue it to another person. You will need a new sim card and will probably receive a new phone number as well if it's been a while since the phone was used.
    Sometimes what "seems" reasonable doesn't work in the real world.

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    TF probably doesn't want their CS people to know the procedure for changing the phone number on a sim. There was a report a long time ago that a high-level person did do a change for someone. There might be too much risk of mischief if the procedure got out. It is worth the expense of sending a new sim and keeping some info secret. In the past, there was some mischief with CS people getting their hands on peoples' credit card numbers. I haven't heard of this problem lately, but you can't be too careful when dealing with the help. I don't know why someone would mess with someone's sim. But I'm sure the system now keeps track of whose computer did what.

  6. #6
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    Tracfone number

    Quote Originally Posted by tracfonecruiser View Post
    After a certain number of days of not paying for the phone, Tracfone reclaims that phone number and can issue it to another person. You will need a new sim card and will probably receive a new phone number as well if it's been a while since the phone was used.
    Sometimes what "seems" reasonable doesn't work in the real world.
    Tracfone did not issue me my new number. I transferred my number using number portability. So, why would they not give my number back to my next user?

    Oh, and also, I have had my phone expired for about 2 weeks and it was reactivated. I live in Mexico and am not always in the US to complete the transaction, but I do buy additional credits and they seem to give them to my phone when I return to the US and turn on the phone.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by delmaracer View Post
    1. Tracfone did not issue me my new number. I transferred my number using number portability. So, why would they not give my number back to my next user?
    2. Oh, and also, I have had my phone expired for about 2 weeks and it was reactivated. I live in Mexico and am not always in the US to complete the transaction, but I do buy additional credits and they seem to give them to my phone when I return to the US and turn on the phone.
    Okeh.
    1. If your original number was ported from, say, ATT to TF .... when it expires at TF, ATT reacquires it. TF can't give it back to you.
    2. This probably confuses "expired" and "grace" periods. When your airtime "expires," the phone stops working. After 60 days (of "grace") your account is canceled, your SIM deactivated and your number given up.
    Regards, FJ

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