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Thread: Purchasing a CDMA phone in a GSM area

  1. #1
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    Purchasing a CDMA phone in a GSM area

    I live near Sacramento, CA and the only Tracfone cell phones we can purchase here are GSM. I've read that the national coverage area for CDMA phones is much better, so I'm interested in getting an LG505C. If I purchase that phone will I be able to activate it in my area with my current Tracfone telephone number? I have a Tracfone Lg800 which seems to be a nice phone but I'm a little disappointed in the coverage area. I don't get a signal in places where I did get a signal with my Tracfone Motorala w376g.

    So...... will Tracfone allow me to activate the CDMA phone with my ph # and transfer my minutes (I have more than 1400 minutes)?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by modmidget View Post
    1. I'm interested in getting an LG505C. If I purchase that phone will I be able to activate it in my area with my current Tracfone telephone number?
    2. So...... will Tracfone allow me to activate the CDMA phone with my ph # and transfer my minutes (I have more than 1400 minutes)?
    Okeh ...
    1. Yes
    2. Yes, again. The minutes and active date transfer if these are "boughten" minutes ... any "promo" minutes will not.
    Regards, FJ

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    Shouldn't be a problem. Many Tracfone users have bought CDMA phones to use in GSM areas... including me. You can usually find CDMA Tracfones at Walmarts in rural areas. Tracfone may question why you want to activate one in a GSM covered zip code... but many have successfully did it.

    Sent from my SGH-T959V using HowardForums
    Joplin T-Mobile

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    Quote Originally Posted by modmidget View Post
    I live near Sacramento, CA and the only Tracfone cell phones we can purchase here are GSM. I'm interested in getting an LG505C. If I purchase that phone will I be able to activate it in my area?
    Do you have Verizon in your area? You never mentioned that explicitly.

    The LG 505C is a $90 phone. It is doubtful that a rural Walmart or any Walmart will be stocking a Tracfone in that price range. Net10 and Straight Talk, yes, but probably not the Tracfone version. You can get it from tracfone.com by using a CDMA zip code. And it will activate fine providing there is a Verizon tower within range when you activate.

    I am in an area that Tracfone defines as ATT but there are plenty of Verizon towers around me and my LG 505C activated just fine.

    When you transfer the 1400 minutes you will have to do that on the phone with Customer Service. The automated system can only transfer a max of 1100 or 1200 minutes. That also should not be a problem.

  5. #5
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    Thank you for the replies. I probably don't have more than 120 minutes from promo codes so that will not be a problem.

    We do have Verizon in our area and nearly everywhere we go. I'll use a Tennessee zip code to order the phone. A friend lives in TN and he is in a CDMA area.

    Thanks again. I'll order the phone later today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by modmidget View Post
    Thank you for the replies. I probably don't have more than 120 minutes from promo codes so that will not be a problem. We do have Verizon in our area and nearly everywhere we go. I'll use a Tennessee zip code to order the phone. A friend lives in TN and he is in a CDMA area. Thanks again. I'll order the phone later today.
    Do you know about bigcrumbs.com? They are giving 21% off tracfone.com purchases if you go through them.

    Start at bigcrumbs.com (not tracfone.com), Search 'tracfone', and continue to tracfone.com from within bigcrumbs.com. Works great.

    Post back here if you need help navigating.

  7. #7
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    I had never heard of bigcrumbs.com so I went there to check it out. I managed to get to Tracfone but could not find the phone I want. I'm only interested in the LG505c.

    Thanks for the link. I'll do some more browsing there later today.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by modmidget View Post
    I had never heard of bigcrumbs.com so I went there to check it out. I managed to get to Tracfone but could not find the phone I want. I'm only interested in the LG505c. Thanks for the link. I'll do some more browsing there later today.
    Before you begin, go to tracfone.com and verify that it still brings up CDMA phones for your friend's TN zip code. Tracfone has reclassified its markets lately and many zip codes that used to be CDMA are now ATT. When you confirm that the TN zip brings up CDMA phones, then start over at bigcrumbs.com.

    bigcrumbs.com > Search 'tracfone'
    Retailer Results > Shop Now
    Click either Login or No Thanks I Just Want to Shop!
    The phones don't matter, just click on 'Buy Now' and enter your GSM zip code (you need to use a GSM zip code to get past this page)
    This brings up the phone you clicked on. Ignore it.
    Click on Buy Phones in the upper left
    Enter the CDMA zip code Click Continue and confirm on the next page click Yes
    This takes you to the regular CDMA page and you buy the LG 505C from here

    Note 1: When you fill out the order info, remember to change any leftover CDMA zip codes to be your zip code

    Note 2: You get your cashback automatically from bigcrumbs in about 6 weeks or so. They give you info about this on their website.
    Last edited by annepani; 10-09-2012 at 03:45 PM.

  9. #9
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    OK annepani, I followed your instructions exactly and the phone has been ordered. With luck it will be delivered on Friday but the order process did not ask me anything about Paypal. Does the order process automatically check for a Paypal account based on my e-mail address for the 21% cash back? I've only used Paypal a few times and I'm not real familiar with how that works.

    Thanks much for the link and instructions. If everything works out ok I'll have the new phone for about $70.00. I sure hope it has a better coverage area than my LG800 GSM phone. My wife and I were camping in a couple of places in the Sierra mountains this summer where the only cell phone connectivity was Verizon and we needed to call home. Had to drive a few miles and buy a calling card to use a pay phone.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by modmidget View Post
    OK annepani, I followed your instructions exactly and the phone has been ordered. With luck it will be delivered on Friday but the order process did not ask me anything about Paypal. Does the order process automatically check for a Paypal account based on my e-mail address for the 21% cash back? I've only used Paypal a few times and I'm not real familiar with how that works. Thanks much for the link and instructions. If everything works out ok I'll have the new phone for about $70.00.
    Are you talking about bigcrumbs and the order process? Did you register or order it without registering?

    Bigcrumbs assumes your email address is your PayPal account. Wait a day or two. You should be getting a confirmation email from them with details.

    Glad the instructions worked for you.

  11. #11
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    I did order through the bigcrumbs site, but I did not register, I ordered without registering. I did use my paypal email address on the order.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by modmidget View Post
    I did order through the bigcrumbs site, but I did not register, I ordered without registering. I did use my paypal email address on the order.
    I believe the next step is you will get a confirmation email from bigcrumbs giving you some details and some info about when to expect your cashback.

  13. #13
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    I ordered the new phone on 10/9 and received it via Fedex on 10/12 but have not heard anything from bigcrumbs yet. But that's the least of my problems.

    Yesterday morning, 10/14 @ 10:00am, I attempted to transfer my phone number and minutes to the new phone using their on-line system. The first part of the instructions went very well....... they disabled my old phone in less than 30 minutes, but then something went wrong. The new phone did not activate. So I waited 24 hours to see if it would active over night, but it didn't. So I called Tracfone Miami at 11:00am today. After being on the phone for 20+ minutes they said they were having problems activating my phone number on the new phone. Then, a few minutes later, they said they had gotten a system error and they would have to wait 24 hours to retry.

    The last time I tried to transfer my phone number and minutes (last December) they had similar problems and I was without my phone for more than 2 weeks. Sure hope I don't have to go through that crap again this time.

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    You shouldn't have to put up with that. Make sure you call 305-715-6500 or 800-626-4883 (same result). Those are the people with the power.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by modmidget View Post
    Yesterday morning, 10/14 @ 10:00am, I attempted to transfer my phone number and minutes to the new phone using their on-line system. The first part of the instructions went very well....... they disabled my old phone in less than 30 minutes, but then something went wrong. The new phone did not activate.
    Reports are coming in on facebook that the system has been having problems for several weeks.

    I have a suggestion. If you want to continue posting about your experiences with your new LG 505C, then you really should start a new thread with LG 505C in the title. People looking for info about the same phone would not think to look in a GSM/CDMA thread.

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