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Thread: Tracfone tells me CDMA phone will not work in my area....true?

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    Tracfone tells me CDMA phone will not work in my area....true?

    I'm trying to help a friend of mine. She lives in a senior housing center. She wants to buy an inexpensive cell phone to have for emergency use. She probably won't use more than a few minutes/year. I suggested a Tracfone.....

    We live in a suburb of Columbus, OH...the zip is 43110

    In my friend's building, the ATT/Sprint signal is horrible. However, a strong Verizon signal is easily obtained. So after a little research, I decided that we would buy a CDMA Tracfone.....model ending in C

    I think the LG 221C or LG 235C would fit my friend's needs well.

    However, the local Walmart only sells GSM phones, and the Tracfone website also limits us to GSM phones. If I override the code on the Tracfone website (by using CO instead of GSM4), I am given the choice of purchasing the 235C or the 501C.

    I just got off the phone with Tracfone tech support.....but after explaining my situation and reasoning for wanting a CDMA phone to utilize Verizon towers, I was told that those phones will not work in my zip code?? I was told I would have to buy a GSM phone.

    Now I'm no expert, but I find that hard to believe. Was I given the true scoop? -OR- is that information wrong? We live in a big metro area....Verizon service is very strong here. Will we have any problems at all if I help my friend buy one of these CDMA Tracfones for our zip code?

    Thanks in advance!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dad4sports View Post
    1. I'm trying to help a friend of mine. She lives in a senior housing center. She wants to buy an inexpensive cell phone to have for emergency use. She probably won't use more than a few minutes/year. I suggested a Tracfone.....

    2. We live in a suburb of Columbus, OH...the zip is 43110

    3. In my friend's building, the ATT/Sprint signal is horrible. However, a strong Verizon signal is easily obtained. So after a little research, I decided that we would buy a CDMA Tracfone.....model ending in C

    4. I think the LG 221C or LG 235C would fit my friend's needs well.

    5. However, the local Walmart only sells GSM phones, and the Tracfone website also limits us to GSM phones. If I override the code on the Tracfone website (by using CO instead of GSM4), I am given the choice of purchasing the 235C or the 501C.

    6. I just got off the phone with Tracfone tech support.....but after explaining my situation and reasoning for wanting a CDMA phone to utilize Verizon towers, I was told that those phones will not work in my zip code?? I was told I would have to buy a GSM phone.

    7. Now I'm no expert, but I find that hard to believe. Was I given the true scoop? -OR- is that information wrong? We live in a big metro area....Verizon service is very strong here. Will we have any problems at all if I help my friend buy one of these CDMA Tracfones for our zip code?
    Lots to answer here!

    1. TracFone would be a good choice. TracFone has several services : the "SafeLinkWireless" version might be your best choice, depending on your friends senior housing status and other parameters. Another strong contender is Page Plus (Toledo, OH), a Verizon-based MVNO which is very inexpensive.

    2. Yes, 43110 should have Verizon-based TracFone service.

    3. Good.

    4. Yes, this should be good. Since all TracFones are inexpensive you can get one as a trial. After you activate it, it will have 10-20 minutes (and 60 active days) to experiment with before you buy any airtime. If SafeLink doesn't please you, TracFones purchased in Veterans Administraion "hospital canteens" come with 365 active days.

    5. You need more venders that WalMart. In my neighborhood, WalMart sells only GSM phones ; Target (and the supermarket) also sell CDMA phones. The TracFone web site does not offer CDMA phones in my zip code. However, the CDMA TracFone I bought at Target activated just fine!

    6. Most American Movil (TracFone, Net10, TelCel, SafeLink, etc) support people have a script they have to follow. Since TracFones are inexpensive, you can get one and see.

    7. I think you'll be fine.

    Regards, FJ

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    Tracfone pays more for the Verizon minutes they resell to you. That is why the CDMA selection is so poor and why they are offered in so few locations. If you can get a Verizon signal you can activate and use the phone with no problems.

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    Rather than explain why they prefer you use a GSM phone, they just tell you the CDMA won't work. Use zip code 51355 at Tracfone to order a CDMA phone and it will work great for you.

    Check your local Family Dollar and Dollar General stores also. In my area (which is a GSM market) they sell some CDMA phones where Walmart and Target do not.

    I see Tracfone now only has 2 CDMA offerings. Yesterday they still had the 505c, not now.

    If they don't have a landline using the benefit they should be able to get a Safelink phone for free, but it will likely be a GSM phone. I know you can change phones after getting the Safelink phone. And they may even change you to a CDMA phone if you buy one, but I doubt they will port the number from GSM to CDMA but that shouldn't matter with a new startup.
    There's no present. There's only the immediate future and the recent past.George Carlin

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    Quote Originally Posted by dad4sports View Post
    In my friend's building, the ATT/Sprint signal is horrible. However, a strong Verizon signal is easily obtained. So after a little research, I decided that we would buy a CDMA Tracfone ..... model ending in C. I think the LG 221C or LG 235C would fit my friend's needs well. However, the local Walmart only sells GSM phones, and the Tracfone website also limits us to GSM phones. Thanks in advance!!
    The Tracfone web site does not show the the Samsung R455C but it is available in some Target stores. It also does not show up on target.com. The Samsung R455C is a slider/qwerty which is excellent for texting and is superior to either the 231C, 235C or 501C. Many seniors don't use phones much but once they discover texting they really use it a lot. They find that their senior friends often don't answer their phone but will reply to a text faster than they return a phone call.

    It is fairly easy to find the Targets that have the phone. If you would like, PM me and I will tell you how to do it.

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    Thanks to everyone for your help..... I ordered the LG 221C phone from Amazon today for $14.99 (free shipping). My friend is in her upper 80's.....still active, but didn't want a camera, text, etc. She just wanted to be able to make a call on a phone with decent sized number keys.

    Hopefully the activation process will go smoothly....

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    Quote Originally Posted by dad4sports View Post
    My friend is in her upper 80's.....still active, but didn't want a camera, text, etc. She just wanted to be able to make a call on a phone with decent sized number keys.

    Hopefully the activation process will go smoothly....
    I was told the same thing by Tracfone even though CDMA phones are sold at my local Dollar General. Bought one, activated it and it works perfect. In fact we have 2 LG 220C's. I dont know if the 221C has a web browser button but on most LG models you can
    lock out the browser by choosing Menu, Settings, Security, Restrictions, then choosing Data.

    Your friend would probably want internet browsing turned off. Keeps this option from being accidentally turned on.

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