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Thread: Switching From TracFone Brands (Net10, StraightTalk,...) VWZ to Total Wireless VWZ

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    Switching From TracFone Brands (Net10, StraightTalk,...) VWZ to Total Wireless VWZ

    Hi. I don't see a thread dedicated to this seemingly impossible switch so I would like to create a thread dedicated to just this issue so we can share tips and tricks to help each other getting through this process.

    Apparently if you have Verizon Services (VZW ) via one of the TracFone Brands such as StraightTalk like I do, you can't switch your VZW service to the cheaper Total Wireless (also a TracFone's brand) ON THE SAME PHONE via the normal way. Apparently, TracFone slim-locks your phone to the TracFone brand you initially signed up for and prevents you from switching to one of their cheaper brands. This is understandable GREED. However, it is ILLEGAL.

    First thing first. If you have VZW service on your current phone, your phone is TECHNOLOGICALLY COMPATIBLE with Total Wireless. If you check your IMEI for compatibility on Total Wireless and was told otherwise, it was the shenanigans they're trying to put you through to discourage you from switching. From various Internet Sources, apparently these are the steps you must do

    • Contact TW support first to get them to admit to slim-locking
    • File an FCC complaint using this link https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/h..._form_id=39744
    • FCC process the complaint and notify you that the carrier has been sent the complaint
    • TW will call you to arrange for the switch
    • Buy your own TW activation kit instead of waiting for them to mail the SIM to you to speed up the switching process
    • Done

    I'm including a post from this guy James Giles who went through the process and described it below for reference.

    If somebody found a less confrontational process such as temporarily switching out of TracFone to say T-Mobile and being able to come back to TW through the online process, please share your experience.

    From what I gathered, slim-locking is permanent for TracFone so switching to another carrier and then try to come back to another TracFone brand won't work. You will have to threaten them with the laws for them to unblock your phone in their system.

    Obviously the experience this James Giles guy went through was from June so TW might have learned a lesson by now. If you have any latest experience switching from one TracFone brand's VZW service to another TracFone brand's VZW service ON THE SAME PHONE, please post it here.

    Thanks.

    James Giles June 15, 2016 at 7:42 PM

    The short of it is, I was able to switch from Net10 to Total Wireless (TW). Everything is up and running and good to go. If you want to find out the process, read on.

    After getting no where with chat support, I submitted an FCC complaint based on recommendations from this website. A few days later I heard from Tracfone based in Miami. (Tracfone owns Net10, Total Wireless, and other brands). The rep, a very courteous lady name Delia stated that the phones cannot be switched (even though clearly stated in the complaint they were BYOP) I had to explain they were BYOP phones. After explaining politely that I did not believe this was fair, she said she would research.

    Later, Delia explained that to make the switch Net10 service had to be disconnected and switched to Total Wireless and then tested on the back end. Once the switch is verified, they are happy to overnight a SIM card at no charge. In case the switch did not go through, Tracfone first overnighted me two correct sized Net10 sim cards because I was worried about going without service for a week.

    Note: The rep accidentally sent the wrong size TW sim so I bought one for $10 at Walmart and they activated using that one. This means you can shorten the process by purchasing one from Walmart.

    I was also very concerned about the idea of going without two phones at the same time so we did one at a time which elongated the process.

    Once both phones were activated and I had narrowly escaped divorce with my wife, it was time to move onto the online My Account system. I set up the account but the phones would not connect with the system. This took a couple of days to figure out by IT. I had the same problem with Net10 originally and had confidence it could be done.

    Timeframe:
    May 31st - TW Chat support said "tough luck" on switching, we have "slim-locked" your phone. Go to Cricket if you want!
    May 31st - FCC Complaint Filed
    June 2nd - FCC processes complaint, notifying me that the carrier has been sent the complaint.
    June 6th - Received phone call from TW Customer Response Department
    June 10th - First line activated after no service for 24 hours.
    June 14th - 2nd line activated after 48 hours of no service.
    June 15th - Online My Account management set up by TW. All done!

    Would you do this again? Well, probably. With experience, I would have purchased the SIM cards from Walmart and had the savings kick in a month later. Two lines for 3GB each on Net10 was 78.34 after taxes. I estimate TW will be $63. That is $15.34 per month in savings equating to $368.16 every 2 years. Boom, that pays for a new upper-mid quality phone (Nexus for me) every 24 months.

    My gamble in all this is that another, better deal will pop up at Net10 or another provider in the next couple months thus making all this effort null and void. We will see but I don't see how prices can get much lower for any of these providers AND Tracfone has a history of not matching brands up exactly on pricing and offering. We will just have to see if all this effort and aggravation was worth it.

    PS: Only Verizon works at our house where we HAVE to have coverage. Net10, TW, Page Plus, & Straight Talk all offer VZW CDMA LTE SIMs. That is why I used them, Total Wireless now has the best deal across the industry.
    Last edited by sumtingwong; 10-27-2016 at 04:01 PM.

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    A workaround I've read about here on HoFo is to change the last digit of your phone's IMEI # before submitting it to a Tracfone-owned service such as Total Wireless, Straight Talk, Tracfone itself or Page Plus. Too late for the OP since the OP has already gotten switched, but give this a shot as a workaround.

    Sent from my XT1528 using HoFo mobile app

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    Quote Originally Posted by slyphoxj View Post
    A workaround I've read about here on HoFo is to change the last digit of your phone's IMEI # before submitting it to a Tracfone-owned service such as Total Wireless, Straight Talk, Tracfone itself or Page Plus. Too late for the OP since the OP has already gotten switched, but give this a shot as a workaround.

    Sent from my XT1528 using HoFo mobile app
    No. I haven't switched yet. This is my last month on StraightTalk VZW so I will switch around the 20th or so.

    The last two digits of my Nexus 6 IMEI is 19. I have tried changing it to 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and I was informed by the TW website that my phone was NOT compatible every single time. I think my IMEI first 13 digit has been locked/blacklisted to StraightTalk by TracFone so changing the last digit didn't work.

    I saw your other posts that you were able to port your number from TracFone to TW with not much trouble. Your service with TracFone was an ATT service, right? Not VZW service, right?
    Last edited by sumtingwong; 10-27-2016 at 04:32 PM.

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    OK. So I went out of town last week and have used up my 5GB sharing my connection with my sibblings. I'm in the process of switching service now. I put in my IMEI but instead of changing my last digit, I actually add an extra digit to it and the compatibility passed.

    At the activation screen, after putting in my $35/month TotalWireless phone card in I was prompted for the IMEI. After putting in the IMEI with the extra digit, I was prompted to call Customer Service.

    I'm on webchat with Customer Service now...

    ---

    OK. So the online customer service chat told me that in order to transfer to TotalWireless, they will have to deactivate my StraightTalk phone first. As my StraightTalk phone is deactivated, I can't keep my number and will have to get a new number with TotalWireless. I told them that I didn't believe what they're telling me is LEGAL and will doublecheck with the FCC before coming back. They told me they will escalate the problem and someone will call me back within 24 hrs.

    ---

    I'm stumped as I haven't seen this scenario. I'm going to research a bit before coming back to chat with them again or before they're calling me

    ---

    URGH!!!!!!

    --- Transcript below ---

    TotalWireless: Hi! How may I help you today?
    Mark: Hi XXX.
    Mark: Thank you for visiting Total Wireless.
    You: Hi
    Mark: How may I assist you?
    You: I have a phone on StraightTalk and I would like to transfer the service to TotalWireless. I tried to do it online but got an error message asking me to contact Support
    You: Hello?
    Mark: Yes, I am here.
    Mark: I’m sorry to hear that.
    Mark: Let me help you with the issue.
    Mark: Do you have a Total Wireless phone?
    You: No. I have my own BYOP phone
    You: The IMEI checked out to be compatible
    Mark: Please provide me the IMEI/MEID of the phone.
    You: 355499xxxxx8198
    Mark: The phone you want to activate is already active with Straight Talk.
    Mark: I cannot guarantee that the phone will be used with Total Wireless.
    You: That is correct. My service is expiring soon and I would like to port my service to TotalWireless
    Mark: I need to deactivate the phone first in order to check if the phone can be branded with Total Wireless.
    You: Yes. Please go ahead and deactivate the phone. However, I would like to keep my number of 213-xxx-9xx9
    Mark: Unfortunately, I cannot port your number to Total Wireless since your service will be deactivated. The number must remain active to port the phone number.
    You: Um... I don't get what you're saying... Can you port the number from StraightTalk to TotalWireless?
    Mark: Yes, I can; however, your phone number will be deactivated in order to brand the phone with Total Wireless.
    You: OK. As long as I can keep the 213-xxx-9xx9 with Total Wireless, I'm good. I don't plan to use the phone today
    Mark: The phone number must remain active in order to process the port.
    Mark: You can purchase a new phone and port your phone number.
    You: Your website stated that I can port my number using BYOP
    Mark: Yes, you can; however, as what I informed you, you are using the same phone. The phone you want to use must be deactivated to brand it with Total Wireless. Since it will be deactivated, the phone number cannot be ported.
    Mark: The phone number must remain active in order to port the phone number.
    Mark: How do you want to proceed?
    You: I don't believe what you're telling me is LEGAL. I will doublecheck with the FCC first and will come back to continue
    Mark: Let me escalate the issue and have someone contact you.
    Mark: Please provide me your contact phone number.
    You: 213-xxx-5xx4
    You: Thanks.
    Mark: You are welcome.
    Mark: The issue has been escalated successfully.
    Mark: A representative will contact you within 24 hours.
    Mark: Is there anything else that I can assist you with?
    You: Thank you so much
    You: that's all I need for now.
    Mark: You are welcome. Thank you for chatting with Total Wireless. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact one of our customer care representatives at 1-866-663-3633. For your convenience, our representatives are available Monday-Sunday from 8:00 AM to 11:45 PM EST.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sumtingwong View Post
    So the online customer service chat told me that in order to transfer to TotalWireless, they will have to deactivate my StraightTalk phone first. As my StraightTalk phone is deactivated, I can't keep my number and will have to get a new number with TotalWireless. I told them that I didn't believe what they're telling me is LEGAL and will doublecheck with the FCC before coming back.
    No amount of research will change the answer you get. You need another phone to activate the new service, while keeping your old number alive long enough to port it out.

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    Something you could try:

    Purchase T-Mobile Prepaid SIM for $3.99 with coupon code SIMDEAL - http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/p...IM-Starter-Kit

    The SIM comes activated with 30 minutes and 30 days service and you can use it in your Nexus 6.

    Port your number from Straight Talk to the T-Mobile SIM and then try again to activate and port your number to Total Wireless.

    When you port your number from Straight Talk to T-Mobile, your Straight Talk service should be cancelled and phone released. But there's no guarantee that your IMEI is not still SLIM-locked at which point you may need to file an FCC complaint.

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    I don't know which plan you're interested in on TW, but you might want to check the plans at boom! Mobile - http://www.boom.us

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    I guess it isn't a bad idea to keep a stockpile of old junker Verizon branded 4G LTE phones with clean IMEIs so you have a stockpile of disposable IMEI's to use for the initial activation, then pop your SIM into the phone you want to use.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using HoFo mobile app

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcxb View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sumtingwong View Post
    So the online customer service chat told me that in order to transfer to TotalWireless, they will have to deactivate my StraightTalk phone first. As my StraightTalk phone is deactivated, I can't keep my number and will have to get a new number with TotalWireless. I told them that I didn't believe what they're telling me is LEGAL and will doublecheck with the FCC before coming back.
    No amount of research will change the answer you get. You need another phone to activate the new service, while keeping your old number alive long enough to port it out.
    I need to know if it is indeed TotalWireless' technological limitation and not a scam they're trying to pull on me to make me buy their phone. I know for a fact people can port their Verizon number to other TracFon's VZW service on the same phone. It's most likely a SCAM.

    However, if it is indeed they're too stupid to run an MVNO properly, I do have a plan B to port over to T-Mobile prepaid first and then port back. That plan B will cost me $1 for the SIM and $3/mo for their cheapest prepaid plan for a total of $4 extra I shouldn't have to. I'm already playing by the books paying $9 for their SIM and $38.xx for their refill card.

    I will most certainly report them to the BBB and FCC first before going with plan B.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bw01 View Post
    Something you could try:

    Purchase T-Mobile Prepaid SIM for $3.99 with coupon code SIMDEAL - http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/p...IM-Starter-Kit

    The SIM comes activated with 30 minutes and 30 days service and you can use it in your Nexus 6.

    Port your number from Straight Talk to the T-Mobile SIM and then try again to activate and port your number to Total Wireless.

    When you port your number from Straight Talk to T-Mobile, your Straight Talk service should be cancelled and phone released. But there's no guarantee that your IMEI is not still SLIM-locked at which point you may need to file an FCC complaint.
    That's my plan B. I have a T-Mobile SIM I got for $0.99 a year ago that doesn't expire until 1/27/2018. I'm afraid of the slim-locked BS they will most certainly throw at me if I go this route and getting stuck with T-Mobile for a few months before it gets resolved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bw01 View Post
    I don't know which plan you're interested in on TW, but you might want to check the plans at boom! Mobile - http://www.boom.us
    Thanks for the tip. I'm looking for the 5GB/$35/month plan. TW is $5/month cheaper than Boom! so that's why I'm willing to put up with the BS from TW. I know everything has its price but I'm no snowflake and I'm willing to take the BS until all avenues are exhausted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slyphoxj View Post
    I guess it isn't a bad idea to keep a stockpile of old junker Verizon branded 4G LTE phones with clean IMEIs so you have a stockpile of disposable IMEI's to use for the initial activation, then pop your SIM into the phone you want to use.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using HoFo mobile app
    I'm pretty new to Verizon so don't have any Verizon ones until the Nexus 6. Have always been a T-Mobile guy because I was/am cheap..

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    Quote Originally Posted by sumtingwong View Post
    Thanks for the tip. I'm looking for the 5GB/$35/month plan. TW is $5/month cheaper than Boom! so that's why I'm willing to put up with the BS from TW. I know everything has its price but I'm no snowflake and I'm willing to take the BS until all avenues are exhausted.
    It may not be much cheaper once you factor in taxes and fees. You mention paying $38.xx for the plan. boom! Mobile would be $40 even for their 5GB plan. Taxes and fees are included.

    Also, speculation on the forum (mostly discussed in the Tracfone subforum) is that it's simple incompetence by America Movil IT staff that the IMEI gets "slim-locked".

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    OK. So after I replied to the posts above, I tried chatting with TW again. They did not call me back as promised in the last chat. Surprisingly, everything went through perfectly. I didn't even have to use the TW SIM card. Will return them to Walmart to get my $9 back.

    I guess, yesterday, I probably didn't even need to bring FCC into the conversation. I probably could have waited a few minutes and started another chat session to get another rep like this Julio guy.

    --- Below is the transcript ---

    TotalWireless: Hi! How may I help you today?
    Julio: Hi XXX.
    Julio: Thank you for visiting Total Wireless.
    Julio: How may I assist you?
    You: Hi. I'm trying to port my numbers from StraightTalk Verizon to TotalWireless
    You: I'm at the step where I have to put in my IMEI
    You: and was given an error message to call you guys.
    Julio: I am sorry to hear that. Let me do my best to help you. Also, let me thank you for choosing Total Wireless as your service provider.
    You: Thank you
    Julio: You are welcome.
    Julio: Are you chatting about the IMEI number ending in 8198?
    You: Yes. The full number is 355499xxxxx8198
    Julio: That device is currently active with Straight Talk Wireless. Is that the same device that you would like to use with us?
    You: Yes. That is correct. I would like to keep my number of 213-xxx-9xx9
    Julio: Whenever you want to switch the device within the phone number, it will be required you to get in touch with us. That kind of process can only be done for our of our customer service representatives.
    Julio: Prior to making any changes to your account, we must validate your identity. We want to make sure the changes being requested are done for the owner of the phone.
    Julio: What is your father's middle name?
    You: XXXX
    Julio: Thank you.
    You: I have the account PIN with me also if needed. I can verify my identity
    Julio: It is not necessary in this moment.
    Julio: I am checking that the phone is compatible with us. Allow me a few minutes.
    You: No problem
    Julio: Thank you.
    Julio: I am glad to inform you that your device it is compatible with us. Do you have an existing account in Total Wireless?
    You: Yes. I have created an account with TW as part of the activating process
    Julio: If you have a number designated as main on the account, I will need it.
    You: Are you talking about a phone number? I don't have any phone number linked in the account yet as the activating process didn't go through
    You: My profile phone number is 213-xxx-9xx9
    Julio: I am talking about your Total Wireless account number.
    You: Hm... Where do i get it? I'm looking at my account web page right now
    Julio: I do not know if you have one. I am asking you if you have any number active in Total Wireless.
    You: No. I don't have any phone number active in TW at this time.
    You: My login ID is [email protected]
    Julio: I am checking the information. Allow me a few minutes.
    You: no problem
    Julio: Thank you.
    Julio: In order for me to the phone to your account, I will need to verify the security question on your account.
    Julio: What is the name of the street you grew up on?
    You: nguyeXXXXXphXXng
    Julio: Thank you.
    Julio: If you have an airtime card, may I have the PIN?
    You: Before we proceed. I would like to make sure I can keep my StraighTalk number of 213-xxx-9xx9. Yes?
    Julio: Yes, that is what I have been doing all this time.
    Julio: May I have your PIN now?
    You: Thank you so much. The card pin is 140-471-XXX-290-104
    Julio: You are welcome.
    You: I have a TW SIM card also when you need it
    Julio: It is not required in this moment. We switched everything from Straight Talk to us.
    You: Whoa. Thanks!
    Julio: You are welcome.
    Julio: Your phone has been successfully reactivated. Your new service end date is on 12/15/2016. In order to complete the activation
    process, follow the steps below.
    Julio: 1. Turn the new phone Off and back On - Make a call.
    2. If the call does not connect - Wait a few minutes - Reboot the phone and try again.
    Julio: If the call is successful, I will also need you try the Internet service.
    Julio: You can try the Internet service by accessing to the www.totalwireless.com website.
    You: rebooting my p hone now...
    Julio: Thank you.
    You: it's taking a lil time. it's an nexus 6. sorry
    Julio: I can wait up to three minutes for you, as I indicated above.
    You: thanks
    Julio: You are welcome.
    You: making call now....
    You: it went through.... call is OK... Thanks!!!!
    Julio: You are welcome
    Julio: Did you try to access the previously indicated website?
    You: trying internet now...
    You: whoa.. I can get on totalwireless
    You: so I guess we're done then?
    Julio: Yes, this is complete for me.
    Julio: Is there anything else that I can assist you with?
    You: No. Thank you so much for your help Julio. Thanks again!
    Julio: You are very welcome.
    Julio: Thank you for chatting with Total Wireless. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact one of our customer care representatives at 1-866-663-3633. For your convenience, our representatives are available Monday-Sunday from 8:00 AM to 11:45 PM EST.

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    Last edited by sumtingwong; 11-16-2016 at 09:12 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bw01 View Post
    It may not be much cheaper once you factor in taxes and fees. You mention paying $38.xx for the plan. boom! Mobile would be $40 even for their 5GB plan. Taxes and fees are included.

    Also, speculation on the forum (mostly discussed in the Tracfone subforum) is that it's simple incompetence by America Movil IT staff that the IMEI gets "slim-locked".
    I think Nevada doesn't charge any tax or fee on the cards. I'm in Socal and pretty much in Vegas every other month. Will stock up on them the next time I'm there.

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