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Thread: Tracfone and the Verizon Network

  1. #1
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    Tracfone and the Verizon Network

    Hi all, just signed up.

    I'd like to pick up a simple Tracfone flip phone for my elderly parents to use just for emergencies. A smartphone would be a bit much, they just want it to make calls and have it as simple as possible.

    I'd like it to be on the Verizon Network as I understand Verizon to be the better service in their area.

    How do I go about making sure that when I purchase a Tracfone it will in fact be on the Verizon network ? I've read that there are certain 'codes' on the boxes of the phones such as a 'C' attached to the model number but when I looked yesterday at Best Buy and Walmart I couldn't find anything that would indicate which network I would be getting.

    I believe most threads I read were somewhat old and possibly things may have changed. Is there anyway of knowing how to go about selecting which network your phone will use ?

    I also looked on Tracfone's web site and looked through the available phones they had (after entering the zip code) but again I couldn't find anything that would indicate which network I would be on...


    Thank you, Hardwird

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardWird View Post
    How do I go about making sure that when I purchase a Tracfone it will in fact be on the Verizon network ? I've read that there are certain 'codes' on the boxes of the phones such as a 'C' attached to the model number but when I looked yesterday at Best Buy and Walmart I couldn't find anything that would indicate which network I would be getting.
    A phone with the model number ending in "C" indicates that it uses CDMA technology. Since Tracfone use only Verizon for their CDMA phones, that will guarantee the phone uses Verizon network. A phone with model number ending in "G" indicates that it uses GSM technology. Tracfone use AT&T and T-Mobile for their GSM phones.

    For the newer phones that use 4G/LTE technology, models ending with "VL" use Verizon, models ending with "AL" use AT&T, models ending with "BL" use AT&T or T-Mobile.

    I just looked at the phones offer for my zip code 66605 (both CDMA and GSM), the only flip-phone that uses Verion is the ZTE Z233VL. You can search the Internet and read more about that model. Google shows Total Wireless and Straight Talk versions of the Z233VL. Make sure you buy the Tracfone version.

  3. #3
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    You will have a very difficult time getting a good price on a flip dumbphone and airtime. Tracfone shows little interest in selling dumbphones any longer. The best buy is a bundle, where the phone and airtime in many cases is priced less than the airtime alone. All the bundles are with smartphones. Most bundled airtime is the 400 minute and 365 day airtime card equivalent. Dumbphones are now DMFL or maybe even SMFL. Tracfone is now in a transition period when it comes to doubling or tripling. Newer Smartphones are being transitioned from Triple-triple to smartphone only SMFL airtime. You need to ask a lot of questions here and run your ideas by us ahead of making an easy mistake.

    Smartphones are not that hard to master, but through my own experience I know how stubborn older people can be. They now want everything easy. Transferring service from a failed smartphone trial back to a dumbphone results in a loss of airtime, as you are going from three airtime buckets to one airtime bucket.

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    Get an Android phone and install one of those launchers for seniors.

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    Best place to get Tracfone dumb phones would be the local dollar
    Stores. Use zip code 30673 for
    Verizon only phones.

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    Option to consider: Best Buy has the Total Wireless Z233VL on sale for $20. I wonder if it would work on TracFone with a TracFone BYOP SIM or possibly the TW SIM included?

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/total-wi...?skuId=5888106

    OP could buy a TracFone BYOP SIM kit and $10 basic airtime plan to activate SIM with a new number to confirm it works. If it doesn't work, return the phone to Best Buy within 14 days for full refund. Net loss would be ~$12 for SIM kit and airtime plan if it didn't work out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tfusr19 View Post
    If it doesn't work, return the phone to Best Buy within 14 days for full refund.
    According to their website, after the phone is opened there will typically be a restocking fee at Best Buy. Generally I wouldn't expect a refund on the noted phone, but some states are excepted.
    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/help-top...at260800050014

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    Tracfone and the Verizon Network

    Quote Originally Posted by HardWird View Post
    Hi all, just signed up.

    I'd like to pick up a simple Tracfone flip phone for my elderly parents to use just for emergencies.
    You'd probably make out better for them on the PagePlus Standard Plan (PAYGO).
    Last edited by chasham; 07-12-2017 at 02:23 AM.

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    Went through this a few months ago and there was no restocking fee on prepaid phones. They are supposed to print something or show you if there's a restocking fee at checkout. Best to confirm at time of purchase.

    Quote Originally Posted by alluringreality View Post
    According to their website, after the phone is opened there will typically be a restocking fee at Best Buy. Generally I wouldn't expect a refund on the noted phone, but some states are excepted.
    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/help-top...at260800050014

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    Based on what?

    Quote Originally Posted by chasham View Post
    You'd probably make better for them on the PagePlus Standard Plan (PAYGO).

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    On perceived level of service needed for these people, I'd have to agree with chasham. Seeing as how PPC themselves don't have any simple phones listed on their site anymore, perhaps that Total Wireless ZTE model would work on PPC. Most likely would, and the PPC Standard Plan would fit the bill (IMO), especially in terms of simplicity. Single bucket and all that.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tfusr19 View Post
    Went through this a few months ago and there was no restocking fee on prepaid phones. They are supposed to print something or show you if there's a restocking fee at checkout. Best to confirm at time of purchase.
    That looks correct in regards to prepaid. I guess it's just unlocked and postpaid with the restocking fees.

    Quote Originally Posted by tfusr19 View Post
    Based on what?
    For someone that's going to primarily use a phone for limited voice service, typically Page Plus is potentially cheaper than Tracfone. Page Plus has lower minimum monthly costs, and their voice-only service rates can be cheaper. Things like roaming, texting, and any data is likely to cost more at Page Plus, but otherwise for the given situation, I'd say Page Plus might deliver similar service for less money.

    The only other limitation I can think of on Page Plus in comparison to Tracfone is regarding service time. Adding multiple purchases will stack the service dates at Tracfone, while I think adding two pins at Page Plus on the same day would only take the service to the stated number of days for one plan. This can make it easier to be sure there are days remaining in advance on a Tracfone account compared to Page Plus. I think there are probably still Page Plus pin sellers that have auto pay to automatically add service to the standard plan when the prior plan is set to expire, which makes it more convenient to limit Page Plus costs for certain low-usage customers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tfusr19 View Post
    Option to consider: Best Buy has the Total Wireless Z233VL on sale for $20. I wonder if it would work on TracFone with a TracFone BYOP SIM or possibly the TW SIM included?
    The Tracfone version of the Z233VL is offered on Tracfone.com for $19.99.

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    Caveat on my previous post: Since the Total Wireless/ZTE model noted is a 'VL' model, it's likely poised to be a 'dumb LTE' device, and likely not to fit the definition of a device allowable on PPC's Standard Plan needing to be a 3G only device. I haven't looked up the ZTE model's specs but I suspect I'm right here.

    But there are other sources for 3G flip phones for PPC (mainly eBay).

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tfusr19 View Post
    Based on what?
    Lower cost for the same phones on the same network.

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