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Thread: Is Tracfone Still Selling Impaired Devices?

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    Is Tracfone Still Selling Impaired Devices?

    I ask the question, is Tracfone still selling impaired devices, because the last phones I bought through it, although having Android operating systems, did not fully support Android functions. The LG L39c I bought 3 years ago was limited. While I do not know all its impairments, I did find that it did not support the PayPal Here app.

    I am now planning to move to an iPhone SE, and the one being sold directly through Tracfone is attractively priced, but only if it is fully functional. Or are the limits a function of Tracfone service and not the device? FWIW, Tracfone seems to be using Verizon for my service.

    Any insights will be appreciated.

    Edited to add:
    I contacted Tracfone customer support and the answer was:
    "We cannot guarantee that all applications in the phone will work.
    Basically, we offer basic features like calls, text/multimedia and data services. Other features or applications in your phone may work as long as we support it."

    Kinda lame response.
    Last edited by JoeKerr; 09-27-2017 at 03:18 PM.

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    some of the older tracfone models were crippled in sense that you couldn't
    hook up the phone to a computer. the android / apple pay system should work just fine.
    there's also some prepaid users that use those credit card readers for their small business.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeKerr View Post
    I am now planning to move to an iPhone SE, and the one being sold directly through Tracfone is attractively priced, but only if it is fully functional. Or are the limits a function of Tracfone service and not the device? FWIW, Tracfone seems to be using Verizon for my service.
    Would say that the iPhones will do anything they were designed for, except what is not available on the network. VoLTE and WiFi calling are examples. This is a carrier restriction and not TracFone. The iPhones come in Apple packaging, with SIM cards taped on by TracFone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeKerr View Post
    I ask the question, is Tracfone still selling impaired devices, because the last phones I bought through it, although having Android operating systems, did not fully support Android functions. The LG L39c I bought 3 years ago was limited. While I do not know all its impairments, I did find that it did not support the PayPal Here app.

    I am now planning to move to an iPhone SE, and the one being sold directly through Tracfone is attractively priced, but only if it is fully functional. Or are the limits a function of Tracfone service and not the device? FWIW, Tracfone seems to be using Verizon for my service.

    Any insights will be appreciated.

    Edited to add:
    I contacted Tracfone customer support and the answer was:
    "We cannot guarantee that all applications in the phone will work.
    Basically, we offer basic features like calls, text/multimedia and data services. Other features or applications in your phone may work as long as we support it."

    Kinda lame response.
    I was not aware that any of the smartphones sold by TF companies were ever "impaired" beyond being locked to TF.

    Regarding the TF iPhone SE, my son just switched to one of those from his 5 year old iPhone 5 that was originally purchased from Vzw and he says it is working perfectly and as expected.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boz1 View Post
    I was not aware that any of the smartphones sold by TF companies were ever "impaired" beyond being locked to TF.
    Sure many phones were "impaired", mainly because they were designed for a low end market. TracFone has the purchasing clout to have the manufacturers take an existing base model, and strip out some features to sell for cheaper. This has been going on since the feature phones.

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    The zte z233vl flip was supposed to have WiFi & email app according to the zteusa website & without those it's less interesting. Thats impairment. Why remove WiFi or email, if a person doesn't want to use a feature they don't have to but if the phone gets stripped of features it loses a few buyers. I think a related MetroPCS version, the cymbal z-320 still has WiFi.

    Quote Originally Posted by loboheeler View Post
    Sure many phones were "impaired", mainly because they were designed for a low end market. TracFone has the purchasing clout to have the manufacturers take an existing base model, and strip out some features to sell for cheaper. This has been going on since the feature phones.

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    Thank you for all the helpful responses. Based on your input I went ahead and placed the order for the iPhone SE. With a price of $159, reduced 15% by an online coupon, it seems like a deal. Plus abandoning my old LG will give me about $22 through the FTC settlement with Tracfone regarding phones that cannot be unlocked.

    If I find that I am not getting all functionality I had hoped, in 12 months I'll have Tracfone unlock the iPhone and go elsewhere with it.

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    Nobody has reported having a TracFone successfully unlocked to date.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeKerr View Post
    Thank you for all the helpful responses. Based on your input I went ahead and placed the order for the iPhone SE. With a price of $159, reduced 15% by an online coupon, it seems like a deal. Plus abandoning my old LG will give me about $22 through the FTC settlement with Tracfone regarding phones that cannot be unlocked.

    If I find that I am not getting all functionality I had hoped, in 12 months I'll have Tracfone unlock the iPhone and go elsewhere with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tfusr19 View Post
    Nobody has reported having a TracFone successfully unlocked to date.
    Assuming it met the requirements, I wonder if an FCC complaint would get results these days if they beat around the bush about unlocking.

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    Would definitely be worth pursuing.

    Quote Originally Posted by mathfaster View Post
    Assuming it met the requirements, I wonder if an FCC complaint would get results these days if they beat around the bush about unlocking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tfusr19 View Post
    Nobody has reported having a TracFone successfully unlocked to date.
    There should be some unlocks by the end of the year, as all phones released in 2017 have to be unlock capable. Some models released before that may also be eligible. Someone recently got a message from TracFone that their phone could be unlocked, but chose not to do it. Forget which phone model.

    http://www.prepaidphonenews.com/2015...honor-its.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by loboheeler View Post
    There should be some unlocks by the end of the year, as all phones released in 2017 have to be unlock capable.
    The Tracfone Unlocking Policy says "TracFone will begin launching handsets that are capable of being unlocked." I assume that since the FCC is requiring them to sell phones that may be unlocked, or to provide customers with unlockable replacements or partial refunds, any smartphone currently being sold will be capable of being unlocked, and customers may exercise that option after 12 months per the Unlocking Policy, unless one buys something older that has been sitting in a Tracfone warehouse.

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    That sounds reasonable and will hopefully be how it pans out .......... but seeing will be believing when it comes to TracFone and unlocking their phones .

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeKerr View Post
    The Tracfone Unlocking Policy says "TracFone will begin launching handsets that are capable of being unlocked." I assume that since the FCC is requiring them to sell phones that may be unlocked, or to provide customers with unlockable replacements or partial refunds, any smartphone currently being sold will be capable of being unlocked, and customers may exercise that option after 12 months per the Unlocking Policy, unless one buys something older that has been sitting in a Tracfone warehouse.
    Cheers!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeKerr View Post
    If I find that I am not getting all functionality I had hoped, in 12 months I'll have Tracfone unlock the iPhone and go elsewhere with it.
    Let us know if there are any things the TF iPhone will not do that you expect of it.

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    I wanted to update everyone. Now that I have been using the new iPhone SE bought from Tracfone for about 10 days, I can report that I have found nothing to indicate this phone is any different from an unlocked one that I might have bought directly from Apple, except that this phone cost $200 less than what I would have paid to Apple.

    And while I have not loaded the phone with exotic apps, those that I have installed all seem to be working as designed, there is no sign that Tracfone is hobbling my use. I was especially concerned about the PayPal Here app that I use to take credit card payments and which did not work on my old Android phone. It does work with the new SE.

    I was on the verge of leaving Tracfone after more than 11 years with it, but my experience with the iPhone SE has been positive.

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