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Thread: So what actually happens when you unlock a (Verizon) Tracfone?

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    So what actually happens when you unlock a (Verizon) Tracfone?

    Recently, I bought a new, unlocked phone (Moto G5); and then, coincidentally, I got a text from Tracfone saying that I was eligible to unlock my old phone (LG Rebel, using Verizon, I think). I know unlocking would theoretically let me use the phone on other CDMA services; but would unlocking affect my TF minutes, etc.? Would I be able to take the SIM and use it in my new phone? Or can I already do that? Is it safe to just try it? (I'm new to the unlocked phone thing.) Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wmcbrine View Post
    I know unlocking would theoretically let me use the phone on other CDMA services; but would unlocking affect my TF minutes, etc.? Would I be able to take the SIM and use it in my new phone? Or can I already do that? Is it safe to just try it? (I'm new to the unlocked phone thing.) Thanks.
    You would be the first person I know of that gets a phone unlocked by Tracfone. So I can't answer your question regarding your TF minutes. But right now you already can take your SIM from your Rebel and use it in your unlocked Moto G5 without risk. Technically, TF wants you to transfer service from your Rebel to a CDMA BYOP SIM and use it in your G5. But people have swapped active SIMs from a Tracfone into a BYOP phone without trouble from TF.

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    Unlocking a TracFone phone should not have any effect on your TracFone service at all as far as I can imagine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wmcbrine View Post
    Recently, I bought a new, unlocked phone (Moto G5); and then, coincidentally, I got a text from Tracfone saying that I was eligible to unlock my old phone (LG Rebel, using Verizon, I think). I know unlocking would theoretically let me use the phone on other CDMA services; but would unlocking affect my TF minutes, etc.? Would I be able to take the SIM and use it in my new phone? Or can I already do that? Is it safe to just try it? (I'm new to the unlocked phone thing.) Thanks.
    Not known what you can do with an unlocked TracFone, as it has not been reported before as hpham stated. You can SIM swap to the Moto G5, but it might be better to just transfer service from the Rebel to free it for something else.

    The TF unlocking policy states:
    "Customers must request this interim unlocking solution while their service is active or within 60 days after their active service days expire. This 60-day grace period applies even if the customer's telephone number was recycled or ported"

    Safest way might be to transfer service to another phone, then request unlocking. Please let us know if you do unlock the Rebel. Pioneer territory here!

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    Is there any disadvantage in just taking the sim card from the rebel and using it in the g5 plus (as opposed to transferring the service using a BYOP kit)?

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    If it fits, there shouldn't be an issue as long as you don't plan to activate the Rebel while it's SIM is in the G5.

    Quote Originally Posted by FT_VZW View Post
    Is there any disadvantage in just taking the sim card from the rebel and using it in the g5 plus (as opposed to transferring the service using a BYOP kit)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FT_VZW View Post
    Is there any disadvantage in just taking the sim card from the rebel and using it in the g5 plus (as opposed to transferring the service using a BYOP kit)?
    Tracfone believes the original swapped SIM is still in the Rebel. Since two SIM`s cannot be active for the same phone, if you try to re-activate the Rebel, Tracfone will de-activate the original swapped SIM and you will lose the airtime and phone number from it.

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    I don't think that's correct. They are not going to allow you to activate a phone that's already activated without making you confirm that at least. How would you even reactivate an already active phone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tracfancier View Post
    Tracfone believes the original swapped SIM is still in the Rebel. Since two SIM`s cannot be active for the same phone, if you try to re-activate the Rebel, Tracfone will de-activate the original swapped SIM and you will lose the airtime and phone number from it.

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    I restated what has been posted many times, over the past years, beginning with Straight Talk. You are the first to post your response and it does makes sense. But how much of what Tracfone will do makes sense? Someone who has done this will have to report their experience, as I have never tried doing this since I knew not too..

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    Tracfone refused to unlock their branded phones for so long that I have never heard of anyone being able to do it.

    For a Verizon phone I doubt it will make it usable on Sprint. It is probably just unlocking the GSM capability of the phone.

    If I wanted the GSM unlocked I would not worry about the unlock messing with my service units. Otherwise, I would leave it alone. Unlocked GSM could be useful for foreign travel.

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    So no matter what, there should be no issue taking the sim card out of the rebel and using it in the moto g5, for as long as I don't try to activate / re-activate / use the rebel, correct? I am not planning on ever using the rebel again.
    So no advantage in my case at all in wasting time and another sim by transferring to the moto is what I am understanding. That makes it easy!

    Thanks a lot for the feedback!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    Tracfone refused to unlock their branded phones for so long that I have never heard of anyone being able to do it.

    For a Verizon phone I doubt it will make it usable on Sprint. It is probably just unlocking the GSM capability of the phone.

    If I wanted the GSM unlocked I would not worry about the unlock messing with my service units. Otherwise, I would leave it alone. Unlocked GSM could be useful for foreign travel.
    Newer Verizon phones are all GSM unlocked out of the box. They just might not have the necessary bands to support LTE data. I know of no Verizon phones that support the Sprint bands, so, not sure what would be getting "unlocked".

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    That's correct. Just keep it in a safe place as a backup phone incase the G5 goes for a swim or commits suicide. Then you can SIM swap an be good to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by FT_VZW View Post
    So no matter what, there should be no issue taking the sim card out of the rebel and using it in the moto g5, for as long as I don't try to activate / re-activate / use the rebel, correct? I am not planning on ever using the rebel again.
    So no advantage in my case at all in wasting time and another sim by transferring to the moto is what I am understanding. That makes it easy!

    Thanks a lot for the feedback!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cv91913 View Post
    Newer Verizon phones are all GSM unlocked out of the box. They just might not have the necessary bands to support LTE data. I know of no Verizon phones that support the Sprint bands, so, not sure what would be getting "unlocked".
    Newer Verizon POSTPAID LTE phones are all GSM unlocked out of the box (since about 2013). I have heard that Verizon Prepaid phones are not GSM unlocked. Does anyone know if Tracfone branded Verizon phones are GSM unlocked?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FT_VZW View Post
    So no matter what, there should be no issue taking the sim card out of the rebel and using it in the moto g5, for as long as I don't try to activate / re-activate / use the rebel, correct? I am not planning on ever using the rebel again.
    So no advantage in my case at all in wasting time and another sim by transferring to the moto is what I am understanding. That makes it easy!

    Thanks a lot for the feedback!
    The reports that I have seen indicate that SIM swapping usually works. It did not work for me when I tried swapping between two identical models of a Galaxy S4. I think you also can't sell the donor phone as being able to activate on Verizon.

    Verizon knows the IMEI of the phones being used on their network. They could at any time say the new phone wasn't activated/registered and block it. This seems unlikely. I have never heard of it happening.

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