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Thread: Tips on Smoothest "Activation of Phone bundle" WITH Current service and transfer back

  1. #1
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    Question Tips on Smoothest "Activation of Phone bundle" WITH Current service and transfer back

    So as longtime TF customers we don't switch phones often (because the usual headaches ) The last time we even got a new phone was over 2yrs ago (and each phone we'd had for almost a year or longer). And after our recent headache just adding airtime as we normally would, I'm extremely apprehensive.
    ... But a deal on HSN just couldn't be passed up

    ... So now we face the "dreaded" dilemma ahem, The plan is:
    1. "Activate" new Phone bundle with current active service (keep phone number, t/t/d etc)
    2. Transfer ALL those minutes & phone number BACK to our desired phones (BYOP Vzw w/SIM)

    Any tips for the (hopefully) smoothest transition possible? (times to wait, smoothest way to go about it, etc)
    • We are not "phone swappers", so I don't have SIMS or phones lying around
    • I am also NOT patient or trusting of TF in general
    • I am fairly tech competent


    Thank you to anyone with tips/tricks/suggestions (or even well wishes, rofl)


    I wanted to add I finally got the first part of this done
    Quote Originally Posted by tracbourne View Post
    click to see steps
    Last edited by tracbourne; 10-12-2017 at 10:39 AM.
    My (Our) Phone History AaG:
    Tracfone (Vz) since '08 < BYOP/Vzw HTC Desire 526 since '16 < Huawei Glory H868C '14 < LG800g '12? < Motorola W376g '08
    Verizon & Sprint '05 < Razr+LG Cosmos 2 & LG Optimus '05
    Alltel & Cingular '03 < A Flip '03
    AT&T '01 < A Flip '01

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    Check what SIM the new phone has. If same size or you can use an adaptor back to your old phone, I would go with SIM swapping before attempting going back from the new phone after the old and new are combined. Start hunting for the old TMFL SIM kits. Family Dollar, Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Rite Aids, etc. Always, always, document the units and service via chat before attempting anything.

    ETA: Once you've gotten the old units on the new phone wait a few days before going back to BYOP phone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tracbourne View Post
    1. "Activate" new Phone bundle with current active service (keep phone number, t/t/d etc)
    2. Transfer ALL those minutes & phone number BACK to our desired phones (BYOP Vzw w/SIM)

    Any tips for the (hopefully) smoothest transition possible? (times to wait, smoothest way to go about it, etc)
    See THIS POST on how to do Step 1. Since TF allows re-using a CDMA SIM, I don't think you need to get a new BYOP CDMA SIM for the transfer back.

    Wait a day or two for things to "settle", then do the same thing to transfer back. The reason you should not do multiple transfers in the same day is if something goes wrong, it's very confusing to explain things to TF because all the activites have the same date, and TF reps are not the sharpest knifes in the drawer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mathfaster View Post
    Check what SIM the new phone has. If same size or you can use an adaptor back to your old phone, I would go with SIM swapping before attempting going back from the new phone after the old and new are combined. Start hunting for the old TMFL SIM kits. Family Dollar, Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Rite Aids, etc. Always, always, document the units and service via chat before attempting anything.

    ETA: Once you've gotten the old units on the new phone wait a few days before going back to BYOP phone.
    SIM swapping? Doesn't that cause all sorts of account issues? (To clarify, It means you activate the SIM in one phone and put it in another, right?)
    Also why do we need the TMFL SIM? We're okay with the new SOP deals (and already use them actually). As they are a better deal for our use.

    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    See THIS POST on how to do Step 1. Since TF allows re-using a CDMA SIM, I don't think you need to get a new BYOP CDMA SIM for the transfer back.

    Wait a day or two for things to "settle", then do the same thing to transfer back. The reason you should not do multiple transfers in the same day is if something goes wrong, it's very confusing to explain things to TF because all the activites have the same date, and TF reps are not the sharpest knifes in the drawer.
    Okay it's that day or two that totally terrifies me, rofl Thank you for the link!

    Thank you both for the info! This is exactly what I was looking for!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tracbourne View Post
    SIM swapping? Doesn't that cause all sorts of account issues? (It means you active the SIM in one phone and put it in another, right?)
    Nope. SIM you place in another phone is the account in control. You don't even register the phone you place the SIM into.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mathfaster View Post
    Nope. SIM you place in another phone is the account in control. You don't even register the phone you place the SIM into.
    I'm leery of this after the CSR that was helping me with our recently uncredited airtime asked for the IMEI of my phone & SIM (which for us obviously matched, but wouldn't if we did this?)

    Also why do we need the TMFL SIM? We're okay with the new SOP deals (and already use them actually). As they are a better deal for our use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tracbourne View Post
    I'm leery of this after the CSR that was helping me with our recently uncredited airtime asked for the IMEI of my phone & SIM (which for us obviously matched, but wouldn't if we did this?)

    Also why do we need the TMFL SIM? We're okay with the new SOP deals (and already use them actually). As they are a better deal for our use.
    If you don't want to SIM swap that's fine. Smartphone SIMs are fine if you've already determined that you are fine with those "plans". The general consensus was that TMFL SIMs give you more options.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tracbourne View Post
    Okay it's that day or two that totally terrifies me, rofl
    Last month, I bought a Rebel 2 bundle from HSN, then use Chat (as shown in my transcript) to transfer everything from my wife's BYOP GSM flip-phone to the Rebel 2. Two days later, I transferred everything from the Rebel 2 back to the flip-phone. I had to use a new BYOP GSM SIM because TF doesn't allow re-using GSM SIM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    Last month, I bought a Rebel 2 bundle from HSN, then use Chat (as shown in my transcript) to transfer everything from my wife's BYOP GSM flip-phone to the Rebel 2. Two days later, I transferred everything from the Rebel 2 back to the flip-phone. I had to use a new BYOP GSM SIM because TF doesn't allow re-using GSM SIM.
    So my plan includes these phones (in case any specific tips are needed)
    new donor TF ZTE Quartz (no sim to swap anyways I just discovered)
    current BYOP Vzw/Unlocked HTC Desire 526 (LOVE this phone!) lol

    We are considering getting the USCellular Moto E4, but not sure how that would fit in all this. (and don't want to deal with having active service on another carrier?)

    Also is it a "smart" flip phone? We're looking for a smartphone that is EASY for my in-laws to use (the have been tracfone longer then we have). But use the bar "basic phone". My FIL would prefer a flip-phone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tracbourne View Post
    Also is it a "smart" flip phone? We're looking for a smartphone that is EASY for my in-laws to use (the have been tracfone longer then we have). But use the bar "basic phone". My FIL would prefer a flip-phone.
    The one my wife has is a ZTE Z222 GoPhone basic flip-phone. I put it on BYOP so it can get TMFL and the 3 buckets; TF-branded flip-phones only have DMFL.

    TF now has some "smart" flip-phones like the Z232 that WheelieBoot is talking about in THIS THREAD . I have no experience with them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    The one my wife has is a ZTE Z222 GoPhone basic flip-phone. I put it on BYOP so it can get TMFL and the 3 buckets; TF-branded flip-phones only have DMFL.

    TF now has some "smart" flip-phones like the Z232 that WheelieBoot is talking about in THIS THREAD . I have no experience with them.
    Forgive my ignorance, how do you use a "basic" phone as a BYOP? Just curious!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tracbourne View Post
    Forgive my ignorance, how do you use a "basic" phone as a BYOP? Just curious!
    At first, I thought that only smartphones can be used for BYOP, but apparently TF doesn't care. I simply activated a micro BYOP GSM SIM with a transfer from my wife's TF-branded LG440G, then put that SIM into a GoPhone Z222 basic flip-phone. It works just fine. When she uses the phone for calls, texts, or sending MMS which use data, the balance was deducted from the appropriate bucket.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    At first, I thought that only smartphones can be used for BYOP, but apparently TF doesn't care. I simply activated a micro BYOP GSM SIM with a transfer from my wife's TF-branded LG440G, then put that SIM into a GoPhone Z222 basic flip-phone. It works just fine. When she uses the phone for calls, texts, or sending MMS which use data, the balance was deducted from the appropriate bucket.
    I wish I could Rep this post, thank you SO much for this tip!!! My FIL will be thrilled!! He is a heavy talk/text and this would "in effect" double his (available) minutes/text since they wouldn't just deduct from a single bucket!!

    So how do you add airtime? (just regular, not from buckets) Currently he uses the prepaid button on his actual tracfone basic phone

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    Quote Originally Posted by tracbourne View Post
    Also is it a "smart" flip phone? We're looking for a smartphone that is EASY for my in-laws to use (the have been tracfone longer then we have). But use the bar "basic phone". My FIL would prefer a flip-phone.
    The AT&T Z222 that hpham mentioned is a basic dumbphone. The TF Z233VL is a bit smarter flip, but not by all that much. There is a similar model Z232TL which may not be desirable because it's T-Mobile. There is also the Z353VL Cymbal-Z which is an Android flip phone. All of these are quite large in the hand because of their bigger screens.

    What carrier is the in-laws phone on now?
    Last edited by loboheeler; 10-11-2017 at 07:36 PM.

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    I have the TF cymbal-T zte z353vl, cdma using VZ. I like some aspects of it like the screen & that i can type using the physical keypad or the tiny virtual touchpad, but i can't get decent sound during a call & have to use a headset. Its been at QVC for 49.98 including a years service but last visit it sold out. The other QVC listing was for it without the minutes for almost $100. Walmart may have it in stock for about $80? It was $30 at Kmart i think but i believe it sold out. The TF website has or had it for about $80. There's an October TF website 20% off code for phones, TF20OFF that expires end of month.

    Quote Originally Posted by loboheeler View Post
    The AT&T Z222 that hpham mentioned is a basic dumbphone. The TF Z233VL is a bit smarter flip, but not by all that much. There is a similar model Z232TL which may not be desirable because it's T-Mobile. There is also the Z353VL Cymbal-Z which is an Android flip phone. All of these are quite large in the hand because of their bigger screens.

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