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Thread: TracFone is Clueless...

  1. #1
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    TracFone is Clueless...

    My 5180i TracFone keeps dropping into analog (the "D" for digital disappears) if I try to place or receive a call. I also confirmed that it is dropping into analog using the field test mode.

    The various answers I got were:
    - "Sir, this is a digital only phone and you only have digital service in your area...analog TracFones are not available"
    - "Some phones are programmed differently so that the "D" disappears"
    - "Sir, you have prepaid service, not postpaid -- therefore you cannot use analog"
    - "Nothing is wrong with your phone"

    This is so fruitless... They obviously don't deal with technical issues like this. If the CSR only knew that I had four previous 5180i TracFones, and that I also have tons of other phones (thanks to HoFo ) so I KNOW it's not suppose to do that.

    Argh...just had to rant
    Castrol EDGE 0W-20 is my drug of choice.

    Primary: iPhone 11
    Secondary: TracFones: iPhone 6s+ [AT&T] & iPhone XS [Verizon]
    Mobile Broadband: ZTE Z917 LTE hotspot (5GB for $10) + iPad Mini 4 w/ T-Mobile LTE

  2. #2
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    Do you know which network provider TracFone is using in your case?

    Have you tried updating the PRL if possible?

    Are you sure (from using the previous phones which were the same model) that you *should* or *did* have good digital coverage in the location where you're now having a problem, and therefore shouldn't be roaming to analog?

    BTW, I hear that using PlanetFeedback tends to get TracFone's attention, but it may or may not actually solve your problem.

  3. #3
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    TracFone is using VZW @ 800mhz here in Honolulu. I updated the PRL, and it still didn't work. ALL carriers here (AT&T Wireless, VZW, T-Mobile, and Nextel) have excellent coverage.

    After about a week, I got my replacement phones and activated them -- they had the same problem. I decided to transfer units from one of the phones to another and voila, just like that, all the phones can make/receive calls in digital mode just fine now. All of them occasionally drop into analog for a few seconds, so it drains the battery a bit but because I won't be using it much it doesn't matter.

    And the funny thing is that they don't even want the phones back. I'm almost pleading with them to send me a prepaid shipping label (like they promised) so I can ship the phones back. He keeps telling me to call, but I'm not home before he leaves work. I emailed him again and he told me to call him -- I'm thinking it's an automated msg when he's on vacation. Oh well, we'll see how this turns out

    Yep, PlanetFeedback is basically the only thing TracFone pays attention to -- best way to get them off their @$$es and do something. Next time I have a problem I'm going straight to the Executive Resolution Group to avoid the hold times (15+ min).

    Bleh, I'm so glad I have T-Mobile as my primary phone. 24/7 CS and I get to use a couple thousand minutes for $30/month

  4. #4
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    The only reason I think TracFone even pays attention to PlanetFeedback is so they can trumpet their great customer service rating on their homepage, IMO.

    I'm glad you were able to get things resolved, eventually.

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by jegrant
    The only reason I think TracFone even pays attention to PlanetFeedback is so they can trumpet their great customer service rating on their homepage, IMO.

    I'm glad you were able to get things resolved, eventually.
    I totally agree with that... Well, whatever works I suppose

    And they still haven't contacted me as to what they want me to do with the two extra 5180i TracFones. If they don't want it back, who am I to argue

    Realistically though, I'm sure it's costing them much more than $25 just in shipping alone per phone. Throw in the amount of time I have to spend with customer care and it'll cost them twice as much as it would for me to just keep the refurbed phones.

  6. #6
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    Thumbs down You Can/Cannot keep your old number

    Well, This is getting to be a ROYAL pain, and just recently just became an even worse pain.

    Although, I still keep my Tracfone service active, I'm NOT happy with their inability to
    make up their minds, of wether you can or cannot keep the same phone number.

    When I initially started a school bus route, for special needs children, for a summer camp, I was
    given a mini bus, with a radio from another bus yard. (same company, different town, and on-loan)
    Well.. IF I needed serious help, it didn't make sense to call the other town's dispatch, have them call
    mine, and have the problem get more serious.. So... not happy with some of the lock-in contract schemes
    some of the cell phone companies had at the time (Mid 2001) I went to Walmart, and bought myself the
    Nokia 252 through Tracfone. Well, I still hit several dead zones, static was horrible (hey, it was an analog.)
    But it came in handy more than once. (parent not there to accept the child, health problems, A flat tire
    on the bus.. )

    All went fine, till suddenly, the 252 wouldn't charge anymore. Okay, possibly NiCad memory syndrom.
    I bought a new battery pack. (in 2002, this was not easy! managed to find a 3rd party mfg, RoadWarrior,
    at a truck stop in-state. ) But, NO CHANGE !!

    So, I went to Walmart again, the 252 no-longer available. The Nokia 5125 digital was, for $30 more
    than I paid for the 252.. Well, before I bought it, I called tracfone's customer service.. I couldn't
    make out the name of the rep., but when I asked her if it was possible to transfer the number of
    the old 252, to the new 5125, she said
    "As long as the 5125 is of the TDMA type, yes it can." Okay, satisfied with this, I went & bought the phone.

    Okay, called to get it activated, and told the service rep., I was told they could transfer the remaining
    minutes/units, and the number.. "I'm sorry sir, We can transfer the minutes, but not the number, because the
    number is for analog service." Oh-Great! Okay, I'll bite the bullet.. Give me the new number.

    Okay, all well and fine, till roughly a 2 weeks ago from today. : When suddenly, I'd check the phone,
    and it was shut off.. (Odd.. I KNOW I turned it on, and locked the keypad.) When it turned on, it reported
    Battery Low.. ( and I KNOW I just took it off the charger that morning!) I let it go
    for awhile, even using the auto cigarette charger cord to keep it going. When suddenly, without warning,
    when trying to make a call home, I could hear a strange noise. (turned out the phone had begun scanning
    for service.) No Service and I was less than 200 feet from the closest Cingular tower. (and it DID
    show full scale reception.) replacing the battery pack didn't help. (Belkin replacement NiMH)..just as short
    (Less than 3 HOURS!!! In STANDBY! ) Okay, bite the bullet again.. Back to Walmart..
    This time, instead of in a cardboard box, the now popular plastic clamshell. Identical Nokia 5125, TDMA ..


    Yesterday I called directly, following their touch-tone-tag to 'exchange a defective phone', The CSR asked
    me for the ESN's.. Mind you, these were both the SAME 5125 TDMA. "I'm sorry sir, We can transfer
    the remaining minutes, but not the phone number." I recanted, with the story of the previous ruckus,
    and again "I am sorry sir, we simply cannot transfer the number.".. Even after hearing the news of
    law change that said you could maintain the number going from carrier to carrier, this should've been an easy
    task, being (a) same model phone, (b) same Service provider. But, she continued to say it couldn't be done.
    :argueing: Finally, I gave up, and accepted the new number.

    Well... not more than 6 hours after I activated the new phone, and deactivated the old one,
    I suddenly get a call from a strange number..

    "Dad?" (Umm Excuse me, I'm still single, and have NO children other than on the bus.)

    Today, While I'm driving my regular bus (regular school year) I see another number strange number pop up.
    When I called it back (I hadn't set-up the voice mail yet.) A woman asked me how I got her phone
    number?!?!?! (apparently unlisted.) Shortly afterwards, I get a 3rd call now.. "How did you get my father's
    phone number?".. long story short, apparently, the father had let his tracfone service lapse., and the
    number was re-issued. (to me.. Oh-JOY!!! )

    I called back Tracfone's CSR.. This time, I told her of the main problem. "Well sir, we can issue you a
    new number if you'd like." (having now, already told 1/4 of the people who knew the old number of
    the change.) I asked if the old number was still available? "We show that number as deactivated." Yes, I'm
    the one who had to deactivate it, because the CSR who I talked to Monday, said I couldn't transfer it.
    "Well sir, at the time the number on the old phone was deactivated, You should have been able to
    transfer it to the new number." this is getting pointless! So, now, I'm (a) stuck with a
    phone, with a new (3rd in a series!) number, (b)possibly countless calls from people I have
    no idea who they are, and (c) a MAJOR gripe which Tracfone should resolve, but, apparently is unwilling to.

    Has anyone else had this problem with Tracfone? was it resolved? or, have you hit the same
    clueless impass?

    Stephen
    (DO NOT SPAM! I can be reached at [email protected] )
    (remove the .spammenot)
    Stephen Griswold

  7. #7
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    For the person having trouble when his phone drops from digital to analog-- Is it possible that you are closer to an analog tower than a digital tower? That could cause a digital phone to go from a weak digital signal to a strong analog one. And/or is it possible that your phone's scan is set incorrectly which would cause it to seek out nearby analog towers? Find out, it may solve your problem.

    For the person talking about transferring a phone number from one TracFone to another-- there's no definite yes or no answer. The phone numbers are handled by carriers who lease the lines out and are not controlled by TracFone, so sometimes you can transfer a phone number from one phone to another, sometimes you can't, whether the phone is of the same type or not is irrelevant. It is guesswork at best.

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by rg1976
    For the person talking about transferring a phone number from one TracFone to another-- there's no definite yes or no answer. The phone numbers are handled by carriers who lease the lines out and are not controlled by TracFone, so sometimes you can transfer a phone number from one phone to another, sometimes you can't, whether the phone is of the same type or not is irrelevant. It is guesswork at best.
    True, BUT, what I'm griping about, is how One, tells me it's not possible, and refuses to try, then another tells
    me it was possible. Why it irks me, is I wasn't changing service at all. I was REPLACING a defective phone
    which had begun to malfunction.

    Hence, (a) same service (Cingular), (b) same phone, so, why couldn't they assign the same number?

    The phone number, is part of the activation codes given. I asked the CSR this, when I was assigned
    the new number for the 1st 5125, because as soon as she began giving the prefix after the area code,
    I asked her, and she said this was needed because I was changing from an analog phone, to a digital.


    Now, my latest problem. I CAN'T activate the voice mail.
    No matter how I enter the temporary code, (# then the number, or the number Then #, or just the number,
    it refuses.. This was done, Both via the phone itself (The Instructions given by the 1-800 pre-recorded,
    and yes, I knew this would chew-up minutes.. wasted a good 5 for 1st attempt, I called the 800 number from a
    pay phone.), 2nd attempt, calling the phone's number direct from an office phone. Both attempts, after I hit the initial
    #, it asked for the temporary code.. "I'm sorry, that number is incorrect. Please enter the number assigned
    by your network provider."..

    So, right now, I'm NOT a happy camper.

    Stephen (gelfling)

  9. #9
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    Well, you see, a lot of CSRs will tell the customer it isn't possible because 99.5% of the time it just isn't possible and they don't want to get anyone's hopes up so they say no. And some CSRs will tell you it is possible because there is that 0.5% chance the transfer will go through. It really doesn't matter if the carrier is the same or whether or not it is the same type of phone. On an activation or reactivation the numbers are issued by the carrier, and whatever number the carrier issues on activation *has* to be placed in the codes given to be programmed in the TracFone. The CSRs have absolutely no ability to determine, change, or predict what phone number someone will get with their TracFone when generating codes. It doesn't make much sense really, but that's the way it I suppose.

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by rg1976
    For the person having trouble when his phone drops from digital to analog-- Is it possible that you are closer to an analog tower than a digital tower? That could cause a digital phone to go from a weak digital signal to a strong analog one. And/or is it possible that your phone's scan is set incorrectly which would cause it to seek out nearby analog towers? Find out, it may solve your problem.
    Wow, didn't expect my OLD thread to come back from the dead . I'm not quite sure as to the exact location of digital/analog towers around me, but the digital signal with Verizon Wireless is as good as -35db at times -- which is just about the best possible I've ever gotten on any network.

    My problem was eventually solved, and it was certainly an odd one. Customer care was no help at all -- of course, in order to get the customer "un"care, I had to wait on hold for a while

    BTW, I'm brenton99 in the Yahoo! TracFone group

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by gelfling
    So, right now, I'm NOT a happy camper.
    How often do you use your phone? Maybe you should just switch to Verizon's FreeUP service. You must be spending big bucks paying for phone after phone, battery after battery and then all those units you're wasting! If you don't like VZW, maybe you should try AT&T's Free2Go service.

    While I'm not fond of TracFone's handling of keeping track of minutes (the 15 second grace period is stupid IMO), I'm keeping them because for $30 or so I ended up with a refurb'd 5180i + 600 or so minutes and activation for a year with all the 60 minute airtime codes I have.

    My Free2Go phone is pretty good too. I should be getting 20 minutes every month for the next 12 months -- so for $25, I theoretically should be getting 240 minutes and activation for a year.

    THENNNN there's my Virgin Mobile phone, which is only $20 every 90 days. Not bad...

    *Sigh*..HoFo has made me into a phone freak! I can't afford to pay $20-40/month to use a phone on each provider's network (nor do I need that many minutes), but with the setup I have right now, it's affordable enough to satisfy my wants. I use my extra phone numbers for rebate companies, and it's also nice having an extra phone -- you know, just in case a relative's breaks. I can just hand them one of my prepaid phones, tell them how to get more minutes and be done with it.

    PS: TracFone has always assigned numbers in the 347 prefix (808-347-xxxx) here in Honolulu. I like my current TracFone number. I got to choose from four (as I had four TracFones...very long story). I also like my Free2Go and Virgin Mobile phone numbers. I like my T-Mobile phone and plan the best though -- unlimited text messaging and mobile2mobile is great

  12. #12
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    I have the same problem I have two trac phones the LG 800G they are both newer I had a full digital signal until this month I took a trip to florida and nothing but a analog signal all over south florida something is going for sure! the digital signal have also dropeed off my moms phone we are getting the run around anyone know whats going on??? sure looks to me like tracfone lost something I have no idea all I now is I used to have a full digital service and no its nothing but analog in both michigan and all over south florida...

  13. #13
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    Well, I just got done with my struggle with Tracfone BYOP --They don't know how to do anything for me. I tried to bring a Moto E into the system but it was all no good. They told me my zipcode didn't provice service, and I have used tracfones in my zipcode for years. They couldn't transfer my old phone number and it was all a mess. My Motor E had been using for a month on Verizon using a prepaid account. When I checked the compatibility, it said it was good. My advice is just to go to Verizon and use a prepaid account. The cost is going down to about $30 a month, plus tax

    Quote Originally Posted by IsLand_BoY View Post
    My 5180i TracFone keeps dropping into analog (the "D" for digital disappears) if I try to place or receive a call. I also confirmed that it is dropping into analog using the field test mode.

    The various answers I got were:
    - "Sir, this is a digital only phone and you only have digital service in your area...analog TracFones are not available"
    - "Some phones are programmed differently so that the "D" disappears"
    - "Sir, you have prepaid service, not postpaid -- therefore you cannot use analog"
    - "Nothing is wrong with your phone"

    This is so fruitless... They obviously don't deal with technical issues like this. If the CSR only knew that I had four previous 5180i TracFones, and that I also have tons of other phones (thanks to HoFo ) so I KNOW it's not suppose to do that.

    Argh...just had to rant

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