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Thread: tracfone service on straight talk phone (sim)?

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    tracfone service on straight talk phone (sim)?

    Straight talk has a few good deals on their locked phones (e.g. Moto G7 Optimo Maxx for $50, e7 for $40) right now. But their service is expensive. People seem to say these phones will work locked on tracfone; so

    [1] Can I activate the phone on tracfone network with the (straight talk) sim that comes with the phone?

    [2] If answer to [1] is NO, can I activate the phone on tracfone with a tracfone sim? Would I be using a BYOP sim, or a sim that came with a tracfone phone purchase?

    [3] if answer to [1] or [2] is yes, and I have a current tracfone line, can I replace my current tracfone phone with this one (as I would be able to with a compatible phone)?

    Thanks!

    Sean

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    Quote Originally Posted by snehne View Post
    [1] Can I activate the phone on tracfone network with the (straight talk) sim that comes with the phone?

    [3] if answer to [1] or [2] is yes, and I have a current tracfone line, can I replace my current tracfone phone with this one (as I would be able to with a compatible phone)?
    [1] Yes.

    [3] Use Chat on TF web site so you don't have to put up with the rep's accent, and have everything recorded in the chat transcript. Ask for balance of your current phone. Then ask the rep to ACTIVATE your new (Straight Talk) phone WITH A TRANSFER from your existing TF phone.

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    I just activated a Straight Talk phone with a transfer from my existing phone. The chat CSR said it needed to be a TF to complete the transaction but I asked if it could be rebranded and he said yes. The transfer/activation worked fast after that, the balance transferred within a few minutes.

    I created a thread about it.

    Sent from my LGL64VL using HoFo mobile app

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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    [1] Yes.

    [3] Use Chat on TF web site so you don't have to put up with the rep's accent, and have everything recorded in the chat transcript. Ask for balance of your current phone. Then ask the rep to ACTIVATE your new (Straight Talk) phone WITH A TRANSFER from your existing TF phone.
    @hpham, did you see my question about the whole rebranding thing on @WheelieBoot other thread ?

    When do you need to even mention rebranding? Seems sometime you need to tell the CSR and sometime you don't.

    Thanks much!

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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    [1] Yes.

    [3] Use Chat on TF web site so you don't have to put up with the rep's accent, and have everything recorded in the chat transcript. Ask for balance of your current phone. Then ask the rep to ACTIVATE your new (Straight Talk) phone WITH A TRANSFER from your existing TF phone.
    Super, thanks. So in [3] I will be TRANSFER my existing TF account to the new phone/sim (i.e. the ST phone/sim will be used) correct?

    Sean

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    Quote Originally Posted by WheelieBoot View Post
    I just activated a Straight Talk phone with a transfer from my existing phone. The chat CSR said it needed to be a TF to complete the transaction but I asked if it could be rebranded and he said yes. The transfer/activation worked fast after that, the balance transferred within a few minutes.

    I created a thread about it.
    Thanks, found that thread. I am still curious what will happen if you just ask to replace your phone? Is the fact that the phone has never been activated on their network the problem?

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    Quote Originally Posted by snehne View Post
    Super, thanks. So in [3] I will be TRANSFER my existing TF account to the new phone/sim (i.e. the ST phone/sim will be used) correct?

    Sean
    I used the SIM that came with the Straight Talk phone. It's Verizon based and the phone I was transferring from has a TF/Verizon SIM. It seems to work best if both phones use the same underlying service.

    Sent from my moto e5 (XT1920DL) using HoFo mobile app

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    Quote Originally Posted by snehne View Post
    Thanks, found that thread. I am still curious what will happen if you just ask to replace your phone? Is the fact that the phone has never been activated on their network the problem?
    I think it has something to do with the underlying carriers (Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T).

    With Verizon as the underlying carrier the SIM can be reactivated after it's been used before and deactivated. No new SIM needed.

    With GSM carriers like AT&T or T-Mobile I think once deactivated it requires a new SIM to activate it.

    I'm not sure why they'd refuse to activate a Straight Talk on TracFone without rebranding since they boot with the TF logo.

    The APN or network settings are very likely the issue. I think the APNs aren't the same between TF, Straight Talk, Total Wireless, Net10, etc.

    Maybe the CSR has to get permission to reset the APN and that's what rebranding actually is. It might be more than that but the only difference I can find between the phones lies in the network settings.

    Sent from my moto e5 (XT1920DL) using HoFo mobile app

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    Quote Originally Posted by snehne View Post
    I am still curious what will happen if you just ask to replace your phone?
    "Replace your phone" is kind of vague. Does it mean your phone doesn't work any more, and it's still under warranty, and you want TF to replace it? If so, they will send you a replacement and you send the broken one back.

    If your old phone is tired, no longer meets required specs, or you want a use a better one, then it's considered an "upgrade". In that case, you activate the new phone with a TRANSFER from your old phone. Your phone number, service days, and bucket balances will be transferred to the new phone. If the new phone comes with bundled days/units, then those will be added to the existing days/units.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpz1 View Post
    @hpham, did you see my question about the whole rebranding thing on @WheelieBoot other thread ?
    Sorry, I didn't read completely through that thread. It was too complicated and gave me a headache.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    Sorry, I didn't read completely through that thread. It was too complicated and gave me a headache.
    Thx, no problem. Happens to me allot too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    "Replace your phone" is kind of vague. Does it mean your phone doesn't work any more, and it's still under warranty, and you want TF to replace it? If so, they will send you a replacement and you send the broken one back.

    If your old phone is tired, no longer meets required specs, or you want a use a better one, then it's considered an "upgrade". In that case, you activate the new phone with a TRANSFER from your old phone. Your phone number, service days, and bucket balances will be transferred to the new phone. If the new phone comes with bundled days/units, then those will be added to the existing days/units.
    I vaguely recall a few years ago I was able to replace a dying BYOP phone with another BYOP, by giving the CSR the IMEI of the new BYOP phone, and then physically moving the sim to the new phone. That was what I meant by "replacing". Both phones were unlocked non-TF, and I recently learned that had the dying one been a bundled phone I would not be able to do that (need a BYOP sim for the new non-TF phone). But I do not know if the same sim can be moved from one locked/bundle phone to another. I guess not?

    Anyhow, my previous "understanding" (from the GSM world) that number/account goes with sim and not phone, and IMEI is just for VZN book-keeping, seems wrong, at least in the world of bundled TF phones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snehne View Post
    1. I vaguely recall a few years ago I was able to replace a dying BYOP phone with another BYOP, by giving the CSR the IMEI of the new BYOP phone, and then physically moving the sim to the new phone. That was what I meant by "replacing". Both phones were unlocked non-TF, and I recently learned that had the dying one been a bundled phone I would not be able to do that (need a BYOP sim for the new non-TF phone).

    2. But I do not know if the same sim can be moved from one locked/bundle phone to another. I guess not?

    3. Anyhow, my previous "understanding" (from the GSM world) that number/account goes with sim and not phone, and IMEI is just for VZN book-keeping, seems wrong, at least in the world of bundled TF phones.
    1. A BYOP TF/AT&T or BYOP TF/T-mo SIM is NOT tied to any IMEI. You can swap it into any compatible phone at will. A BYOP TF/Verizon SIM is tied to the IMEI of the phone that was used to activate the SIM. If you want to move that SIM to another phone, you should get the SIM paired with the IMEI of the new phone. That's what you did.

    2. The SIM of a TF-branded phone is paired with the IMEI of its original phone in TF system. Swapping that SIM into another phone will work functionally but can cause potential problems. Back in the days of non-smartphones, TF enforced that pairing more strictly. Putting the SIM from one TF-branded dumb phone to another dumb phone will result in the error message "Unregistered SIM" and the phone won't work.

    3. What said in [2] applies to all TF-branded phone, GSM and CDMA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    1. A BYOP TF/AT&T or BYOP TF/T-mo SIM is NOT tied to any IMEI. You can swap it into any compatible phone at will. A BYOP TF/Verizon SIM is tied to the IMEI of the phone that was used to activate the SIM. If you want to move that SIM to another phone, you should get the SIM paired with the IMEI of the new phone. That's what you did.

    2. The SIM of a TF-branded phone is paired with the IMEI of its original phone in TF system. Swapping that SIM into another phone will work functionally but can cause potential problems. Back in the days of non-smartphones, TF enforced that pairing more strictly. Putting the SIM from one TF-branded dumb phone to another dumb phone will result in the error message "Unregistered SIM" and the phone won't work.

    3. What said in [2] applies to all TF-branded phone, GSM and CDMA.
    Crystal clear! Thanks a lot.

    I still remember my pre-3G days when VZN did not even use sims. I guess they somehow kept the tradition of authenticating phones as opposed to only sims.

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    I just thought I would mention that if someone wants to activate a TF-TMO SIM on a non-TracFone, CS will ask for the IMEI of the phone. It has happened to me twice, recently. They said it is to verify compatability. That is probably because T-Mobile now wants to be sure a device is VoLTE-capable.

    It is not really a problem, as most of the more modern unbranded phones can do VoLTE on T-Mobile. I even have an unbranded Moto G4 Play that does VoLTE on TMO, and an unbranded E4 that does both VoLTE and WiFi-calling on TMO.

    Of course, as stated earlier, once a TF-TMO SIM is activated, it can be switched around without issues.

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