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Thread: Why do people use Tracfone? Seems really expensive

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    Why do people use Tracfone? Seems really expensive

    Looking at the TF website the amount you pay for the minutes and data you receive seem awfully high compared to other services. Why is TF so popular on here?

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    In the past, Tracfone was probably the least expensive option for a light user who doesn't need a lot of minutes or data. Now, I think other MVNOs are catching up with Tracfone on value, especially based on Tracfone's regular prices. But there are a lot of better deals available for Tracfone service, such as phones from HSN and QVC that come bundled with a years worth of service. I also got into Tracfone because it's always been one of the few MVNOs that uses the Verizon network (depending on the phone you choose).

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by morgothaod View Post
    Looking at the TF website the amount you pay for the minutes and data you receive seem awfully high compared to other services. Why is TF so popular on here?
    That depends on how much service you used. TF is not for people who use their phone a lot. I only use about 100 minutes, 100 texts, 60MB a month. TF often sells a SIM with 1-yr of service, 1500 minutes, 1500 texts, 3GB for $30 to $40. That's enough for me. Where else can I get such service for about $3 a month?

    There are also TF phones bundled with the above service, all for $50 to $60. They are not fancy phones, but they're good enough for actual phone usage, not streaming videos or playing games.

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    I use TracFone because
    1) Low cost for long term service with light usage
    2) Data rollover
    3) A generous rewards program (used to be)
    4) Access to all three major carriers
    5) This supportive community

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    I agree with the previous posts regarding Tracfone is for people who do not use their phone a lot.

    My usage goes in waves but one feature Tracfone provides is the ability to KEEP any unused minutes, text and data, month after month, as long as you have service days. This of course applies to all offered plans except for the unlimited, which IMO is expensive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pitflyer View Post
    I use TracFone because
    2) Data rollover
    All buckets rollover.

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    Quote Originally Posted by morgothaod View Post
    Looking at the TF website the amount you pay for the minutes and data you receive seem awfully high compared to other services. Why is TF so popular on here?
    It's not expensive at all. My parents get by on as little as $1.67/mo, EXCLUDING the rewards benefits that a lot of us accumulated over the last 9 months +/-. It does take some work and sometimes luck on timing purchases when things are on sale to get it that cheaply.

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    Many people (yes, for he most part younger ones) don't realize that by the minute or unit PAYGO type service harkens back to an era where cellular service was an adjunct or auxiliary to their long established wireline service; like a portable pay phone. You only need it when you're out and about for the most important calls (or various messaging needs). So you have a finite bucket of use capability, and you made it last with conservative use habits. And at one point there was competition with getting that service's per minute (or per whatever unit) costs down. You'd buy what you needed for your personal prospective use, and the good companies would let you roll over what you didn't use as long as you met the terms of expiration. That type of service still meets the needs of quite a few people (and probably would more if they'd examine it and not be afraid to get away from monthly type plans). But that ship for most has largely sailed. So let them pay!

    Most people starting out are somewhat transient apartment dwellers, and have no desire to get any kind of hard-wired services, because their thing is pickup and go portability. Any redundant capabilities are just extra money gone.

    But if you're a homeowner you have incentive and capability of having and affording those hard-wired services, which opens up a lot more options for service. You can keep your cell service cheaper (if you're aware of the methods), but you're paying for other access at the same time.

    Not quite a wash, but in some cases close.

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    Quote Originally Posted by whacker View Post
    Most people starting out are somewhat transient apartment dwellers, and have no desire to get any kind of hard-wired services, because their thing is pickup and go portability. Any redundant capabilities are just extra money gone.

    But if you're a homeowner you have incentive and capability of having and affording those hard-wired services, which opens up a lot more options for service. You can keep your cell service cheaper (if you're aware of the methods), but you're paying for other access at the same time.
    Besides the homeowner vs apartment dweller thing, younger people spend more time away from "home" than older people. Younger people go to work, ball games, gyms, shopping, parties, restaurants, bars, etc. So they use their cell phones more to stay in touch. Older people spend more time at home, don't go to work, don't shop/eat out as much, and can use home computers to communicate via email, and home phone for calls.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by morgothaod View Post
    Looking at the TF website the amount you pay for the minutes and data you receive seem awfully high compared to other services. Why is TF so popular on here?
    Because almost no one here is paying those list prices. Deals on TracFone's ebay store as well as bundled deals from HSN and QVC make the service super cheap for low volume users. Also, the rewards program is pretty good although it has become a bit dicey because they seem to just take away points without cause if they think you have too many.

    edit: I also like the fact that data/texts/minutes rollover forever if you keep your service active with Tracfone. This comes in handy for vacations when I might have heavier usage.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by YaWho View Post
    Because almost no one here is paying those list prices. Deals on TracFone's ebay store as well as bundled deals from HSN and QVC make the service super cheap for low volume users. Also, the rewards program is pretty good although it has become a bit dicey because they seem to just take away points without cause if they think you have too many.

    edit: I also like the fact that data/texts/minutes rollover forever if you keep your service active with Tracfone. This comes in handy for vacations when I might have heavier usage.
    I like your response. No one here is paying those regular prices on the TracFone website. Part of being on this platform is to learn how to minimize your expenditure on phone service. I've learnt to use cell service with very minimal financial outlays. In fact, through various deals I actually earn profit from mobile phone providers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristInMe View Post
    In fact, through various deals I actually earn profit from mobile phone providers.
    Yep, same here. I've made over $6K with phone deals since March last year. Lately, the good deals have dried up though.

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    It was easier to see the value in Tracfone before they went after the unlimited user. To me, Tracfone has not shown they seriously want to be competitive with unlimited. I wonder if unlimited was only added to Tracfone with Verizon in mind?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    All buckets rollover.
    Yes, but I mentioned why *I* use TracFone. I only talk and text with Google Voice, which are both data only -- so for me the talk and text is completely unused. Even 60 minutes and 60 texts from my initial refill will last me a year....

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    Quote Originally Posted by morgothaod View Post
    Looking at the TF website the amount you pay for the minutes and data you receive seem awfully high compared to other services. Why is TF so popular on here?
    The cost per unit is high, but if you don't use much the total cost over time is much less than monthly plans. I barely use 200 minutes, texts, data MB a year. Tracfone is nearly unique that the service units are a pool to be used anytime, not monthly. There are times like travel and vacation when my use spikes above a similarly priced monthly plan with 100 minutes, texts, data MB.

    Tracfone costs me about $5 a month average for all the service I need. SWMBO had an AT&T postpaid plan that cost ~$100 a month and doesn't use much service. I helped her switch to Verizon Prepaid with unlimited talk and text for $30/mo. for a savings of $70 a month. That's not chump change.

    I have used Tracfone for twenty years. Say the savings was $50 a month vs traditional cell service. That is $12,000 saved that I invested and made even more money rather than wasting it on cell service that I don't need.

    Tracfone is not cost effective for people who use a lot of data, do dozens of group texts a day, or talk a lot.

    As for the popularity, I guess it appeals to the frugal nature and sense of getting a deal for a clique of us who don't use much service.

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