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Thread: Why do people use Tracfone? Seems really expensive

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by LadyLC View Post
    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.
    Yes, the ability to own what you pay for has always been the draw for me. I accumulated lots of service time over the years, so that is not a consideration in running costs. Have not bought airtime cards in years, just some occasional talk time or data. My Tracfone has been my only phone for quite some time.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by LadyLC View Post
    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.
    And even if you couldn't roll over unused data to another year, there are advantages to having a single bucket of minutes/data for the year rather an limits per month is you can leave it unused for 6 months and then if you need to use it a lot that one month you can.
    iPhone 12 Pro is my current primary phone. And also have a Galaxy a10e as a backup travel phone.

  3. #18
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    It's cheap for me because I don't talk and text much. I'm also on Wi-Fi most of the time.... so I could average out a month of service for well under $10... and with their generous rewards program (when they don't take away your reward points and they don't "magically" disappear), I've added lots of free service time and got some free and/or low-cost phones.

    It amazes me that some people pay well over $50 a month for one line of service... even up to $100/month. I guess if they use their phone constantly and use a ton of data then it might be worth it.

    I do have to say that data can be really slow on Tracfone and that sucks. Today I was out somewhere and the data was super-slow. I'm pretty sure it's because they prioritize data to the people paying those big monthly phone bills, as they should, but I don't think they should prioritize it so much that it's practically unusable for Tracfone people. Fortunately that's not often the case but it can be depending on what area you are in and how many people are being served near you.
    Tracfone BBB Complaint Response: A Tracfone representative told me that posting a referral code around on Internet forums and social media is a violation of the terms. The referral program is for referring known friends and family.

  4. #19
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    I've used Tracfone for maybe 15 years. Originally as primary lines for me, and my SO. I got to the point where I needed larger allotments than made financial sense with Tracfone, so I moved my primary line to a cheap traditional plan elsewhere-- but that's meant Sprint or T-Mobile service. I need Verizon when I'm in parts of the state, and have always kept a Tracfone Verizon line to supply that.
    My Tello referral code is P3BSR5HV, and gets both of us 10 Tello Dollars to pay for a plan.
    https://tello.com/account/register?_referral=P3BSR5HV

  5. #20
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    The slow data I believe is a Verizon MVNO feature. Similar results on other VZW carriers for me. Why I will be upset when the ATT or TMO choices disappear.

  6. #21
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    Tracfone doesn't seem very expensive to me, a light user. I like that it allows a variety of low cost paygo options to add funds. Plus it offers a fairly wide range of phones with or without plans.

    I spoke to someone who has a Verizon contract phone they're stuck with for several years at $70/mo and still owes 1400 on the phone. I think it's a Samsung. She said she has frequently dropped calls and not much customer service help at the store that sold her the service & phone. She can't get AT&T or T-Mobile where she is.

    I told her about Tracfone and that it was bought by Verizon. She seemed pretty sad when I told her how much my Motorola TFs &service cost.

    I guess "expensive" or "cheap" is a matter of perspective, but unless you like LOTS of (unlimited) data, TF is pretty cheap (compared to the VZ service I just described).

    Sent from my moto e6 (XT2005DL) using HoFo mobile app

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by WheelieBoot View Post
    ...I told her about Tracfone and that it was bought by Verizon....
    Verizon has not bought Tracfone yet. The deal is planned to complete in 3Q21. I would not be surprised if some meathead fuzzy thinkers in state and federal government try to kill the deal or extort concessions.

  8. #23
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    One really has to fire up the old computer and do some research before getting mobile service. You can't just walk into a carrier's store and expect to get something appropriate. It is designed to part you with as much of your money as possible. Not to mention snooping into your credit. Tracfone doesn't even get to know your real name if you pay cash as far as I can tell.

    I have started a new cheap line on Tello on a backup phone in case Tracfone's duct tape falls off and the lines go down. Weird things happen to accounts, and it's too scary to get CS messing around.

    I was even thinking about using the BBB as a convenient source of higher level CS. But I don't want to be a PITA. One of my lines is having LTE trouble. The other identical phone setup is fine. Things seem to glitch up over time and regular CS does not inspire trust. I have some experience with Tracfone BBB.

  9. #24
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    I'm a long time user and have large-ish balances that roll over. I have service days two years out. During these two years I expect to encounter some deals like the $40 eBay deal for a one-year card. That's less than $4 per month. (That's not even counting the value of the included units.)

    Maybe there's a cheaper deal somewhere, but less than $6 or $7 per month I don't really care anymore. Not that $6 isn't important, but there are easier ways to save $6 a month.

    I have more talk and text units than I'll ever use. I do use up the data sometimes, but the usage is sporadic (on trips) so I really like the rollover data.

  10. #25
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    I also have a lot of airtime built up. But they are on AT&T/BYOP sims, and I am getting the heebie-jeebies about its fate.

    If I get an "upgrade" to a Verizon sim, I'm afraid of the outcome. If CS will flag my balances, or more likely, screw up the transfer.

    So I am just thinking about where the best CS can be found if I need to switch sims.

    I like the Tracfone value but not the anxiety about their systems.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisme View Post
    I also have a lot of airtime built up. But they are on AT&T/BYOP sims, and I am getting the heebie-jeebies about its fate.

    If I get an "upgrade" to a Verizon sim, I'm afraid of the outcome. If CS will flag my balances, or more likely, screw up the transfer.
    My wife's phone is a TF-branded A50 on TF/Verizon with service out to 2026 and enough balances for 24 months of her usage. She should be fine. My phone has a BYOP TF/AT&T SIM, with service out to 2026 and balances for 48 months of my usage. My balances are in the 5000 range, so they shouldn't raise any flag if I need to switch to a BYOP TF/Verizon SIM.

    My "retreat plan" if I can't live with Verizon's new plans is to switch to Red Pocket with prepaid 1-yr Plans bought on Ebay, $30/yr for my phone and $100/year for my wife's phone.

  12. #27
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    Someone else mentioned Tello. They are my backup plan as they also have rollover albeit a bit informally by renewing one day early. I basically get more data occasionally at a cheaper rate and then keep service alive at about $6 a month and roll over all that data.

    I prefer ATT service but have been wish washing about redeeming my points for years of att Tracfone service if they won't honor it anyway.

  13. #28
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    The T-Mobile MVNO plans tend to be the cheapest for the same benefits. Tello has been running specials, and their CS is supposed to be tolerable. Also, they throttle data instead of a hard cap. Also the way to MacGyver data rollover.

    I have noticed that Red Pocket is getting a little thin on AT&T and Verizon offers. I think those two are tightening up their wholesale game.

    So maybe T-Mobile isn't so snooty.

    The only thing I am having a problem with on T-Mobile is when you email to the phone i.e. (yournumber)@tmomail.net

    There are severe spam filters that refuse to deliver almost all of my email that I wish to have forwarded to my phone automatically by gmail filters. The reason for rejection is "banned content". Seriously, from Bank of America and PayPal and other credit cards. The only thing that passes muster is from my bank.

    So this is very irritating. Someone reported to put a 1 in front of the phone number. I think it helped some. I don't have any problems with my AT&T/sim phones.

    If you check out prepaidcompare.net you can see the pricing trend.

    It's possible that AT&T and Verizon are getting too expensive for Tracfone. Especially since Tracfone screw-ups are giving away a lot for free.

  14. #29
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    I think I could get away with Red Pocket's 200 minute/ 1000 text/ 200 mb per mo. plan which will cost me $2.50/month. Only downside would be I would have to switch from verizon to t-mobile's towers.

  15. #30
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    I've been with Tracfone since 2007. At that that time I was looking for my first cell phone and knew I only wanted it for occasional use, so TF seemed perfect for my use, and I am still happy with it.

    Through the years I have built up a lot of service time and minutes through deals and glitches. My main phone has service days out to 2039, and enough t/t/d for a few years (some added from Rewards points). All the service I have may outlast Tracfone itself.

    I manage TF phones for family members and I have already added a couple of years and plenty of minutes from Rewards points.

    Tracfone service is pretty much free for myself and family members for at least the next few years.

    I still have a lot of Rewards points to use up this year. I will get a couple more free phones from Rewards Coupons and probably have enough points to activate them for later unlock. I want to have some unlocked DL phones to use on other services in the future. I have used some Rewards points to add Data for a friend's phone on TF.

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