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Thread: Whoa, will this shortcut work?

  1. #1
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    Whoa, will this shortcut work?

    My brother is on Tracfone with a TF-branded phone that he activated prior to November 2021, so the phone is on the 12-month unlocking clock. It should get unlocked in September.

    But suppose that he closes his account today and gives the phone to me.

    Then tomorrow, I activate the phone in my account by transferring my service to it.

    Will the phone now get unlocked after 60 days (instead of having to wait till September)?!

    Is this a legitimate shortcut? Seems to me there has to be some flaw in the reasoning above, but I don’t know what that flaw is.

    Thank you for all helpful feedback and insights!
    You can activate new service on Tracfone and get $80 by using my referral code (you get 8,000 rewards points - that's $80 in service or a brand new phone!)
    You can sign up for Red Pocket and get $25 off your monthly-plan order using my referral code. Feel free to PM me for the codes. Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Your shortcut won't work. The 12-month clock for that phone (tracked by its IMEI) was already started. Re-activating it will restart that same 12-month clock, not a new 60-day clock.

    A Turk-forum member has a phone activated last year before 11/23/21 and transferred its service to another phone after a few days. He asked TF if he could reactivate it now and only need 60 days to get it unlocked. The answer was No, that phone needs to be used for the rest of the 12-month term.

  3. #3
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    I tried your trick on a couple of TF-branded devices. It didn't work. hpham is right. The unlocking clock is tracked by IMEi and it started when the device was first activated. De-activating and re-activating would not reset the clock to the new policy.

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    One idea is to rebrand old TF phone to other sub brand that uses Verizon network, or vice versa. You can have old TF phone rebranded to TW or ST, activate on their network, then qualify for 60 day unlocking policy. I've just rebranded an old TW phone to TF, and UNLOCK to 611611 gives 60 day unlocking eligibility.

  5. #5
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    Thank you to everyone for your replies. Yup, now that I think about it, it sounds too good of a shortcut to be true!
    Mobile1212, the rebranding route you suggested is very nifty, it needs a brave person to put it in play!

    (It just occurred to me that this unlock system with two separate clocks - it makes things complicated for customers who buy refurbished/used TF phones. I mean, imagine buying a used phone with the expectation that you can get it unlocked after 60 days - and then finding out that it needs to stay locked for 11 more months, say, because of the previous owner's actions. Quite the disappointment for the new owner!)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sillyette View Post
    (It just occurred to me that this unlock system with two separate clocks - it makes things complicated for customers who buy refurbished/used TF phones. I mean, imagine buying a used phone with the expectation that you can get it unlocked after 60 days - and then finding out that it needs to stay locked for 11 more months, say, because of the previous owner's actions.
    True for buying a used phone from a seller who is not TF. Not true for a refurbished phone sold by TF because they clear its history. My refurb A51 bought from TF and activated after 11/23/21 got unlocked after 60 days.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile1212 View Post
    One idea is to rebrand old TF phone to other sub brand that uses Verizon network, or vice versa. You can have old TF phone rebranded to TW or ST, activate on their network, then qualify for 60 day unlocking policy. I've just rebranded an old TW phone to TF, and UNLOCK to 611611 gives 60 day unlocking eligibility.
    I'm not sure this is reliable. I specifically asked support about a scenario moving a phone between brands, and was told that tracking months of usage continues across brands. In my case, I had a Total phone that came with a 30 day plan, and was considering using it on Total with that plan, and then moving to Tracfone. Not exactly the same situation, since my initial activation would have been after 11/23/21, but the capability of tracking IMEI across sub-brands could remain.
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by greenhandle View Post
    I'm not sure this is reliable. I specifically asked support about a scenario moving a phone between brands, and was told that tracking months of usage continues across brands. In my case, I had a Total phone that came with a 30 day plan, and was considering using it on Total with that plan, and then moving to Tracfone. Not exactly the same situation, since my initial activation would have been after 11/23/21, but the capability of tracking IMEI across sub-brands could remain.
    No reliable dp so far. I will report my rebranded phone unlock dp in June. It's a TW android phone that was activated in last June on TW for one month. TF rep verified that inactive TW account then rebranded phone to TF with transferring activation ( swapping out an unlocked A51). UNLOCK to 611611 says eligible to be unlocked early June.

  9. #9
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    Sillyette said :
    (It just occurred to me that this unlock system with two separate clocks - it makes things complicated for customers who buy refurbished/used TF phones. I mean, imagine buying a used phone with the expectation that you can get it unlocked after 60 days - and then finding out that it needs to stay locked for 11 more months, say, because of the previous owner's actions. Quite the disappointment for the new owner!)

    That has been basically my gripe all along. I bought a refurb phone from tracfone and one reason was to unlock it after 60 days. That was accomplished without question. The rewards points, however were denied because the phone had been activated by a previous owner which made it ineligible for rewards. Seems to me there is a contradiction in there somewhere!! Tracfone

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmannix View Post
    Sillyette said :
    (It just occurred to me that this unlock system with two separate clocks - it makes things complicated for customers who buy refurbished/used TF phones. I mean, imagine buying a used phone with the expectation that you can get it unlocked after 60 days - and then finding out that it needs to stay locked for 11 more months, say, because of the previous owner's actions. Quite the disappointment for the new owner!)

    That has been basically my gripe all along. I bought a refurb phone from tracfone and one reason was to unlock it after 60 days. That was accomplished without question. The rewards points, however were denied because the phone had been activated by a previous owner which made it ineligible for rewards. Seems to me there is a contradiction in there somewhere!! Tracfone
    The small print attached to the Rewards program states something to the effect of - each IMEI is eligible for rewards points only once. Tracfone ought to wipe refurb phones' rewards history too, because otherwise it's unfair to the new owner of the refurb phone who expects to get rewards points.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sillyette View Post
    The small print attached to the Rewards program states something to the effect of - each IMEI is eligible for rewards points only once. Tracfone ought to wipe refurb phones' rewards history too, because otherwise it's unfair to the new owner of the refurb phone who expects to get rewards points.
    100% AGREE !! This was a phone that I (foolishly) ordered as a free replacement for the "Verizon Armageddon." Wipe the damn things clean, Tracfone!

  12. #12
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    I guess they figure you got the rewards already with the original phone/sim/account. If all you did was a transfer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmannix View Post
    100% AGREE !! This was a phone that I (foolishly) ordered as a free replacement for the "Verizon Armageddon." Wipe the damn things clean, Tracfone!
    It's possible that the real reason was because if the replacement status, instead of because it had been activated before.
    I've unlocked several refurbs on the 60-day clock. On the old site, I could see that at least a couple of them had been activated before, and before the 11/23/2021 transition. But, I still worry about relying on the refurbs unlocking successfully.

    I did get one replacement phone, but it was new & I did activate it as a transfer from the AT&T/3G line. That phone unlocked in 60 days, too. (I worried about that one, too.)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisme View Post
    I guess they figure you got the rewards already with the original phone/sim/account. If all you did was a transfer.
    I did not activate the (refurb) phone with a transfer, I activated with a $15 card. Apparently the phone had been activated and returned by a previous buyer. However, several people here on HOFO have had refurb phones Rewarded and unlocked. My phone did get unlocked, but that makes me wonder why it was not available for rewards. again, tracfone!

  15. #15
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    I've received reward points for a refurb phone -- but of course, don't know if I just got lucky and the previous owner of the phone never activated for rewards. I also unlocked that phone.

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