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Thread: Tracfone has incorrect/faulty IMEI info--is correction possible?

  1. #1
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    Tracfone has incorrect/faulty IMEI info--is correction possible?

    I have a US retail, factory unlocked Moto G Stylus 2021 (model XT2115-1) that I put into service in November 2021 with a new, Tracfone AT&T BYOP SIM of the "27" variety. This phone is on AT&T's whitelist for the 3G shutdown. Cricket's IMEI checker says it is compatible with the AT&T network. And indeed, when I put the phone into service in November, the Tracfone agents confirmed the IMEI showed it be be a compatible phone, and I saw no messages about the phone being incompatible when checking my account on the Tracfone website.

    It worked this way fine for a month, then, out of the blue in late December, the TF website started reporting that the phone was incompatible. Huh??? Well, it wasn't exactly out of the blue--it seemed to happen immediately (next day) after I upgraded two other lines with old/incompatible phones to new phones that were compatible with the AT&T 3G shutdown. Those two other phones have been working perfectly fine since then, but I think in the process of getting them set up, Tracfone screwed up the records for the phone I put into service a month earlier in November. After getting the other two phones set up, the November phone started getting the incompatible message on Tracfone's website for the next few days. Then it morphed into a "thank you for your order" message for another few days even though I had not ordered anything! Then, it swapped back to the incompatible message in early January, and it has remained that way till the present.

    Despite these error messages on the Tracfone website, the phone has been working perfectly fine since November (voice, text, and even Wifi calling) so I just disregarded the error messages. Then, by accident, I toggled off Wifi calling the other day, and now it has been a week or so that I have not been able to start it up--it always says to try again later when I attempt to start it up. Yes, I have rebooted multiple times, I have a strong Wifi signal, etc.

    I am convinced this is happening (i.e. not being able to restart Wifi calling) because Tracfone's records are somehow screwed up, and based on the IMEI, they think the phone is incompatible. So I've called them up various times to talk about, and after requesting the IMEI, they say the phone is incompatible, and that I need a new one. Again, the phone is on the AT&T whitelist, when I got it set up in November the Tracfone agents has no problem with the IMEI, it worked fine for a month with no error messages until my addition of the other two new phones seemed to cause an accounting/records screwup on their end, and it passes the Cricket IMEI checker as being compatible. But the Tracfone reps blindly insist it is not compatible based on the IMEI. Something is screwed up in their records that needs to be fixed.

    I am exasperated after having spent multiple hours on the phone with them because they are not willing/capable to hunt down the problem. Something in their records got screwed up, and I do not know how to force them to resolve the problem--they simply revert to the "your phone is not compatible" script every time. Any thoughts about how to push them to resolve this?

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    Not sure, but what if you got a new BYOP ATT sim, while you still can, and activated it with a transfer from your old sim. They will ask for the IMEI of your phone when they activate the sim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Senkoboy View Post
    Not sure, but what if you got a new BYOP ATT sim, while you still can, and activated it with a transfer from your old sim. They will ask for the IMEI of your phone when they activate the sim.
    Yeah, this is a bit the issue--since the problem seems to be due to a record-keeping issue somewhere on TF's end, unless that error is cleared up, I could swap SIM after SIM and it would not make a difference. But on Reddit someone suggested that the SIM/ICCID itself might be involved, so they suggested exactly what you have done here, i.e. just transfer service over to a new AT&T SIM to see if that helps. It is only a $1 so a potentially cheap solution which I will try. Thanks for the suggestion!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Senkoboy View Post
    Not sure, but what if you got a new BYOP ATT sim, while you still can, and activated it with a transfer from your old sim. They will ask for the IMEI of your phone when they activate the sim.
    Is declaring the IMEI now required for TF/AT&T activations? When are they going to stop selling the AT&T SIMS, and when are they going to stop those activations?

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    Quote Originally Posted by verbage View Post
    Yeah, this is a bit the issue--since the problem seems to be due to a record-keeping issue somewhere on TF's end, unless that error is cleared up, I could swap SIM after SIM and it would not make a difference. But on Reddit someone suggested that the SIM/ICCID itself might be involved, so they suggested exactly what you have done here, i.e. just transfer service over to a new AT&T SIM to see if that helps. It is only a $1 so a potentially cheap solution which I will try. Thanks for the suggestion!
    I recently had a ATT BYOP sim tied to an old phone that I hadn't used in 6 years. I switched to a T-Mobile Sim, for other reasons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by verbage View Post
    Yeah, this is a bit the issue--since the problem seems to be due to a record-keeping issue somewhere on TF's end, unless that error is cleared up, I could swap SIM after SIM and it would not make a difference. But on Reddit someone suggested that the SIM/ICCID itself might be involved, so they suggested exactly what you have done here, i.e. just transfer service over to a new AT&T SIM to see if that helps. It is only a $1 so a potentially cheap solution which I will try. Thanks for the suggestion!
    Check your balance. It might have morphed, too.

    You should call corporate. They have the proper tools to deal with this.

    Things do get mixed up. We know their programming is not too good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loboheeler View Post
    Is declaring the IMEI now required for TF/AT&T activations? When are they going to stop selling the AT&T SIMS, and when are they going to stop those activations?
    Somewhere, we saw a shared communique to master dealers that indicated they might stop selling non-Verizon SIMs in the retail channel very soon (technically, I believe a date already passed), and stop activating new non-Verizon lines in June. (Sorry, dates from memory....)

    Simple Mobile is now offering Verizon network SIMs, and I kind of thought Simple Mobile might be the sub-brand that dragged out the process.
    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 loboheeler View Post
    Is declaring the IMEI now required for TF/AT&T activations? When are they going to stop selling the AT&T SIMS, and when are they going to stop those activations?
    They asked me on the last TMobile Sim I activated, and I believe they are asking on ATT also.

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    Quote Originally Posted by verbage View Post
    Then, by accident, I toggled off Wifi calling the other day, and now it has been a week or so that I have not been able to start it up--it always says to try again later when I attempt to start it up.
    I have an AT&T-branded Moto One 5G Ace on TracFone AT&T, and the exact same thing happened to me. I accidently toggled off WiFi Calling, and when I toggled it back on, I just get "Try again later".

    Unfortunately, I think this is an AT&T issue, rather than a MVNO one. I wouldn't be surprised if it is part of all the issues AT&T has generated since their start of 3G shutdown.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loboheeler View Post
    Is declaring the IMEI now required for TF/AT&T activations? When are they going to stop selling the AT&T SIMS, and when are they going to stop those activations?
    Yes, it seems to be that they are paying closer attention to IMEIs nowadays maybe related to the 3G shutdown (as the IMEI is used for compatibility checking) or maybe for another reason. Unfortunately, it seems to be completely messy with how they are doing it, and at least some of their IMEI records are completely out-of-date or simply completely wrong. For example, towards late last year, I attempted to see if I could use a Tracfone T-Mobile SIM in an old LG G4 H811 I had (the H811 is a T-Mobile model, but it had been carrier unlocked). That activation did not go smoothly, and I had to call up Tracfone. On giving them the phone IMEI, they insisted that the phone in my hand--sitting right in front of my nose--was a Tracfone-branded phone, and thus, would not work with a BYOP SIM from T-Mobile. I told him it was not definitely a Tracfone-branded phone, but he insisted it was. He asked where I purchased it, and I told him it was eBay. He said anybody could sell anything on eBay, and therefore, I had a Tracfone-branded phone in my hand based on the IMEI even if I did not believe it. My point is that there seems to be major problems with whatever IMEI database they happen to be using.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Senkoboy View Post
    I recently had a ATT BYOP sim tied to an old phone that I hadn't used in 6 years. I switched to a T-Mobile Sim, for other reasons.
    Yes, thanks for confirming this. Though there was never much attention paid to IMEIs since the start of the BYOP program, they definitely seem to be paying attention to them nowadays.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisme View Post
    Check your balance. It might have morphed, too. You should call corporate. They have the proper tools to deal with this. Things do get mixed up. We know their programming is not too good.
    Thanks, I do check my balances very regularly and take PDF snapshots--this is what allowed me to pretty precisely reconstruct the timeline of errors that started appearing in late December immediately after I set two other phones. That does not seem to help

    Thanks for the suggestion of calling corporate--I was just going to use the postal address, but yeah, doing it by phone would be faster. Just the regular support numbers are soul-draining...

    I found a few potential non-800 numbers at https://tracfone.pissedconsumer.com/...r-service.html including:

    (305) 371-5868
    (305) 373-4320
    (305) 377-9612

    So that will be another solution to investigate if the $1 SIM swap does not work--thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mframe View Post
    I have an AT&T-branded Moto One 5G Ace on TracFone AT&T, and the exact same thing happened to me. I accidently toggled off WiFi Calling, and when I toggled it back on, I just get "Try again later".

    Unfortunately, I think this is an AT&T issue, rather than a MVNO one. I wouldn't be surprised if it is part of all the issues AT&T has generated since their start of 3G shutdown.
    While it could be an AT&T issue, I am leaning towards it being a Tracfone issue. In my case, what leads me to believe this is that I was receiving no incompatibility message for a bit more than a month when I set the phone up in November originally. Then, immediately after I activated two other phones, which required some TF telephone support staff assistance, the incompatibility messages started to appear for the November phone on the TF website. And when I check the IMEI at Cricket, which is AT&T's very own MVNO, the IMEI is reported as compatible. So either Tracfone's records for IMEIs or the interface between AT&T supply IMEIs to TF is messed up given that the Cricket IMEI check is okay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by verbage View Post
    Thanks, I do check my balances very regularly and take PDF snapshots--this is what allowed me to pretty precisely reconstruct the timeline of errors that started appearing in late December immediately after I set two other phones. That does not seem to help

    Thanks for the suggestion of calling corporate--I was just going to use the postal address, but yeah, doing it by phone would be faster. Just the regular support numbers are soul-draining...

    I found a few potential non-800 numbers at https://tracfone.pissedconsumer.com/...r-service.html including:

    (305) 371-5868
    (305) 373-4320
    (305) 377-9612

    So that will be another solution to investigate if the $1 SIM swap does not work--thanks!
    305-640-2000 x1029

    Ignore the closed message and put the extension anyway. They have people there a lot.

    Credit to others who have reported this.

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    Call before bothering with a new sim.

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