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Thread: Move Tracfone service to new AT&T Prepaid phone?

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    Move Tracfone service to new AT&T Prepaid phone?

    I am considering transferring my service from TF/VZ to a TF/ATT BYOP sim for use in a new unused locked AT&T prepaid phone. I've read that while a TF/ATT sim can still be activated online via "my account" without an IMEI, TF phone reps now demand an IMEI for this action. Despite recommendations to use chat or "my account" online, I will use a phone rep instead.

    1. Would a TF rep accept the IMEI of a new unused locked AT&T prepaid phone to activate a TF/ATT sim? Any chance of convincing the rep to activate the sim without supplying an IMEI?

    2. Am I likely to lose talk/text/data balances during this transfer? Also, TMFL is important to me. Am I likely to lose the TMFL benefit?

    3. If I get the TF/ATT sim activated without supplying an IMEI, what would be the effect of temporarily testing the sim in a TF-branded "DL" phone before inserting it in the prepaid AT&T phone?

    4. Any clue how Verizon will go about migrating TF/ATT customers to Verizon service in the next couple years?

    Thank you for your help.

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    I doubt that you can avoid the IMEI demand. The carriers want to know in advance if your phone will be compatible. There are too many issues with incompatible/non-working phones.

    I would avoid the phone reps.

    Nobody knows how Verizon is going to handle things. Probably not even Verizon knows for sure.

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    Thanks Lisme. Any ideas about my questions 2 and 3? Also, do you think the IMEI of an AT&T prepaid phone would be accepted byTracfone?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mobile_nut View Post
    2. Am I likely to lose talk/text/data balances during this transfer? Also, TMFL is important to me. Am I likely to lose the TMFL benefit?

    3. If I get the TF/ATT sim activated without supplying an IMEI, what would be the effect of temporarily testing the sim in a TF-branded "DL" phone before inserting it in the prepaid AT&T phone?
    2. Ask the Chat rep for your balances and days before starting the activation/transfer. If the rep refuses to give that info, turn it around and ask the rep "Can you confirm for me that my balances are xxxx/xxxx/xxxxGB and exp date mm/dd/yyyy ?" . Then that info will be in the chat transcript (copy and save it), also ask for a ticket/case number before the Chat ends. If the balances get lost, you'll have something to prove what you had.

    The TMFL may or may not carry forward. My phone still has TMFL after many transfers from feature phones to smartphones, TF/ATT to TF/T-mo to TF/Verizon.

    A cross-carrier transfer might take up to 48 hrs to complete, especially if initiated before/during a weekend/holiday. Typically less then 24 hrs, but don't get upset if it takes longer for the balances/days and service to be transferred.

    3. Whether you activate the TF/ATT SIM with or without providing the IMEI, you can still use/test it in a "DL" phone.

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    You can call corporate and have them handle everything, including what to do about the TMFL, which is tricky if you just take your chances.

    The number that has been recommended is 305-640-2000 x1029. Do the extension even if they seem closed.

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    Verify that you have reached corporate and not been bumped off somewhere else.

    TF/AT&T generally allows sim-swapping. TF/Verizon can't stand it.

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    Thank you hpham and Lisme. These are good suggestions. I may call corporate as Lisme suggested.

    Is Tracfone likely to accept the IMEI of an AT&T prepaid phone for this purpose?

    Also, can I trust the signal strength display ("bars") for AT&T signal shown after inserting the inactive TF/ATT sim into my new unused "DL" Tracfone-branded phone? Or must the sim be active for accurate signal display?

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    I don't see why TF would have problems accepting the IMEI of an AT&T prepaid phone as long as it's compatible with AT&T system.

    The SIM must be active for the displayed signal strength to be accurate. When the SIM is not active, the phone could be connecting to any nearby tower for 911 calls.

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    hpham said: "I don't see why TF would have problems accepting the IMEI of an AT&T prepaid phone as long as it's compatible with AT&T system."

    That's good to know. I wonder if anyone has tried this. I've read that people have used AT&T prepaid phones with TF/ATT SIMs, but I believe they activated the SIMs without supplying an IMEI.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mobile_nut View Post
    I wonder if anyone has tried this. I've read that people have used AT&T prepaid phones with TF/ATT SIMs, but I believe they activated the SIMs without supplying an IMEI.
    It doesn't matter to TF if the phone is an AT&T prepaid phone. The only time they would balk is when the phone is a TF-branded phone, because their policy is that a TF-branded (unlocked or not) cannot be used as a BYOP phone. You're worrying for no good reason.

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    The carriers know exactly what imei you are using whether you tell them or not. Once you attempt to use the phone, that information is transmitted. Along with other information such as sim number, the status of your account, whatever identifiers are needed to validate your setup. If the phone doesn't pass the hardware check, game's over.

    So they ask for your intended imei in order to start out good. You can move the sim to another phone later and not have to say anything, but that imei will still get vetted over the air the same way.

    Sometimes people buy new in package prepaid phones not realizing that the technical specs have expired, like 3G. So TF wants to double check to save the frustration when a customer messes up and gets mad at TF.

    I have heard on this forum that AT&T prepaid phones with modern specs will work on TF. But AT&T has been upsetting the apple cart lately with new notions about things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mobile_nut View Post
    I've read that people have used AT&T prepaid phones with TF/ATT SIMs.
    Is your prepaid AT&T phone unlocked by AT&T? In the past (4-5 yrs ago), a prepaid AT&T phone would see a TF/AT&T SIM as just another AT&T SIM and accepted it without needing to be unlocked. I don't know if that's still true. You can test that by inserting a TF/AT&T SIM (doesn't need to be active) into your prepaid AT&T phone and see if it rejects the SIM with an error message like "Invalid SIM" or "Unregistered SIM".

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    Lisme said: "But AT&T has been upsetting the apple cart lately with new notions about things."

    Could you clarify, please? Not quite sure what you mean by this. Thank you.

    hpham said: "Is your prepaid AT&T phone unlocked by AT&T?"

    I've not yet purchased the AT&T prepaid phone, so no, it's not unlocked. I was interested in it because it was the cheapest locally available phone-in-a-box. I realize there are great Tracfone offers available online (with included airtime, etc.) but I'd prefer to pick up a cheap phone locally.

    Am I correct in assuming that a "DL" Simple Mobile phone can be activated on Tracfone service with the original SIM (i.e. rebrabded to TF/TM), but will accept neither a TF/VZ BYOP SIM nor a TF/ATT BYOP SIM?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mobile_nut View Post
    Am I correct in assuming that a "DL" Simple Mobile phone can be activated on Tracfone service with the original SIM (i.e. rebranded to TF/TM), but will accept neither a TF/VZ BYOP SIM nor a TF/ATT BYOP SIM?
    A "DL" phone has the radios to work with TF/AT&T, TF/T-mo, and TF/VZ. I'm assuming a Simple Mobile phone still comes with a SIM for T-mo (on Simple Mobile). If so, that SIM will be paired with that phone's IMEI in SM system (or TF if rebranded) as its "original" SIM. You can activate a TF/AT&T BYOP SIM and use it in that phone. It'll work but not officially sanctioned by TF because that phone's IMEI is already paired to its original T-mo SIM. That's not a problem because as of now TF doesn't (yet) pair a TF/AT&T SIM with an IMEI. But they do pair a TF/VZ SIM with the IMEI of the phone that's using that SIM. So, if you put a TF/VZ SIM into a Simple Mobile phone, it'll "displace" the original T-mo SIM and causes the T-mo SIM to be purged from TF system. If that SIM has active service on it, it'll suddenly disappear.

    The simplest advice is not to swap SIMs into a TF-sold phone if you don't know very well what you're doing.

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    AT&T has decided to be picky about which phones they will allow on their network. They made a "whitelist", which has been roundly criticized for being incomplete and confusing, and because it excludes phones that are perfectly good. We think that phone manufacturers had to pay tribute to get on there, or something. So they could say that their phones will work on AT&T.

    Someone will have to chime in with the list pdf.

    Someone said that TF is getting peeved about rebranding, so your mileage may vary. This may happen when your phone is out of stock on TF or cheaper or something.

    I don't know about cross-branded TF sims just working for a quick look-see. TF branded phones using byop sims is supposed to be banned, but it seems to work OK.

    I am not the expert here.

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