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Thread: Changing carriers for ACP from Tracfone

  1. #1
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    Changing carriers for ACP from Tracfone

    I've been managing my MIL's ACP account on TF since September, and it's been one problem after another. Texting didn't work, picture messaging didn't work, was fixed, now doesn't work again. It's been mainly due to her new ACP unlimited plan not playing nicely with the plan that was originally on her phone, now deemed "carryover". TF can't seem to get it right regarding whether it's using the unlimited, the carryover, etc. Texts ran out on carryover, and didn't realize she had unlimited on ACP. Same issues with Data which is causing her not to get the picture messages (MMS).

    My question is, if I unlock the TF (which I have the instructions for, just haven't had access to her phone to put the codes in), can she just switch the ACP to another carrier like AT&T or Total by Verizon? Seems like starting from scratch is the best solution. Also, since she is 87, and lives over 100 miles away, having a store like AT&T or VZ to go into would be helpful.

    The phone I gave her to use is an LG Premier Pro Plus. I appreciate your help.
    TZ

  2. #2
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    I tried switching a family member from Tracfone to Safelink, both ACP plan. So far it has still been problematic. I was advised to cancel ACP on Tracfone and reapply, which she did. She was approved at the end of December, enrolled at the beginning of January, and they sent her a T-Mobile card. Knowing that they will want to move all lines to Verizon SIMs, I asked to just put the 10GB plan on her current Verizon SIM. The agent seemed to know what he was doing. BUT none of her balances changed. Texting PLAN to 611611 says she is on a 4GB ACP plan, which Safelink doesn't even offer. Another agent tried to change the plan, but encountered an error message. Truly a mess.

    I will be interested to see the advice you get. From what I read about AT&T is that you have to be on their plan before applying, so will likely have to pay for the first month while they process the application. You probably found this website already: https://attprepaidebb.com/

  3. #3
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    Basically, an ACP recipient gets $30 to apply toward cell phone or Internet service. If the cost of the service you choose is higher than $30, then you'll pay the overage out-of-pocket.

    Here's AT&T Prepaid Plans for ACP recipients .

    Here's Metro by T-mobile Plans for ACP recipients

    ACP Benefits are separate from Lifeline. If a person gets Lifeline, he/she automatically qualifies for ACP. But some people qualify for ACP due to income, but their income is too high for Lifeline, so they get ACP only.

    If you use ACP + Lifeline benefits with the same provider, you usually get a plan with more benefits.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowLoris View Post
    I tried switching a family member from Tracfone to Safelink, both ACP plan. So far it has still been problematic. I was advised to cancel ACP on Tracfone and reapply, which she did. She was approved at the end of December, enrolled at the beginning of January, and they sent her a T-Mobile card. Knowing that they will want to move all lines to Verizon SIMs, I asked to just put the 10GB plan on her current Verizon SIM. The agent seemed to know what he was doing. BUT none of her balances changed. Texting PLAN to 611611 says she is on a 4GB ACP plan, which Safelink doesn't even offer. Another agent tried to change the plan, but encountered an error message. Truly a mess.

    I will be interested to see the advice you get. From what I read about AT&T is that you have to be on their plan before applying, so will likely have to pay for the first month while they process the application. You probably found this website already: https://attprepaidebb.com/
    Thanks for the info. I know you've also had issues. It does look like she'll have to change carriers first and then have the ACP applied. I've researched many carriers.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    Basically, an ACP recipient gets $30 to apply toward cell phone or Internet service. If the cost of the service you choose is higher than $30, then you'll pay the overage out-of-pocket.

    Here's AT&T Prepaid Plans for ACP recipients .

    Here's Metro by T-mobile Plans for ACP recipients

    ACP Benefits are separate from Lifeline. If a person gets Lifeline, he/she automatically qualifies for ACP. But some people qualify for ACP due to income, but their income is too high for Lifeline, so they get ACP only.

    If you use ACP + Lifeline benefits with the same provider, you usually get a plan with more benefits.
    Thanks. When I applied for her ACP, I didn't know anything about Lifeline. Looking at the info now, it appears to be only $9.25, so not much benefit. I don't know if it's worth the trouble changing carriers at this point for her ACP, but it's very frustrating that TF cannot get her service right.

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    My theory is that both on Tracfone and on Safelink the agent added a defunct plan, which is why it never renewed correctly. When I called Tracfone in October/November after I could see a renewal in her account, but no data was added, the agent referred to a 3GB plan, while the ACP page said she was on a 4GB plan. And the same is happening with Safelink, when I log into the website, it shows she is enrolled in the 10GB plan, but her phone shows a 4GB plan, with no data actually added. I just keep thinking if I can get the right person to fix it, all will be good. But that might be too much to hope for.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowLoris View Post
    My theory is that both on Tracfone and on Safelink the agent added a defunct plan, which is why it never renewed correctly. When I called Tracfone in October/November after I could see a renewal in her account, but no data was added, the agent referred to a 3GB plan, while the ACP page said she was on a 4GB plan. And the same is happening with Safelink, when I log into the website, it shows she is enrolled in the 10GB plan, but her phone shows a 4GB plan, with no data actually added. I just keep thinking if I can get the right person to fix it, all will be good. But that might be too much to hope for.
    I'm actually thinking about cancelling her TF ACP, then signing up for Safelink Lifeline + ACP and she'll get the new phone which she never got before. Since it's still TF, with the same people handling this stuff, I can see having the same issues, but like you feel if they can just get it working right, it should be okay. Also, the plan is much better too with the 25GB of data instead of 3 or 4.

  8. #8
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    So I researched various Lifeline plus ACP plans and see that an alternative is Assurance, the T-mobile program. So I had Tracfone cancel her ACP. It'll be a little while to get that applied for and the new phone delivered. Does anyone have experience with cancelling the ACP plan and reverting back to regular TF paygo? She has data and minutes, but I need to add some texts. She has Rewards points, but I want to make sure it applies to the right plan. Is the TF ACP cancellation immediate?

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    Have her text PLAN to 611611 to see if mentions ACP in the plan name.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tzais01 View Post
    So I researched various Lifeline plus ACP plans and see that an alternative is Assurance, the T-mobile program.
    My daughter has had Lifeline service with Assurance wireless for about 7 years. It was operated by Virgin Wireless and used Sprint. About 2 years ago, T-mobile bought it from Virgin Wireless and now using T-mo. Her phone service is good, but customer service and their web site is as wacky as Tracfone's. For a while, they kept sending her text messages that she needed to renew her service before it gets cancelled, but when I called them or used their web site it said her service was already renewed for another year. Customer reps are from India, hard to understand along with poor connection. I don't know if they even have Chat.

    When her service was with Sprint, they gave her a very poor-quality bar phone, then UPGRADED it to a VERY cheap smartphone. You can't do BYOP and have to buy a phone from them at exorbitant prices if you don't like their cheap free phone. So I paid $200 to buy for her a Samsung A10e. When T-mo bought Assurance Wireless from Virgin Wireless, my daughter kept getting messages that her A10e would quit working (although it has T-mo bands) and they would send her a replacement phone. Fortunately, they sent her a like-new refurbished Samsung S10+, so she's happy with that.

    My daughter is only using her Lifeline service with Assurance Wireless. Her ACP benefit is used for our Internet (she lives with us) to get $30 off. Assurance kept sending her messages to upgrade to Unlimited service using her ACP benefit, but she doesn't need Unlimited phone service.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    My daughter has had Lifeline service with Assurance wireless for about 7 years. It was operated by Virgin Wireless and used Sprint. About 2 years ago, T-mobile bought it from Virgin Wireless and now using T-mo. Her phone service is good, but customer service and their web site is as wacky as Tracfone's. For a while, they kept sending her text messages that she needed to renew her service before it gets cancelled, but when I called them or used their web site it said her service was already renewed for another year. Customer reps are from India, hard to understand along with poor connection. I don't know if they even have Chat.

    When her service was with Sprint, they gave her a very poor-quality bar phone, then UPGRADED it to a VERY cheap smartphone. You can't do BYOP and have to buy a phone from them at exorbitant prices if you don't like their cheap free phone. So I paid $200 to buy for her a Samsung A10e. When T-mo bought Assurance Wireless from Virgin Wireless, my daughter kept getting messages that her A10e would quit working (although it has T-mo bands) and they would send her a replacement phone. Fortunately, they sent her a like-new refurbished Samsung S10+, so she's happy with that.

    My daughter is only using her Lifeline service with Assurance Wireless. Her ACP benefit is used for our Internet (she lives with us) to get $30 off. Assurance kept sending her messages to upgrade to Unlimited service using her ACP benefit, but she doesn't need Unlimited phone service.
    So daddy is getting his Internet for free? It's great what the government is doing for some people; do away with some of your privacy and enjoy the family benefits!
    Theoretically your family doesn't need a phone plan as you can only have one lifeline account per household so why don't you even share the lifeline service to make your money count?
    Your economics lesson flying over your head, mayday mayday!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    My daughter has had Lifeline service with Assurance wireless for about 7 years. It was operated by Virgin Wireless and used Sprint. About 2 years ago, T-mobile bought it from Virgin Wireless and now using T-mo. Her phone service is good, but customer service and their web site is as wacky as Tracfone's. For a while, they kept sending her text messages that she needed to renew her service before it gets cancelled, but when I called them or used their web site it said her service was already renewed for another year. Customer reps are from India, hard to understand along with poor connection. I don't know if they even have Chat.

    When her service was with Sprint, they gave her a very poor-quality bar phone, then UPGRADED it to a VERY cheap smartphone. You can't do BYOP and have to buy a phone from them at exorbitant prices if you don't like their cheap free phone. So I paid $200 to buy for her a Samsung A10e. When T-mo bought Assurance Wireless from Virgin Wireless, my daughter kept getting messages that her A10e would quit working (although it has T-mo bands) and they would send her a replacement phone. Fortunately, they sent her a like-new refurbished Samsung S10+, so she's happy with that.

    My daughter is only using her Lifeline service with Assurance Wireless. Her ACP benefit is used for our Internet (she lives with us) to get $30 off. Assurance kept sending her messages to upgrade to Unlimited service using her ACP benefit, but she doesn't need Unlimited phone service.
    Thanks hpham. Good information. I think I'll try Assurance for her. It does look like they have a BYOP program now, although she's probably eligible for a free phone.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tzais01 View Post
    Thanks hpham. Good information. I think I'll try Assurance for her. It does look like they have a BYOP program now, although she's probably eligible for a free phone.
    People I read are given sorry phones by assurance wireless so if are more than casual user you will have to ask for a replacement to see if you win the better phone lottery.

    Assurance wireless also will not allow you to bring an unlocked 🔓 phone to their service citing 90% of unlocked phones will not work on their network!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by medontknow View Post
    People I read are given sorry phones by assurance wireless so if are more than casual user you will have to ask for a replacement to see if you win the better phone lottery.

    Assurance wireless also will not allow you to bring an unlocked 🔓 phone to their service citing 90% of unlocked phones will not work on their network!
    A sorry phone is very subjective. My MIL is an 87 year old widow who has just learned to text, but it still pretty clueless about the phone. It'll probably be fine. I've read recently they've sent Moto G Pures, which would be fine. Their website also talks about BYOP, so maybe things have changed.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tzais01 View Post
    A sorry phone is very subjective. My MIL is an 87 year old widow who has just learned to text, but it still pretty clueless about the phone. It'll probably be fine. I've read recently they've sent Moto G Pures, which would be fine. Their website also talks about BYOP, so maybe things have changed.
    Post a link where Assurance shows BYOP. Recent social media I read people were being sent School sv55 and Unimax U693 phones, far cry from Moto Pure. They said just call CS and tell them you can't view the screen at one angle and you need your phone for tele - medicine where they will send you a better phone.

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