TracFone Offers Delightfully Competent Customer Service

Perhaps Greg is just lucky. Or it could be that TracFone’s customer service has improved quite a bit since we posted their executive customer service number a little over a year ago. Whatever the case might be, Greg had an unexpectedly hassle-free experience with the prepaid mobile phone provider, and wanted to let Consumerist know about it.

I recently ordered a New TracFone for New service and had quite a time getting it activated. Once the phone was active I immediately started receiving solicitor calls and calls asking for other persons that were not me as well as text messages that also were not for me.

The interesting thing was I had not even given the number out to anyone. I finally shut the phone off as I did not want to be bothered by calls and text messages that were not for me. The next day I called TracFone and told them the situation.

They apologized and after a brief conversation they gave me a new number which was active inside of 10 minutes.

So far I have not had the same problem. However I then realized that I had used almost 40 minutes of airtime dealing with this issue and having to re-setup my VM for my new number. (Yes, setting up your VM for the first time and calling it to check messages uses airtime).

So I called TracFone support again and explained the situation to them and they again apologized and gave me 40 minutes of Free airtime for my troubles. I did not even have to ask for it. Inside of 10 minutes after the brief call to support my phone updated with the additional minutes.

Just goes to show that not all companies are out to get you.


Edit Your Comment

  1. NeverLetMeDown says:

    Prepaid companies have people come and go often enough (about 60% of Tracfone’s customers on Jan 1 aren’t there on Dec 31) that a lot of their pool of numbers may have gone through several users in the past year. I get the occasional call for Jeff. Mostly from young women – sounds like he was a popular guy.

  2. Dont lump me into your 99%! says:

    I had a similar problem with boost. I would get atleast 5 text messages a day from different bs things, and I never signed up for them. Customer service would do nothing, not even disable text message receiving. Between that and the fact that if I only had enough money for 2 way for one day, it would only work half the day. They were not good at all, and I felt they only cared about charging me there fees and not helping get the problem resolved. Thats why I am with MetroPCS now. I would never go back to a prepaid phone after having Metro (well metro is kinda prepay, except unlimited for cheap). With my smartphone, I use the web often, just a shame they dont have 3g in my area.

  3. rwalford79 says:

    Ive had my phone number for 7 years, I dont get any calls from people that arent for me. I have occasionally got the errant text message that wasnt for me. NO big deal, as long as its not incoming international….which my carrier charges me for.

  4. Communist Pope says:

    I had something similar happen with Sprint after I moved to a new area code a few years ago. Got tons of text messages, and the occasional call, for someone named “Geronimo.” As a bonus, the texts were often in Spanish. I actually found it quite fun, and my plan had unlimited texting, so I never bothered asking for a new number.

  5. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    The experiences on HowardForums suggest that TracFone’s customer service is generally incompetent. Perhaps this is the exception to the rule?

  6. MooseOfReason says:

    I’ve contacted their customer service several times.

    It’s a crap shoot.

  7. empkae says:

    Tracfone will port your old tel number to their phone very quickly and easily. They are the cheapest way to go for many users. Watch their site for double time deals that last the life of your phone. They use good phones. They are actually the 3rd(?) largest wireless company in the world, so they will be around.

  8. rdclark says:

    Been using Tracfone for many years. Never a CS problem. Coverage is great. I end up paying about $8 a month, because I only use it when it’s really necessary.

  9. Missing in Vlissingen says:

    Gotta love Tracfone. I’ve also had very helpful people setting up phones for me, my wife, and my aunt. For those of us who use our phones infrequently (“Can you pick up some milk on the way home?”), it’s massively cheaper than a monthly plan. I pay $7 a month to maintain the service, and I always have more than enough minutes. No sleazy FCC fees or other hidden surcharges. Just buy your $20 service minutes and pay sales tax. And because they buy bandwidth from other carriers, I’ve never found myself without a signal when other people’s phones have a signal.

    I think a lot of people could save serious cash if they considered Tracfone. I don’t know why they’re not more popular, but what do I know? I don’t think about cell phones as much as other people seem to.

  10. DogiiKurugaa says:

    I haven’t had any problems with Tracfone/Net10 in the customer service department. My main issue with them is with Net10’s lifetime plans. I am supposed to get 150 minutes/30 days every month for $15 and while it has always been recognized on their end the updates they send to my phone almost never comes through the first time so I have to call every month to get it updated on my end. Just an annoyance, but I wish they could get it to work the first time so I don’t have to call them so often.

    And yes, I do leave my phone on for an entire week around the time they charge me for it so its just not coming through properly.

  11. Snarkysnake says:

    With 3 kids to keep up with in college , Trac has been great for a poor ,starving parent like myself. No ETF , no calling plan hocus pocus , you pay , you talk . When you’re done with the thing ,just let it die and call it a day. Makes gift giving a lot easier around the holidays.If you just need dependable communications without a lot of kerfluffery , can’t beat them.
    I have had just one go- round with customer service. They seem to be somewhat disorganized ,but they did work hard and found a solution to my problem.

    I can recommend them for the budget concious.

  12. allstarecho says:

    I’ve been thinking about switching to WalMart’s Straight Talk prepaid, which is actually owned by TracFone. Unlimited text, talk and data (web) for $45 a month and it operates on the Verizon network. They are running a special right now where if you sign up by the end of this month, stay a customer on auto-pay for 12 months, then you get the 13th month free.

  13. Kabukistar says:

    Tracphone has very inexpensive phones, but their per-month minimum to keep your number from expiring is pretty high.
    I use PagePlus, because (if you don’t use your phone much) you can keep your account active for $10 for three-month chunk.

  14. Kimbeegrin says:

    Tracfone is great. I used to have one and when I turned it on, it never worked. I called customer service and they explained to me a series of updates I had to do to get it to work and immediately it was working and they were of great help. Not only that Tracfone actually gets somewhat decent service in the dead zone that is my hometown.

  15. BigNick73 says:

    I had that happen to me once, I needed a second number so I got a cheap Virgin Mobile phone, and the previous owner of the number had the same first name as me, and owed one of those title loan places some money. Made for a few confusing voice mails and a rather nasty call with some shylock.

  16. EllenRose says:

    I had a TracFone die on me. Bought a new one (really, they are remarkably inexpensive) and the TracFone people were very cooperative in shifting everything over to the new phone. They even took my word for things!

  17. Hoss says:

    I’ve used Net10 for four years and find they also has super customer service. When I upgraded to a new phone, they not only gave me the same free minutes that a new customer would get but also transferred 2500 minutes that I had on my old phone. Minutes are always 10 cents on Net10 as opposed to 20 cents on Tracfone.

    I assume this was coincidental — but the number I received is almost identical to my home phone, making it easy to remember. I have not received any unintended calls in the four years

    • Hoss says:

      I should add for anyone interested in switching — that you can transfer a number to net10 without charge

      • RockaRolla says:

        I’m curious if you can move a number from a non-prepaid phone to a net 10. When my girlfriend replaced her net 10 with a verizon contract, they told us they couldn’t transfer a number from any prepaid, even verizon prepaid, to a contract phone.

        • Hoss says:

          You can transfer any number to Net10. See their website under Activate/Reactivate. But I didn’t know that you cann’t port out of Net10

  18. Winteridge2 says:

    I seldom use a cellphone, so I had tracfone for a couple of years. Cost me $5 a month, plus some added minutes once in a while. But yes, they are difficult to contact-lots of options with people who cannot help, and lots of waiting on hold while they tell you to go do your problem online. Message center, I believe, is somewhere in China. When I finally left, I had about 120 minutes accrued, and I used up all but 17 before I found someone who could cancel me. I gave them the last 17.

  19. RexLand says:

    I used to use Tracfone a while ago and the customer service wasn’t a problem but I recently switched to a Straight Talk phone which I think is a branch of Tracfone and got the unlimited everything for $45 per month. The change over was a breeze and I was able to keep my old number so I didn’t have to notify any friends or family. When I spoke to customer services for my old number they helped me so quickly and easily that I was surprised. I don’t now if Straight Talk has the same CS center as Tracfone but it’s great.

  20. Suzi-QA says:

    Not necessary to use Tracfone to retrieve messages. Call Tracfone number from another phone, and enter “asterisk” [*] You might have to mess around a bit… set up a password.

  21. Doctor TracFone says:

    That 60% figure is total nonsense.

  22. BrownLeopard says:

    My fiancee just got a new Tracfone to replace her old one that the battery died on, and rather than hold on to the new number, wanted to get her old number ported over. After 15 days, 3 phone calls and over two hours on hold, she finally got a SIM card in the mail. Noone ever told her she needed a SIM card and the CSR she had to call to get the new SIM card activated kept telling her it can take up to 7 days to get the phone activated. After asking multiple times to speak to a supervisor they finally transferred her. She began explaining the problems, the supervisor asked for the serial number of the phone and SIM card (fourth time that call she had to give it out) and my fiancee just wanted a little extra service time for the inconvenience (we live in rural WV in the mountains and with the blizzards and such, a phone is a necessity in case of an accident or breakdown). The supervisor told her that it was normal for it to take so long (we were never told about the SIM card and we were told it would be done a week ago). After telling the supervisor we’d be contacting executive customer service (from the number we got on Consumerist! Thank you!) and getting her name and employee number, she finally relented and gave her 30 extra minutes.

    Thank you, Consumerist for having this information available!