Consumer Complaints and Reviews
I must say it was the worst experience I've ever had as far as customer service. It took three days to not get cut off after hours. I was on the verge of tears. They should not be eligible to provide this service. After days they connected a new SIM card and still failed provide my minutes. It's unfortunate that the government feels it is ok for people to go through this. Most cannot even be understood. They switch you from department to department cutting you off every time, then you can go through the whole thing again. I can tell you after all this I still don't have my minutes. After over an hour on the phone, I have knots in my stomach at the thought of calling again. Please do something!
They are worst of company ever. Gov phones - they need to stop giving people free phones that don't work. Their customer service is the worst I ever came across in my whole life. Offering people to upgrade their phones is a lie. People there do not know how to do their jobs.
My cell phone Safelink is damaged and starts the odyssey of trying to get a new one. The story is long: According to his instructions I bought a cell through TracFone that never served despite the many calls I made. In the end they told me to give it back. I went to FedEx and it turned out that I had to pay for the shipment. It lasted almost a month making calls trying to make the cell work. I will not continue to make failed attempts. I will lose the cost of telephone, taxes and $10 of additional data I spend. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS COMPANY TO ANYONE.
My service was shut off with no explanation or warning. Never contacted me with a complaint. Having a impossible time getting it turned back on. I am a disable veteran and this situation has caused extreme daily problems. I have called them on friends phones but the waiting time is prohibited when on a friend's phones. Tried everything I can think of to locate their email. The chat contact was useless. Tried to find out where I can go to meet a rep of theirs in person. Again no info.
My husband has Safelink. The other company that he had which was Care Wireless Cellular opted out of the program. He's really never had any problems with his phone. Customer service is outsourced by many cellular carriers. The person who said about the government phone is that it is not issued by the government. It was a program set up by the government with carriers so if you have any problems it's not the government it's with the carriers and you must remember that the phones that Safelink has are better quality than for most other companies.
Yes it is hard sometimes to talk to a customer service rep because their English is really not that clear but overall we have had really no problems just as he said. Keep it on for 7 days after the first of month to get your minutes. Also make sure it is charged. And the one nice thing about Safelink is that if you need more minutes you can use TracFone Top-Up cards and that is really good. So that's all I really have to say this.
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Safelink Wireless is nothing to brag about. They promised 250 free min a month and unlimited texting. I have never received min. From day one I received 17min and now as of 11/23/16 I have been stopped on my texting so I have no phone when I have no job, get food stamps, no car, my electricity has been off for many months. I feel that I been screwed out of this so called help to help the needy. Also I could not get any reception in the middle of town. Maybe I should start a protest on this.
Now this is messed up. For years I've used Safelink. Years. Always used it just for doctors. Rarely ever used it for friends unless it was to get a hold of family. They even sent me a new phone when my first one got lost. I loved them. Thought it was the best thing ever the government ever came out with. Now my 3 year old must have gotten a hold of my phone, because suddenly it quit working. I checked it out and it apparently had water damage, which is why I think my 3 year old got it. So I call Safelink asking about it and what to do. They said if it has any color on the x's on the battery then it came in contact w/ liquid. Ok fine. I figured that. Now the first phone I lost about a year ago, my 3 year old just recently found it in her toy box, hurrah!!! Right? Nope. They got me all excited thinking I could activate that phone again. Nope.
I reported it lost. That's why they sent me a new phone. Which I understood that part. The part that they would not activate it again even though I could clearly and obviously prove it wasn't stolen, is what is irritating me. Plus I never reported it as stolen. Just lost. Which shouldn't be the same thing. I think an update is very needed to make a change in that. Now they want me to go buy a new phone to activate w/ them!!! If I had the money to do that, then I wouldn't need a government paid phone, I would just go buy a phone and keep time on that. I WAS very thankful for my Safelink phone. Now it's just a huge hassle and I'm not able to get a hold of my doctors or my kid's doctors or vice versa. I've had other people tell me they have had multiple replacement phones for more than one reason. I've even had a friend get a smartphone off them, for free. She didn't have to buy hers like they tell everyone to do.
Safelink does have horrible customer service and they are the government, and they outsource this free government entitlement. I don't know why people are complaining. It is a free phone from the government. They are tracking your calls and texts anyway. LOL. According to them they do not have 250 minute plan with rollover minutes per month anymore. It is now 500 minutes, NO ROLLOVER. I guess free is free and that's why you get for something you don't pay for.
I called in to activate the Tracfone since I was unable to do so on my own. I have been on the phone with the 1st rep for about 37 minutes. It took that long to discover that the old phone I have no longer is associated with my amount. Mind you I Gave the rep imei and telephone number. I also gave the rep the enrollment ID on the letter and telephone number which was different. Ok, we have established the phone I have is old and not on this account. A phone was shipped in 2010 I think she said to a different address. Mind you it is 2016. "Ok so can you ship a new phone." Guess what now I have to be transferred. Urggghhh. The next rep was faster but there was a lot of dead silence. They said it will take 7-10 days to receive a phone. They are not the fastest. There is a little communication problem because we definitely kept going back and forth.
The worst customer service I have ever experienced. I was helping a Senior resident get her phone activated. This was a third call we made to Safelink over the past two weeks which they have NO RECORD OF! Today, I spoke with customer service, then the technical dept, (Selene) then to a supervisor, then back to technical worker. I then asked to speak with Selene's supervisor because after almost 2 hrs she kept putting me on hold. "Just a few more minutes to enter info". How much info does she need to enter to send a sim card? Stacy (supervisor) came on the line. She said she had no record of me being transferred to different depts. Stacy and Selene win for being the most "sarcastic and disrespectful" team. I was on the phone 2 hours and 6 minutes with Safelink, still no service and the worst customer service ever.
Internet service and customer support is the worst! Tech said he spent longest time on install than ever before, over 14 hrs. Spent more time on phone with tech support than usable time on internet. Example spend 2-3 hrs with tech support for 1 hr of use. Beware 4 mb per sec is not streaming, at best I received 1.3 mb ps. Good luck people.
I have never been more dissatisfied with a customer service department than I am with Safelink's. I recognize that this is a free to the user service, but taxpayer dollars are being used for this and they need to be held accountable. If you try phoning their customer service, you are shuttled from department to department and if you do manage to get a hold of a person, English is never their first language and the background noise is so loud you cannot understand what they are saying anyway.
Using online chat is somewhat better but, in the last five days, I have talked with ChenChen, Myanar, Boris, Jaypee, Raul and others. They refuse to listen to you and only spout canned rhetoric. Boris helped me out by issuing me a new ticket which put my account even farther behind getting activated. I still don't have my minutes.
I have worked in customer service and in a commercial setting, this would simply be unacceptable and one would lose their job. At this company, you complain and explain and are only given a rote "sorry for the inconvenience"; "I understand your frustration but you will have to wait several days to several weeks" and are then given a brush off of "If there is nothing else I can assist you with, good evening." A supervisor is never available to speak with you and each person tells you something different.
It is frustrating because you know they can expedite things if they chose to. I have kept transcripts of all chats and quote them to each operator and it is to no avail. Boris needs to be reprimanded but I have no recourse. I wish I knew how to make these people and this company be more accountable and more consumer friendly. I think the government needs to investigate this service and perhaps pull their contract. Thank you.
I applied for & was eligible for a Safelink phone & service. I received the phone & tried to activate - it would not. I called Customer Service & the lady worked with me for almost 30 min. She could not activate. I ask her if it was a CDMA or a GSM phone -- she told me GSM. I told her that was the problem -- I have no service with AT&T - only Verizon where I live. She said no problem, she would send me a new CDMA phone & to call back when I got it. I did not get a new phone -- I got a SIM card.
I installed the SIM card & contacted them again by CHAT this time. [I have a hearing problem on the phone.] The person tried & tried for about 15-20 min & finally told me to give it a day or two to activate & a new WO number; I waited 5 days, shows the minutes but still showed NO SERVICE; contacted them again by CHAT & the lady told me it was activated. Ask her why it shows NO SERVICE. She did not know -- ask me if I needed any other help that day & I told her YES I Did - I needed a phone to work; she told me that the other cell phone I have was activated -- it is with Straight Talk & I will be turning it off at the end of the month.
I cannot get a new phone on the $30 program & cannot afford the $45 plan; that phone has nothing to do with the SafeLink phone. I have bought a TRACFONE to use so my terminally ill husband can have the Safelink phone. Explained I would also be turning house landline phone off as the bill went to $60 a month & I cannot afford it. Told me again to give it another several days. I am tired of the runaround & I want this contract cancelled with them. I also want to know who to cancel it with that is paying the bill -- they are not going to be paid for phone service I cannot get.
My 1st WO # was **; My 2nd WO # was **; the phone serial # is ** - this is a cheap phone & I even ask if I could buy a plain phone myself to use & she would not answer that question. I need a phone & phone service but I am not going to get it with SafeLink obviously. I am very irritated & angry at SafeLink Wireless - it is a SCAM.
Updated on 01/08/2017: I have been working on this problem since then & still as of today have no phone with service. The last time I worked with someone I was finally told that the phone I had was with a different company T-Mobile & not TracFone. I told her I was trying to activate the phone that they sent me--I did not buy it.
Now every month I get a notice in the mail telling me that I have not put my monthly minutes on the phone--how can I when the phone will not work? I have never been so frustrated with a company as I am this one--I've even tried to cancel the service because I know they're being paid for it & haven't been able to do that. The phone they sent was with AT&T - told them no service in my area other than Verizon. Instead of sending me a new phone they sent a SIM card - it will not work either to activate phone. I need this phone & the minutes but I don't know what else to do.
SafeLink Wireless sent me an email telling me that I can upgrade to a smart phone for a limited time. I pay $150 for a smart phone - and what came in the mail is a T-MOBILE phone. Then when I go to switch my phone, they can't find the new phone's serial number. Then they tell me that I need to buy an AT&T sim card. I call again to activate, they basically call me crazy because AT&T is not affiliated with them and they can't use an AT&T card. They say "no, you need a TracFone card". So trip two, 40 miles a trip I go to Walmart and buy a TracFone sim card. I call them, she says "no, you can't use TracFone. You need to get an AT&T card." She also mentions that the "bring your own phone" that I purchased from shopsafelink.com might not even be unlocked. Then later on in the conversation she says, "well, looks like you can't get any service" then proceeded to try to sell me minutes anyway.
Long story short, it took $22 in sim cards that I don't need, them not accepting responsibility for their actions causing me to spend all that money on useless sim cards, and it took about a half hour to get information on how to return the phone, not to mention then other times they hung up on me when I demanded answers (I called them like 4 times). Stay away from SafeLink if at all possible.
My ex STOLE my phone. When I reported it lost, they deactivated per my request. My ex was able to REACTIVATE phone by answering "SECURITY QUESTIONS- PHONE # AND MY ZIP"... THIS HAPPENED SEVERAL TIMES. He used this phone that I REPORTED STOLEN to threaten me and my 3 yr old child several times.
When I called Safelink, the woman I spoke with MOCKED ME, was very CONDESCENDING and told me that asking for the last 4 of my social to identify me and the supposed GOVERNMENT program wasn't how it was done. They allowed someone other than ME to access MY account FRAUDULENTLY and had ZERO remorse in doing so. That is IDENTITY THEFT. I had to go through this 3 times in 2 days. I will ABSOLUTELY be contacting an attorney since they allowed this loser to reactivate my phone. I will NEVER RECOMMEND THIS PROGRAM and if it's government ran, why are all calls going to INDIA?!! Wish I can give them NEGATIVE STARS. SCUMBAGS!!!
My phone was lost and according to their TOS on their website they would provide one replacement phone for no cost. When I contacted them they said they had "just" changed their policy and are no longer providing the "free" replacement. This was over a month ago and they still have not changed their TOS to reflect this "change". In other words they LIE... and their customer service is completely worthless. I have been trying to activate a "bring your own phone" which is still out of service despite spending more than 2 hours with their incompetent techs and going through 3 different TracFone sim cards. Thanks for nothing.
They sent me a faulty phone. It won't even turn on, it discharges completely as soon as you take it off the charger. They won't replace and say I must "purchase" another phone from them. I tried to disconnect my service so I could go to another company, but they refuse. Beware, nothing but a Scam!
It would appear that Safelink is a scam to get money from the government. First, service is almost nonexistent. I have to be within 20 yards of the city limit sign in my small town to get any service bars. The phone that I have is always telling me that the battery is overheating or if left off the charger for 24 hours the message is that the battery to too low. You're suppose to verify each year that you still qualify for service but apparently they have collect money from the government a couple of years in advance because I have two years of service left on my phone. I live on a fixed income and only got this phone because of possible need while driving to town. I live 13 miles from service so that is useless. I've not been able to find a way of contacting Safelink about the problem. They get the money from the government for the service but there is no service. This is a free phone so I shouldn't expect a lot but they shouldn't take money for what they don't provide.
Enrollment dept has repeatedly denied my award letters (food stamp, Medicaid- Mainecare, SSA disability income) claiming one instead of 3 copies were sent and (medicare in Maine covers Medicaid dept here) DENIED. Resent by fax twice to be sure they received (claims we cannot see it too blurry) by e-mail (claims of blurriness too) and finally again certified mail we did not receive (not in our system 3 days after receiving) and unable to get Drs office to call back on no phone (talking on Google Hangouts cannot receive incoming calls and sorry we don't e-mail appts). I am ill - physically and probably be deceased when and if a phone ever does be sent. USPS Certified tracking # ** sent Sept 9th, 2016, received Sept 12th, 2016 at 0819 am (claims of 24-48 hours then will be in system).
System is never updated. I even complained to TracFone (Safelink's parent company in Florida), and still nothing but negligence from Safelink employees. I even told them if I need medical attention (hospitalization) Safelink is at fault for incurred expenses from not able to get Drs appt (no phone to call back on). Originally requested application by mail - told 5 days I will have it from June 28th, 2016. Now it's Sept 14th 2016 still no mailed application to me. On Aug 2nd I applied online and continuous disregard for the applicant's health or well being by the enrollment center in Milwaukie, Oregon, repeatedly negligent acts of cruelty not inputting information sent to them or just throwing away. "What verification letters" is all I keep hearing and they are actually killing me (physically with this red-tape runaround). Legal actions from all persons need to be placed and the gov't take action.
I have not been able to contact anyone at their customer service dept. All I get is recordings and options. I have been calling for over 3 months and cannot get any help with getting a replacement phone!! Never have seen such a horrible company in my life!!
I am SOOOOOOO VERY frustrated with the crappy customer service that you receive whenever you have to call Safelink for help with ANYTHING. In August (2016) I didn't receive my minutes so I called the customer service number... not very helpful. After speaking with someone that spoke broken (and robotic-sounding) English I was told that I needed to provide some kind of documentation to continue my service (after being on the phone for nearly 1/2 hour). I was then transferred to another person that spoke really crappy English that told me the same thing (after about 10 minutes) and THAT person transferred me again (on hold for more than 10 minutes waiting for someone to answer that transfer), and then when I got another crappy English-speaking person on the phone I was told that I did NOT need to provide anything and that I would receive my minutes like usual in September.
September comes around and I STILL didn't receive my minutes, so I called again and once again got another crappy English-speaking foreigner. THAT person told me everything that I already knew (as they always do because they don't really understand what you're saying) and then told me my service was cancelled but they couldn't see why... so that person transferred me, and after being on hold for nearly 15 minutes the call mysteriously ended (the call dropped). I called back, went through the SAME CRAP again, was transferred... and the call dropped again. I did it one more time with the EXACT SAME results, so I went online to reapply (on Sept. 1, 2016).
I received a new enrollment ID and waited until today (Sept. 9) to check the status. It showed that I was not approved. When I called the customer service number I was told by another crappy English-speaking person that I would need to reapply because it showed that I had service for more than 1 Safelink phone service at my residence... I AM THE ONLY HUMAN LIVING IN MY APARTMENT. I was told to go back online and reapply, so I did it again. And NOW I'm stuck waiting to see what the hell happens next. I am SOOOOOOOOOO frustrated with not being able to talk to someone that is proficient in English, and I am also equally frustrated with not getting real and legitimate answers for the issues that I'm having! Free phone service with free HEADACHES!!!
I have been on California Safelink for 2 months, I'm gave all my documents and received free phone. When your phone comes there are 3 papers net10, safelink and tracfone nothing else. Nothing to tell you who to call about different problems. On Aug 29 2016 I called safelink about problems with phone. She was nice told me to call California lifeline - I was disqualified. I got so stress. How could this be. Lifeline phone wouldn't go through wrote email safelink informed because safelink didn't send them paperwork. I called safelink couldn't get through to a English speaking person I could understand. When I got through to safelink they also disqualified me without reason. I need help. I don't know want to do. I'm I going to have a $1000.00 phone bill. I am caught between california 2 biggest companies handle the free phones. Someone help.
This is a wholly federal government (paid for using tax dollars) however the people one talks to are NOT US citizens nor do they even reside here. The 800-SAFELINK (800-723-3546) and 800-378-1684 connect you with a call center in the Philippines or Malaysia or somewhere else outside the USA. The problem with this should be obvious. I might not need free wireless service if I could work for them @ a living wage $11.00/hour. I would guess that is not what they pay in other countries. They're always polite & try to be helpful. However this is exactly why we have so many employment/poverty issues.
No coverage for the Obama phone. I was told by a Safelink Wireless representative the company would send me a new sim card. The sim card would allow me to use my phone from my residence. I called today and I was told they don't cover my area. The citizens are being cheated. Why does the govt provide products that don't work as intended. It's a rip off.
I applied for a cell phone over 2 months ago because I am currently unemployed and cannot afford one currently and qualified for the services. I was denied because they stated on 7-27-16 I did not provide them with name and ssi information. I sent them a photocopy of my state ID and social security card. I resent the information. One month later still no phone. I need this phone to be contacted so I can go to work. I have had similar problems with another cell phone company. One actually denied me a phone for having an "illegible signature" despite qualifying for the service and providing all the information.
I live outside the city limits. I'm a senior citizen and disabled. I received a Safelink phone because I cannot afford to pay for a landline or cell phone service. Why can't I get a Safelink phone that will get enough reception to make a call or text. I live by myself. I think if the government lets you have a cell phone no matter where you live you should be able to have some kind of service. I have to drive five miles to make a call or send text.
Called Safelink Wireless, mailed application 6 weeks, never heard from them. Then I called on 8-14-16, they told me that I was turned down. Then they took my information over the phone, keep saying, then have to change my information, took my information for 1 hr. She would repeat address & my other information. I had it and cancel. The worst ever, never again. Went back to my old phone. If any ask about Safelink Wireless phone, I will tell them don't do it.
My phone was deactivated for unknown reason. In order for it to be reactivated representative told me I needed to pay for the phone call that I made to that particular department. He asked for my credit card number but was unable to give me the price they were going to charge to my card. They said it will only be activated when I pay for the call with my credit card.
I have spent hours over the past few weeks trying to have my phone activated. I've been told its complete hours should be there by end of day. I've been told my phone was deactivated (a phone never activated) and I'll have to purchase reactivation card. I've been transferred to more departments than should even exist. This is beyond ridiculous.
Safelink signs people up for their service by telling them they are getting a free smart phone. I signed up for this as did my friend. Neither one of us was sent a smart phone. We were both sent the standard phone which is not a smart phone. You cannot cancel your account for two months so I am stuck with this phone. This is a bait and switch scam.
ConsumerAffairs Research Team
The ConsumerAffairs Research Team believes everyone deserves to make smart decisions. We aim to provide readers with the most up-to-date information available about today's consumer products and services.
TracFone Wireless operates SafeLink Wireless, which is a plan designed for people who meet certain income qualifications. Consumers who qualify for a SafeLink plan receive free cell phone service and can add minutes on a pay-as-you-go basis.
- Lifeline service: The Lifeline program was established in 1984 to help low-income families access telecom service. SafeLink’s plan gives qualifying customers cell phone service for free. Consumers may only enroll in one Lifeline program, but those enrolled in another program can easily switch to SafeLink.
- Features: SafeLink’s plans include caller ID, call waiting and voicemail. As long as the phone consumers select can enable these features, they are provided for free.
- Extra minutes: Consumers who need additional minutes can purchase a TracFone Airtime card. The company will automatically add extra minutes to these cards for free when they’re applied to a SafeLink account. TracFone Airtime cards are available at major retail stores.
- Customer service: Customers with questions or problems can reach a technical support representative from 8 a.m. to12 a.m. seven days a week. Those wishing to enroll or change their service can reach a customer service agent during extended business hours seven days a week.
- Qualification: Consumers who are not already enrolled in a Lifeline program can find information about qualifying on the SafeLink website. They can also submit required documentation and check the status of their application on the site.
- Best for SafeLink is best for all those who meet the income requirements.
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