Consumer Complaints and Reviews
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.
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!!!
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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.
The service was disconnected for no reason.. Nobody could give me a reason. After 3 1/2 days it was reactivated after 4 hours of waiting on hold which was deducted from air time which is totally UNFAIR AND when you look at other reviews a fraud..
Safelink is scamming people who can least afford it. They are sending emails to clients saying they need to call Technical Service and are forced to hold in excess of 60 minutes which is deducted from their available time. When they get someone on the phone they are told they didn't need to call in. This is an obvious attempt by Safelink to cause customers to needlessly burn their minutes and forcing some to purchase additional time to increase Safelink's profits. This amounts to FRAUD!
I have a government phone, a Budget one, have had it about 4 or 5 months. I text once in a while, and make the mandatory once a month phone call. I mainly have it for emergencies, or if I'm babysitting for my daughter, since they don't have a landline over there. So couple of weeks ago, I got a couple of strange texts on my phone, which I ignored, thinking it was just spam. NOPE!! And then I got a letter a few days ago, from Safelink, saying to call the number from my phone, again I put it off. My daughter tried calling my cell last night, ended up calling my landline to let me know my cell was turned off. I tried calling the Safelink # from said cell phone, only to find out, yes, my cell has been turned off. So WHY did Safelink switch my phone from Budget WITHOUT any reason?? And I'm to babysit today (a 6 month old) for several hours...with NO phone for emergency calls nor any way of contacting my daughter. VERY PISSED right now.
The two Safelink companies are ripping the government off. They get tax payer's money for contracting in the U.S. to provide services to people that can't afford a phone. They have only give me 700 minutes twice, and 350 the rest of the time. They make you take another phone every year by putting the shoots to your sim and then all of your contacts are lost. One of them never DID send me another phone and I just wonder if they are sending the tax write off for all of the ** phones and batteries they are sending out. How many service hours are they putting on their books for a write off. The government needs to give the contract to another company, to people in the US so they can have a job and will appreciate it. The phones needs to be recalled and batteries also.
As with anything that I buy or acquire I do research. I have not yet finished my application for the Safelink phone. However after reading these reviews I decided to do some digging which took all of 5 min. I am deaf so I need a qwerty keyboard more than anything. I do not necessarily need a smartphone (would be nice though). If you try to get a hold of anyone on Safelink good luck, BUT if you pay close attention to the contact link where it gives you the annoying phone number it says Tracfone as well as Safelink. Now when I first started my application process on the Safelink site a chat pop up icon was there but once you close out the link you will never see it again. As I said before I am deaf so a 1 800 number does squat for me and I have to be resourceful.
So I went to the Tracfone website and they have a chat icon available. I actually started out asking about an email address to contact Safelink until I realized the rep knew a lot about Safelink so I asked Safelink questions outright. I then asked that once I finished the application process and received my phone if I was to contact Tracfone with any problems from there on out and the answer was YES. I reworded the question again Asking "So am I correct in saying that Safelink is only where you apply for the phone after that I am to contact Tracfone with any questions or concerns" and again I was told, "Yes that is right." So for all of you having a hard time dealing with "Safelink" it is because they are just the dealer. If you need help call Tracfone you will get a lot further.
Jesus ** - he has lost his phone and told me brad ** that he lost phone. We did trace his steps so instead of wasting more time I purchased him a tracfone like he had and friday 7/22/16 12 noon we transferred the above # and phone was working. It then quiet. He has Safelink with unlimited text yet when we try to use it has no time. Jes ** thinks he should have had 44 minutes and the activation gave him 10. Phone now at zero minutes over 500 days. I called sat not solved. I called back sat not resolved. I called 3 times today monday and problem not solved and I am not told why. Just call back in 4 hours. I have a reference # **.
I have purchased and help several of my family members that are up in age to get a tracfone in their name and have a couple of tracfones activated myself and some that arent. Please understand that I feel this is a good system for people that have limited income but understand that funds are not their only limitations. Jes and his wife are some of those people that drastically need their phone so people like doctors and counselors and people taking them where they need to go can get in touch and they can do the same so yes bravo to Safelink for their caring endeavor.
I am not complaining but I do have my own limitations and it is hard to use your tracfone system for reason of people doing phone service are very polite but not much on problem solving. If there is something you can do please do. I am letting jess use my phone at this moment. Jes has lost several phones and I have helped him get another phone. I think this will be fourth phone for the # listed above. Newest phone serial # ** previous phone that is lost which had this serial # **. As you can see I have all needed info and have it all together in a box it came in. PLEASE HELP MY LIMITED FRIEND JES ** TODAY.
I signed up over a month ago and still have not received the phone that I qualified for. It said that I was qualified but the company never added a tracking number for me to follow up on. When I called and addressed my concerns they said that they would send out another phone which I have not received and have no tracking information for either. I also have a friend that signed up as well and they never received their phone and their account still says pending after 6 weeks. This company seems like a scam to me especially after reading all the bad reviews and never receiving the phones.
I have been reading the reviews of Safelink and I have to agree with every one of them. I was transferred so many times when I would call I lost count and everyone of them had a middle east accent. I finally got so fed up with it that the last time I called because, my phone had been shut off, I don't even remember how many times I was sent around the circle of "technicians". I was told I had to reapply, I hadn't even had the phone a month. Well, when he said that he had to transfer me back to where I started I said "don't bother, I'm going with someone else." I know that this is one of those deals that you get what you pay for, nothing.
Applied for benefits at the end of June and was approved. A broken charger and front cover arrived on but nothing else. Called to request to be sent a complete phone and went through hours and hours of phone calls and repeating myself to various extremely rude "customer service" reps who were seemed very angry and upset that they have to answer phone calls. Finally was able to speak to a "supervisor" who said it wasn't her problem and hung up on me. Several hours later I was able to speak to another "supervisor" who promised they would send out a new complete phone and charger set. Over a week went by and after about 5 hours of making phone calls to Safelink I spoke to a woman who said there was no tracking number but the phone would arrive in a few days.
Another week went by so I spent another 5-6 hours waiting on hold, being hung up on and re-routed back in line before speaking to another horrifically rude and angry female who advised that my ticket number didn't exist for the new phone and it was not her problem because it was not her mistake. I asked to speak to a supervisor and she hung up on me. Customer service was now closed so I had to wait until the next day and again spent several hours on hold, waiting, and being hung up on before speaking to a male who advised the phone was delivered, that a couple of minutes before he received my call to someone of a different name, who was the opposite sex and in a different state. I was so shocked and upset and felt helpless.
I asked why? He advised me that there was nothing he could do and that I could hire a private investigator if I wanted to try and retrieve the phone that they had shipped to someone else while receiving funds from the government on my behalf. I advised him that this entire Safelink process was ridiculous. I asked for the tracking number and to speak with a supervisor and was hung up on. Safelink is obviously a scam. I called back and asked for the services on my behalf to be cancelled. I spent another 3 hours again waiting, being transferred and hung up on and verifying my "identity" before being hung up on again.
I had called Safelink about getting a replacement phone since my phone was defective. All seemingly went fine but the next day, my original phone, which I could still text and make some very short calls, was now suddenly disconnected and the sim card no longer registered. I call Safelink and I get the message that my sim card was canceled due to ordering a new phone, which, BTW, had not even been processed or even in the mail! They activated the new phone even before I had it in my hands.
I had gone through several operators and one supervisor, who kept telling me I had to wait 7-10 business days before I can make any more calls. When I asked if this was a practice to disconnect phones or if this was a mistake, the supervisor first apologized to me for the inconvenience and when pressed, telling her she didn't answer my question, she finally said that it wasn't a practice but they could not help me anyway. If I could rate this company in the negatives, I would. This is incredibly poor business practice and interrupts people's lives. A phone should never be activated while in the mail, where someone could just swipe it and have themselves a free phone!
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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Safelink Wireless Company Profile
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