About Safelink Wireless
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Assurance Wireless is AWFUL, and Safelink Wireless is almost as bad. I have now spent hours and hours over several days trying to get my mobile service straightened out. I had service with Assurance for several years. Not only are the wireless phones they provide pure garbage, their customer service is even worse than the mobile phones they provide, much, much worse. I have 2 phone numbers for Assurance. Each number refers you to the other number, and you literally spend hours trying to get past the automated system which drones on and on about information you already know, but it does not touch on anything to do with why you are calling. Even after you finally reach a live human being, you end up talking to someone somewhere on the other side of the global. Their English is poor, and their IQs seem very low---they do not even seem to have basic common sense. It takes forever to get the information you want from them.
In this case, all I wanted/needed to know was my Assurance account number. Your account number does not appear on Assurance's website once you log in, and you do not receive statements from them if you have Lifeline, so you cannot possibly find out on your own what is your account number. It took me over 40 minutes to get my account number from them today. I needed the account number so that Safelink could use it, and my Assurance PIN, to port my number at Assurance to my new Safelink phone. Next, with a great sense of trepidation and DREAD, I had to contact Safelink again re porting the number.
I ended up on the phone with Safelink several times, twice today alone. This morning I was told they requested release of my Assurance number, and my service should be active in roughly 3 hours. That phone call this morning with Safelink took over an hour, and I had to speak to two agents. In the meantime, they turned off my Safelink service whilst they awaited release of my number, so I had no service all day.
Five hours later, still no service. I had to ring them again. This time, I had to speak to THREE different people. I was told the request was being sent again and that my number should be ported and my service working in another FOUR HOURS. This means I will have had no service at all since Sunday (two days ago), and I am skeptical that this will be sorted out in another four hours. As inept as their customer service agents seem to be, I am justifiably worried that I may have to contact them back today at least twice more, and if this is not resolved today, I will be on the phone with them again tomorrow. Heaven only knows which day this really will be resolved. My blood pressure is through the roof, and my stomach has been in knots since last Friday dealing with Assurance and Safelink.
No one should have to spend this much time on the phone with Lifelink providers such as Assurance and Safelink over something as basic as this. I am leaving this review to let others know that these providers rake in millions of dollars per year via Lifeline beneficiaries, yet they do not provide even half decent customer service. It is an absolute disgrace. My dog is smarter than the people I have dealt with at these companies, and I do not say this in jest. It is true! My dog can figure something out faster than this.
I now have filed complaints with the BBB against both Safelink and their parent company Tracfone. I also filed complaints against Assurance Wireless, and I filed complaints with both their states' attorney general's offices for consumer protection. The more complaints that go on file, the longer the record of criminally bad customer service becomes. I hope that some day a good attorney will file a class action suit against these providers for the disgraceful way they do business and win a massive verdict against them. They deserve it.
In October 2017 I applied for the California Lifeline program through SafeLink Wireless. I was approved and enrolled in the free monthly package of 6GB data, free calls, and free text messages. I also received an Alcatel one touch smartphone. The Alcatel one touch cell phone that I received was an inexpensive phone with limited storage and slow performance. Due to limited storage space of 5 GB (the cell phone’s operating system and a few basic apps would use 4.46 of storage and only leave a 1.03 GB available storage) and the device’s inability to upgrade from the android 5 operating system to a more updated operating system required by most apps, the phone became extremely slow, nonfunctional with most apps, and unreliable.
In April 2021, after thorough online research and many lengthy phone conversations with SafeLink and Tracfone I decided to purchase a Samsung cell phone with an updated operating system that's compatible with California Lifeline and SafeLink and would allow me to use apps on my cell phone and stay enrolled in the California Lifeline program. A simple process of porting my benefits and phone number from the old cell phone to the new one became an impossible task. I was on the phone with different individuals, many days, and many lengthy hours. For instance, one time I was talking to different agents from various departments for three days and a minimum of 8 hours each day.
At some point I came close to returning my newly purchased cell phone because the representatives kept telling me that my new cell phone is not compatible despite the fact that the compatibility of the cell phone had been verified through numerous sources prior to the purchase. I finally managed to talk to a supervisor in the technical support department and that individual ported my number and transferred my California Lifeline services. The new cell phone was much faster than the cheap Alcatel phone I previously struggled with. I was able to use apps and was very happy with my purchase.
A few months passed and this is where the real nightmare with SafeLink begins. Every month, for one reason or another, my service would become inactive. At times I would manage to reactivate the service by calling the enrollment or technical support department. This was seldom a brief phone call and usually entailed a lengthy process of being on the phone for hours, placed on hold, transferred from person to person, repeat required information, and many times get disconnected. When calling SafeLink to reactivate your cell phone you get directed to a pre-recorded menu that tells you to pay for minutes.
Most individuals would settle for this option and get coerced into buying minutes instead of using the free minutes they were promised when enrolled in the Lifeline program. Most of the time I was told that my California Lifeline has been canceled and I have to apply again, and once approved and enrolled by California Lifeline I will have to call SafeLink back to reactivate my cell phone. This meant that I would be without a phone for ten days or more and had to be on the phone for hours afterwards to fix the issue. I have experienced this problem at least ten times and finally this April when my service was disconnected again I decided that I had enough of Safelink’s fraudulent practices and started looking for another company to use the California Lifeline program with.
The Lifeline program is called Lifeline for a reason. It is meant to provide a necessary service to disadvantaged individuals. A cell phone and internet service that they would have to do without or make great sacrifices to be able to afford due to the great gap between earning wages and cost of living especially in areas such as California where seventy percent of an individual's income is consumed by unreasonable housing expenses.
Based on many online reviews from valid sources such as consumer affairs it has become a common practice for Safelink to cheat consumers out of the cell phone plan promised to them when they enroll in the Lifeline program. This is a calculated strategy to force individuals into purchasing a plan from Tracfone. Tracfone continues to receive the benefits of operating as a government supported program that is funded by taxpayers in the form of universal service fee. Article published by CNN business on October 16, 2012 explains it in detail.
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I had them using Verizon towers. BAD data connection. 10 calls to their cus svc & 6 hrs on hold, they switched me to T-mobile towers. 2 wks later, they SHUT OFF my account AND cut off my Lifeline eligibility. They can do both if they want, according to a Lifeline agent. I talked to 4 different agents, each had a different reason for this, none of them had to do with me. I had NO warning. They tried to turn it around like it was MY fault..They sent this strange auto-text from "Net10"(?) telling me to add money to my account. This coming from the top manager of Safelink's Lifeline dept...telling me this was my "warning" to call them. He didn't listen to anything I said. I asked him, "What is Net10? And why would I pay money when I've had free cell service for 6 years now?"
So now I had to pay $21, their cheapest plan, to keep my phone # running. Now I have to start over, as if I were a brand new customer, and wait about 3 weeks to get my Lifeline phone service approved again. I'm still confused and in shock on why this happened. Also..the actual gov't. Lifeline agent said "It's not just you, I've already dealt with TEN customers like you today!!!!" That was on a random Tuesday morning.
Trying to re-establish my 93 year old mother with a Safelink phone after she was cut off her previous account when she went into the nursing home. The website is impossible to navigate and offers little help. Chat can't get a live person. Calling and going through an impossible series of options that do address your concerns then waiting for hours for a semi-english-speaking person to answer just to get rote answers about nothing. (***Press '0' over and over until a semi-alive person picks up.) Never even addressing the issue.
Having to tell them over and over that the phone hasn't arrived in 2 weeks. She kept saying "it takes 7-10 days" to get the phone. I asked her when the account was confirmed and she gave me a date for next month. Really? She kept asking for the phone number. I told her repeatedly that "I HAVEN'T GOTTEN THE PHONE YET!" And she'd asked for the phone number 2 more times again. When I asked to speak to a manager, she placed me on hold and hung up. What a rip off of government funds. So the process starts over
FAKE SCAM CELL COMPANY. Scamming the American taxpayers giving out broken "Obama phones" with No support Email. No support Chat. You can only call, but when your phone breaks (and trust me, it will soon if it hasn't already), you cannot reach even using *611 or 611 or any other of those numbers. I finally was able to call them, and the rep just lied to me. Said they would send me an air bill in an email (about 15 times during the very long drawn out support call). I said I would wait for it to arrive. The guy assured me I didn't need to stay on the line and the email would be arriving shortly. Email never came. Can't call them. Can't email them. Can't chat with them. Even if I can call again, they will just lie again.
This is typical of all these fraudulent wireless companies that are providing "Obama phones" at taxpayer expense. They are charging American taxpayer like $500 a phone and $100/mo for service when the phone is worth less than 10 bucks and breaks within a month if it's not broken when you receive it. Service is trash, even when the phone works. Total Scam. These people should be in jail.
I decided to get the government help on a phone that would cost me nothing every month. Ha ha ha ha ha! 1st. I could never sign into app or .com to see how many minutes, text, ETC... Then when I called to add a plan they said mine didn't come with one and over experiencing tech issues. "Follow this hundred item list and links, turn phone on and off, did this so many times. Finally on 5th call I get someone who talks and said for $125 a month I still won't get unlimited minutes!! Told her for $35 with T-Mobile I get unlimited.
I do not want your service. TAKE ME OFF YOUR SAFELINK UNDEPENDABLE UNAFFORDABLE PLAN? KILL THE NUMBER CAUSE SIM CARD IS GOING IN TRASH!! After spending 5hrs today on phone it might be done?? Bad service, reps that hang up on you, rude, ask impossible questions (my sim card number for my T-Mobile line I've had same SIM for 13yrs and why that SIM CARD?), And after begging them and getting nowhere this company sucks as a whole. DO NOT GET PHONE FROM THIS COMPANY.
First, I am one of many individuals who is in need of Soc. Sec. Disability Benefits, due to physical, (or other) incapabilities. Which means, I have financial limitations as well. I have been happy, that Safelink Wireless was giving me one less bill to pay. However, they have given me nothing but "The Runaround"! It took me ten days, ten different agents, & over $70. before they sent me a new phone. BUT, the SIM# is incompatible. OK! So now, It has, as of yesterday, taken me another two weeks, for another agent to send me a new SIM card that is compatible, for my area.
This morning, in a UPS package, I received my new SIM card. YAY! Uh-OH-, I spoke too soon. I called Safelink to Activate. Well my old phone number is in there, but I still can't use it. Now, I cannot get through to any agent at all to really Activate my phone. All I am getting is recordings. I need someone to answer me, Because, IT'S STILL NOT ACTIVATED! I thought this was an American Government Phone and Service. Is It? I don't know, given that I am always speaking to people of foreign nations.
The people there are incompetent. I got a SIMs card in the mail, had my number passport it onto that SIMs card. It took several calls and several people before I found the right person who knew what they were doing. After a month of having their service all of a sudden the SIM card did not work. I called and called and called and it took more than six calls before I got the right person again who finally told me that they were going to send me a new SIMs card. I got the new Sims card and had lots of trouble trying to get my service activated. The one lady told me to turn my phone off and turn it on after 24 hours they have terrible customer service skills and their phone service is just as bad. I would never recommend anybody to go to SafeLink.
First of all, their reps are paid actors who pretend not to speak any English. They get kickbacks by the government for releasing sensitive information about you via your cell. I qualified for the ACP program, with the unlimited talk and text. It's been three months now and they still have not given me my benefits. When I call they just tell me to turn off and back on the phone, and instead of giving me my free minutes, they charge me 10 dollars per G, when the other Safelink customers can purchase 40 g of data for 39 dollars. I tried to purchase those plans and Safelink stole 180 dollars from me, and still would not give me my data. This place is a joke. I am starting a class action lawsuit if anyone would like to join up. I'm gonna put them out of business. They are a complete joke. They lie, they cheat, and they steal.
I recently received a notice from CA Lifeline telling me that I am certified and do not need to re-certify until some time in 2023. Today I tried to make a call with my Safelink account and was informed I have no service. I checked online and they say I've been cancelled. Safelink has no customer service, NONE. Maybe I'll pay $15/month and get Mint.
Safelink Wireless author review by ConsumerAffairs Research Team
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.
Safelink Wireless Company Information
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- Safelink Wireless
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