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While I am a former SafeLink customer, who had NO trouble, with service, for over three YEARS, after my SafeLink phone was stolen, and even though SafeLink has ALL of my documents ALREADY on file, SafeLink has INSISTED that I file DUPLICATE documents, before my service can resume. Problem is, SafeLink WON'T tell me WHY they are insisting on DUPLICATE documentation. This is why I caution others, about using SafeLink. IF the service will NOT tell users WHY they need DUPLICATE information, then HOW can users trust this service?
I got a letter in the mail 7 months ago about renewing my lifeline services even though I had to buy another phone in January of that year. I tried to renew my services online at Safelink Website but it showed it was not time to renew my application. At the beginning of the next month I have no service so I call and told that I have to renew my verification, so they connect me to the person to verify and I'm told I don't have to verify and my service is turned on again. This happens every month for the last 6 months after. In the last 2 months, twice a month! So you can understand how frustrating it is for me.
I just had it shut off last weekend and had to call and have it turned on, and again yesterday on January 30th. I called and the people aren't very bright. They can't even write a note on my account every time I call, at least to have to keep me from explaining my situation over and over again. It is the most frustrating to have to explain your situation over and over again. The person named Denise told me I had to renew my verification online at Safelink. I go to Safelink.com and am told I have to call Safelink. I finally just cancelled my Safelink account so they can't receive money from the government to provide me service. They were not providing me services for free! I don't have lifeline services at the moment even though I am disabled and it was the only phone I had but I will find an application to use through my internet for the time being.
People beware of this company. It is the worst. They speak very broken English that you can't understand and they lie. I started applying in early Nov 2018. Sent, mailed and faxed everything they asked for. Finally in Dec 2018 the hours and the time I have spent dealing with this company was a full time job. Always check again in 48 hrs. Nothing ever changed in that 48 hrs. Finally in Jan 11 2019 checked my account with them. It said all approved. Will receive my phone in 7 to 10 working days. That time passed. Spent 2 more hrs on the phone. Nothing again. You will have in 7 to 10 days scams and we are paying for this. I am disabled with no lifeline. I have printed and logged everything and if I have medical emergency I will sue this comp for putting people's life in danger. WHY IS NOBODY DOING ANYTHING ABOUT THIS?
Had some issues with my Safelink phone, call them and they said my phone was not working correctly and they would send me a new one. I asked that they NOT stop service on the old phone because I am a senior and I could activate the new one when I got it. Yesterday my current phone said "Unregistered Sim", so now I cannot get calls or make calls. Called again this morning and was told they had registered the new phone and my service on this phone no longer would work. I said "I asked them not to do that", he apologized, so now I am stuck another 3 days with no phone. Terrible way to take care of customers, I am not impressed.
I asked for a replacement phone because the one they sent me is defective, after talking to seven agents and was given the runaround, they finally order the replacement but at the same time deactivated my service and now they are saying they can't find my account. I emailed ten five times my benefits evidence. Still deny receiving it, when I chat with them knowing they deactivated my phone service they asked me to call them, I'd like fun for them, I need my service back as I'm still enrolled and I am missing my doctor's calls with treatment needs, these people are putting people's health in jeopardy. I hope this site can help you stop these people abuse, I also filed a complaint with the BBB. I hope I can get some help, thank you.
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I will not ever deal with this company ever again. Crooks! I was told I used a deceased person's identity. They asked me to send several things. One of the things was proof I am living. I felt like a criminal. Our Department of Human Resources did not recommend them.
Started with SafeLink. All was well, upgraded to smartphone through this company. The new phone didn’t work very well so called to exchange. Was told it cannot be replaced. I paid for this upgraded phone. After some time I was able to contact them again and was given the instructions to purchase a different phone. They gave me the specs and required phone for compatibility. Even the names of acceptable phones. So went out and purchased a phone they had recommended. Went to active with SafeLink and was told the phone was not compatible. Was instructed to buy another phone. I cannot afford to purchase another phone. Now I am receiving notices that I have not been using the SafeLink phone. So what am I supposed to do now?
I have been applying for Safelink since last year. I applied online for Safelink, I submitted all documents required online. Every time I call Safelink they give me different answers, and they keep sending me applications. I have sent back the applications back with the proofs required, but to this day no phone has been sent to me. Today Jan 20, 2019 I called again and they said that I will not receive any phone 'cause I already have one, which is not true. Many of my neighbors have more than one, I have none and they keep saying that, but if you look at my application it clearly states that I am approved and qualified.
Was on the phone for 2 hours getting transferred to four different people that I had to explain everything all over to and spell everything for them. Tried to use the Bring My Own Phone feature with a Tracfone sim kit I purchased. They either didn't know what they were doing or their computers were "processing". Are they running Windows 98 on dial-up? The last 4th person hung up on me after telling to hold on. Going to try it one more time then it's back to Verizon.
I have literally spent 15 hours in a period of just short of a month with this company trying to get this phone hooked up. All they do is transfer you to other people who receive no information about previous contact. They claim you have no minutes, and will add the minutes and the phone will work in 1-2 hours, or other specified times (always changing) and the phone never works. When you call back, they do the exact same thing and ask you to wait again another specified time. They give you reference numbers that have no meaning because you just do the exact same protocol and they have no information of previous calls. They do not seem to care that you tell them that you go through the exact same process over and over again. They either transfer you, hang up on you, or tell you the phone will work in the specified time, but it never does. It's an endless loop.
Cannot really call it a scam, but it is the most inept people I have ever dealt with. And because they require you to lose the old service on the phone you want to hook up, I no longer have my old plan to fall back on and I have not had a phone for almost a month. No records are ever kept and the customer service reps have no interest in resolving the problem other than to transfer you to be someone else's problem. It is a horrible company and the complaints are almost always the same complaints, and they are very legit.
I decided to apply for Safelink last year after having a bad experience with a previous phone company. I knew all of the steps I'd have to go through when it came to the application process, so I was ready. According to my enrollment status, all of the information I submitted was accepted except I needed to provide DOB proof. Not only did I email, but I also sent them text messages containing a picture of my state ID. The only thing I received was confirmation that they received my messages. Apparently, a picture of my ID wasn't enough for them. Then I started getting forms in the mail from them that I had to fill out and return with proof included.
Not only did I send them a copy of my SSI Disability paper (which included my date of birth, address and age) but I also sent them a copy of my Social Service letter regarding my income. Both proof letters were sent in November & December. Weeks went by and no word from them whatsoever. I decided to check my enrollment status today, only to find out through the website that my application was rejected (with no statement as to why it was rejected.) However, the "DOB Proof" status still said, "Required". I won't be applying with this company anymore.
Don't ever get anything from them. Husband been on phone for 2 hours with Corporate trying to get my SIM card in my phone to work which came out of their phone. Can receive calls but not make calls. Been transferred to different departments and nobody can do nothing or don't want to. Very poor customer service. Then had the nerve to ask my husband if the service they provided him was satisfactory. They didn't do anything except give him the runaround. Then they hung up on him. That was very uncalled for. Very very unprofessional. Instead of our government shutting down they need to shut down and use that money from idiots that don't know how to do their job and use it to build the wall. Will never use their service again and I would advise anybody else not to use them. Non English speaking idiots.
Safelink. Most deplorable English speaking skills of any foreign customer service I have ever heard. Just like Straight Talk, they transfer you every few minutes. They will do it for hours. I ordered one of their phones. It arrived. The number on it to activate the phone does not work. It is no longer in service. Three hours on the phone with customer foreign service to find out that they sent me a phone that does not work in my area. WHY? They know where I live, WHY would they send me a phone that does not work? They said I'd have to buy my own. So I spend 100 bucks that I don't have on a refurb from their website. It is a blood pressure raising experience and not being able to understand what they are saying makes your head hurt.
I gave this company a great review a year ago, this time I'm very disappointed. I knew that my one year enrollment was coming up so I called them on Friday 1-4-19 to ask if the paperwork could be mailed to me. The first customer service agent even though I gave him my new address, didn't update my address, so the information would have been going to a dead address. I had a gut instinct about this and called back and the lady updated my information.
Two days later I must have spent over an hour wondering why my internet was working on the phone but I had no phone or text service whatsoever. I even called SafeLink Wireless and spoke to two different technicians and after a lot of time was spent on this it was concluded that my service had been shut off! When I asked the lady why she said, "You need to re enroll". This was in the process due to my 1-4-19 phone call to them. I'd been given no phone call, no text, or even a letter stating this. So now I will be left for probably one to three weeks without service due to their miscommunication. If anything why wasn't my service continued to at least my expiration date which is today funny enough being 1-9-19. Terrible customer service and awful communication!
My phone broke. Screen is cracked. Half of it doesn't work so I have to put it on rotation. I called my social security and they told me that I was eligible to have her free one no matter how many times my phone breaks. I've only gotten a replacement one other time. Only done it one time. Now I go to get a replacement because half of my screen does not work. They told me that they have to have to reset my phone, that I will need to call them from another line when I only have one available line to call them from the phone that I have with just a phone from them. So I run upstairs and ask my neighbor if I can use her Wi-Fi and her tablet so I can contact them so that they can do this after that then it turned into, "Oh so we can't give you a replacement. It says on the account that we can't give you a replacement." But they told me that they couldn't see anything on the account until after they reset the phone.
The cup customer representatives were horrible and very rude. Being as nice as I could and ask to speak to a superior, was not given to a supervisor. Was given to a manager and in the beginning of all these calls I told them that I was recording and they said it was fine. Then after I told her continuously that she was being recorded because she told me she was manager and she was not. I also have her name and identification representative number. These people are horrible and I would not recommend SafeLink. Yes it's nice that we can have a free phone through our government if we cannot afford it but not when SafeLink is using the government themselves.
Every time I have an issue with my phone it's always my data usage. I haven't been able to use my data in my home area for the past 3 days! I ride public transportation to work and waited until going to work to go online to see if there was an alert about an outage in my area. I couldn't log into my account due to duplicate entries found popping up on the screen. So I called to make sure everything was okay, that no one else was trying to use my information to get services.
Now I work at a call center I know how the steps go. 1> I call, enter my information. 2> They pick up the call, record the issue. Keyword: record. 3> If necessary, transfer to more help. Unfortunately, this isn't what happens. What happens is instead of them reading notations already made on my case I'm forced to repeat, several times, what the issue is. I spoke with Myron who transferred me to Ever? I suppose that her name because I asked her to repeat it and she wouldn't. She made me repeat the issue, which made me upset because notes are made on the call logs. When the call is transferred, the operator reads the notes, then ask if what they've read is correct.
My call was dropped. She attempted to call back but upon answering the call dropped again. So I called the number she called from back and Josie? (Again I don't know because she wouldn't repeat.) She had me on hold "troubleshooting" for 25 mins, (during which she asked me to hold the line every 15-20 secs which was very annoying) to tell me I need an alternate number for them to call me back on. I think that was the end of my rope because I've asked them to note each time I've called that I don't have any other number. I expressed that to the operator, telling her I was very frustrated that I have to keep repeating myself when I know notes are made, and, if I don't have an alternate number how does my phone get fixed? She couldn't provide an answer at which point I asked for a supervisor. That's when several key presses were made in my ear and she hung up on me, I work in a call center. I know she hung up on me.
So I called back. I asked the male operator that answered the phone to transfer me to a supervisor. The supervisor Sherbert or Sherman, asked how can he help me. I said, verbatim, "I'm going to tell you my issue, then I'm going to tell you my complaint. I called to check for internet outages in my home area. The last operator had me on hold for 25 mins to tell me she couldn't help me unless I had an alternate number. I told her I have no alternate number, & I have say that every time I call in. So how does my phone get fixed if I have no alternate number? When she couldn't provide an answer I asked to speak to a supervisor, not to complain about her service but to get an answer because she didn't have the knowledge or the skill to assist me." OMG. It was here the "supervisor" said, "How can I help you?" AGAIN??!
I replied, "No, that's not how it works. I tell you what's wrong, you tell me how to fix it. That's how it works, right?" He replied, "Right. If you just tell me what the problem is. I hear your complaint on the other worker"??? "I just told you when you answered: I'm going to tell you what's wrong, then tell you my complaint. I called checking if there was an outage in my home area. Then I complained." Sherbert/Sherman asked me again how can he help me and it was at that point I lost my cool and told him I'm tired of repeating myself!!
SafeLink is JANKY with customer service. Good prices though. I think this company is lacking on customer service and if it wasn't a free service their representatives would've put them out of business by now. I get paid Friday, Jan. 7th and my brother told me T-Mobile has great deals in January. If you can afford to, I suggest you switch. I am! That will be my last call to SafeLink. I'll just play my games on the phone that calls people whenever & doesn't let me receive calls/texts from time to time. Won't have to worry about if I'll have internet services or repeating my issue with the service over & over because no one reads case notes, if they're making any at all. I won't have to ask someone to repeat themselves because I can't understand their accent due to no one having good English anytime I've called. I'm done! Goodbye SafeLink Janky Wireless!!!
I have a phone that makes me delete VMs 2-3 times; music that randomly assigns different artist's names to my songs; and most importantly, calls whatever number it wants, no matter what number I entered. Tech support is a joke with these folk. Obviously listening for keywords and reading from a script. Looking for a different carrier with phones that work - even if it's a flip phone, as long as it ain't Safelink.
I had no problem signing up for Safelink. I filled out the forms online for bring your own phone. I was pre-approved in August 2017 and sent my sim card within a month. At first I didn't notice any problems...then everyone kept saying why don't I ever answer or call them back. I started telling people to text or leave a message if they called me and you would be surprised how many times calls NEVER come through. Majority of calls don't but I chose to stay because it was free and only $45 after that to get a unlimited plan. I had no problem re-certifying either. They sent paperwork in the mail, I filled it out and sent it back and never heard from them again.
After over a year of service September 2017-November 2018 I text someone one day and they said "Who is this?" Long story short my number was changed without my permission and I wasn't even notified of the change. So after 3 calls and 2.5 hours on the phone with customer service they swear that I never had a different number to begin with and questioned where I even came up with the other number I originally had. I couldn't get it changed back to the original # I had with them because they claim that # was not even owned by their company since July 2017! I was extremely disappointed because it didn't make sense.
I had a whole different number for over a year that they told me I didn't have and couldn't get back. I had to give out my new # and update all my accounts (bills, kids schools, doctors, etc). Since this happened I can't send or receive pictures and I can't buy an unlimited top up plan. Every time I try it says my phone is not eligible for unlimited plans. I'm very dissatisfied and will be soon signing up for service with a real wireless company.
I like Safelink Wireless, I like the $ 15.00 unlimited plan, but like with every cellphone you still have issues, but overall I truly think they are the best deal around, cause they are always there in a pinch, just don't use all of your free mins...
My girlfriend said she was going to stay at her girlfriend's house to sit as her girlfriend's dad was sick, out of state. I let her take it, so I knew she was safe... But instead she took my phone to Arizona, so I called Safelink to have it shut off. She quickly sent the phone back in the mail before Christmas. Called back Safelink to let them know, I got my phone back and after talking to someone I couldn't understand, I was passed 4 more time when they, Safelink said I had no more minutes left. Then I was told I was blackballed for 72 hours on December 21 2018.
Went and purchased a TracFone minute card 750 min for $54.00, tried to activate my phone, next I find out TracFone can't, because Safelink blackballed me again 4-72 more hours, TracFone has my money a Safelink has hostage of my phone… Christmas alone with no PHONE. The Government needs to build a wall around Safelink and start over line. I'm mostly deaf and it's so hard to talk to someone in the Philippines, TKS for reading. Oh PS still no working phone 12/26/18.
Had applied for Safelink Wireless and was approved in August and chose the option to use an existing LG TracFone. They sent me a SIM card which did not work with my phone, and they had to transfer the minutes and data manually to my phone. Then a month later, I get a letter saying I had not used the phone even though I did. I called again and they said my phone wasn't "attached" to my account, so I gave them the SIM card number and the IMEI number and they attached it, and things were OK until this month, when all of a sudden I can't get any data. I keep track of the usage so I wasn't over the limit, and I gave them a call again. The man I spoke with was very curt and said my account had been "de-enrolled" and I kept asking him why...he wouldn't answer. Had to ask for a supervisor, who said my account was de-activated for non-usage.
I told him I used my phone almost every day. And yes I made sure to make at least one phone call every 30 days. He then told me there was a glitch on their end but since my account was deleted I will have to enroll all over again! They never called, or sent me a letter, just cut me off without notice. They screwed up & won't fix it. The weird thing is I can still make phone calls, but I cannot get any data. This company seems to be very poorly run and organized, the call center seems to be in another Country as well. I had a terrible experience with Assurance Wireless and unfortunately it is no better with Safelink. It seems they don't want you to use an LG TracFone and instead be forced to use the free phone they send you, which like the one Assurance sent me, would not work. It is an outrage that low income folks as myself are taken advantage by these "free" services that are pretty much impossible to use.
When you have to re-certify it is an unbelievable nightmare. I could not hear the machine generated questions half of the time, and my goodness, I had to answer the same type of question over and over, again, with the questions being blurggled. Just note: answer yes to all, even if you can't hear it. If someone were getting this service and has anxiety or a history of panic attacks, I suggest asking a family member with patience to do it for you. OMG!!!
After 3 months of interminable runarounds trying to get a phone from Safelink Wireless, I asked to speak to a supervisor. I was routed to Rhea. WHO GAVE ME MORE RUNAROUND. In a nutshell, I live at a valid and specific address and have a valid Texas Drivers License showing that address. In Safelink's crazy rules, a valid Texas Driver's License does not prove a valid address. Texas Department of Public Safety is one of the nation's strictest licensing agencies. What Safelink is doing in my opinion is taking tax dollars to administer a government program, pocketing the money, and failing or refusing to issue the phones. Don't waste your time. Safelink is a scam.
My son receives Medicaid and got a letter in the mail about getting a free phone. I call to sign up and have now talked to 6 different customer service representatives. NO ONE can help me. According to past records, there was an account created in my name. Sent a phone to a different address and is still active. I DON'T HAVE A PHONE! All the customer service rep said she could do was cancel my account, and I need to wait one year to create a new one, or buy a phone. Your company is a joke and so are your employees.
Safelink does not care about their customers as they are dealing with low income people and they don't receive a lot of money. Your customer service reps are pathetic, cannot speak English (which makes no sense to hit 1 for English if your reps don't speak it too!). 2 of the representatives that I spoke with today are: Alvin, employee ID: **. Alvin claims there is nothing else that can be done and cannot transfer me to anyone else. Ivy, employee ID: **. According to Ivy who was the first rep I spoke with on that call, has no boss and there is no one else to help me. Why hire customer service representatives that don't represent customers?!
Wish I could give 0 stars. What a nightmare! I applied for lifeline service in October, submitted my documents through the website. Nothing happened. My account kept showing that I needed to submit document. I called them about it and they said my application was still processing and to check it in 36 hours. I did. Still pending. Finally after a month the website showed my documents were accepted. The website still said pending. Called again and they said the same thing. Wait. I waited. I called them a month later and they said they were waiting for my documents. I told them I had already sent that information and that the website showed they had already been accepted and they said, "Oh sorry our mistake. Wait 36 hours." I did, Still pending. I called them back and they said I needed to call California Lifeline as they were waiting for them to approve my application.
Finally in December I called California Lifeline and they said they had no record of any request from Safelink for Lifeline. I called Safelink back and requested a supervisor and this took me 4 times before they got me to the right person. He said would approved my application manually and send it over to California Lifeline. I asked about bringing in my own phone (for the umpteenth time) and he said he would request a sim card for me. Great. I told him I was going to be out of town and could it be sent to a different address and he said yes. I didn't have the address handy so he put in a request for a callback and said someone would call me back in 15 minutes. I waited an hour, no one called me back so I called them back and went through another 5 people before I got to the right dept.
When I told that supervisor that I was calling to give them my shipping address for the sim card they told me that was impossible. No changes could be made. I asked why the other supervisor said they could do that and she said she didn't know why I was given that information. She said my application was still pending. When I explained that the other supervisor had approved my application manually she said that was impossible. And that I was going to have to call Calif Lifeline and have them send me an application by mail. I asked why when I had already applied through the website. I finally told her I wanted to cancel my application with them she said just do it on the website. Had to call back again to cancel application with them because there is no place to cancel an application on the website, only service.
Finally I got my application canceled and after 3 month of waiting with no service, I am having to choose another provider because there is no way to get this application approved through them with it being stuck in cycle and no one knowing what to do about it. And I would rather eat dog poop than deal with this company ever again. No one speaks English and many things are lost in translation. Find a different provider if you don't want to be pulling your hair out and cussing a lot.
I've read a lot of reviews on here about Safelink service. All of them were complaining about either not getting their phones, having problems with the service. Couldn't get recertified or their phone getting shut off. I can honestly say I've never had any of these problems. I've had Safelink service since 2011. I applied online. About a month later got my free cell phone. It was a basic little straight flat cell phone. I was happy. Never got anything free before. Was very glad that I could get one since I lost my job and didn't have money to buy one. I never had a problem with the phone or the service. I got a little flip phone for my birthday and had Safelink switched to it. Not a problem at all. I called TracFone since that's Safelink's service. All I had to do was give the lady the numbers out of the old cell and the numbers to the new cell.
Everything went fine no problems. After about a yr I got a smartphone from Family Dollar on sale for $20. I called again and got everything switched over to the smartphone. No problems then either. Each time the same cell number got switched over to new cell. This is 11-28-2018 and I still have the same $20 smartphone with the same number. I had to call customer service once when I didn't get my mins. This was in the first yr of service. You have to leave your phone on for the first few days of the month to get your mins. I forgot and had it off so my mins didn't get added with the phone off. I called was told to turn the phone on and mins would be added. Few mins later I got the new mins. Few times I got a text to make at least one call a month which I wasn't. I now do and don't get the text anymore. The only time I get any text from Safelink is when it's time to recertify.
I also get a letter to tell me too. I go online and do the recertification and have no problems. The only problem I've had with Safelink when calling is understanding some of their English. Everyone I've talked to has been very helpful and nice. I have not called Safelink since switching my last phone 5 yrs ago. I can't say how customer service is now but I've never had a problem with them. I'm sorry everyone else is having all the problems with them. Hopefully I don't start having them. If I could give Safelink a 10 I would have. Hopefully I keep getting the great service that I have.
The other reviews I read here are accurate. I wonder why this company thrives since the services it purports to give do not seem to exist. This is a phone for my son. Multiple calls, multiple dead ends. Even when I was told the problem was found in billing and that it would be changed, there were no minutes. When I asked a helper to stay on the phone while I went on the website to see if what she said worked, she said no, she got off the phone.
In August we were accepted with an enrollment ID expiring in Mar 2019. In November we did another application, were accepted, given another enrollment ID and told minutes will start December 1. No minutes appeared. We are told they will appear tomorrow December 2 but would be very surprised if this was the case. Even if we get them, after reading these reviews, I would expect the minutes to just stop the next month or so --- even with an expiration date of a year from now. Safelink does not seem to care about acceptance in the program and expiration dates. The stock answer when we have had problems is to re-apply. (We are on a 3rd application in 5 months --- 2 were acceptances.)My son called separately from me on December 1 and was told he needed to do another application. So he went to the library and proceeded to start all over again today. This company works with TracFone which takes my money if Safelink doesn't come through for my son. We paid for 2 months to TracFone waiting for Safelink to come through. It doesn't seem at this time that Safelink provides anything for the application work. Although TracFone is very helpful when I pay them,
we don't need Safelink to get TracFone minutes. So what is the purpose of Safelink? Maybe Safelink is a scam to get information from the low income people. Or to get government funding? I am curious as to what Safelink sees as its mission.
No Minutes Coming to Phone: Two months now! I have called technical support and they told me I received these minutes when I have not? I keep account of every minute and write down my minutes! Why are they lying at SafeLink and telling me I received these minutes when I clearly have not?
When they have no need for consumer report they're ok... It's just that they screw up sooo often. Perhaps hiring American workers that speak English well might help... and really training the staff. My last occurrence took a week to transfer my number from one Safelink phone to another Safelink phone. During that time they were reading status notes from a year ago and they deactivated me twice for no reason!!! Very frustrating and yet the cities and govt. don't seem to care they have such poor performance.
I was extremely grateful to TracFone -- at first -- for participating in this program. But...you really need a self-paid phone while you are hoping they make your account work correctly (if they ever do). If you are in an area where there are a lot of Sprint Towers, I urge you to consider alternative providers in the lifeline program who are said to be excellent. But I am not in such an area.
For starters, I applied for the free phone but was sent a Sim. I knew this is what they would send, because that's what it said they were sending at Safelink.com so I called to hopefully correct this error -- except customer service said no, absolutely, they were 100% sending a phone. The reps seem very nice, but sadly, they're just winging it, saying whatever you want to hear.
Well. The Sim card (no phone) arrived. And, they assigned me to T-Mobile, which doesn't work inside my house. So I put the sim into an old unlocked ATT phone with a broken USB port, drove around until I had bars, and activated it. With a bit of playing around with the APN settings, I was able to make it work. At which point, I stuck it into a 4G router which has a port for a landline phone. The router has antennae -- two of them -- and no bars turned into three bars. I plugged a landline in, made a call and was absolutely thrilled, to the point where I bought a $40 unlimited plan from Safelink / TracFone.
Please note that before I did this, I called TracFone/Safelink to ensure that putting the Sim into a router did not violate their terms of service. They claimed it did not. I also asked at what point do they de-prioritize (meaning how much data can you use before they slow you down to the trickle). They assured me that this does not happen, at any point. No de-prioritization. No Throttling.
The tech support guy seemed leagues better informed than the regular customer service reps, so I explained that I didn't have a phone because they never sent it and that I needed a Sim that was compatible with ATT towers. He cancelled my application, submitted a new application and I am still waiting 10 days later to receive anything at all. I only bought the $40 plan because he told me that paid plans do not deactivate if you have paid cash for additional data. I asked him if he was absolutely, positively sure and he said yes.
I have no other internet connection; I reasoned that I could use my $40 Safelink card either until it expired, or until I could transfer the unlimited minutes/data to the new card that I thought would surely arrive. NOT. Everything stopped working. I called Safelink yesterday to confirm that I was inputting the correct APN values. Waste of time. The APN values vary from carrier to carrier. The tech support rep gave me the wrong values. Even when I removed the Sim card from the router and put it into my unlocked ATT GoPhone, the values she gave me provided no connection. Whereas if I texted 611611 to get an auto-update of these values, entirely different info was entered and the phone worked. (But of course, I can't connect when I am in my house and since I am disabled, the sim is useless, unless I can use it in a device with antennae that receive a consistent signal.)
Honestly, I was excited about $40 for unlimited data that isn't throttled (the least expensive competitor is probably Net Buddy, at $60) but it's actually a $40 no-data plan. I am very poor indeed, but this program does not make sense for those who truly need a "Lifeline." There are companies like Mint Sim and Red Pocket who are cheap to start with and cheaper on eBay and Amazon -- we're talking a few dollars a month. Honestly, I don't mind if a rep says to me, "You can't do that, it's against our TOS," but to advise me to buy a $40 upgrade that I cannot afford, assuring me it will remain 'live' when they really have no clue what they're talking about, is a rip-off.
Seriously. I actually told their reps that they were just making stuff up and they didn't take offense because it's inarguable that is what they are doing. The government is giving TracFone money for this, and I gave them $40 over and above. If you're going to try Safelink, do yourself a favor and get a used phone off eBay to use with Mint Sim or Red Pocket in the meantime. Because you do not want to rely on this company as a 'lifeline.'
Safelink Wireless Company Information
- Company Name:
- Safelink Wireless
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