Consumer Complaints and Reviews
I bought and paid for a phone from QVC. It came with text minutes and voice minutes. When they ran out I called to purchase more minutes and they were outrageous. I am 65, live alone with a small income, I need a phone. TracFone is refusing to unlock the phone so that I can get an affordable plan. The customer service is horrible. The last person I talked to said it didn't matter if I was old disabled and poor. They will not unlock the phone for 1 year. They said I could call BBB, an attorney and still won't unlock it.
I own this phone. I paid for it but they believe they do and are holding me hostage. This company is horrible, I won't give them another dime. They got paid for the phone and I can't help it. Their plans are so expensive. Please can someone help me. Why are we allowing this treatment. Where are the laws protecting us from this usury violations?
I used TracFone for YEARS. In 2016, they forced me to give up the phone I had for all that time and accept a replacement - Not much better than the original - Because of something related to cell tower coverage. I had more than THREE YEARS worth of airtime service! They took all that away. They replaced it with 500 minutes. I'd rather have the airtime service. In late 2016, I let the airtime expire for over 60 days, and now, TracFone has deleted ALL of the 500 minutes that they gave me. Now, I lost more than three years of service THAT I PAID FOR, and the 500 minutes THAT I NEVER ASKED FOR. I don't plan to ever buy another TracFone again!
TracFone customer service sucks! I have spent over 8 hours of live chat and phone calls with them. They speak very broken English, and are hard to understand. I still have a phone that I can't use. They have sent new sims twice that don't fit my phone. I bought this phone on QVC with 1350 minutes. I have purchased TracFones before at Walmart and activated them myself with no problem, or complaints. They all had good service where I live. This one only gets 1 bar, and is not WiFi calling capable, which they don't tell you this. Now they said they will send me a different phone, not the same phone, but just a different one. I asked them what model they will send, they said whatever the warehouse sends me! What a ripoff! From now on American Made, American service on everything!! Verizon and AT&T doesn't work here either.
THIS IS THE WORST PHONE COMPANY IN THE WORLD!!! Their phone cards are so overpriced it's ridiculous!!! Most overcharged phone cards!!! Use another company and look at the phone card prices before choosing a phone, so you know what you're going to spend every month. I was so ticked off, that after I bought another phone, after only having the TracFone for only a week, I broke it in two. Sure, I could have given it away, but I wouldn't give that phone to my worse enemy! Why put someone else through the hell I went through with their overpriced cards and TERRIBLE customer service!! DON'T BUY THIS PHONE!
My father is 90 years old and very careful about monitoring his use of his cell phone. The last time we checked his available minutes he had 244 minutes and today he has 0. We know for a fact my 90 year old father has not been chatting the phone for over 4 hours. I spent over 2 1/2 hours on the phone with their inept, lying service reps and was continually lied to and given the royal run-around. I was told I'd be transferred to a person on two different occasions and got a recording; a third time I was disconnected instead of being transferred.
After the 7th phone call I was told by a so-called manager they were adding 500 minutes to his contract and sat on hold for 15 minutes for this to supposedly happen. Well guess what---the minutes never materialized and when I called back they could find no records that this conversation or transaction ever occurred. I only wish I could give them a -99 rating instead of a 1! If you value your time, money and sanity; DO NOT buy a contract with TracFone!!!
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I was surprised to read so many negative reviews about TracFone. I have been a subscriber for over 13 years, and have honestly not experienced any of the issues reported by consumers. I've fallen into a pool, ruining a phone, and they helped me transfer my phone number and existing service over to a new phone with no problems. My spouse had awful T-Mobile service and transferred his phone number to a new TracFone and has been equally satisfied. I know things don't always go as one hopes, and understand the frustration that must be occurring, but I can only provide positive information. I think it is a great value ($100 a year is cheap!) and they give me triple minutes for my particular phone every year when I renew. This is standard, not because I am a return or long-time customer. I know this will sound like I am an employee of TracFone, but I am just a retired guy who is happy with his TracFone service.
I purchased two Rebel smartphones from Trac in late December of last year. One smartphone was to be for me and the other for my father. We have used TracFone for years problems with only occasional problems dealing with technical support. I transferred an active TracFone number to the new Rebel smartphone. It took five calls to technical support for them to finally get the Rebel activated correctly. Once the snow melted I took the phone with me to our house in the mountains where I always have been able to use my other Tracfone. The Rebel showed a signal strength of between one and three bars depending on how the wind was blowing. This is a mountainous area so trees swaying with the wind always affects connectivity.
I would call Trac and get technical support and they would fumble around supposedly changing something and then when I got home I had to do the power off and back on to get the new updates. This has been going on for months with no change. The people in the technical department could clearly see that the phone that would not work was a smartphone. While reading the terms and conditions of Tracfone use tonight I found Item 10 Roaming.
THE IMPORTANT PART is that last sentence as Trac does not advertise anywhere else that if you purchase a smartphone or transfer a smartphone through the Bring Your Own Phone program that phone is useless outside a select calling area because it is not allowed to roam by Trac. If you are considering Trac DO NOT purchase a smartphone because it will not work when you need it the most when you are outside your authorized zone calling for emergency services.
This is a warning against the unscrupulous practices of TracFone Wireless Inc. In November 2014, my husband and I purchased two cell phones and connectivity through the Walmart Family Mobile Plan. Recently, Walmart apparently contracted their phone services connectivity to Tracfone Wireless without notice. We only received a text demanding to pay by May 25, 2017, 3 days earlier than our plan called for, and we are being converted to pre-pay.
Upon going to the Walmart store, trying to pay on the 25th, Walmart personnel could not take our payment. We were then advised of a Tracfone Wireless take-over. We are now on a fixed retirement income and after also learning of proposed rate increases, we chose to discontinue and change our connectivity through Consumer Cellular, advertised thru AARP at about 1/3 the cost.
In response, Tracfone Wireless disabled our phones sometime before the 25th, claiming they “own” the phone numbers. Internet was mysteriously “offline” 7-10 days prior to that. In essence, they totally disabled our cell phones and are not capable to be used by any other provider, even though we own our phones, We were told if we choose any other service plan our Walmart purchased phones will be useless. Then after many hours wasted communicating with Walmart and Tracfone representatives, resulting in lies given by them, telling us the phones would later be unlocked on June 1st, has been a total fraud.
They have not unlocked the phone and we were forced to purchase two new phones being a strain on our budget and starting over with new phone numbers. This “slamming” has been a major inconvenience, not to mention, per more research, ILLEGAL. They are cyber thieves, and “Slammers”. If anyone else has encountered this horrible experience, or can be of service in this situation we would appreciate hearing your reviews.
TracFone deleted more than 1000 minutes and data I accumulated for more than 3 years. The phone I got from them died, then they sent another one but my minutes were not credited. I'll NEVER USE THIS COMPANY AGAIN, dishonesty a galore!
TracFone has the most illiterate, untrained, unprofessional, and inept millennial Hispanic CSRs anywhere including AT&T. For 2 weeks I have been fighting to get service reinstated on an Android ZTE phone. We went from new SIM card, to standing outside, to being by a double window. Nothing worked as the entire problem was from their own failure to connect the number to their system. Then, they wanted to charge more money for minutes that I had already paid on May 17. You almost have to threaten them with a lawyer to get them to move. TracFone is the most frustrating service provider I have ever dealt with. The time to cancel with TracFone cannot come soon enough.
Okay. TracFone is a complete rip-off. Getting an unlimited service plan for probably a whole family would be cheaper with *any other* carrier. $20 for a couple hundred texts and a few hundred and a gig of data... really? As far as I know, it's not even possible to get an unlimited plan with these hooknosed ** who don't even speak English. Not only that, but even after a purchase of "airtime" one must wait extended periods of time for it to come through. I got this phone as a Christmas gift, and for that I am grateful, yes. I would never have purchased a phone through them.
They call it TracFone because they want to track you. Duh. The prices are absolutely ridiculously high. Their slogan is a complete lie. "Do everything for less." Then why is it so much more expensive than any other carrier? Luckily, I've not had the pleasure of having to speak with their great customer service... not yet, at least. (darn!) Don't ever get a phone with them... ever. You'll find yourself spending 3x more money than any other carrier for unsatisfactory everything. I *should* be able to get the "air" time (what a horrible name for minutes, texting, etc) right after purchasing it. Nope, it takes forever. These Shylock, Red Sea pedestrians have outlived their usefulness. Perhaps they worked well and had good prices for the 90's, but every single carrier, even the brand new carriers, have prices 10x better with service 10x better.
With paying for a card to add minutes, I specifically called TracFone, to add these minutes to my TEXTING only SPECIFICALLY. The card purchased does not specifically note on it ANYWHERE, that we must call their 800 phone number, with debit card payment, to add minutes to TEXTING only! For us customers that have need to add minutes for TEXTING only, and not phone or data, this is UNFAIR that speaking directly to a Customer Service person, requesting that this card purchased was for TEXTING needs only, yet they put it thru for phone and data, that isn't needed, and had to pay for!
TRACFONE SUCKS! On 23 May I ordered a iPhone 5s from the TracFone website for $129.99 and also paid for overnight shipping. On 24 May, I logged into the TracFone website to check the status of the order and found the very same phone was now being sold for $79.99... a 40% discount. I opened an online Chat and explain to the representative the situation and ask for a refund on $50.00 on the original purchase. I was told that in order to get the discount I would have to return the original purchase, wait up to 30 days for the refund of the canceled purchase, and re-ordered the very same item for the new price. NO ONE seems to know who can authorize such a refund.
On 30 May, I called the number listed below and after 30 minutes of the representative searching they told me that they were Straight Talk and I would have to be transfer to TracFone... the numbers are the same!!!! After explaining yet again the situation I was then transferred to another department about refunds. I have no less than 10 times explained either online chat or on the phone the situation and have yet to find anyone who can provide any remedy aside from sending back the phone and reordering.
THIS AIN'T ROCKET SCIENCE! Its remedy is a simple line entry in your accounting forms/programs to provide a refund to my bank. End of problem. Instead, you have in place a convoluted process whose sole purpose is to confuse and aggravated the complainant to the point of total frustration causing them to just give up. You're not serving your customers... you're torturing them!
My phone says I can only make "emergency calls." So, over the last few days, I've spent nearly six hours "chatting" with some idiot on the TracFone customer service website. I just got a phone and paid for 180 minutes because I barely have any need for a phone in my life, yet it's a good idea to have one handy. I've now had to erase ALL my content (numbers, email addresses, personal info), take the damn SIM card in and out several times, and I've been redirected to some other department that never seems to be open each time. When I told the agent that I wanted my money back NOW, he once again redirected me to another department which happened to be closed. The thing is, I can't call them because I can only make emergency calls from this phone. DUH! TracFone is a major scam. I have no idea how they're still operating without being sued back to the stone age.
Their overseas calling does not work. I called TracFone to verify that the country is available on their system (it is) but even with their customer service help the calls will not go through. I lost 18 minutes of my air time, which they will not refund, and they have no idea why the calls will not go through. The response I get when calling is that I do not have enough minutes to make the call, or that my phone cannot make an overseas call. This is a TracFone problem not the overseas calling system. 2nd problem, when I buy air time my phone should get triple minutes, but I get the single time not triple, so I have to call and argue with them. When my contract is up I am going to a cell phone co. that works.
When I tried to add minutes to my account using their online service, I waited over 40 minutes for the transaction to be completed, and finally gave up and contacted them by phone. On Mar 20, 2017 I enrolled in a 90 day auto refill of minutes. When I was down to less than a 100 minutes I called to get more minutes added to my account on May 19 2017. After waiting over 30 minutes I was told my credit card was charged & the additional minutes would be put in my account that day.
Today, May 26, 2017 still no additional minutes. Call Customer Service & again waited over 30 minutes to complete the addition of the 400 minutes I paid for on May 19. I told the customer service representative I was very frustrated with having to call them twice to get minutes added, each time waiting well over 30 minutes, & would like some time of compensation for the inconvenience they had caused me. The representative said they would add an additional 400 minutes if I would please wait a few minutes. After waiting over 10 minutes she comes back on & tells me they will only be adding 400 minutes, not the additional 400 free minutes. I just want to let everyone out there know - TracFone may provide cheap calling plans, but their service & effort to satisfy their customers is non-existent!!
I was using a TracFone 3g and decided to upgrade to 4g. I purchased a new Tracfone at Target. It was missing the charging cable and plug. TF said it was not their fault and were very cocky about it. Fortunately Target gave me a full refund. I purchased the same model and gave it a try. I lost all of my minutes due to me (800 plus) since I could not get TracFone to accept my old number. So I had to change my number as well. TracFone were NOT helpful.
After more than 3 hours on the phone with people you can't understand, transferring you around, repeating multiple times the same information and being put thru the same test over and over and over. I still have no service. I was hung up on, sent to the Spanish speaking line, which I don't speak, told they would call me back, no call has come in over a week. When I suggested maybe they could say "Sorry for the inconvenience and we appreciate your patience", no response. I refuse to pay for service you cannot use and they will not refund the prepaid card. I was a user of TracFone for over 7 years... No More. Goodbye to your **! My money and time are more valuable to me.
My experience was great until they switched carriers. I called to let them know that my phone was not letting me on the internet. They did troubleshoot it and updated my system but I still couldn't get on the web. They told me to call back within 48 hours if I could not get on the web. I did but only to be talk down to by a supervisor at that. I pay $94.68 a month for my phone. They sent a text stating that a change was coming in May on May 1st. I asked them on May 1st if I had to pay 2 payments in May. The representative told me no, that April would be free to everyone because they are switching over to prepaid so I would be paying for May in May and not April in May like it use to be.
Then on May 20th this other representative said since I was having all this trouble that I would be getting May free but I still had to pay June's bill so I tried telling him that if I pay June's bill then I'm not really getting anything free because I already paid May's phone bill. The representative also said that I would be compensated for the internet that I lost in the month of May. Nothing has been resolved yet for issue. I still have no Internet but the month of May was paid in full.
STAY AWAY! I got this phone on HSN December 2016. It has been a horror. Minutes and data would vanish even when it was turned off and phone off. Customer Service is horrible. A foreign country of some sort where English is very broken. The phone no longer has internet or texting outside of my home. It was broken. I spent 90 minutes, and they told me to do the same thing over and over to no avail. I said my phone is broken, the guys says, "What? The phone screen is now broken?" LOL what the heck? The phone is junk and it stopped working a month ago. It was only good for calls. It is a Samsung Galaxy. They told me the $30 in minutes I just bought could not be credited since I was disconnecting it.
They would roll them into a NEW phone only! Seriously? So the 900 in data, 790 in texts and 500 in airtime were not to be credited unless I bought a new phone. Why in the world would I buy a new phone from them? I was on the phone and it would just cut off after I just bought minutes and say, YOU ARE OUT OF MINUTES. Awful and embarrassing. How did I go through new minutes when I just bought them and was on the phone an half hour. STAY FAR FAR AWAY. Horrible waste of money. I called HSN also to let them know what a piece of crap they sold to the public.
I don't make many phone calls, so I thought buying a TracFone would work... Unfortunately the only messages I get are from TracFone offering more minutes (and they deduct air time for their messages). My wife tried to call me five times tonight, and the phone didn't work... She has tried to call me when we are in the same room, and somehow, I'm not there? So I tried calling customer service... They were down, but deducted air time for the call. So if you want to buy a phone that only works for their beg notices and cannot receive phone calls from anyone else... TracFonny is for you.
I've had a TracFone for years and, providing I didn't need to talk to a customer service agent, it's been fine. However, I recently had to replace my phone because my old one died, so I used the Bring Your Own Phone option and ordered the SIM card that the TracFone website said I needed. It came FedEx ($1.00 for the SIM card, $0.42 tax, $4.95 S&H) in about 24 hours. Really fast! Unfortunately, it was a nano SIM card rather than the micro one that I needed. Hence the phone call to customer service, speaking to multiple agents, waiting and waiting and waiting on the phone. But they agreed that I did indeed need the micro card. They assured me that they would send it at no charge. The card finally arrived 7 days later...and it was another nano SIM card. Back to the phone and more time dealing with multiple customer service agents.
Once again, they agreed that I needed the micro card and said it would arrive in 2 days. It's been 2 days and still no card. They also said I could track it by my Ticket #. Unfortunately, there is no place on the website to track it by the Ticket #, and I am sure not going to call them again! I have had it with TracFone's Customer Service department.
I have had my cell phone for over 5 years, never had any issues until last week. I tried to put my account on an iPhone...long story short, TracFone deactivated the SIM card in the old phone & refuse to reactivate it!! They sent a "replacement" that doesn't fit, not even close and the phone is ONE OF THEIRS, and customer service has NO LIVE CHAT!!! They claim to have live chat, it's a lie. When I send 'feedback' all I get is automated answer...no live interaction online at all! They don't even deserve one star!
I wish I would have read the reviews before purchasing a smart phone from them. I have used them for many years as an alternate phone but problems began when I wanted to upgrade my phone. I bought a phone online that didn't work, it was mailed back to them but I WAS NOT sent another phone. Called Tracfone about this but no one could help. I really needed another phone in addition to my personal phone for online use and let's face it Tracfone is the cheapest especially when you already have a cell phone bill that runs over $100. I then purchased another phone via the Tracfone website & again I was sent a phone that didn't even turn on.
I was told by the rude customer service person that I had to pay to return the phone. When I asked was there quality control before phones are mailed out. I was told no! All the more reason they should pay for shipping a phone that was sent to me that doesn't even come on! I will be paying to send back the phone and air time plan cause I want absolutely NOTHING to do with these people!
Where to begin... Got a Smartphone 5 weeks ago, and have been trying ever since to get service on this phone. At first they got the call services to work and it took them 5 weeks (me calling more than a dozen times) to get the data to register. Now that it is resolved, they want me to buy more data because my balance is ZERO!!!??? Note that I've never or could never get the Data to work on my phone AND they can't tell me where or how it was used. People there (even the Senior Managers are useless, uneducated and incompetent to say the least). All they can say is "Sorry sir. We understand, BUT we cannot add data/minutes unless you pay for it..." That's all they could come up with. This is not a $25 issue for me, it is the principle. They advertise "bring your own phone..." and they don't have the expertise to handle that.
Called to add another year of service. First agent claimed to not understand my debit card expiration date so he transferred me to another agent who could just barely speak English. She asked for my payment info and I couldn't understand her reason but went ahead and gave it to her. The first agent never got past the date so no code was given. I got my one year service and the 400 hours but was charged twice. I called customer service and was told that no refund could be given because I had authorized two payments which was a lie because I only provided the three digit code one time. I told them that I felt I had been scammed but the best I could do was to get them to add another year since I had paid twice. I was also told the amount was 99.99 but I was charged 111.94 with no explanation.
I have been trying to help a blind, disabled friend transfer her TracFone service to her smartphone since it is set up to help accommodate her. They have told me three times the number she had transferred is activated and I have replaced the Sim card. The service is still not working for her phone. ** is her Straight Talk #. She requested. It was supposed to be working within 2-4hours today. This is ridiculous. She needs her phone in case of an emergency.
Customer service does not exist with TracFone. I tried to call them and they drop the call every time I call. Can't seem to get my Tracfone to work properly. Have used Tracfone for many, many years with minor problems and could reach customer service. Guess they outgrew themselves and now only offer customer service from foreign countries. I will be using minutes I have with Tracfone and then going to a new service.
Wanted to upgrade to smartphone, and purchased the phone. When we transferred to the new phone, the coverage was diminished and unacceptable. They could not put me on a network with better coverage. Purchased another phone that the chat service rep guaranteed at least 3 times would be able to be put on AT&T server, which is what I need. When I got the phone, tried to activate it and was told it could not be put on AT&T. Will be required to pay return postage to return the phone, and have no guarantee that I will be refunded the cost of the phone. They suggested another phone to buy that will work on AT&T. At this point, why should I believe a thing they say? I have experienced nothing but lies from the customer service department no matter what route I take to contact them. Avoid this company at all cost.
No more 60 minute refill for $10... When I tried to add 60 minutes of airtime to my TracFone, I had to choose whether to also purchase a $10 international calling package or a refill pkg of some sort for $8.97. I came to buy $10 worth of airtime not be held hostage for an additional $10. At these rates, the major carriers have made TracFone's DIY BS obsolete, w/o the benefit of customer service.
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 offers prepaid unlimited and pay-as-you-go plans to customers in the United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. It was established in 2008. América Móvil, a Mexican telecommunications company, owns the company. The TracFone family of brands also includes Net10, Straight Talk and SafeLink.
- Refer-A-Friend: Current TracFone customers can earn cash when they refer friends who purchase and activate a phone from TracFone.com. When new customers use the link sent to them by an existing customer to make a purchase, the existing customer can receive up to $30.
- Text support: Both existing customers and interested consumers can get answers to their questions about TracFone via text message. They can simply text HELP to 611611. They can also get fast answers by texting specific words, listed on the company’s website, to that number.
- Value Plans: TracFone’s Value Plans are monthly plans that automatically bill customers and add a certain number of minutes to their phone. Customers do not pay an activation fee to set up these plans, and there is no charge for canceling their service.
- International: Customers can receive up to three local, Mexican numbers that will call through to TracFone customers in the United States. This feature means international callers will not be charged long distance fees for calling friends and family in the United States.
- Accident protection: TracFone customers can add an accident protection plan to their phone so they can replace it if it is accidently damaged. The company offers two protection plans.
- Best for TracFone is best for temporary users, non-cell phone users and budget-conscious consumers.
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