Good day! I have a question for those of you with knowledge on TracFone. I recall reading that your current balance could be wiped if you sell your TracFone device under certain circumstances (cant remember if it was including the original SIM or not including it). Normally, I would sell any phone without a SIM. The question is, can anyone point out a situation in which activating a previously active locked Smartphone from TracFone under another account would result in that original line under which that phone was active under to effectively be terminated (allotments lost, etc)?
I currently have a Moto G7 Optimo Maxx (effectively a G7 Power) that I had gotten as a nice deal with some service included. I would very much like to replace that phone with another phone I have and sell it, but I do not want to run in a situation in which I will effectively lose my service time due to a technicality. Thanks!
The danger is if you're still using a SIM that came in a Tracfone-branded device, via SIM swapping.
Tracfone permanently ties together the SIM ICCID and the ESN of their branded phones. This connection remains existent even if you have done something different with the SIM. (Thrown it away, or swapped it into a different phone to do 'unofficial' bring-your-own-device.)
If you sell that Tracfone device, even without the original SIM, and the new owner asks Tracfone for a replacement SIM, Tracfone will deactivate the original SIM in the process of tying the new SIM to the phone. IF you're using the original SIM in your currently active line, your line will deactivate when the original SIM deactivates.
If you're not re-using the original SIM in a different device, there is no risk in reselling the phone, even with the SIM: the original SIM/phone is no longer tied to your line.
If you are using the original SIM-- the only safe route is to change the SIM registration with Tracfone by officially transferring to a BYOD SIM card. (Not SIM-swapping)
FWIW: the most 'friendly' way to sell a Tracfone is with the original SIM included. A Verizon SIM can be reactivated on a new account, in the same device, with no risk to you. AT&T or T-Mo network SIMs will need to be replaced (by Tracfone, when the new owner wants to activate it), but the process is much easier if the original SIM is there. (You attempt activation, it fails because the SIM cannot be reused, and the system will automatically offer a replacement SIM. Without the old SIM, the new owner will have to go through Chat or phone call to arrange for a new SIM.) Of course, a full reset would be required before sending the old phone with the SIM, to wipe any user data.
This thread should be stickied somewhere. I just learnt my lesson the hard way. One of the pitfalls of tracfone is you have to think through everything so carefully! Bought a phone, activated it intending to use it and unlock it but got the same phone unlocked for a lot less elsewhere so I sold the tracfone. Of course I didn't think and just put the tracfone sim into my new phone and forgot about all the wisdom passed on by KentE here. And this morning I received a notice saying my autopay was cancelled and my line vanished. Arghhh! The person I sold the phone to must have activated today.
Well with customer service now. Will see if they really have bad customer service or not. If they manage to fix this I will be impressed but this incident reminds me why I stayed clear in the past..
Edit - looks like the I'd have to jump through many hoops and the person who I sold the phone to would have to as well which will not happen. Worse thing is all my service went to the new phone. Looks like they just got an extra Christmas present from me. Oh well.
I think a fair number of really bad Tracfone user experiences are due to the arcane way they handle everything, and the lack of official documentation on how it all really works. There's so much weird and different stuff with Tracfone that documenting it would probably lead to more confusion than it solves, so everyone has to rely on shared bits of info to figure out how everything works behind the scenes at Tracfone.
I don't know what route you took through Customer Service-- but if you can get an agent to refer you to the Executive Resolutions department, that would be the best possibility for a fix. (I've never specifically read about them correcting this situation, or not being willing to correct it-- but that's the team that might have the capability of doing so.) Other than being transferred directly on the phone, the route to Executive Resolutions seems to require either a callback from an agent, or a temporary code to use when calling in. Last ditch effort, if you lost enough service, is to file an FCC and/or Better Business Bureau complaint, which seem to get routed to the Executive Resolutions department, and they'll get in touch via the email address or phone number you include in the complaint.
Not worth the time to complain for the value of the minutes but thanks for the suggestions.Fortunately it is a backup only. I find it shocking that just by selling a phone someone can acquire your service and phone number. Yes phone number is gone too. Certainly something to be very careful about. I still have the sim card which you'd think was enough. There is no trace of the line in my account at all. There really needs to be better security. It is as if the phone owner owns the line not the account owner!
I also received a text on the old sim with "my new tracfone number" which I assume is the new phone owner's number. At least my autopay was canceled when the line was taken. Else it would be a gift that kept on giving.
Since misery loves company I’ll share a recent Tracfone story to hopefully let you know you’re not alone mmfacemm! On Tracfone’s reward website you can “scratch off” a box that looks like a gift to win points and a chance at a Samsung Galaxy S10 phone. I scratched, I won the phone, I entered my requested info, I got a confirmation # and now Nobody at Tracfone in any department can find anything about the phone I supposedly won even though I have screenshots to prove it. I’m now convinced I have a better chance of Mitch McConnell voting yes on a $2000 stimulus check than ever seeing this phone from Tracfone.
Cool! Congratulations! In my case, I cant seem to ever have a chance at playing on this next round. I keep getting that pesky message in caps that reads "WOW! IT LOOKS LIKE ALL PRIZES HAVE BEEN WON AT THIS TIME."
If you keep refreshing or reloading the screen, it will eventually let you spin. Sometimes a few refreshes, but I gave it up earlier tonight when 25 refreshes didn't work.
For what it's worth, it's specific to the Tracfone Spin game. No problems spinning on Total Wireless, and I've read the other sister sites spin easily, too.
So how did you end up finding someone to send you a phone? I have not received mine (big surprise!) and no one at tracfone that I have tried has been able to help. From the reference number provided not being in the format used to no trasaction found etc. The number they provide to call is out of service
I also won some "swag" today on total wireless which is the new prize on the wheel. Wonder what is and if I will ever receive it. No holding my breath.
I called 877-430-2355…the rep that answered the call started to ask me the “usual questions” and I politely interrupted her and immediately asked for a supervisor because she was not going to be able to assist me. She said, ok I’ll get you right to one, but before I do that can I at least try to understand the issue. I explained I won a phone, I have screenshots and a confirmation # and since this wasn’t my first time calling I knew she wouldn’t have access to any info. She connected me to a Sup, I again explained and provided the prize confirmation # and the Sup over-nighted the Samsung A20.
Keep in mind, I went through all this thinking I had won an S10 as that’s what the phone image indicated.
I did manage to get hold of a nice agent who was very good at her job. Received a samsung A10e today. I had won "a samsung phone" so can't be disappointed. Not the best but not the worse phone to receive. Thanks tracfone and thank you Chosen for the help.