Customer Reviews: TracFone Prepaid Airtime Card, 400 Units, for all TracFone Phones
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on July 23, 2005
I knew I wanted to do prepaid wireless, so I did my research and then bought a Tracfone thinking that this would be perfect for me as I only sparingly use a cellphone, and the minutes I did use could be approxiately 10 cents a minute. This happened according to plan...however, when I started the process to port my number from a Cingular wireless phone, the nightmare began. I started with the website, which indicated was the best way to talk to them, where I entered my zip code, only to find that they "cannot process this transaction at this time". So I called the customer care center, and quickly realized that their people cannot understand or speak English. The reps will continuely tell you to repeat yourself, because they cannot hear you, they are having problems with their phones, or you need to adjust your phone. However, you can hear them crystal clear. I've called them from multiple phones, all land-lines, and they still say they can't hear you. It's not that they can't hear you, or that you are not speaking's that they don't know English. I know how to talk clearly, I've lived in Japan for a summer, so I know how to use simple words to communicate, but these reps can barely understand that! It's obvious that's why they direct you to the website first.

After finally communicating the problem, they said I would need a new SIM card (the card which apparently contains the info the phone needs to connect to the network). Well, that seemed a little wierd, but I waited 5-10 days like they told me to get my new SIM card. When it arrived on the 10th day, I installed as directed, and then called the "help" center to get the phone activated. They then said that this SIM card too was not correct--they would have to send me another one! I was frustrated, but I tried to remain calm...and I asked to speak to a manager. After waiting about 15 minutes, I was hung up on...So I called again...another 15 min...and finally I was speaking to a manager, but her English was only marginally better. When I told her what had happened, she only said, "Don't worry, we will send you a new SIM card" I said I understood that, but that this one was the replacement SIM card, why wasn't this one working. She repeated her answer, and acted like it was perfectly normal for this to happen...why was I bothering her with this problem, essentially.

So the new, NEW SIM card arrives. I install it. I call them.

Once...they tell me to wait 5-10 business days for the port to go through

Twice...the website says it went through, but my phone is not yet activated, so they have me enter some codes on the last I feel like it might work! They tell me to wait 24 hours for the phone to activate

Thrice...the phone never activates. I call and they tell me THE MOST RIDICULOUS thing ever!

"You need a new sim card, we will send it in 5-10 days."


At this point, I'm in awe of their total incompetance. I remain calm. I tell them this phone has had a total of 3 SIM cards--none of them has worked--and I do not want another one.

They put me on hold. They ask for some serial numbers, after I've told them once during this call. They put me on hold again. She talks with her manager. They put me on hold again.

Finally...the answer. The Nokia 1100 phone I bought is defective. They have been having many problems with this phone. They will have to send me a new phone. I will have to send this phone back and pay for it's shipping...but don't worry... I will be reimbursed for the shipping with some extra MINUTES! This is the last thing I want. I want to use up my minutes and BURN THIS PHONE!

So here I stand. I have no working cellphone, because when they ported my Cingular number, the account was automatically cancelled. The Tracfone certainly doesn't work, and I my old number will probably be lost. I will have to wait for my phone to get to them, and them for my new phone to be sent back to me. I cannot cancel everything, because then I will lose all of the minutes I had on this phone.

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on April 30, 2006
I have a pile of GSM phones laying around and thought I'd just give one to my son and buy a tracfone SIM card, stick it into the phone and activate it. So first I call tracfone and asked how much for a SIM card, they didn't want to sell me one, they even sugested I buy one of their phones and take the SIM card out of it. I said that's stupid there are close to a billion SIM cards in circulation we're not inventing something new here. Anyway I neverr quite got the answer so I turned to Ebay. I bought an unactivated SIM card, stucj it in my phone.

Go to the website, no SIM only activation, gotta call them. Ok call them and now they want to know all about the phone, after explaining to them that it's m phone and thier SIM card I go through three or four service people, a half an hour later they say it will be activated, just wait, two days later the SIM is still not activated. After calling customer service AGAIN, they say it is now activated. Finally, almost a day later it became activated.

What kind of phone company is this. I've bought SIM cards in the market in New Delhi and it's been activated on the spot, how come these folks supposedly in the developed world can't do the same?
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on September 2, 2009
Do NOT buy tracfones. We had enjoyed an excellent relationship with them until our daughter's cell phone got lost. It had approximately $300 on it. When we finally found it buried at the bottom of her school backpack, it still worked, but couldn't call anyone.

Of course it had gone past the renewal date, and so therefore we had "lost" the minutes. But the cellphone showed that the $300 was still loaded on the card, and the phone number deactivated. Which was fine with us, but we sure would have liked either our money back, or be able to transfer it to another tracfone phone. I am told SIM cards hold all the data.

My husband called and asked to transfer it over to his own tracfone. First they said yes, and then they said no. I call this stealing and I think it should be made illegal. Minutes that were prepaid should NEVER be lost.

We have been told the sim cards can be read and the minutes put on a unlocked phone. So, we're working on it.

I feel that all prepaid phones should have their minutes kept FOREVER. I should use what I want, for however long. I am not a big phone talker, but having the minutes already paid for, gives me a feeling of security wherever I go.

So, we'll not use them again.
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on December 18, 2006
I've owned a Tracfone for 3 years. My old Tracfone quit working, so I purchased a new one. I've been trying for 4 weeks to transfer my old phone number to my new Tracfone. It's been a nightmare-after 4 weeks, 3 new sim cards, and countless calls to TracFone customer service reps, I've accomplished nothing. My phone is still not activated, I still don't have my old number transfered, and I've wasted 7 hours speaking to customer reps. I don't recommend TracFone.
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on November 4, 2009
I thought it would be a good idea to move to prepaid as I rarely use my phone & my t-mobile family plan was taking $80 a month regularly. The website seemed straight forward enough to get my phone # ported over. It was nothing of the sort. The website resubmitted my information twice for the same phone & then after about two hours dealing with customer service, they sent a new SIM card out. I got it activated and working for one of my lines. I then called back about my other line, they said they would fix it and get the port going to the correct phone. Two days later the phone that was working, stopped working and my original line was basically ported from one Tracfone to the other Tracfone. At least it worked, so fine. I have one line, but my brother's phone still isn't working.

Not wanting to go through the headache of calling Customer Service, I spent another $20 on a new phone to start from scratch and try the port all over again. Tracfone ported the number into their system, the phone "activated" to where it shows the correct phone#, but alas "Your Service Is Restricted" is the message I get anytime I make a call. This is the same thing that happened with the original phone. So I finally wait till my weekend to go through the one hour plus process of having them poke around on the phone enough to finally decide to send a new SIM. Unfortunately I got disconnected after about 50 minutes on the phone. Now I am really regretting this switch as it's eaten up a ton of my time and so far, has not saved me ANY money - it's a black-hole of time right now.

I do not think this has anything to do with the reps who work in the outsourced call center. They are merely doing the best they can and it sounds like they are understaffed and restricted to following scripts. They are nice, but it's irritating when they're trying for 20 minutes to get a hold of someone in the Number Portability Department. Also on many occasions calling them resulted in an automated message that said "We are experiencing unusually high call volumes" and then it would just hang up on me. I don't think the volume is "unusual" if I am chronically getting that message, perhaps Tracfone needs to hire more people to man the phones & the portability department.

On top of this, I can't self help myself. The website messed up my number port, it messed up the activation, it doesn't remember me when I check "Remember Me" when signing in. Perhaps if I had done everything over the phone in the first place it may have gone better, but something tells me that the CSRs have to deal with the same dysfunctional system I do.

Overall a terrible experience. If you do not need to port your phone# or deal with customer service, it may go much more smoothly for you.
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on December 17, 2012
I bought the Tracfone because I needed the phone for a one-week visit to the U.S. Then two months later, I moved here and bought more minutes for the phone. All is fine, but I then get my iPhone activated here and use that all the time. So, I let the tracfone number lapse. Again, not a problem because I don't use it. Now my son is visiting for a month, and I'd like to buy minutes on the Tracfone for him to use while he's here--again, don't want to get into a contract, but called Tracfone, and they say they'll have to send me a new sim card. It will take 3 to 5 days to get here, which from the reviews here I don't think is true, and my son would be about a week without a phone even if they are. I don't expect to have the same phone number or anything, but why can't I go to a store and buy a new sim card and have it installed right there? Can do that overseas with no problem. It's easier to just go out and buy a new phone for the month, and then throw that one away, too. Kind of a waste.
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on January 25, 2010
In all my fifty five years I have never dealt with such an incompetent company. We have had 5 Tracfones and trying to get them to work is difficult, which is putting it mildly. No-one at their company understands English and even speaking very slowly doesn't work, so much so that you go round and round in a continual loop. We needed a new sim card last year, three times they said they'd sent it and three times it never arrived. Bought a new phone and need a sim card but this time they tell me my cousin's address doesn't exist - funny she's been there a while and we've visited her. (We live in England but spend many weeks in the States each year). They won't send cards to England, fair enough, but why can't they deliver them to addresses in the States, or at least not lie and say they have when they obviously haven't. Avoid this company like the plague.
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on May 23, 2006
Let's hope you never have to sink to spamming the reviews to solicit free minutes. This card can help you avoid that.

By itself it's $80 for 400 minutes that expire in two months. Combined with a double minute annual card (currently $130 with 400 minutes) you would pay a total of $210 for 1200 minutes, good for a year, and unused minutes will roll over when you throw another annual card at your account. If you buy a double minute annual card and two of these 400 minute cards that's $290 for 2000 minutes. If you use more than 2000 minutes in a year (167 minutes per month or 6 minutes per day), I think it's time to get a service contract.

For light to moderate users there are more economical prepay services, but those have only main network coverage. The Tracfone can give you some off network roaming, although this costs double minutes. Not all rural areas have coverage. Tracfone mainly gets GSM service from Cingular, but Cingular's online maps are pretty lame. T-mobile's coverage maps for service contracts are a pretty good guide to where you will probably get GSM main network coverage, roaming coverage, and no service with a Tracfone.
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on April 4, 2006
My tracfone has worked out good so far. Customer service is fine and the free voicemail was easy to set up and use. If you decide to get a tracfone, please email me for a quick referral before activating it- we each will get 100 free minutes from the 'refer a friend' program. I'll also send you the simple instructions to follow. I've used Tracfone for quite a while, so i should be able to answer any questions you might have.

ps even if you have activated in the last few weeks i should be able to get us the free minutes.
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on March 25, 2006
I've had my Tracfone for about 3 months now. The reception has been generally good. Once i got the phone activated, I haven't had any problems. Tracfone has a 'refer a friend' program that will give each of 100 free minutes. All you have to do is send me an email asking for a referral. My email is

thank you.
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