10-08-2013 04:33 PM
When I hear these horror stories and the flaming hoops that some of you are being forced to jump through simply to attempt to activate your new Galaxy Centura and transfer your balances, it makes me cringe. It also makes me wonder whether TracFone is trying to pull a bait-and-switch: promise the moon, the sun and the stars, then deliver only dirt. I'm furious and I know many of you are, too.
Someone on another thread called me Keriga The Intrepid TracFone Conquerer, remarking about my tenacity in dealing with TracFone. Part of it is my innate stubbornness. Perhaps it's also my training as a consumer reporter, wherein I'd spend days tracking down some shady company or the person(s) responsible for billing an 80-year-old widow on a modest pension in a 2-bedroom house, $200K for one month's worth of electricity. That sort of thing makes my blood boil.
Chiefly, I blame TracFone for being totally oblivious and completely unprepared for this soft rollout debacle. It's incomprehensible that TracFone's CSRs could be that clueless and incompetent, but TracFone failed miserably to train its personnel properly, adequately and appropriately regarding the process and procedures involved. That's why a significant portion of the 30,000 HSN customers who bought the Galaxy Centura are dissatisfied; many are returning it to because they see that as the only way to escape the nightmare. Failing to plan is planning to fail. As I said previously, it'll be interesting to see what happens when these smartphones become available at retail outlets nationwide in a couple of weeks. Those customers will be porting, activating and converting, but they won't have to deal with the 200 TRIPLE MINUTES BONUS, an HSN-TracFone exclusive.
Arty01, I'm glad you solved part of your problem, but from what you've written, the end still isn't in sight. I was reluctant to say this when you first posted about someone giving you codes for SafeLink Wireless, but here it is: if a TracFone Rep does that, either s/he doesn't know what they're talking about or they're trying to get rid of your call ASAP.
SafeLink Wireless is just one of several companies under the umbrella of América Móvil, Mexico's largest telecommunications company. The others include: TracFone, NET10 Wireless, Straight Talk, SafeLink Wireless, Telcel América, and Simple Mobile. Based in Miami, FL, they operate using the networks of America's largest wireless carriers including: AT&T Mobility, Sprint Corporation, T-Mobile US, and Verizon Wireless.
This is from Wikipedia: SafeLink Wireless provides a free cell phone and a limited number of voice minutes each month for low-income-eligible families (one per family) who do not use Lifeline services offered by any other phone or wireless company. It is funded through the Universal Service Fund, but is only operational in a limited number of states. It is similar to the Lifeline and LinkUp government subsidized service for home telephones. Applications for service may be done via their web page, or by having them fax or mail an application form. No choice of phone handset is provided by the application process. Additional minutes over the free monthly benefit may be purchased. As of May 2011, Safelink Wireless had almost 4,000,000 subscribers, the largest Lifeline cell phone provider in the United States.
What on earth did SafeLink have to do with this? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
I've said it before and I'm going to say it again:
(1) ALL existing minutes and airtime will transfer from your current phone to the new Galaxy and convert equally into TALK, TEXT and DATA, with NO LOSS whatsoever, including your Service End Date.
(2) The 200 TRIPLE MINUTES BONUS will be added as 600 TALK, 600 TEXTS, 600 DATA plus 90 DAYS added to your Service End Date. To get the BONUS, you'll need the Activation Code/Airtime PIN. You'll find this on your HSN invoice directly below the Tracking # (near the upper right corner of the page.
It shouldn't be this hard. After all, this isn't neurosurgery or astrophysics. Personally, I wouldn't even deal with that clueless cadre of TracFone CSRs. FYI - under new rules, CSRs are supposed to handle your issue within 15 minutes. If they can't, they're supposed to escalate your call to a Supervisor. Tech Support Reps are given 30 minutes to solve problems before escalating the call to their Managers.
If someone attempts to deny, shortchange or undercut even one minute that you're due in this transfer and conversion, bypass them and go directly to a Supervisor. If you encounter additional difficulties during this process, I urge you to contact TracFone's Executive Resolutions Department by completing the complaint form on the website; by e-mail, via online chat or toll-free at: 800-876-5753. There's a way to be politely professional when dealing with them, but aggressively and adamantly insist upon all that is due under terms of the purchase agreement that was conveyed verbally and in on-screen graphics by HSN and verified by a TracFone Rep who was present in HSN's studios answering questions on 09.21.2013.
Based on the claims made verbally in the HSN presentation and the materials enclosed with the Samsung Galaxy Centura, TracFone has a contractual obligation to deliver what was promised. You have a reasonable expectation to see that they fulfill that pledge. Please - DO NOT accept anything less than you were promised, that you paid for and to which you are entitled.
During almost ten years, six different phones, porting my number from Verizon to Net10 and finally TracFone, I've probably invested days of my life talking to dozens of CSRs, Supervisors and Executive Resolutions Department Representatives, but I've always come away with what I intended and usually more as compensation for the aggravation and frustration caused by their incompetence at the outset. It's not quick, it's not easy, but it can be done.
10-08-2013 05:23 PM
10-08-2013 05:57 PM
ArleneHu is absolutely right, Arty01. Despite all these sister companies existing under the umbrella of América Móvil, they operate independently. I believe the term they used was "compander" when referring to the actual software inside the phone. Additionally there are different SIM cards.
When I switched to Net10, I bought the Motorola 376g that was identical to my Verizon Razor. Later when I switched from Net10 to TracFone, I was told that the two systems were incompatible and I had to purchase another phone - again the Motorola 376g - to use on the TracFone system. Externally they were identical, but TracFone said they differed internally. According to TracFone, the handsets are wired/programmed differently for each of the América Móvil companies: TracFone, NET10 Wireless, Straight Talk, SafeLink Wireless, Telcel América, and Simple Mobile. I suspect that all they had to do was send a different SIM card, but why do that when you can sell more phones?
Another thing I've noticed is that depending upon your geographical location, the selection of available handsets varies greatly. ArleneHu said she saw the Samsung Galaxy Centura already, but in my area, there's no mention of it yet on the website.
BTW - TracFone is practically giving away the older models. The reconditioned LG 840G is selling for $19.99; the reconditioned LG 800G is $5.00 on the website. TracFone should implement a Buy-Back Program, enabling customers to recycle these relics and make a couple of dollars in the process. I have a box full of old TracFones and accessories, just sitting here collecting dust.
Verizon didn't buy back old phones, but you could drop them off at retail outlets or return them pre-paid to the company, where they were recycled or reconditioned and distributed to Women's Shelters and other charities. You could claim a tax deduction for your charitable contribution because Verizon verified your donation and gave written proof of valuation.
Good idea, TracFone; think about it. It would be the responsible thing to do, both in terms of conservation and brand management. Right now, TracFone should do anything and everything it can to re-establish and restore its reputation. A pro bono program like that might help offset some of the mountains of negative publicity generated by this Samsung Galaxy Centura snafu.
10-08-2013 11:54 PM
TO REDEEM GOOGLE PLAY $25 CREDIT
1. Log on to the website shown on the card: triple-w(dot)thepromocard(dot) c*o*m/tracfoneHSN (omit those asterisks)
2. Enter the promo code and follow the activation process.
My GOOGLE PLAY $25 Credit card was defective. Be careful with the plastic strip: some are scratch off; some are peel off. My peel off strip took several of the numbers with it and shredded them. I was required to e-mail a picture of the damaged card in order to get a new Promo Code, which they returned via e-mail within 24 hours. I've gotten the replacement but haven't activated it yet.
I hope yours works, Milia.
Edited 10.09.2013 To Add:
Clicked link on return e-mail with new Promo Code. It worked! Balance at GOOGLE Playstore shows $25 in my account.