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Admirer
paularose
Posts: 10

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

Sorry...looks like I have to post my info EVERYWHERE on this 'Galaxy Centura" piece of junk...

I've been a Tracfone user for years, and if you deal with this awful piece of junk (already had it one day and am ready to smash it against the wall....). Here are some answers:

By FEDERAL LAW you are able to keep your current phone number. That said, transferring your number can be a you know what. Who do you call first? Your current carrier or Tracfone? Each carrier says the same thing - call your other carrier - and once you figure out who starts the process (I believe its the carrier you currently have) it may take a few days, but as I said, by FEDERAL LAW you can move your current telephone number from carrier to carrier

After a thousand phone calls, I have found a disgusting bit of info that hsn and that shill very conveniently did not mention. On most (probably if not on ALL Tracfones), you can see how many minutes/service days you have 'in the bank' via the phone. YOU CANNOT AND I REPEAT THIS BECAUSE ITS IMPORTANT...YOU CANNOT in any way access that info from THIS phone. You MUST go to Tracfone's site, go to the page where you enter your number and part of the serial number and THAT is the only place you can find what is in the bank. In my world that is MAJOR. I actually had a nutbrain Tracfone rep tell me to 'keep track of your minutes by writing them down on a piece of paper' Swear to god, that is what she said. And should you find yourself out of minutes...well good luck to you since you CANNOT even buy more minutes via the phone (this phone DOES NOT COME WITH A 'PREPAID' area to buy airtime). AGAIN, you can only buy them online or buy a card somewhere or call them directly to buy your airtime. Or of course, you could ask the total stranger you may be sitting next to you if you could borrow his phone to call Tracfone to buy your airtime. Yes,, that was sarcasm.

Finally, what they also did not mention is that as nice as getting triple minutes is, IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ANY SERVICE DAYS LEFT - and this is the calendar period (i.e. number of days) you have TO USE THE MINUTES, you are waaaaaaayyyyyy out of luck. In fact, I believe this also automatically deactivates your phone service. Per Tracfone, the ONLY WAY to get ONLY SERVICE DAYS (or do they/hsn call it 'days of service') is to CALL THEM (there is no way on the Tracfone site to do this, surprise, surprise (; , then, buy the smallest amount of minutes they sell (or more if you do need minutes as well, and the rep is supposed to ask if you want to buy service days...at $49.95 for one year. THAT IS THE ONLY AND SMALLEST AMOUNT OF SERVICE DAYS THEY OFFER!!! So if you don't talk much (like me), and you have, say, 400 minutes left over from the end of the 90 day 'grace period' this deal gives you, THEY ARE TOTALLY USELESS if you have gone even one day past that service day grace period. In fact I think it triggers an automatic deactivation of the phone. Wheeeeee! :smileysad:d'oh!

Lessons learned? ALWAYS LISTEN TO WHAT HSN DOES NOT, AND I MEAN DOES NOT, very conveniently say. They ALWAYS leave out the important 'bad' information. Ask questions. And ask questions over and over and over until you get the right answer. My lesson learned? This piece of junk will probably be going back to Tracfone (still debating whether or not to just try to remember how many minutes I have left) and the crappy Tracfone policies and customer service were reason enough that I had to file multiple complaints against them with the FCC, the FTC, and every Miami, FL consumer agency I could find (they are based in Miami). I had hoped this phone might have made ALL THAT aggravation worthwhile
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Admirer 3
KERIGA
Posts: 411

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738


You called this 100% correct, jr29. This is another joint venture (or whatever they call it) delivery between UPS and USPS.

I don't know if all phones were shipped from Baltimore, MD to Laurel, MD then on to Fisherville, VA. or whether there were other distribution centers nationwide. I checked Tracking and yesterday my phone arrived at a UPS facility approximately 40 miles away, then it went to a regional USPS center today just after midnight and was sent out just before 8 AM. As of 10 AM this morning, it was transferred to a Local Post Office and it says, "ALLOW FOR 1 TO 2 ADDITIONAL DAYS FOR DELIVERY."

Perhaps this is cost-effective, but is it really more efficient?

==========================================================================

Wow! Paularose, I'm so sorry to hear of your difficulties with porting and use of this new phone. You've been through an incredible ordeal with TracFone, haven't you?

I'm an 8-year TracFone customer (and its sister company, Net10, before that), I'm trying to remember the actual porting process. Obviously, I wanted to keep the phone number that I'd had for more than 12 years with my previous wireless provider, Verizon and its predecessor, AirTouch Cellular, before it was bought by Verizon.

When I started with Net10 in 2005, they specifically instructed you to notify your current carrier of your intention to port, but DO NOT cancel your service with that carrier because a number had to be active to port. I didn't have any problems. In fact, I was worried about being without any service for days, but the port was accomplished within minutes of making that call to activate my new phone.

Obviously, it's impossible to address the issue you've raised about the new Galaxy Centura not displaying your account info, specifically Minutes and Airtime. Common sense would dictate that vital information be dsiplayed on any pre-paid, but even more crucial on this one because you're also dealing with Text and Data.

Since Samsung makes this model for a variety of wireless providers including TracFone and they're all virtually identical in appearance, do you think that perhaps there was a shipping mistake? Possibly you got one of the Centuras that wasn't a TracFone Galaxy? That's the only possible explanation I can think of for your handset not having that Pre-Paid Menu that we all refer to for account balances. Does your handset have that little Prepaid (coin stack icon)? If so, when you touch it, do you see a drop-down including: BUY AIRTIME, ADD AIRTIME, MY PHONE NUMBER, MY AIRTIME INFO, SERIAL NUMBER, SIM NUMBER, CODE ENTRY MODE? If you're missing any or all of these, return this phone and request a replacement ASAP.

Before you throw the phone against a wall, call TracFone or go to their website and complete the complaint form, detailing the issues you've encountered. A member of the Executive Resolutions Department will contact you within 24-48 hours, investigate the problem(s) you're having and generally get satisfaction for you soon afterwards.

Apart from the language difficulties that I encountered with TracFone in the past when you could barely understand their CSRs (and they've worked diligently on improving that situation), I had two major problems with handsets. The LG 800g wouldn't hold a charge for longer than 2 hours, even in standby. First they sent several replacement batteries, then they sent different handsets. Suddenly TracFone discovered there was a problem with the entire manufacturing run and they pulled the phone from distribution for nearly two months. In the interim, TracFone sent some awful little Motorola as a replacement. When I had trouble activating it, I called them and they said that because of the SIM card. They said that model wasn't available in my area because it used cell towers that weren't in this location. My very basic question for TracFone: "Then why the heck did you sent it to me?" It took nearly two weeks, during which they sent 3 more SIMs - some with the wrong coding and one with the wrong phone number.

I was furious, but I stood my ground. When they said the next SIM would arrive by mail in 5-7 business days, I told them that was totally unacceptable. I demanded that they overnight it via FED EX. When I finally got the right SIM, I told them that I'd been inconvenienced, aggravated and frustrated by their incompetence and unprofessionalism, therefore I deserved compensation. They gave me extra airtime and minutes as an apology. TracFone is never going to offer you anything, even those things to which you're entitled. You have to ask/demand.

You are your own best advocate. You must be a pro-active consumer, willing to go the distance in order to resolve consumer complaints. Often that includes troubleshooting issues concerning the phone's operation on your own. That's where Forums such as this and others like it are extremely helpful. You can share ideas, vent your frustrations, discuss problems and very often someone will be able to help. If you can't get the problem solved, at least others can help you maneuver TracFone's corporate bureaucracy and show you how to get satisfaction.

Good luck. Please keep us posted.

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Admirer 2
jr29
Posts: 61

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

I'm sure it costs them less and that's all they care about. The worst part of it is, that they raised their shipping rates and then give us inferior service. I guess in this case, at least the shipping is "free."
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pajeff
Posts: 7

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

I received my Tracfone Centura yesterday, and began the process of migrating from my LG 840G yesterday afternoon. It's taken 4 calls, and 10 Tracfone reps so far to set everything up. Last Tracfone Rep did not believe my old units were to be transferred in equivalent amounts of voice/text/data (900 minutes=900 voice/900 text/900data), instead she divided my old units equally among voice/text/data (900 minutes=300/300/300). HSN rep confirmed old units should be transferred as equal amounts and HSN manager is contacting Tracfone to resolve.

I can confirm that there seems to be no way to check your balance without using 'Check Balance' on the Tracfone website. The website 'Check Balance' also sends a text with your balances to your phone, and does not deduct for the text. I expect someone will create an app or widget that does this atomically in the near future.

So far, the phone itself seems very nice, and works well now that it's set up. I don't think the sound quality is as good as the LG 840G, but otherwise is a huge leap in functionality.

For those who have plenty of minutes but need days of service, Tracfone has a monthly plan that gives you 30 days of service for $5.99 a month (no contract). They also have a 'Value Plan' that gives you 30 days of service and some minutes (it used to be 150 minutes on a Triple minutes phone) for $10 month. All of your minutes roll over as long as you have days of service.


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Admirer 2
jr29
Posts: 61

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

Thanks for the info pajeff. I have a couple of questions for you if you don't mind. Do we have to call tracfone customer service or can we use the online method? Did you activate first and then try to transfer your minutes? I've never activated using a card before so I'm a little confused about the sequence. Both times I activated a new phone I went online and did it with no problems. Then I called the HSN 1 800 number to get my minutes. I'm not sure I want to deal with customer service since they don't seem to know how this new deal works. Plus I'm sure they are swamped right now-- or about to be.
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Admirer 3
KERIGA
Posts: 411

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738


Thanks for lots of valuable info, pajeff. As paularose said initially, this seems absurd that there's no way to check balances in the phone. Why would they do something that silly and inconvenient, unless they're figuring since it's a smartphone, you'll have no problem going on the website. Regarding the text message they send with your account balances, can you set it up so that you get an automatic daily text? Or can you program in the frequency (e.g. - every 2nd day, etc.) of the updates that you require? As for the transfer of old minutes, you'd think that TracFone would've sent e-mails or had informational meetings or training seminars for their CSRs, alerting them to that fact that starting this week, there would be thousands of existing and new HSN customers who purchased the Galaxy Centura and outline the procedures for transfer and addition of Text and Data to their accounts.That would've been the logical way to go.

It's interesting that you noticed a decline in audio quality, pajeff. As they said in the demo, the Galaxy Centura uses Verizon. I was never happy with Verizon when I lived in NYC, but it was okay in Metro Atlanta. The LG 840g and LG 800g used AT&T, which I found that far superior to Verizon. I'd hoped Verizon had improved in recent years. A friend in my area has a 2nd generation iPhone using AT&T service and it's miserable. Calls drop constantly and the audio quality is poor; usually he sounds as if he's half a world away or underwater. He loves his iPhone and blames AT&T for the miserable sound, but he won't switch phones or carriers. Who knows which is true?

I've never trusted online activation. When I call TracFone, if I get a less-than-proficient or professional CSR, I simply and (at the outset anyway) politely request another, perhaps someone with better language skills. That way, there's no risk of typos. I always note the date, time and CSR's name/ID # for future reference should problems arise concerning missing airtime/minutes. Failing that, request a Supervisor.

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Admirer
paularose
Posts: 10

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

As if all the other problems with the phone are not bad enough, well, SURPRISE, SURPRISE (As Gomer Pyle always said...)

You CANNOT AND I REPEAT, YOU CANNOT FULLY COMPLETE AND SEND EITHER A TEXT OR EMAIL VIA VOICE COMMANDS.

Of course Tracfone first could not figure out what the h double hockey sticks was going on, then I was told by a supervisor that you could not voice texts or emails. I mean, don't you think there is a damn good reason that that Dawson %^$^% keeps talking a mile a minute? Its so you don't catch on to what she is doing...and what the phone IS INCAPABLE OF DOING. You know, the magician's old sleight of hand trick? Distract the audience from what you are really doing/saying? );

Please follow along...

1.Texts - Yes, you can hit the small google microphone at the top of the home screen, talk as fast as you can and say, for instance 'Text John Smith John lets have lunch at three'. Well sure, what you wind up seeing is a screen that says 'Send text...to: John Smith.,,message: John let's have...' BUT then your ONLY OPTIONS ARE TO SEND OR CANCEL THE TEXT. YOU CANNOT EDIT OR ADD A SUBJECT LINE TO THE TEXT. SO EVEN IF YOU WANTED TO TYPE THAT STUFF OUT, YOU JUST CANNOT!!

But! If you hit the green rectangle smiley face text icon to voice create/send a text, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE, AS IN NOT AT ALL POSSIBLE, AS IN YOU HAVEN'T A CHANCE IN H^LL TO BE ABLE TO DO IT. You'll get the text screen with the keyboard below it, Oh, sure, you can hit that tiny cog/daisy looking icon right next to the 123/Sym key at the very left of the last row of keys on the keyboard...and pull up the option that says 'Voice input - Show voice entry button on keyboard', AND select that and go back...but guess what! Ain't no stinking 'voice entry button' to be found. Nowhere, no how, no way, Jose. SO YOU ARE FULLY, TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY UNABLE TO 'VOICE' A TEXT COMMAND FROM THE MESSAGE ICON.

2. Emails - See item above. Use. Rinse. Repeat. Yes, you will see the 'To: John Smith' and 'Message: 'Let's have...' Oh sure, HERE they give you the option to 'add' a subject line, but after that ITS ALL TYPING!!! So, you select 'add a subject line' and again, if you somehow wind up back up on the email entry keyboard (with the subject line all nicely waiting for you) AND YET again you set your default to 'Show voice entry button on keyboard'' in the settings, well I suggest your family start picking out your coffin, because you will be dead before you ever see that button on the keyboard.

NOW I know why every smart shopper has told me NEVER buy a new model car in its first market year. The manufacturers are in such a rush to get the new model out, that they left all the shinola in.

And for my final act...for all of us sucked in by the Samsung Galaxy model name. bear in mind that EVERY carrier - i.e. Tracfone, Straight Talk, etc. dictate WHAT GOES INTO THE HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE. So this model may be sold under different names, by different carriers, BUT they will ALL have different functionality - or lack of functionality in the case of this piece of.......

And, I have to say 'Keriga' I find your message to me about the phone being a 'misshipment', a 'defective model', 'stand your ground' yada, yada, yada very patronizing. I know what a prepaid icon looks like, I know exactly how Tracfone works and if you read this email, you'll find out EXACTLY how Tracfone and hsn work - join forces, throw in a brand name ('Oh, wow! Its a Samsung Galaxy! Its going to do everything but perform surgery!! Wheee can't wait to get it') and PRAY TO THE GODS that all of the phones are not returned once everyone finds out what they CANNOT DO.
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Admirer 3
KERIGA
Posts: 411

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738


.......And, I have to say 'Keriga' I find your message to me about the phone being a 'misshipment', a 'defective model', 'stand your ground' yada, yada, yada very patronizing. I know what a prepaid icon looks like, I know exactly how Tracfone works and if you read this email, you'll find out EXACTLY how Tracfone and hsn work - join forces, throw in a brand name ('Oh, wow! Its a Samsung Galaxy! Its going to do everything but perform surgery!! Wheee can't wait to get it') and PRAY TO THE GODS that all of the phones are not returned once everyone finds out what they CANNOT DO.


Gee, paularose, you're having problems with your phone and due to displaced hostility, you're taking out your frustrations on me when I was only trying to help. Talk about "no good deed going unpunished."

Medical students are taught, "When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras." I was merely trying to troubleshoot your problem with the most basic questions, first and foremost. For that I got my head torn off, chewed up and thrown back at me.

I'd suggest that you correctly and appropriately re-direct your anger at TracFone and Samsung, because as they say, "I don't have I nickel in that dime." I'm only one of thousands of customers. I'm not responsible for the manufacture, marketing, promotion, advertising, sale or distribution of the device.

Return the Centura; keep it; throw it against a wall and smash it into 1,000 pieces. Whatever! It's impossible for me to care less, paularose, about what you do. Personally, after the way you've attacked me - for no apparent reason - in that condescending, sarcastic and vicious rant, I don't give a r*t's re*r about such a toxic bully. Life's too short and thankfully, mine is filled with other more important things, as well as loving, gracious and grateful individuals, for me to endure such attacks from the likes of you.

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Admirer
pajeff
Posts: 7

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

You should be able to transfer online. I called in because I've read that the online system can not handle transfers of more than 1100 minutes.

For my LG 840G I also called in the bonus PIN after transferring through Tracfone. That does not seem to be the case with this bundle, it looks like the airtime gets added in the activation process.

I only played with voice commands briefly, and they did not work well. I expected this to be the case, as the specs on the phone didn't seem to be adequate for really good voice software.

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Admirer
pajeff
Posts: 7

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

One thing I am pleased with is that this seems to be the first time Tracfone has not crippled customization and/or functions of a phone. The Android platform seems to be fully function and you can add apps to customize things in ways you could never imagine doing on previous Tracfones. For example, if you don't like the included Samsung keyboard, there are many others to choose from.

I was surprised that the only font size options are 'normal' and 'small', but I found an app in the Google Play store called 'Big Font Pro' that lets you increase font size, and it does a pretty good job as long as you don't go over 150% .

Even the annoying Tracfone Browser button they always stick in an inconvenient place that you always seem to hit by accident (and use up minutes) is customizable. I removed it and replaced it with a camera shortcut.
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