As promised on the other TS thread, I've copied my original answers to your first questions about the new Samsung Galaxy Centura 738 that we purchased last Saturday. Please post any additional questions, comments concerns about the phone specifically and TracFone in general here and I'll try to assist you as much as I can.
This is my 6th handset from TracFone in about seven years. Before that, I had service through Net10, TracFone's sister company after switching from Verizon. Customer Service isn't perfect, but it has improved exponentially from the way it was even a few years ago. My experience can help you navigate the intricacies of problem resolution and I'm more than willing to share this information.
As promised, below are my original posts from the TS thread answering a few of the first questions asked about the Samsung Galaxy Centura 738.
As soon as the clearance prices began appearing on the LG 800g and the LG 840g a few weeks ago, it was abundantly clear that something new and big was about to be introduced. This Samsung Galaxy Centura 738 Smartphone not only met, but exceeded, all expectations.
I'd been checking TracFone's website weekly and still there's nothing. What I noticed were the cut rates on these two former touchscreen stars. The reconditioned LG 800g is listed at $5; the reconditioned LG 840g now sells for $9.99.
It's absolutely true what HSN said about having the Galaxy Centura exclusive. It's not even available yet on TracFone's website.
You can't beat this deal, whether you're a new or existing TracFone customer, where everything rolls over and what are now only Talk minutes suddenly become Text and Data, too.
It's been years since I've purchased an airtime card. I just upgrade my phone every 18-24 months, getting the newest handset with accessories, bonus minutes and this time, that fantastic $25 gift card for the Google Playstore.
I can't wait to get this phone. I feel sorry for anyone who hesitated and missed Saturday's TS (Sept 21st) because today HSN is selling the same package for $149.95, a $20 savings over the MSRP when purchased directly from TracFone or conventional retailers (where it won't be available 'til mid- or late-October), but it's $25 more than the TS price and the ETA is Oct. 7th.
jeannellen your current LG 840g is not a true smartphone, but rather a hybrid built by LG to Tracfone's specifications. I'm sure you've noticed that while it was superior to its immediate predecessor, the LG 800g, there were so many things it simply couldn't do. Limitations regarding access to certain e-mail protocols and restrictions on the size of webpages it could load or even connect with often became frustrating. With this new Galaxy Centura, you'll be able to do everything that you currently do on an Android tablet. In fact, these phones are mini-tablet computers, often referred to a "phablets," for combination phones and tablets. With the 3g Wi-Fi, you won't deplete your stockpile of Data minutes and you can web browse at no cost just like you did on your LG. Always make certain the wi-fi is on and you're connected to a router or hotspot. Of course, if you're not in the vicinity of a freebie hotspot, you'll be able to access the Internet, but it's going to cost you in data mbs.
mooncat7, the best way for existing TracFone customers to port their current number, minutes and airtime to the new phone is to call Customer Service at TracFone. Rather than doing it yourself online, it's good idea to: (1) speak to a TracFone CSR (make sure that you get that CSR's name and ID number as a reference in the event that problems arise). (2) make sure the new phone is fully charged. They tell you that your new cell phone must be turned on during the process, so it's best to (3) call from a landline or another cellphone - not the new one that you're attempting to activate and to which you're porting and transferring. Do NOT turn off the new phone. They'll tell you that it can take up to an hour or more to complete the process. I've done it this way numerous times and it's never taken more than a few seconds to accomplish activation, addition of the bonus minutes and porting my number.
arinta, go to the TracFone website, click Support and click Technical Support followed by FAQs on the drop-down menu. Perhaps someone misspoke in the demo because there doesn't appear to be a third method of phone number porting.
Meezergeezer, you appeared to have some reservations, writing "...I hope if this phone doesn't work out I can transfer the minutes back to my old phone..." Of course, TracFone will allow you go retain your minutes and airtime, as well as re-porting your phone number, if necessary. It's a good idea to: (1) speak to a TracFone CSR (get name and ID number as a reference in the event that problems arise) for help in doing this and (2) make sure you do this before returning the new phone, because you'll be asked for information contained therein. Also note that if you've de-activated the old phone, it may be necessary for TracFone to send you a new SIM card to re-activate, therefore you may find yourself without cell service for several days.
4kitties, you said you're not terribly fond of touchscreen, especially in cold weather. Have you considered using a stylus? I just ordered a mini-stylus for this new Galaxy with a plug on one end that fits snugly in the audio jack, to reduce the chance of losing it. Of course, a screen protector is a must when using a stylus. Were you aware that there are gloves with small pads made of a special fabric at the fingertips that will permit body heat transfer, thereby allow you easy use of your phone, tablet, etc. even in cold weather? Personally, I'd find that cumbersome, so I'd simply prefer to use a stylus. Even when you size the icons and widgets to Normal or Large (some phones even have XLg), there's a tendency to touch more than one, especially if you have long nails.
Linny535, let me see if I can answer your questions. Data is defined as all the webpages you view, as well as songs, games, books, magazines and apps, etc. that you download.
Currently with your LG 840 g, you buy minutes and that translates into voice and text. When you text, 1 voice minute = 3 text messages. The new Samsung will have a 1:1 ratio of voice-to-text, which is still cheaper than a conventional wireless plan. For example, if you had Verizon now, your basic wireless plan of 350 minutes may cost $39.95/month, but you'd have to add a text plan that could cost another $30/month and a data plan that could cost $30+/month.
With TracFone and this new Galaxy Centura 738 smartphone, whenever you buy additional minutes (whether it's an airtime card, online purchase or you add on through the phone), whatever minutes you purchase will triple automatically (e.g. - 200 becomes 600) and they will also split into 3 separate buckets (e.g. - you'll get 600 voice, 600 texts and 600 mbs of data - all for the same price). When you go to a retail outlet, you're not going to see separate cards for data. Simply add the airtime and TracFone does the rest for you.
Remember, too, that just like your LG 840g with Wi-Fi, you won't deplete your data supply if you web browse, download, etc. while using a hotspot or a Wi-Fi router.
BTW - it's a good idea to hang onto your LG 840g as a reserve even after you've activated your new Samsung Galaxy. Suppose your new phone is lost, stolen or damaged. With the old de-activated LG 840g still in your possession, while you're waiting for a replacement Galaxy, you can call TracFone and request that they reactivate the LG (say it's an emergency and they can do it immediately over the phone) or send you a new SIM card to insert in the old phone and bring it back to life with all your minutes and airtime intact temporarily, until your replacement smartphone arrives. Yes, you'll have to switch back eventually, but you won't be left without a phone.
After you've done your Bluetooth transfers, it's also a good idea to leave your CONTACTS and other important info in the old phone that you've stored carefully in a very secure place until you're absolutely certain that you're going to give it away or recycle it. Then delete your personal information by restoring Factory Settings.
You also asked about buying a new phone from HSN, returning it but keeping the minutes for your old phone. I'm guessing they won't let you do that because the minutes are part of the package. Just buy minutes anywhere from the more than 80,000 retailers nationwide. Or go online or buy minutes through the phone. Often you'll find that Walmart and Target will discount the airtime card. Additionally, unless you tell them to stop, TracFone will bombard you with special offers for airtime, usually coinciding with holidays and back-to-school.
I sincerely hope that clarifies everything for you. If you have additional questions, I'll try to answer them for you.
A huge thank you to KERIGA - you were some complete and thorough in answering all of our questions. My husband and I ordered two - pretty excited to get the new Centura phone God bless, be well, Meezer
Thank you so much, Keriga, you were just as helpful when I bought my 840G last year. Can you imagine what a zoo it will be at Tracfone as HSN customers start receiving their phones, with over 30,000 sold on Saturday?...
You're very welcome, mooncat7 and Meezergeezer. The Centura is going to be my first true smartphone, so I'm going to be learning its inner workings right along with everyone else. It's a simple matter of paying it forward because when I got my first Android tablet, I was ready to pitch the thing after a few frustrating days. There was a wonderful person on this Forum who was so incredibly patient. She answered my questions, offered helpful suggestions and generally got me to the point where I was comfortable with it. I went from wanting to return it to never leaving home without it in less than a week.
I had to laugh mooncat, when you theorized that TracFone Customer Service will be inundated in the next few days as the thousands of HSN buyers begin receiving their new phones. I can tell you from experience that many CSRs are relying on the same manuals that are available to the public online. In fact, in some cases, I found that I knew more about the LG 800g and the LG 840g than the "expert" on the other end of the line.
I'm amazed at how much content we've generated on the Electronics Forum with our LG 840g Q&A. It's pages and pages. As always, I'm happy to help whenever I can. I'll try to do the same with this Galaxy. Since this thread is mainly for the TS and already it looks as if we're going to rival the volume produced on those LG 800g and 840g threads, I'm going to copy the responses that I posted here and transfer them to a new Galaxy Centura 738 thread on the Electronics Forum. That way, after the phones arrive, if anyone has questions, we can explore and learn together without monopolizing this thread. Please post your questions over there.
The main thing to remember is to relax - don't stress - you've got a wonderful, brand new toy in your Galaxy Centura. Play with it; have fun with it. Quite honestly though, I expect it to be a fairly easy transition for those already using other Android devices because the phone has the same OS with widgets and icons. Even if you're upgrading from the LG 840g/LG 800g, there shouldn't be much of a learning curve, because you've already mastered the basics from this semi-smart hybrid phone. If you run into any obstacles, I promise to do my best to help you resolve those issues.
Still absolutely giddy at the prospect of receiving the Galaxy Centura; can't wait! I checked the status of my smartphone and still it says "Packaging." I wondered has anyone's status had changed to shipped? I placed this order online at about 2 AM. I know HSN was inundated, but they should've anticipated the overwhelming response. I'm wondering why it's taking so long? If shipping is so delayed now, this doesn't bode well for the holiday season. Perhaps we all need to order extra early to ensure our gifts arrive on time.
Recently I've noticed that it takes longer to receive HSN orders. I purchased a Netgear Media Streamer on Sept. 19th and it seems as if it took days to process. Now the order status is showing that it should be delivered on the 30th. That's even slower than the usually snail-like pace of QVC.
Coincidentally, Target has a Roku this week for the same price - $99. I'm thinking of cancelling the HSN order because it took too long to arrive. Also, with Target, I don't have to pay S&H and get a 5% Red Card discount. (If you're interested, check Sunday's circular - pg 13).
ShopNBC is about the fastest, followed byThe Liquidation Channel, which has the best shipping rates. I ordered a pair of Tanzanite earrings last Thursday, paid $1.99 standard shipping and the package arrived today with a DHL label.
UPDATED 10:54 PM - Status: "Shipped."
09-26-2013 04:52 PM
09-26-2013 06:12 PM
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.
09-26-2013 07:08 PM
09-26-2013 07:29 PM
09-26-2013 07:52 PM
09-26-2013 08:10 PM
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.
09-26-2013 11:26 PM
09-27-2013 12:41 AM
.......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.
09-27-2013 01:28 AM
09-27-2013 01:38 AM