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KERIGA | Inspirer 1 | 09.24.2013 6:52 AM


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.

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Post #1

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.

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Post #2

Meezergeezer wrote:
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 :smileyhappy: God bless, be well, Meezer :smileyhappy:

mooncat7 wrote:
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.

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mooncat7 | Admirer 2 | 09.25.2013 3:50 AM
It's my first Android phone too, Keriga, although I've had a Nexus 7 tablet for a couple of months. I had discovered Howardforums, and today found more Centura posts at androidforums.com. Looking for info, cases, batteries, reviews and etc. the phone is also called the Samsung SCH S738C and the Galaxy Discover S730G. Wirelessemporium.com has loads of pretty cases (I've even ordered a bling-y one!) and Amazon also has cases and spare batteries. Going to get a microSD card at Fry's on Saturday, and should be set!
mooncat7 | Admirer 2 | 09.25.2013 3:41 AM
I sent an email to CS when I got home from work about when the phones would ship. Their reply saying it had shipped today, as well as the "It's Shipped!" Notice from HSN arrived a couple of hours later :-) "On or before" Oct 1st. I hope it arrives Friday so I can charge it up and try the porting/transfer call on Saturday.
jr29 | Admirer 2 | 09.25.2013 1:24 AM
I just got an email saying I would get my phone on Thursday. I ordered it sometime Friday night, can't remember exactly what time. Thank goodness! I don't think I could stand to wait until next week lol. As for the Netgear item, I would check out the reviews over on Amazon. Then I'd get the one with the better review. I've got a Roku and I've never had any problems with it.

I think the reason for the slower delivery service is that they've taken to using UPS to the closest distribution point, and then they give it to the post office to deliver, which adds a couple of days to the time. I figure the government must be giving them a tax break for doing this-- gotta use whatever means necessary to keep the post office in business these days. Plus I'm sure it saves on overtime and/or extra personnel during peak periods.
KERIGA | Inspirer 1 | 09.24.2013 11:59 PM


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."

GardenMama | Admirer 2 | 09.24.2013 1:30 PM
This is going to be my 7TH or 8TH Tracfone & everything you said KERIGA is correct. Tracfone also has a Facebook page where you can go for assistance. You can file a support ticket and they will work w/you through your email. If you prefer a live chat, they also offer that on their Facebook page.

Another great place for Tracfone info is HowardForums with the usual before & after. They have all kinds of forums for ALL kinds of phone.

Enjoy your new phones everyone!:d/ .
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Admirer 2
mooncat7
Posts: 32

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

Thank you Arlene, that's great to know! If they don't get it right for me within an hour, I'll use the Executive phone #. This is a dumb question I'm sure, but where do you look (on the phone, or online?) to see if it's all there *before* you hang up with them?
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arinta
Posts: 3

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

Just wanted to add my name to those who have had problems with transferring minutes to Samsung Galaxy Tracfone. I did the activation and transfer of number online. Dialed the * number and got a confirmation message that the phone had been activated. I made a call and it went smoothly. Then I went to check online what my balance showing was and this is where the problem started. Online would bring up no information on my minutes and I should try later. Later in the day I tried again and still no information. I tried to may a call on the new phone and I got a voice message that I had no hours available to make a call. What??? It was suppose to transfer 1800 minutes. So I called customer service and rep had me put in the * number again and try to make a call. No luck. She told me this would need to be sent to another department. It's late here so I will give it until tomorrow morning then call to see if any progress has been made to correct this problem.

This is my third Tracfone from HSN and this is the worse problem I've had to deal with. I agree with those that said HSN and Tracfone should have made sure most of the bugs were corrected before selling this phone. Having no place to find your balance on a phone that offers all these different apps is really silly. If I could easily transfer my minutes back to my old phone I would do it and return this one.

UPDATE: I had to call customer service twice and as of today they still don't understand that the minutes I had on my old phone should be the same for the new phone under talk, text and data. Not divided into those three. So then I called the call ERD 800 number and the person gave me my minutes for talk but the other two stayed the same. Well I am tired of this and will give myself a break before I make my decision of what to do.
Thanks to all for the information posted here it really has help a lot.
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Admirer 1
ArleneHu
Posts: 15

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

mooncat7, not a dumb question at all. We're all learning as we go along. Go to the Tracfone website.
At the top of the screen, tap on Check Balance. It will take you to the login screen, where it asks for your phone no. and last 4 digits of your serial no. (Sometimes it only asks for the phone no.). Fill it in and tap Submit. I put a shortcut to this login screen on my desktop in case I end up using it a lot by saving it as a bookmark, then going to the bookmark and long pressing it. This calls up a menu which shows create a shortcut as an option. Hope this helps and good luck.



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taurus2313
Posts: 7

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

Thanks Arlene! Yes you are one of the fortunate ones for sure. I along with many others have no had such luck but there have been many like yourselves where the port/transfer went along without a hitch. I dont know why it works well for some and not for others. At first I thought that it may have been users on the AT&T network might have been having a more difficult time than those already on the Verizion side but that seemed not to be the case. It might be tied to the phones themselves, I dont know..All I know is that Tracfone totally drained me today (physically, mentally and emotionally) and I will not be talking to anyone else from TF unless they are from Executive Resolutions dept. here in the USA.
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Admirer 2
mooncat7
Posts: 32

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

Thanks again, Arlene :-)

Taurus, I feel your pain. I work full time and am away from home 10 hours a day. There is only so much time emotionally I want to give to issues such as you and others have had. I'll give it a good try when my phone arrives and hope for the best, but I do have a Plan B which, while it will be more expensive and not Tracfone, will still be do-able - with a live, in person flesh and blood CS rep. More $$ but less hassle in the short run. Fingers crossed and we shall see. I feel for everyone who has had the clueless CS reps and the bad luck. I could well be you in a few days.
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Michaelsd
Posts: 121

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

I has the same problem and was going crazy w/this phone. I could not see how many minutes were on this phone at all, and if their was really 600 Minutes.. I went through everything on this phone, and could not find how much minutes display at all, but..my other Tracphone show the minutes which I has now for 4 year. So I called Tracfone to transfer my minutes over this one but He could not do it , and believes me these tech or so-called tech are reading from scripted and probably out side the Country. He told me to write time the minutes that you use, and I told Him, I don't know if their are really 600 minutes at all, he could not answer me. I just want a phone where know how many minutes are left..and most feel the sames The phone is pack and is already to be ship back to Virginia this Monday.
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elshopper55
Posts: 1

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

I to, had a horrible experience with TF. I did the online transfer for my old TF to the new Samsung and the phone still would not work, so the next morning I called and was on the phone for 1hr. trying to get it to work. She told me I could not transfer my 1391 min. over because they were not Android min. and she could not give me text or data either. She said I would (when I need more time) have to add the Android cards and not the usual TF cards. I could not make her understand what they were saying on HSN. Finally I got so fed up I told her to put my minutes back on my old phone and I was sending this one back. She told me she has to send me a new sim card which will take 3-5 days. After getting off the phone with her I checked my balance on the new phone and I had received all my minutes. text and data like I should have. I still could not get the phone to work, so I called again was on the phone for 45 min. this time. The guy told me to go to a wireless hot spot (like MC Donalds) in my area and log on to google to get the phone work. Can you believe that? He just wanted to get me off the phone. I am 62 yrs. old and this phone is very confusing to me. I am very frustruated and will probably send it back and wait for an Android phone that has ATT and T Mobile service. I think I will try it for a few weeks to see what kind of reception I get but its probably going back. If anyone can tell me how to unlock my wireless at home please let me know. I have a laptop that I use and have no problem getting on line. I have a feeling HSN will be getting a lot of phones back. I also don't like the idea that you can't see how many days, min. text and data you have on the phone. They need to fix this problem.
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Admirer 2
Linny535
Posts: 76

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

](*,)

This phone may have to go back.
I got a call from a TF TECH saying that
but they now tell me it won't.
No wonder it will not activate.
No coverage .
#-o

I do hope I can restore my phone back to the other one.:-&
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runnomore
Posts: 35

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

I received this phone on 9/26 and tried to port/activate my phone on 9/27: what a headache! I had 1245 minutes but it only transferred 1100 when I did it online. This is the first time I tried porting/activating online; I usually call and have it running wihin an hour or less. I tried the Tracfone website forum to get assistance to get rest of my minutes plus the 600 minutes that came with the phone but was unsuccessful. I then tried calling the number provided with the phone but I could never get a live person and the voice prompts were of no use to me. I then read instructions again and realized I missed a step: *22890. I still only had 1100 minutes and was not able to make a call on my new phone. Then I went back to Tracfone website and signed in and by trial and error, I put in the Activation Code/Airtime Pin that was on the shipping order (it's a 15-digit number under Tracking No.). After I did this, my phone was finally activated. I called CS to see about the missing 145 minutes. After awhile, I finally got the 145 missing minutes but only the minutes, not in texts/data, but I didn't know this until I checked online to check my balance. I'm going to let this go because it took forever for them to get my 145 missing minutes and to try to explain that I should've gotten that also in texts and data wouldn't be worth it.

After I downloaded some apps (I was successfully able to redeem google play) I turned off wi-fi off my phone to conserve battery and my phone must've syncing with google mail/calendar or whatever because when I checked my data the next day, a lot of data/mbs were subtracted. (It's good thing that the data/minutes are separate bank otherwise I would've been in a lot of trouble.) Before with the LG 840 when I was using the cell mobile instead of wi-fi I usually knew it pretty quickly because it would subtract minutes but with the Samsung Centura, unless you make a point of checking your balance pretty regularly, you could lose a lot of data balance. I went to settings and turned off the sync (sync is on default) and also disabled mobile web (that way I have to go that extra step to use the data balance). I was using a lot of data because it was syncing everything and updating.

If you have less than 1100 minutes to transfer then you probably shouldn't have problem transfering/porting your service, just make sure that when you're activating your phone online, there's a field for 15-number airtime pin or promotional code or something like that (this is the 15-number that's on your shipping order). Then you have to call *22890. The reason it took me sooooo long to activate is because I thought the 600 bonus minutes was already loaded onto the phone (isn't that what the presenter said?) but you have to put in that promotional code in the field.

PROS:

1) Googleplay. I was able to redeem the 25 credit. I have a few games which work well. Netflix works well. Overdrive Media Console works (slow though). Pandora is not working for me.
2) Much better reception than LG 840.

CONS:

1) No airtime balance. This sucks more than I thought.
2) Camera sucks! Does not focus and no flash. Only one camera; no front-facing camera.
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Admirer 1
GemFX
Posts: 15

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

I received my Samsung yesterday and followed the instructions that came in the package.

It can be very frustrating so I walked away several times during the process. If you have not used a touch-screen phone before, as I have not, know that the device is very "touchy" for lack of a better description. Learning Curve! It took me over an hour to enter 6 contacts into the "People" section. The keyboard is very very sensitive.

FIRST, charge your device. As it's charging locate your phone number. At the base of the device is a tiny icon that looks like a document = touch this and select "System Settings" . New screen appears, scroll down and select "About Phone" Next screen, scroll down and select "Status". Scroll part way down and you will see "My Phone #" Write this # down.

NOW This is an important piece of info I was given by a Tracfone Rep - the is the HSN Simply Wireless access:

TO ACTIVATE YOUR PROMOTIONAL MINUTES:

THIS IS A TOLL FREE NUMBER HSN HAS SET UP:

1-888-222-8484

HAVE YOUR PACKING SLIP IN HAND AND YOUR CARD WITH SERIAL NUMBER FOR YOUR DEVICE:

You need your CUSTOMER # AND the ACTIVATION PIN (Look at the Top Right hand part of your invoice, it should be listed just below the item price)

FOLLOW THE VOICE PROMPTS. THERE IS A SELECTION FOR ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS -
WHERE YOU COULD ASK ABOUT XFER EXISTING MINUTES

You can either register the Samsung DEVICE online at tracphone.com or by calling 1-800-867-7183. I found calling to be easier.

This number should walk you through an automated instructions. Following this step, from you Samsung, dial *22890 and you should receive a confrmation message.

THIS IS THE TRICKY PART. WHEN YOU TRY TO MAKE A CALL, YOU CAN DIAL AND IT WILL CONNECT TO THE CARRIER FOR YOUR AREA. A VOICE GREETING WILL INSTRUCT YOU - BUT _ YOU SEE A RED TELEPHONE HANDSET ICON AND NO DIALPAD THIS IS CONFUSING!

THERE IS AN ICON AT THE BOTTOM LEFT EDGE OF THE PHONE THAT LOOKS LIKE A TINY GRID. SWIPE OVER IT AND THAT BRINGS UP THE KEYPAD. YOU ENTER THE LAST 4 DIGITS OF YOUR PHONE NUMBER. YOU CAN FIND YOUR NUMBER IN "SYSTEMS" ON THE DEVICE (explained above)



Just wanted to add, I spoke with two TF reps, the first poor guy sounded like he was in the Rainforest somewhere, I asked to speak with another Rep, who was a great guy, very patient. He gave me the HSN Simply Wireless # (above)
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