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ArleneHu
Posts: 14

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

runnomore, Thanks for the info on data usage. I checked my balance this morning and found that I had used .25MB of data. I couldn't figure out how. Now I realize that I turned the phone on once when my router was turned off, and it probably synced and used that data. I turned off the mobile network too.

BTW, once your phone is working, when you check your balance online, Tracfone sends you a text with your balances. At least you then have that info on your phone & don't have to "write it down" as some CSR's have told people to do. The only thing I'm a little concerned about is that they show I used 1 text msg. I haven't sent any texts & the only ones I recd were from Tracfone showing my balances. I did check my balance a couple more times to see if I would be charged for texts from Tracfone, but my balances didn't change. So I don't think they charge you a text msg every time you check your balance online - unless they don't immediately update their records. I'll check my balance again tomorrow to see if anything changed.
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KERIGA
Posts: 411

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738


Based on past experience with TracFone, I anticipated difficulties with this new Samsung Galaxy Centura, but I never imagined that the horror stories some of you have recounted here would be equal to anything that sprang from the mind of Stephen King.

I am so sincerely sorry for the problems that so many of you are having in ACTIVATION, PORTING, TRANSFER, CONVERSION, ADDING BONUS (APTCAB). It shouldn't be this difficult. It's totally unnecessary. This is happening because TracFone didn't adequately prepare and train its personnel for this initial wave of Android users who purchased the phone in the exclusive premiere with HSN. If this is what's happening based on some 30,000 units sold on HSN, imagine what's going to happen toward the end of October when the Samsung Galaxy Centura becomes available at retailers nationwide and on TracFone's own website. This is living proof that "failing to plan is planning to fail."

taurus2313, it seems that you've had one of the worst experiences of all. It was wise of you first to attempt APTCAB on your husband's phone with fewer minutes, but no one should have to spend several hours trying to satisfactorily complete a process that should've taken minutes. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. I'm sure all of you can attest that while there's some solace in finding that you're not the only one, it's certainly not a case of misery loves company.

Mooncat7's phone isn't due until Monday. If only that meant that by the time it arrives, they'll have all the errors corrected and problems solved by then after dealing with the rest of us test cases and guinea pigs over the weekend and it'll be smooth sailing, but we know that's probably not going to happen.

I had to laugh when msmickey said that I was "Keriga The Intrepid Tracfone Conquerer." I only wish that were true. I haven't conquered them, far from it, but I've learned how to work the system. TracFone is like stress: you can't eliminate it, but you learn to manage it.

Lest anyone think that my APTCAB went smoothly and without incident - think again! I'm not complaining because I didn't face the nightmarish scenarios that so many of you have written about (perhaps there's a long-standing notation on my file from the horrendous porting and activation I endured several years ago with the LG 840g or the subsequent hack attack. They know that I'm aggressive and won't rest 'til I get satisfaction). It's only reasonable and fair to expect what's been promised.

This latest update/advisory contains the warning that things can (and will) go wrong even after your Samsung Galaxy Centura has been activated and APTCAB completed successfully - or so I thought.

TIME ZONE SHIFT/DEFAULT SETTINGS
I was late for an appointment Saturday after setting an alarm in the phone and it failed to work. I didn't think anything of it, other than perhaps I'd made a mistake. I was just too tired to deal with TracFone CSRs, but what was concerning was that suddenly the phone went crazy less than 24 hours after APTCAB. I couldn't make or receive calls; despite the opening screen displaying the correct date, there was a time difference of plus 5 hours. Still, I felt too tired to deal with them, so I waited 'til Sunday to call.

By mid-morning Sunday (09/29), I discovered that despite the home-screen time and date displaying properly, suddenly my GOOGLE CALENDAR, that I'd sent via Bluetooth from my tablet Friday night, was reading Monday, September 30th and the time was 12 hours ahead. I double- and triple-checked the DATE, TIME and TIME ZONE settings, shut off the phone and rebooted; even removed and replaced the battery. Still no luck. Then I noticed that next to the Battery Strength Indicator, it, too, displayed the wrong time (12 hours ahead) and it said AWST. I guessed that was somewhere in the Asian-Pacific Region, since I'm on the East Coast of the U.S.

I was passed from one CSR to another (BTW - they're mandated to complete a customer interaction in 15 minutes or they must pass you along to someone more experienced). After two more failed attempts, I was passed along to a Tech Support Rep (NOTE: They get 30 minutes to solve your problem before passing you on to another level). TSR Angelo told me to do everything I'd done already without his help and prior to calling. When he and I were at the 30 minute mark, but there was no supervisor available, he continued leafing frantically through an instruction manual, as I continued playing with SETTINGS. Suddenly I found the answer and I shared it with him.

SETTINGS (VIRTUALLY INVISIBLE ICON)
Below the very dimly lighted SAMSUNG logo at the bottom of the phone are three icons: (left to right) for SETTINGS, HOME and BACK. They're impossible to see; a silly design fault that future models should address and correct. When I opened GOOGLE CALENDAR, it opened another menu, again with SETTINGS. There I found yet another sub-menu of SETTINGS, containing USE HOME TIME ZONE. Unfortunately, the default factory setting, AWST, was Australian Western Standard Time. Once I reset that, everything was fine. Beware that this could be the same situation with your phone. Merely selecting your correct TIME ZONE, then automatically or manually setting TIME and DATE has no effect whatsoever on whatever default is in your GOOGLE CALENDAR. You should check and reset it, if necessary.

$25 GOOGLE PLAY CARD
A big Thank You to msmickey for the warning that the $25 GOOGLE PLAY card isn't a scratch off, but rather a peel off. Another less than brilliant bit of planning. I wonder how many people ruined theirs before you alerted us.

INVENTORY PACKAGE CONTENTS
Along the same lines, I wanted to alert buyers that it's important to check the package contents, confirming that they've received not only the phone and accessories, but also all the other things - Red Card Activation guide, instruction manual and HSN invoice with TRACKING/PIN needed to get the 200 Triple BONUS (600/600/600 + 90 DAYS).

TRACFONE EXECUTIVE RESOLUTIONS DEPT.
It's great and especially helpful that so many of you posted the HSN Wireless Center phone number. pajeff listed 1-305-715-6500 for TracFone's Executive Resolutions Department; here's ERD's toll-free number that I posted earlier: 800-876-5753.


MISC. FEATURES

POWER BUTTON VS. VOLUME CONTROL
You were absolutely right, ArleneHu, my notes didn't transfer because that wasn't a GOOGLE category. I'll have to reenter them manually. You're right about the Power Button placement; totally inconvenient that it's located directly opposite the Volume Control. Samsung can add that to the "Needs Improvement" list for future generations of this phone.

CALL QUALITY
Call quality shows a marked decline on this Samsung that's using Verizon; the LGs used AT&T and T-Mobile.

BACK COVER REMOVAL
Don't do it if a CSR suggests using your fingernail to remove the back cover. Yes, it's great that the microSD doesn't have to slip under the battery like on the LGs, but worst case scenario, you'll snap your nail; at the very least, ruin your manicure trying to remove that back cover. It's better to use a butter knife or letter opener.

VOICEMAIL, E-MAIL; ESTABLISHING TRACFONE ACCOUNTS
Voicemail set up was easy, but e-mail other than G-mail - uh, not so much. I ran into a communication problem with CSR Vivienne or CSR Erdalynn (can't remember which one) this morning trying set up direct access to my Yahoo! account. She asked for my e-mail address, my DOB and asked me to select a Security Question and Answer. She said she'd e-mail a temporary Password, that I could change later, if desired. I questioned the necessity of my DOB, but she assured me it was "necessary to establish the account." Hours later, I got a Welcome e-mail from TracFone, thanking me for setting up an account, but nowhere was there a Password. When I went on the website, I learned this was either a misunderstanding, a sneaky way to gain more personal information, get you to establish a totally unnecessary TracFone account - or all of the above. Either way, I didn't want it. I called back and they were able to delete my DOB, but said they couldn't delete the e-mail address or the Security Question. GREAT!

HACKING INCIDENT & SECURITY ISSUES
This is extremely concerning because two years ago, TracFone's less-than-secure servers were hacked and thousands of customers - myself included - got bombarded by hundreds of non-stop text messages each hour for four consecutive days from some unknown source(s). The only way to stop it was to remove the battery, rendering the phone useless. Worse yet, TracFone was totally unaware this had happened until I informed them that their security had been breeched. They said "don't worry," and assured me that no personal information had been obtained or compromised by the hackers. Sorry, but I didn't believe it. TracFone said it was a mechanical issue with the LG 800g. LG had a different idea. See, I discovered this by spending three days investigating the problem by contacting LG's Engineering Department, where technicians told me their phone was fine; it was a problem with TracFone: their servers didn't provide adequate firewall protection. Do I need to tell you that it was a battle royale to get all those wasted minutes restored? I pressured them for additional minutes and an extension of my Service End Date as compensation for the inconvenience. I got what I'd requested, but TracFone never admitted liability. In fact, they said only I had experienced this, but the HSN product reviews and Forums told a different story. Just as with the current Samsung Galaxy problems, buyers were so enraged by the non-stop texts that TracFone couldn't stop and wouldn't acknowledge were caused by their own negligence, they returned thousands, vowing never to use TracFone again. Sound familiar? Who knows if TracFone has addressed the problem and implemented necessary safeguards? I'm not willing to risk it.

Once burned, twice shy. I told TracFone today that based on past experience, I never would've given them that info or access to an e-mail account that I use for family and friends ONLY. When she said that the address couldn't be deleted, I asked if the e-mail address could be updated? When she said "yes," I gave her one of my throwaway e-mails that I never check. I hope it's true that my DOB was deleted. The only remaining bit of info was the Security Q&A. I urge everyone: NEVER disclose your mother's maiden name or your father's middle name. It's too easy for phishing crooks to find you, to link to you and data-mine after hacking.

All in all, about 7 calls today with 4 CSRs and 1 TSR for a total of about 3 hours. I'm tired, but I accomplished my objective. I get a small thrill and a big sense of satisfaction when I know I've beaten TracFone/figured out the solution that eludes their personnel. I guess that's the trade-off for the low cost, but TracFone needs to take ownership of this debacle and own up to the fact that they simply weren't ready for this rollout. I'd like to think differently, but it appears that greed exceeded ability, causing them to over-promise and under-deliver. Ultimately, the brand suffers in a PR nightmare.

Mine was a minor problem compared to the major crises that so many of you have endured. All I can say is persevere. Don't try to transfer large amounts of airtime and minutes online; let a CSR do it. Better yet, skip the middle- man or woman. Go directly to TracFone's Executive Resolutions Department at 800-876-5753.

Thank you for sharing and offering encouragement. Please keep posting about your experiences in this ordeal. This documentation, along with our personal notes on individual interactions with various and sundry TracFone personnel could prove invaluable and provide excellent evidence should anyone deem it necessary or appropriate to launch a Class Action lawsuit on behalf of the legions of dissatisfied TracFone customers who purchased this Samsung Galaxy and encountered seemingly insurmountable obstacles attempting APTCAB. There was similar action taken years ago against Gateway and all aggrieved parties shared in the hefty settlement. More importantly, Gateway mended its ways prior to the Acer takeover.

Let's hope that at TracFone, at least some good rises from the ashes of this disaster.

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paularose
Posts: 10

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

After reading all the horror stories about Tracfone, sadly I am not in the least bit surprised. Short 'educational' example. About a year ago I purchased a new Tracfone. The one they sent was inoperable. I called and asked for a replacement. Well, they sent a refurbished phone that they claimed was 'just the same' as the new phone I bought.. I wasn't having any of that and I told them I wanted what I purchased - a new, non refurbished phone, in the manufacturer's (i.e. the plastic Tracfone package) package. Well, I wound up (after literally hours with Tracfone reps - and you know I am not exaggerating here) with six as in 6 phones - another refurbished phone, TWO phones where were not the phones I originally ordered (but lower quality phones) , a Straight Talk phone that could not be activated even thought Tracfone and Straight Talk are 'sister' companies owned by the same conglomerate, and finally one new, yet again inoperable phone.

Lessons to be learned? ALWAYS photostat any written documentation between yourself and Tracfone. Always get the names and i.d. numbers of the reps. Always demand compensatory Tracfone time for that spent trying to sort your issues out. Always escalate to the next higher level (i.e. supervisor), Most importantly for those having problems with transferring minutes and service days - take a picture of the phone wherever it tells you what you currently have in your account and take a screen shot before you start the transfer of the 'account' page on Tracfone's site that also says what you currently have. NOBODY should lose a single minute or service day due to Tracfone's pathetic 'quality service' or 'customer care'. Finally as a last resort, contact every governmental agency that handles companies based in Miami (where Tracfone has their headquarters). File the online complaints, Be explicit. Demand what you want as a result of your complaint. I had to do it with six non working phones sitting in my apartment. But, be very prepared for some low level Tracfone employee to respond to your complaints with utter, baldfaced lies. I had two responses from Tracfone that were lies. And I told the appropriate agency they were lies, what had happened and that my case was not 'closed' as Tracfone said, but very much alive.

I hope the above helps anyone caught up in all this you know what with Tracfone and hsn.
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INDYPEDDLER
Posts: 6

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

Unfortunately, I am one of those who has had ongoing problems with this phone. Like others, not all of my 2500+ minutes transfered, but 1100 minutes did show up in all three areas. Tried to resolve this without success. Then the phone's VM would not set up and I spent several hours talking to numerous folks both in Customer Care and also with ERD (Thanks for posting tthose numbers.)

In the process of fixing VM, all my minutes disappeared. I finally had one individual manually enter my minutes, but they did not show up in Text or Data. Have just gotten off the phone again with ERD and she was unable to fix this and is sending it to "upper management" and I have another ticket andshe said it may be resolved in "24-48 hours." This is so frustrating. I have spent most of yesterday and today trying to get these matters fixed. Sigh
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mooncat7
Posts: 32

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

Keriga, I'll only be able to get my phone charged tomorrow night, and won't be attempting more until Tuesday. I won't even get it charged until bedtime :-( Then I'll get all the paperwork together and try the porting & activating Tues. night via robovoice and see how that goes. I might be able to handle one phone call that night if need be. I'm assuming that all Executive calls need to be made during business hours, east coast time? I am early to bed and early to rise for my job, and am not able to make non-work related calls while there :-( By the time I get home from work it's 7:30 pm EST. For all these reasons, after X amount of time on phone calls, the phone be goin' back if things are still a mess. I simply don't have the midweek phone access at the proper time to get involved in anything time-consuming or complicated. I plan on trying robo, *one* regular CS call, then EDR if need be. If things aren't okay at that time, back it goes. The really crappy part is that everyone who tries ends up with NO phone for about a week.

I do have a remedy, if TF and HSN can't get their doody together. Found a local carrier, no contract but monthly fee which isn't bad, with better phone for the same price. I don't WANT a monthly bill, but the phone would be activated and set up for me by a live human, and working before I leave. Maybe you just have to do that to get what TF should be providing.

I had a followup email from the FB TF rep who gave me the very wrong info. I wrote back telling her she was wrong and HOW she was wrong, and that ALL TF reps in every country and everywhere in the US need the SAME correct instructions, NOW, and should get them from the Executive CS. I can only hope she reads it in the non-angry but frustrated state of mind I wrote it in.
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GemFX
Posts: 10

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

All this pre-worry! Some do not even have the phone yet! Just wait until you are up and running, Android is different beast. Learning curve!

Also try to avoid beating up the Tracfone reps. Every one of the reps I have spoken with have been kind and helpful. There is no language barrier unless you want there to be a language barrier. If you cannot decipher the accent ask for a different rep! If you are pleasant with the and have a little patience, your issues will be resolved. They do escalate if they cannot assist with a question.

OK, I'm going to RE-POST this bit of info:

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


IN ADDITION: TO GET YOUR VOICEMAIL SET UP:
IF THE PROCESS SHOWN IN THE BOOKET DOES NOT WORK, DIAL *86

This bit was relayed to me by Tracfone. The access code is specific to this model. This code was not printed in either manual nor does it appear in the tutorial.

http://tracfone.deviceanywhere.com/straighttalk/home.seam?custId=STSAS738C
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stylin2
Posts: 1

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

This is my first time using a forum. I wrote a lengthy review of my experience after receiving
the new Tracfone Android prepaid cell phone. The main reason I wrote the review was to
let others know of the fast resolution (via the HSNcare Wireless Center), to the problem in
transferring a whole lot of minutes from my old Tracfone over to the new Tracfone Android
triple category program. Later, I checked on my review and noticed that later part of it was
cut off - so I felt I needed to try to let it be known here.

I activated my new Tracfone Samsung Android on Friday, Sept. 27th online with no problem.
The next afternoon, I called Tracfone to transfer the minutes from my old Tracfone over to
the new Android. I told the agent that the new phone had new program benefits. After she
put me on hold "to talk with a supervisor", she said she would transfer the minutes. We
proceeded with the transfer programming. She told me to dial *22890 on the new phone
to activate, after I entered codes in the old phone. After I dialed the number, she said the
minutes were transferred and then she asked me what was displayed on the new phone screen.
I told her that the minutes/days aren't displayed on this new phone. I told her that I would log
into my Tracfone account to check my balance and would call them back if there was a
problem. Well, as some of you out there probably know - there was a problem. My old minutes
were only added to the 600 new minutes, not to the textt or data.

I called them back that same afternoon and stayed on the phone a long time explaining how
this new triple/triple program was supposed to work via the demo on HSN where it was bought
and also the information about the new program that is printed on the inside cover of the new
Tracfone Android box. I was not able to get this resolved via Tracfone telephone agents but
let them know that they would be hearing from many others on this same issue. I also told the
last agent I spoke with that I would be calling HSN to report this unresolved transfer issue.

I called the HSNcare Wireless Center and after listening to their automated menu suggestion,
I opted to report the problem via email since they said the response time was faster. I received
an email from Stacy at the Wireless Center on Sunday morning, Sept. 29th. She informed me
that they had been in contact with Tracfone personnel about their (Tracfone telephone agent/s)
confusion with the new triple category benefits. She also let me know that my other additional
minutes were being brought over to the other 2 categories (text/data) and to allow 1-2 days to
receive them in my account along with a new Service End Date. I checked my Tracfone account
early Sunday evening and everything had been transferred!

The HSN Wireless Center team did EXCELLENT WORK resolving this issue promptly and I highly
recommend them to others who may be having problems with their new prepaid phones. I want to
say THANKS SO MUCH! again to the team. I look forward to using my new Android, mostly for
going online when my computer isn't turned on and when I'm not at home. I've used Tracfone
prepaid phones for a long time because I don't talk a lot and they are the best value among the
prepaid carriers.




I
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KayoKat
Posts: 6

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

I had no problem activating, transferring minutes and adding the HSN 600 promotional minutes. I used the online option to activate and transfer my current phone number and minutes. After that completed, which was a matter of minutes, I added the promo minutes using the online option. I knew going in that I would not get all my minutes added - I had over 1100 minutes. To get the rest of my minutes added, I used the online Tracfone Forum. I posted my problem and had an almost immediate response. The correct amount of minutes were added with a half hour. I've used the forum in the past and have had good success with it. Much better than phone conversations with their CS people.

The only thing I was not able to accomplish was getting the $25 Google Play card activated. It said it activated but when I tried to buy something it asked for the redeem number again and said it was invalid. I sent an email to Google. They sent an acknowledgement of my email and said they would get back to me. Question to those who got the card to work: any secrets to getting this to work?

Thanks.
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runnomore
Posts: 15

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

ArleneHu: When you check your balance, there's no charge for that. I checked my balance about a dozen times. However, I also got one text charge but no clue where that came from. (This was as soon as my phone was working.)

GemFx: Thanks for the info; I wish I would've know that before I started this whole process. I came to this site as a last resort to see if anyone else was having problem with getting all their minutes. The instructions included were not clear enough. I've had probably 5 TFs in the last 3 years and ported/activated them with no problem. Although I'm very untechy, I'm usually able to figure things out and follow directions. I also do not jump the gun or give up until I've exhausted all my resources.

Keirga: I had the same problem with time being off my 5 hours but my friend told me to check my calendar setting and viola! Australia was the default time zone. I bet a lot of people will encounter this. My Googleplay card was a scratch off.

Once the phone's activated and running, it's a great phone! I'm exploring it and trying to discover all it can do.

KayoKat: After you put in the promotion code on promotioncode.com/tracfone HSN, I was directed to another screen where they prompted me to print out the certificate with the redeem code, which is a 15-digit code. I also got an email confirming it was successful. I then went to Googleplay and it was in my account. Check your email; maybe the email is with spam? Although they did say to print out the code because you might not get a confirmation email. Hope this helps.
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KayoKat
Posts: 6

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

@runnomore: I feel so stupid. When I was trying to redeem, I was entering the number on the promo card rather than the number in the email they sent me. Thanks for pointing this out. It's the old "can't see the forest through the trees" problem. Again, not so smart me, very smart you.

My $25 is now available in Google Play.

Thanks!
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