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."
09-27-2013 05:52 PM
09-27-2013 05:59 PM
09-27-2013 06:55 PM
09-27-2013 07:07 PM
I'm still waiting for the delivery of my Galaxy Centura, but I was very concerned by the issues and complaints raised here by several dissatisfied buyers. I decided to take pre-emptive and pro-active measures by calling TracFone for definitive answers and more importantly, to determine what can be done to resolve the unpleasant experiences that some others have had.
I spent nearly two hours talking first with a CSR who informed me that according to a TracFone management memo she'd received, the transfer and conversion from standard phone to Android (e.g. - LG 840g to Galaxy Centura) "is at TracFone's discretion" when you have a large stockpile of minutes and airtime (e.g. - 4200 minutes; airtime expiration: 03/31/2015). I politely told her that wasn't what we were told by the TracFone representative who was at HSN last Saturday, answering questions in the online chat that accompanied the TS demo. I told her that if what he said was incorrect and TracFone wasn't going to honor the terms of the sale, then they'd better brace for an onslaught of negative publicity and a potential class action lawsuit.
Making no progress with her, I asked to be transferred to the Executive Resolution Department (ERD). Instead, my call was routed to Technical Support, where I went through the whole monologue again. After another half hour, the Tech Rep admitted that he wasn't equipped to address this issue, so again I asked for transfer to ERD.
Ultimately, after more than an hour, my call finally (FINALLY!) reached its original destination - a wonderful woman in ERD, Darlene, who answered all my questions, addressed the concerns that have been raised on this Forum and offered suggestions on resolving problems that some have already experienced. Below, I've summarized what she said.
1. ALL existing minutes and airtime will transfer and convert from your current phone to the new Galaxy, with NO LOSS whatsoever. If a CSR doesn't understand that or refuses do it, ask for a supervisor. My ERD Rep said it was a mistake to deduct or omit minutes or make a customer choose between existing totals and the new 600 minute bonus when going from the existing phone to the new one. If you've lost time/minutes, ask for the ERD. Totals can be restored because the balances are in your file.
2. Whether you have 40, 400 or 4,000 minutes in your account, the transfer-conversion can be done online through prompts that will walk you through the process. It's a misconception that large balances of airtime and minutes can't be done online and must be handled by CSRs. If there's a problem, you can always call for help. There's no fear of losing any or all of your balance; it can be restored by TracFone from your existing records.
3. This ERD Rep said that in this new Galaxy Centura rollout, TracFone expected some problems to arise.
TracFone's goal is to resolve complaints quickly and fairly, but that can be accomplished ONLY if you contact them directly. TracFone is aware that some people prefer to complain and post their gripes all across the Internet, rather than giving the company a chance to make it right. She said nothing's ever going to change with these malcontents because they're just chronic complainers. TracFone is urging customers to make them aware of problems they've encountered in the porting, transfer, conversion process. To do so, either complete the online form, engage in the online chat (available on the same website page as the complaint form) or call Executive Resolution Department (ERD) directly at 800-876-5753. She told me to urge anyone who experienced difficulties to contact TracFone and they'll try to rectify the problem(s).
As I stated at the outset, I'm still waiting for my phone to arrive, so that I can begin the process. I asked the ERD Rep to make a computer notation on my account regarding the full and complete transfer and conversion of my account balances, plus the addition of the 600 Bonus Minutes, Text and Data, to avoid any problems that may arise with a CSR who didn't get the message or fully comprehend what's involved in the process.
09-27-2013 11:33 PM
09-28-2013 03:35 AM
09-28-2013 05:26 AM
Wireless Emporium is fantastic, mooncat7. The accessories arrived on Thursday, a full day before the Samsung Galaxy. Extensive selection, reasonable prices and fast delivery. I love that mini-stylus; especially how it plugs into the audio jack for safekeeping. Despite the tiny rubberized tip, it's still too large for the keyboard. I'll have to DL that app I saw that resizes fonts to 300%.
As for dealing with TracFone, I was multi-tasking two other projects during the time I spent talking to them. I'm more than happy to share the info that I've gleaned. If it saves even one other person some aggravation and frustration, then it's worth it.
Here's an update from my personal perspective now that I've received my phone and charged it.
ACTIVATION, PORTING, TRANSFER, CONVERSION, ADDING BONUS (APTCAB) - Existing TracFone Customers
First of all, arinta was aware of two methods, but asked what was the third method? In addition to online and live by phone w/CSRs, there's an automated phone system that prompts you through the process. Previously I'd never tried anything other than live CSR-interaction, but late (11:05 PM) Friday night, I tried the automated phone system and it crashed midway. I called back, got a CSR who told me the system had begun my APTCAB, but because of a system error, it could take 2-3 business days for it to finish. The automated system said the same thing, but advised that during that time, my former LG 840g TracFone would remain active and I could use it. Not true! About 30-seconds after the process began, the old LG 840g was dead and the new Samsung was reading "Activation In Process." Totally unacceptable. Fortunately, within 5-minutes, while the CSR was trying to find out what was wrong with the system, the Samsung started beeping and flashing. When she returned, she told me to try the code *22890 that so many of you had graciously provided earlier. It didn't work. She said try again in an hour, but the phone beeped and flashed again immediately and it said "Activated." The code worked and the test call worked. Everything was fine.
She investigated to verify that my existing phone number had been ported properly. Check! My MINUTES and SERVICE END DATE transferred. Check! She said that it might take awhile for the conversion to TEXT and DATA, but it was all there properly within seconds. Check! Then I asked the CSR about adding the BONUS 600 + 90 DAYS. Initially, she misunderstood (as so many of you have reported based on your unpleasant earlier interactions), saying she thought it meant 200/200/200. I told her that was incorrect; it should be 600/600/600 plus 90 DAYS and I asked her to please read the notation that the Executive Resolutions Department (ERD) Rep had put on my file on Friday afternoon. The CSR apologized and asked for the Activation Code/Airtime PIN. You'll find this on your HSN invoice directly below the Tracking # (near the upper right corner of the page. Within one minute, I had my additional 600 VOICE, 600 TEXTS, 600 DATA and 90 SERVICE DAYS added to my previously transferred and converted balance. Check! Check! Check! Done and done!
*I used Bluetooth to transfer all my photos and video, as well as nearly 200 LG 840g CONTACTS (known as PEOPLE in the Samsung). G-MAIL set up instantly.
*I'm encountering difficulties with the Bluetooth transfer of YAHOO Mail, CALENDAR, NOTES, and RINGTONES, but I'll deal with that tomorrow. I can't understand why such a large file as CONTACTS transferred so easily, but the relatively smaller ones didn't. If I have to purchase my two ringtones again, there'll be a delay. It's easier to do this on the website, where unfortunately, there's a message indicating a problem.
*Here's a discovery: almost everything on your other GOOGLE accounts (e.g. - Android tablet) suddenly appears on the phone. That includes books, magazines, music, games, movies - virtually every app you've already DL-ed to another device. I've got to clear out the things I don't want/need on the phone, too.
*Browser: I've tried Chrome and it's somewhat slow, still but faster than IE.
*Very good audio and video quality on websites.
*I haven't tried the camera or video recorder yet. I'll try these outdoors this weekend.
*I haven't set up voice-mail, but that's easy and shouldn't take more than :30-1:00.
*I haven't attempted to activate the $25 GOOGLE PLAY credit. It would be great to hear from anyone who has. Did you encounter any difficulties accessing the website with the code from the scratch-off card?
I'll spend the next few days playing with this device and giving it a good test run. Is it perfect? No. Is it the same as an iPhone? No, but I wouldn't use an iPhone if I received one as a gift. Android's a more popular system. Is it better than the LG 800g (that I detested) and the LG 840g (that I adored)? Yes. YES!! YES!!! IMO - This Galaxy's a keeper because it's functional and economical. Whether it works as well for you is a decision that only you can make.
Obviously, the ease or complexity of the APTCAB process depends on your individual set of circumstances (e.g. - existing balances) and the proficiency of the CSR involved. If you have lots of time and minutes, let them do it for you. TracFone needs to get all CSRs up to speed and on the same page or risk raising the ire of customers who are justifiably angry that they're not getting the deal that was promised.
What I've related is purely anecdotal based on my personal experiences as a long-term TracFone customer who started this process with a boatload of minutes (4,200+) and airtime (expiration: March 2015). This isn't a one-size-fits-all situation. Unfortunately, there's no universal solution that applies to everyone, but I hope that helps some of you with similar circumstances.
Let's continue posting what we've learned because it's so beneficial. I thank you for the knowledge you've generously shared, especially that code (*22890), that was so helpful to me in getting started with this phone.
09-28-2013 01:06 PM
09-28-2013 01:26 PM
*I haven't attempted to activate the $25 GOOGLE PLAY credit. It would be great to hear from anyone who has. Did you encounter any difficulties accessing the website with the code from the scratch-off card?
09-28-2013 01:49 PM