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513 Comments

  1. Regena Rayburn | | Reply

    I’m using a tracfone iphone se..having connection trouble.It connects and works fine at home but not away from home.I don’t know if it is the way I set it up or if it’s the phone itself.Please help..

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      I am not sure what you mean by “connection trouble”. Do you mean you are unable to make and receive calls, send and receive text messages, etc. Or do you mean you are unable to use cellular data to connect to the internet. Does your phone display the message “Could not activate cellular data network. You are not subscribed to a cellular data service?

      • Regena Rayburn | | Reply

        No..I can make and receive calls..just can’t connect.I use Lyft and Uber a lot.I can call them from home without difficulty..but when I try to call to return home it won’t connect..it just keeps”loading”..that’s all it says.

        • Bob Thompson | | Reply

          Do other apps work? For example the web browser, or your email. Do you know what color card your SIM was attached to? White and red, blue, grey, pink? You may need to install a profile but we nned to figure out which towers your phone uses. att or verizon? if you don’t know.
          visit https://www.tracfone.com/contactus
          Click do you need help? Click to chat now. Then ask support. say
          Hi my phone number is XXX XXX-XXXX. Can you tell me if my phone uses the AT&T or Verizon towers?

          Let me know

        • Regena Rayburn | | Reply

          I called Tracfone to find out which carrier I’m using.She told me my problem is I’m out of data.So I’ve added 2 GB.I’m going to the store this afternoon and I’ll try it out.If this works it’ll be the first time in the 11 years I’ve been using Tracfone that they have solved a problem on the first call…and she spoke English.Thanks for steering me in the right direction.I’ll let you know if it works.

          • Bob Thompson | |

            OK. Good. I didn’t realize your data ever worked before. Hope the problem is solved

  2. Darlene Harrington | | Reply

    Hi, My question is …I have an iPhone 4 and just got my granddaughter iPhone 5s. Will my sims card from my 4 work in the iPhone 5s? Thank you.

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      No. Your SIM is too big. The iPhone 4 uses a micro SIM the iPhone 5s uses a nano SIM. You need to transfer your service to a new SIM. You can keep your phone number and service balance when you transfer.

  3. Paul Whiting | | Reply

    sorry… the rest of that recorded message was something like “your number is not active”, etc.

  4. Paul Whiting | | Reply

    I’m trying to activate my iPhone 5s for the Tracfone network. When I try to make a phone call I get a recorded message saying “welcome to Verizon Wireless”, and so on.

    I called Tracfone for help and I was told my sim card wouldn’t work because it was a BYOP (Bring Your Own Phone) sim card. But, I told them, I did bring my own phone, an Apple iPhone 5s. They said no, you have a Tracfone. True in a sense, in an earlier help session the help person said I needed to get my iPhone rebranded as a Tracfone. And the new help person said the BYOP feature does not work on Tracfones! But I maintained it’s still an Apple iPhone, behind the brand. Now, they are going to snail mail me a new sim card, which they said would work.

    Does this make sense? I think I’ve relayed here an accurate summary of the issue.

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Hey Paul,
      Wait to the new SIM card arrives and try that hopefully they will get it working. Ask them to credit you your missed service days too. This can and does happen with phones using their Verizon network. If you activated a Tracfone ATT or T-Mobile SIM it would have just worked. Sounds like they marked the MEID of your phone as being sold from Tracfone and don’t want to let you use it with the BYOP SIM. The first level support people operate from scripts and send a new SIM is usually the first step. If they can’t get it working with the new SIM consider using their ATT network if that is an option for you or you’ll need to get in touch with their executive support. Let me know what happens.

      • Paul Whiting | | Reply

        Thanks for the quick reply, Bob. Well actually the first SIM card I used was the Tracfone ATT SIM card. (The phone is pre-owned. and was described as being an AT&T phone. That’s why I tried that SIM first.) So just now I went back to that card but the screen showed the message “no service” which is what I got earlier. The T-Mobile card got me to a page with a few German words! Somehow I got past those but then it wanted me to log in with my Apple ID and password but I kept getting the message that those were incorrect. Tried several times, I’m sure I entered those correctly.

        The first level people I got didn’t say they’d send a new SIM card, their supervisor said that! Strange. So, let’s hope for the new SIM card, should arrive in a couple of days.

        I sure appreciate your help – stay tuned!

        Paul

      • Paul Whiting | | Reply

        Bob,

        Well, good news. The SIM card they sent worked! Whew, what an ordeal!

        Paul

        • Bob Thompson | | Reply

          Paul,
          That is great news. And thanks for the follow up.

  5. CB | | Reply

    How can I keep my Canadian phone number when I activate a tracfone SIM card as it asks for my present carrier which is Fido. When information is requested, asks for carrier and zip code(Canadian postal code) which it won’t allow to insert. Help. I have an iPhone.

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      As far as I know you can’t transfer your canadian phone number to tracfone. Is there a specific reason you expected this to work? I don’t think you’d be able to transfer a Canadian phone number to any US based carrier, prepaid or postpaid. Do you know what Google voice is? if it works in Canada you may be able to transfer your number there, then get a new phone number with tracfone and have it foward your calls…

      BTW.. are you expecting to dial Canadian numbers using tracfone?

  6. Shelia templeton | | Reply

    At the bottom of the list of fields there is another field named bearer and one named mobile virtual network operator what do I put there

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      you shouldn’t need to change those. Are you having a problem?

  7. Shelia templeton | | Reply

    At the bottom of the list that I filled in is another field named…bearer and another one named mobile virtual network operator what does that mean?

  8. Lara | | Reply

    I have a iphone 5s and i have straight tallk and i am getting ready to buy a iphone 7 . can i keep the same phone number ?

  9. KE | | Reply

    Addendum to my previous comment questions: about I’d also like to know if carrier updates would be the methodology used by WiFi and cellular service providers to put into effect limits, throttling of network speeds etc to support the rescinding of the old net neutrality standards.

  10. KE | | Reply

    Hi, I’ve tried researching specifically how the current FCC’s rescinding of the previous Obama Era Net Neutrality rules -which under those principles forbade internet service providers from intentionally blocking or slowing down or charging money for specific websites and online content – will now affect my mobile phone’s performance, speed, access etc and have only found some previously documented real examples of what ISP’s and cellular service providers in both WIFI mode and cellular mode tried to get away with in the past:
    “AT&T was….. caught limiting access to FaceTime, so only those users who paid for AT&T’s new shared data plans could access the application.[12] In July 2017, Verizon Wireless was accused of throttling after users noticed that videos played on Netflix and YouTube were slower than usual ….”
    So I expect most ISP’s and cellular service companies will go back to these sorts of shenanigans, but my real question is, are you aware of any requirement for these companies to notify their wiFi & cellular service customers in new terms and conditions documentation of what changes to expect ? Actually It would be very helpful if there could be a chart that identifies by provider changes to access and or limits to access, speeds etc based on what plan you have purchased. I’m a TFW user on an ATT sim and have gone blind deciphering the T’s & C’s. I’m really worried that my ‘LINE’ app that allows me to have a FREE FaceTime like phone call with my friend from Japan will get turned off by TFW or ATT. Any news out their that you can share ?

  11. Lisa | | Reply

    Hi Bob, I just got a Samsung Galaxy S5 (new to me). I had an old LG E970. I transferred my sim card from my LG to my new Galaxy S5 – we use straight talk as our carrier. Now, unfortunately, I can sporadically get pictures from some of my contacts but not all. And, it’s hit or miss sending them out – more miss, it seems. I spent about an hour on the phone with straight talk and know that my APN settings are correct. I just don’t know why I can’t send or receive mulit media texts. I can send regular texts no problem. I was getting pictures from someone with an Iphone – (verizon network) but that seems to come and go. I’m not able to get pictures from someone with an android using sprint, I believe. Help! Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks so much

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Lisa,
      Which Straight Talk network are you using? Which APN? and what version of Android is on your phone?

  12. ray | | Reply

    have a Verizon 4g 10″ tablet Samsung. I need internet service. straight talk or something? no Verizon service please.

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Ray,
      You’d have to provide the exact model of the tablet so we could see what carriers it is compatible with…

  13. Margaret Sanders | | Reply

    Hi, Bob-
    Straight talk wireless is selling an iphone 8 for 699.00, a really good deal but when I ask if my sim card from my iphone 5 will work in the new iphone 8 they tell me this:

    Christine: It is a CDMA/GSM you must use it as is what you receive from the box if it has a SIM card or not.

    Any ideas or thoughts on this answer? I’m very confused.

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Hi Marget,
      I recognize your name, it’s been a while. From your comment back in 2015, I can see that your iPhone 5 was using the Straight Talk AT&T network. When Straight Talk sells you a phone they include a SIM. Usually its for either their ATT or Verizon network. Sometimes they decide which SIM to send you based on your zip code because they decide that network will work well for you. If you want to know which network their iPhone 8 will use, contact them in live chat and ask them which towers it will use in your Zip Code and they will tell you ATT or Verizon.

      In my experience, your AT&T Straight Talk SIM will work in the new iPhone 8 even if they send it with a Verizon SIM. If you had a ST Verizon SIM, you wouldn’t want to just move it. either way transferring the service to a new SIM isn’t hard. You just want to be careful about chaning networks and finding out your coverage isn’t as good.

      now, as for the iPhone 8. $699 is the full retail price. If I were you, I’d buy the iPhone 8 directly from Apple at that price, buy the SIM-free model and just move your SIM in the phone. The Straight Talk phone is probabally locked to straight talk, the Apple phone isn’t locked. see my video Apple Is Selling the SIM-Free and Unlocked iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus Now

      Let me know if you have more questions

      • Margaret Sanders | | Reply

        Hi, Bob-
        Excellent memory. Thank you for your insight and help. I didn’t realize Apple was selling the 8 for the same price. Any thoughts on why the iphone 7 remains so expensive with the introduction of the 8 and the X?

        • Bob Thompson | | Reply

          Apple sells iPhone 7 starting at $549 and iPhone 6s starting at $449. They still consider these phone to be excellent products and they never offer deep discounts on older models. Apple sells refurbished products at a lower price, but the model and inventory is always changing. Most people looking for a lower price on iPhones turn to used and reconditioned iPhones from third party sellers.

  14. CJ | | Reply

    Hi, I have an Iphone on Straight Talk. It’s an SE. I changed my phone number by calling Straight Talk Customer Service and following the keypad instructions. After I hung up, they gave me instructions to restart the phone, wait five minutes and try to make a phone call. It’s been three days and I still get the error message that I do not have service when I try to make a phone call. Any articles on your phone not working once you change your phone number? (It worked fine before this)

  15. A.L. Sexton | | Reply

    Does this SE phone use the verizon network and does it need a sim card or is it a CDMA Phone?

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      My Straight Talk iPhone SE came with the ST Verizon SIM. The phone works with my current Straight Talk ATT SIM though. You can use the online chat feature to ask which SIM they will ship the phone with to you for your zipcode.

  16. Wally Bogush | | Reply

    I am looking for any info on Ting. they seem to have a good low usage plan and business model. Is anyone using them ? Opinions?

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      I haven’t tried ting. They use either the Sprint or T-mobile networks. You’d need to decide if either of those networks work well in your area. Next you’d need to decide what your monthly usage would be. compare that to tracfone’s plans. Keep in mind with tracfone you’d have the option to use the ATT or Verizon network. Let me know what you think you’d use per month. I’m curious too.

  17. Junias Hango | | Reply

    Can I get son settings for tnmobile (Namibia). I have an iPhone 6 want to use LTE. LTE works well on my 4G dongle but doesn’t want to work on my phone.
    Thank you for your time and consideration.

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Junias,
      I don’t know the TN Mobile APN settings and I don’t see them on http://www.telecom.na/. My suggestion is to either see if you can find the APN information in the settings on your PC/dongle or use the support link on http://www.telecom.na/ to send the carrier an email and ask for them.

  18. Philippe Maquinay | | Reply

    Hello,

    I live in South America and would like to get an iPhone X on release date and get it shipped to my country. Will it work if a buy the T-mobile version or are there any activation steps that need my presence in the USA.

    Thanks in advance

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      the phone should work. Read through the comments here and on the youtube video for more info about the issues ordering the phone online though.

  19. Lori Use | | Reply

    trying to update data settings on my BYOP safelink phone i tried doing it on safelinks website but it doesnt recognize both my phone number or SIM number i activated the phone on October 6th 2017 and data worked up until yesterday morning then it stopped accessing the internet BTW since it was working . i thought they had updated automatically so i didnt bother to update anything but now that its no longer working i will need to update manually my phone is a samsung galaxy s7. can you tell me how to do this manually? went into my phone settings but i cant find where to change the APN settings thanks

  20. Ron Felton | | Reply

    Sorry. Forgot to answer the final questions. I was very happy with T-Mobile’s coverage both where we live in the US and in Mexico (which was included in our plan). This past billing period we only used 52 mb of data in the US but in some months we have used 2 – 2.5 GB. Depends on how long we stay here and WiFi availability.

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Nice deal Ron. Simple mobile may be an option for you too. Uses the T-Mobile network and their SIM should also work in Mexico too. Meaning you could check your US number voicemail and return calls from your US number. Does that sound interesting?

  21. Ron Felton | | Reply

    Hi Bob.
    Just flew back to the US last night. Made arrangements in advance to get two new SIMs from Consumer Cellular. Decided to go with a plan that gives me monthly unlimited texts, unlimited minutes and 1GB data (total) for the TWO phones at a monthly rate of $42.75 (with my AARP discount). This is about $70 less than I was paying a month on T-Mobile (It was running about $115.) I am on the T-Mobile network with Consumer Cellular. Today was day one. I can see that when we stay in the U.S. more than a week in a given month we may have to add to the data plan. That won’t happen too often.
    Thanks
    Ron

  22. Mark | | Reply

    I have just switched to T-Mobile 2 weeks ago and not really happy with the coverage area. Is it possible to switch to a straight talk wireless plan that uses the Verizon cell towers? If so what do I need to do in order to do that? Keep in mind I would need two lines not just one
    Thanks

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Mark,
      I’d take a look at Total Wireless.It uses the Verizon network, and like Straight Talk, it is owned by Tracfone. Two Other Options: Verizon Wireless Prepaid and Total Wireless and . Also https://youtu.be/hcM80L1Dja4

      Compare the plans between the total wireless and Straight Talk and decide which better meets your needs. Also if you are planning to Bring Your Own phone to any wireless service that uses the Verizon network you’ll need to make sure your phones are eligible or need to buy new phones. Let me now if you have more questions after you check out the links and videos above.

  23. Ron | | Reply

    My wife and I split time between Mexico and the US. We are now spending the majority of our time south of the border. We have two monthly cell plans for our 2 iPhones – one Mexican and T-Mobile for the US. Since T-Mobile is costing close to $100 month for both of us, we want to switch to a pay-as-you-go plan for US and keep our Mexico monthly that includes unlimited US calls. We still want a US number for the approx. 8-10 weeks a year (split up across the year – about a week or 2 at a time) we are in US. We just swap SIMs when we get to the US. Does the Tracphone 12 month plan sound like the best bet? There can be 2-3 months or so between visits to US. Does that seem to be the best bet? Other ideas?

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Hi Ron,
      Did you switch yet? I wanted to do an article or video about your question. Tracfone could work for you. Do you have an idea how much talk, text, and data you need when you are in the US? Do you need unlimited calling? What about data? Would you want this US number to work in Mexico so you can check voice mail and return calls. Are you satifised with T-Mobile coverage in the US? would a service that uses the att, verizon, or sprint network also work for you.

      At close to $100 per month for T-Mobile for two lines, you really do need to find a less expensive option.

      Let me know. Sorry for the delayed reply.

      • Ron Felton | | Reply

        Bob.
        It took a while for me to respond because we were waiting to go to the US and change providers. The quick answer is that I went with Consumer Cellular back in October. That was a mistake. Good service and reasonable plans but not for our use case. After two short trips back to the US, we blew through their lower tier service (2 lines) and were about to blow that one over Thanksgiving (data was the issue). Their high tier is only 5G of data SHARED between the two lines. I cancelled and went with Tracfone. With our lifestyle (75% in Mexico and 25% in US) it makes no sense to be with any monthly provider. Tracfone works. Once I totally understood how it works it was a no brainer. What we don’t use carries over and we just need to maintain the line every 30, 60 or 90 days and just keep going. Much less costly for us.
        Ron

        • Bob Thompson | | Reply

          Ron
          Mke sure to look into the $50 one year of service days to keep your phone active with tracfone. It might be be more economical to keep your accounts active.

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