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718 Comments

  1. Julia | | Reply

    Hi Bob, Thank you for sharing your amazingly helpful knowledge. I’m just wondering if my experience is common or not. Last year, I signed on with Consumer Cellular and bought an iphone 7 from them. I was so happy to find a reasonably priced option!! But I had this problem where I wouldn’t get my voicemails when I was connected to wifi (in other words at home). They would suddenly populate when I was out and about, sometimes days after they were originated. I finally learned that if someone called, I could turn off my wifi connection on my phone and usually within 30 minutes I would get the voicemail. Sometimes texts were also delayed, but it was most consistent with voicemails. I spent 20-30 hours easy over several months with Applecare, Consumer Cellular, and GeekSquad trying to resolve this to no avail.

    Finally, I had to solve the problem. So, I transferred to AT&T prepaid. Some problem, Next day, I signed on to regular AT&T $100/month version of service and magically the problem was solved.

    I’m wondering if this is a common glitch with prepaid phone service.

    I’d love to hear your insights and word on the street.

    Thanks so much!!!

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      I’ve recently used mint mobile, Verizon prepaid, visible, Att prepaid and cricket. I have had no problems with voicemail or texting. Some of the tracfone brands only have regular voicemail. On occasion I hear of some one not getting voicemail notifications. In years past mms picture messages and group texts were problematic. The carriers had issues, the iPhone didn’t support those carriers, and getting the correct settings for Android phones was tricky.

      Some phone services can get confused when connected to WiFi opposed to the cell network. The phone knows it’s connected to the internet but what it is looking for is only available on the cellular network not the open internet

      • Julia | | Reply

        Interesting! Thank you!!

        I was worried that there was some penalty to users of low cost phone services (either by design or by lowering the priority on maintaining functionality).

        I’m glad to hear that most people don’t have this problem. Maybe I’ll try again with another one of these services you mention.

        Thank you so much for your helpful insights!!

        Truly!

        • Bob Thompson | | Reply

          Prepaid and postpaid wireless service are not exactly the same but most people don’t notice the differences. For example, most prepaid wireless service do not support international roaming. In your case, support was a problem. For years, my company paid for my phone. When I had to start paying for it I was shocked by the bill. All those years ago, I switched, had a couple issues so I wrote about it on the web, and 8 years later I writing and reviewing the services.

          I’m currently paying $15 for my service, it meets my needs.

          If you ever decide to try prepaid wireless again, come back and we can discuss it. I’m working on some tutorials on what to consider when switching.

          • Julia | |

            Fantastic!! I definitely will!

            It’s just horrible paying those high fees.

            Thank you!!

  2. Nancy Fenno | | Reply

    Can I bring my iPad (5th gen) from AT&t to Tracphone?

  3. Dave miran | | Reply

    I think my wife may have a parental control on my phone I have straight talk I need help to get it off my phone I have a LG rebel 4

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      I’n not aware of any Straight Talk or LG specific parental control features. She may have installed an app.

  4. John | | Reply

    Hi Bob, I currently have Tracfone’s $15/month BYOP smartphone plan using the Verizon network and am happy with the service. However, I’m about to try Mint Mobile’s $15/month plan to see if it is worth using T-mobile towers to get the extra 2.5 GB per month.

    Question: If I decide to go back to Tracfone, will I need a new sim kit, or can I just go through the activation process again with my old Tracfone sim?

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Hi John,
      I’m currently working on my Mint Mobile review, it’s totally awesome. Highly recommended. So far, I published this Mint Mobile $25 12GB Data Unlimited Talk & Text Oct 2019.

      Check out the Cricket and AT&T prepaid plans for $15 if the AT&T network is an option for you. There are videos on my YouTube channel.

      I’ve never tried activating an old SIM again. It should work. If not a new SIM kit is only a buck if you order it online.

      • John | | Reply

        Thanks for the quick reply. The freedom of prepaid is an amazing thing. Also, great work on your YouTube channel. Super helpful!

  5. James | | Reply

    Hello and good day.

    My father has an old LG L41C Tracfone in which he has been accumulating minutes/data over several years by purchasing/redeeming one year cards. He has been receiving messages that this phone will stop working at the end of 2020.

    I have an unlocked Verizon Iphone 7 Plus phone and I bought the $1 dollar Tracfone sim card. We called Tracfone, and gave them the IMEI number on the Iphone 7Plus but they said that the phone isn’t compatible with Tracfone network. Is this true? What are our options then on transferring the phone number and service to another phone? Should we just buy a Tracfone from their website so that we know it will work on their network? Thanks

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      That iPhone 7 will work with a Tracfone BYOP AT&T or T-Mobile SIM. You can transfer his service to either. Obviously that iPhone is compatible with the Verizon network, but for some reason when Tracfone checks the MEID its coming back as not eligible. Unfortunately, the don’t say why. If I were you, I’d try checking both the MEID and the IMEI on tracfone.com again to see if it comes back as eligible. See https://www.tracfone.com/activation/byopcollectesn/VZW

      The best deal on a new iPhone is unlocked iPhone SE 2020 from Apple for $399. That will last hime for a long time. I can going to upgrade my mother to one too. She is using the original SE. All the iPhone’s Tracfone sells use the Verizon towers. I have a deals page here Tracfone Latest Deals and Promo Codes forJune 2020 so check that out if you decide to go that route. Their selection of iPhone is a little limited though. Good luck.

      When he switches to a smartphone, we will keep his balance but may lose the triple minutes option and the $50 one year of service days. Consider loading up before transferring to a new phone.

  6. anthony pollard | | Reply

    my internet is moving so slow when i get a connection and my data is gone i just activated my plan last monday

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      I don’t know what phone or wireless service you use. Check your account online to see if it shows how much data they think you used. In my experience, sometimes Android phones use up data in. the background and you need to adjust the settings.

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