A reader, Rick, recently shared his bad experience, trying to sign up with Total Wireless.
First don’t believe their web site. Wi-fi calling will not work on Verizon phones on a BYO phone activation. It says it will. Your IMEI will say good to go but it will not work. I spent 3 hours on the phone to get the account setup and 2 phones activated. Got disconnected after an hour on the phone with first rep when I asked to speak with a rep that spoke reasonably fluent English.
After about 5 hours total phone time with customer support that could not get either phones wi-fi calling working I said I wanted a refund. They then lost the connections again. Another 30 min call I got someone and they said “so sorry – you used 300mb of your 22 GB data so we can’t refund your $$. I said the rep told me to go to google to see if data was working. How are you supposed to find out it’s not working if you don’t try it? Their rep told me to do it. I had to go back home and get the order number off the home PC email which is where the order was created. Then another hour on the phone through multiple people to get the address to send the sim cards back to to obtain a refund.
This is the most painful experience I’ve ever had with anyone anywhere. I would not recommend them to anyone.
Hopefully they will actually refund my $$$ when they get the SIM card back.
Sorry to hear you had a bad experience, that is unfortunate. Prepaid wireless isn’t for everyone one of the biggest complaints I hear about the Tracfone brands and prepaid wireless in general is the lack of prompt, effective customer service and support when there is a problem. Most of the prepaid wireless customer service departments I have spoken with seem to be located off shore typically in India or the Philippines. Prepaid wireless companies typically charge much less than the post paid companies, and I expect that customer service is one of the areas they reduce costs.
I’ve heard stories from other people about customer support issues with all the different prepaid wireless companies, typically with activation issues. It’s hard to tell how prevalent they are as most people don’t typically comment on line when everything goes smoothly.
I’ve used prepaid services for about seven years both personally as well as for reviews and have never really needed customer service or was able to resolve issues, so for me the tradeoff is worth it. That’s little consolation for customers that encounter a problem when signing up or a later time.
For customers that want to know they can rely on customer service and support, I recommend sticking with prepaid services from AT&T or Verizon. You’ll pay more, they generally support more features (like WiFi calling). One advantage with these two companies is you should be able to activate new accounts in one of their stores rather than do it yourself. Both companies, do however, have different phone and online support teams.
As I said in my review, Total Wireless does not support Wi-Fi calling. I’m not sure were you read that they do but if you have a link to a place on totalwireless.com that says they support WiFi calling please share it so I can add it to my post. I know they discuss Wi-Fi calling in the terms and conditions of service here. https://totalwireless.com/termsandconditions and they link to a page to check / register your phone for Wi-Fi calling here. This later page is used for a number of tracfone brands, and interestingly enough doesn’t list Total Wireless at the top of the page.
I hope that you do get your refund, but if you are asking for a refund based on Wi-Fi calling not being available make sure can provide a link to their site that said they support Wi-Fi calling.
In the past my reader have had more effective support by contacting their Executive Resolution department. They list an address for that at
The address is
Attention Executive Resolution Department
9700 NW 112th Avenue
Miami, FL 33178
They don’t list a phone number, the last one I has was (800) 876-5753 ext 3324.
I hope you will get a refund without following up with them. If not and you bought your plan with a credit card, you may want to dispute the charge.
Total Wireless does not support wifi calling unless you buy an iphone. We were told by three different representatives that Samsung Galaxy supported wifi calling, so we bought two phones. It did not work. After 5+ hours talking and chatting with different reps, we were told that only iphones have wifi calling.
I suspect even with an iPhone, you’d find inconsistent results. And as your case points out, the reps have inconsistent answers too.
If you need to be on the Verizon towers, there are some cases where Total Wireless might offer the best value but with Visible and Verizon wireless prepaid’s current plans its less so in 2021. If you need reliable Wi-Fi calling, Visual Voicemail, and customer support its not the best choice. Then again customer support with prepaid is usually a challege.
After talking to three different customer service reps, the last one finally gave me the info I wanted. Total Wireless offers wifi calling but ONLY FOR iPHONES. No dates yet when they might start offering the same for Android phones. That’s what they told me in March this year (2021). There went my investment in a Motorola phone. The phone is near worthless without wifi calling as there is no reception in where I live. The phone is now a e-reader with Kindle app. I don’t even bother to pay for monthly fee. Their advertising is super misleading, and their customer service reps are either ignorant or hard to understand.
That said, there is no guarantee that what that rep told me was true. But I’m done with Total Wireless. I’ll just go to Verizon and get wifi calling there.
I don’t think it WiFi calling worked the iPhone I bought from Total Wireless in 2020, either so…
Tracfone brands are not the most reliable for WiFi calling except for any service that uses the T-Mobile network.
If you bought the moto phone from Total Wireless it my be locked, so don’t count on using it with another service (except maybe another trafcone brand)
Most if not all reps that handle your calls are outside the US so English is their second or third language. They rely on a script to provide support and because they are outside the US they have never used Total Wireless service.
I find that prepaid services, that use the T-mobile towers have the best support for Wi-Fi calling. You may want to check out Verizon wireless prepaid and Visible too.
I just transferred from my Pixel 4A to the Moto G Stylus 2021 and kept my same number with Total Wireless. My 4A was not able to get WI-FI calling, but the new Stylus does! Just verified it by turning off cellular service and running on Wi-Fi only. My wife is still using her 4A and it will not connect for wi-Fi calling. We checked TW website using the last four digits of our IMEI number and it said BOTH phones did not support wi-fi calling but my Stylus does indeed support it. Go figure!! A pleasant surprise. Hope this helps someone out there.
BTW, I’ve been with TW for probably 3 years now and like their service and support. Support always seems to come though, even if they can be hard to understand sometimes.
I bought a samsung a11 phone recently from Total wireless. For wifi calling I live in a very bad service area. And they sold me this phone because it said it supported wifi calling. Well it didnt, then I had to pay for return shipping, I lost my phone number I had for over 20 years. Their own sales dept sold me the phone, supervisor couldnt reach manager because they all work from home to take care of this issue. Total Wireless has the worse customer service I even experienced. Let alone incompetent sales staff selling wrong products and then make u pay for their screw up. I will b ditching them, and mother company tracphone and going to Mint.Mobile, which my son has and their A11 wifi calling phone actually works!
Sorry to hear about your troubles.
It’s been my experience with Total Wireless , that if you lose you number, and it hasn’t been reassigned, you can get it back. The last contact info I has was
800) 876-5753 ext 3324. You can also try (305) 715-6500. I haven’t called these numbers in a long time. I lost my number once with Straight Talk and got it back a day or two later, after support insisted that I could not get it back. Executive resolution knew what to do.
If you still have service with them you can try to get your number back, then switch to Mint.
I use Mint, I think its great see my review here I Switched To Mint Mobile and Mint Mobile Prepaid Wireless Review June 2020
Keep in mind, that Total Wireless used the Verizon towers, Mint use the T-Mobile towers.
In my experience, all the Tracfone brands except Simple Mobile have erratic support for Wi-Fi calling. The over all customer service experience of all prepaid wireless brands in lower than postpaid wireless service due to the fact that prepaid is so much cheaper.
Thanks for this article and all the comments. I have TW and planning a trip to Italy at the end of the month. I need…to be able to call my kids in the US (they also have TW) , be able to call my brother (Verizon he will have the International plan with his US number but in Italy ). And hopefully be able to use GPS and check my emails. I am so confused ! The thought of calling TW just makes me want to make a cocktail and sit back for the many hours ahead. It took me no less than 10 hours and at least a dozen reps to enable visual voicemail on my new phone but other than that I have been happy with the savings!
You are welcome. Yes, prepaid is way less expensive, but support is one of the areas, that cut costs.
5/14/2020 Total wireless reception is lousy at best in my home and I cannot get them to connect me to wifi calling. They say I can, but i have been wasting my time with them for over a week now an no results. They want me to talk to a customer service rep with a terrible accent over a connection that is intolerable.
Total Wireless uses the Verizon towers. Decide if a service that uses the Verizon towers is a better choice. for you as opposed to one that uses AT&T or T-Mobile. Sometimes it takes a while for Wi-Fi calling to kick in.Follow the steps here to register your 911 address. https://e911-reg.tracfone.com
If you address is accepted enable Wi-Fi calling. Toggle Airplane mode on and off and enable wifi to see if it connects. If you can’t get it working and want to use Verizon towers consider Verizon prepaid or Visible. If Verizon isn’t best for you there are many other choices.
Many prepaid services use customer service agents outside the US as a cost savings measure. If customer support is important to use look for a service with US bases support. It may cost more.
I have lots of articles and videos here and on my YouTube channel discussing different prepaid services.
The “total wireless terms and conditions” sheet at https://www.totalwireless.com/termsandconditions currently says, at item 10, that WI-FI calling is supported if the phone supports it.
Yes, but at the time I wrote this article in Feb 2019 and earlier they did not. Did it work for you?
I have Total Wireless, and WiFi calling works on my Verizon branded LG G7, and LG G8. Also works on my wife’s unlocked and unbranded iPhone 6s Plus. I had talked to customer service several times to get it working, but to no avail. I went to the page linked above, filled out the info, and was told that it wasn’t available. A week later, it started working. Coincidence? I have no idea
Wi-Fi calling for Total Wireless and across the rest of the Tracfone brands has been pretty rough. Total Wireless currently currently blains they offer Wi-Fi calling. Back when I reviewed it, it didn’t. However whether or not it works for you is definitely a crap shoot and that e911 registration site often says your phone and line aren’t eligible. I don’t know if the issue is Total Wireless (eg tracfone) or with the underlying AT&T and Verizon networks they use. Some of the Tracfone brands, like Simple Mobile, use the T-Mobile network, and wi-fi calling has worked well for those customers.
Glad to hear you got it working. Thanks for sharing.
heres a FAQ about how to set up wifi calling on a specific device… close enough?
At the time I wrote this article Total Wireless did not support Wi-Fi calling. Good to see they have added it.
Total Wireless is more than happy to give people contradictory information, and TracFone is more than happy to offer a WiFi calling FAQ and a lookup. It’s all circular as far as I can tell as nobody actually has WiFi calling that I’ve found in my web searches. Not that they won’t waste a huge amount of time as I can vouch for much like your reader, Rick. I called about five different times. The Lookup very clearly says you need a compatible phone. Mine is an iPhone with the latest iOS so yes. That you have a compatible SIM (I already had VoLTE enabled but the lookup said I needed an exchange). I called about that exchange and was first told to go buy my own SIM, which I attempted by visiting a Total Wireless store as located using their website search. The customer service agent proceeded to hot-swap my SIM between different phones, which resulted in me getting a notice later that day asking if I wanted to approve the transfer of my number. (In other words, I almost lost my number.) I then spent a whole night changing passwords after Googling what was going on and coming to appreciate that SIM cloning can take as little as 15 minutes — which is the amount of time the Total Wireless store employee had my phone.
After an all-nighter changing all passwords of phone-installed apps and my iCloud/AppleID, I called Total Wireless first thing after they opened their support line and had a new SIM activated as the last measure of security (at this point security, not the WiFi calling was more important).
Out of curiosity, I ran the new SIM to the same result: The lookup instructed me to call and ask for a SIM card exchange. I hoped my luck would change with a more knowledgeable rep, so gave it a shot. This time I was told that Total Wireless does not have WiFi calling — at all. I asked for an explanation as to why, the first time I called, I was referred to the TracFone lookup to waste my time if that was the case. The rep made no attempt to explain anything but simply acted as if she didn’t understand me (convenient). As a last ditch effort, I had my spouse call and ask the same set of questions and at that point they at least agreed to connect his call to a supervisor. That supervisor said we are eligible for the SIM exchange!
I eagerly await the WiFi-calling enabled SIM in the mail but upon activation, same result: VoLTE but no WiFi calling (the currently-blocked Advanced Calling Features menu still absent from my iPhone). I call back thinking that maybe they need to provision the account to say that my line is WiFi eligible/compatible. No dice. I’m right back to three calls prior when a rep said that Total Wireless does not have ANY WiFi calling.
I lost about 24 hours lost to the entire ordeal and still have no idea why Total Wireless can’t at least train their customer service agents to keep their stories straight. Rick is right: WiFi calling is referenced in the TOS; however, it’s ALSO in the TracFone FAQ. What’s more, TracFone is also the one offering the lookup to which Total Wireless immediately (initially) referred me. And yet all this for nothing.
I hope you will post this comment because in my case this lost and/or blocked feature is no trivial matter. I live in a rural area and cell calls drop. Unlike most people I know who live elsewhere in Southern California, I have to foot the bill for a landline on top of my household cell phone costs. However, a landline doesn’t help you when you fall in your yard and suffer a concussion and can’t dial out (true story!). Needless to say, I called the FCC to make my thoughts known about Total Wireless having the option to block a supported phone feature — supported per a call to Apple to verify as much — when doing so could mean the difference between customers reaching emergency services (911) — or not!
In conclusion, I wish I would have found this blog before my ordeal to better understand the bottom line on WiFi calling with Total Wireless. Still, this is exactly the type of caveat that Total Wireless should self-disclose on their own website.
Thanks for sharing, clearly frustrating. I’m not sure I completely follow why your SIM was swapped between different phones. I suspect the store, you visited was a total wireless reseller I don’t know why they would do that.
The one thing I would add, which doesn’t excuse the confusion, is that I don’t believe that Total Wireless is deliberly blocking your access to Wifi Callining. All prepaid wireless companies have lagged behind with support for 4G LTE, VoLTE, features like Wi-Fi calling. The overall issue starts with which features AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint open to prepaid wireless companies, the compatibility of phones and SIMs, and finally as you have found out the competency of Total Wireless to help their customers get all this working. For a long time, only the tracfone brands that used the T-Mobile network could use Wifi calling. More recently, Total Wireless says they offered it. I as able to get it to work on Straight Talk’s ATT network even though they said it would not!
As a consumer, your best choice is to switch providers, which Total Wireless plan do you use? How long have your owned your phone for?
I had VoLTE and wi-fi calling on my Note 8 on Verizon but since I switched to Total Wireless, I have not been able to get wi-fi calling to work on my phone but their site does lead you to believe that they have it https://support.totalwireless.com/tutorials/1670498?device=24939 telling you how to enable it. I chatted with a rep from TW and she said that my number was provisioned and active for those features in their system. I’ve read that the SIM card has to support it so can someone tell me if that’s true or not. Maybe I just need a different SIM card.
I don’t have a solution for you, but I’ll share my thoughts.
First thanks for sharing this link with me, I had not seen that yet. Definitely wasn’t the case when I did my receive and wrote this article. Assuming that you did fill in e911 form to activate it I’d think it should work on your Note 8.
A new SIM card, could help. It could be that the SIM card you have doesn’t support VoLTE. It could also be that the problem resolves itself during the process of deactivating your current sim and activating a new one. A new SIM is a dollar so cost isn’t an issue. You’d just be risking something else going wrong during the process. I’d order the SIM direct from the web site to get the latest SIM.
You could also try your SIM in someone else’s phone to see what happens. Sometimes after you turn on WiFi calling you need to wait for it to switch over.
The other thing is that maybe it will just start working in 2020 when Verizon turns off their CDMA network and they transition everyone to voLTE. I assume that the prepaid networks will then start to get access to the umbrella of HD Voice features on Verizon.
I’d be surprised if the TW CS Reps are able to help you resolve the problem. Sounds like you got more information from them then I would have expected.
https://totalwireless.com/termsandconditions. That’s link does not work. When I call totalwireless they told they don’t provide WiFi calling option. To order to advance calling working need active WiFi calling. I don’t think so even totalwireless don’t know how to fix it. It work unlock verizon galaxy s8 plus.HERE how , download shortcut master app from app store. Open that app, go to right on top and click on 3 dots pick app explore > ims setting >go to last option IMS SETTING Luncher activities>pick lunch > click 1st option Ims service switch> turn all option ON mode >back out of that screen >go to self provisioning >enable activated WiFi >enable provisioning>back out to main screen and last step restart your phone.
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