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Cell phone to sell by Tracfone?

by Chigal48 / April 11, 2009 12:24 PM PDT

Hi, I have a big complaint against Tracfone that I had to complain to the FCC about. Anyway, I don't think I will get my 200 minutes back. The phone won't work in my area code, but Tracfone sells the phones in my area code/zip code.
Anyway to get my money back (in lieu of a small claims lawsuit), I've decided to sell the phones (2). They are Motorolas small palm size flip phones. I want to know if I sell it, what do I (or the buyer) do with the SIM card? Does the owner have to buy a new Sim card and replace the one inside?

Not sure how these cells work, so any help would be helpful.

Tracfone had a SIM and Serial number. It's worthless to me, and probably to them.

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Tracfone (more)
by Chigal48 / April 11, 2009 12:31 PM PDT

I would highly suggest no one buy a tracfone. If you do, be sure the phone number is activated right there in the store while you're there.

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Just so you know.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 11, 2009 8:45 PM PDT
In reply to: Tracfone (more)

Those work fab here. Sadly many are not in the know about how cell phones work. That is -> Not all carriers work everywhere.
Bob

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phone
by birdmantd Forum moderator / April 11, 2009 9:14 PM PDT
In reply to: Just so you know.

OP, as per your question about the SIM card for your old Tracphone, it is not your concern because your old SIM is deactivated when you cancel service. It is up to the new owner to either transfer their existing SIM to the phone or purchase a new SIM/subscription from their provider. Sorry to hear you had any problems.

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I didn't cancel service
by Chigal48 / April 11, 2009 9:33 PM PDT
In reply to: phone

Tracfone tried to get the phones to call out and receive phone calls, and it couldn't. Which indicates they don't work in the area code/zip code. Besides Amazon where can I sell it? I'm going to lose about $160 in minutes, but I don't care.

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Bob -- what city are you in?
by Chigal48 / April 11, 2009 9:32 PM PDT
In reply to: Just so you know.

Perhaps I should just put this online for sale? However, I'm still not getting the minutes refunded. Just a big loss on my part. Tracfone should know what phones work where. If it doesn't operate in area code 773 / zip code 60600 then they should not sell them.

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This is not a for sale forum.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 11, 2009 9:47 PM PDT

In fact, any for sale listing is dismissed without notice.

-> Where I've used tracfone without issue.

From Massachusetts from Springfield to Boston then all the way down to Washington, D.C.

Then Las Vegas to Los Angeles. Then from Springfield all the way down to Little Rock, AK.

And Omaha, Nebraska area.

Like I said, it works for us. There will ALWAYS be somewhere that some phone or service won't work.

-> It's unclear why some don't know this.
Bob

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You are missing the point of the OP
by Pepe7 / April 13, 2009 1:07 AM PDT

This is not about the simple notion of a carrier not having coverage in particular location. Tracfone should not be permitted to sell their products in a wide area (not local) where they do not offer service/have roaming partner or coverage. Likewise, a retailer should not be allowed to carry their products as such. No, I do not excuse consumers from having to do adequate due diligence, but limiting their sales to areas with generally wide coverage does help both consumer and company providing the service (less CSR headaches).

-Pedro

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If I extend that thinking to all carriers.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 13, 2009 1:31 AM PDT

All of them need to close up shop!

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LOL ;)
by Pepe7 / April 13, 2009 3:50 AM PDT

I'm still not entirely clear if you follow, but I agree that the carriers might benefit from a nice 'slap' every once and awhile ;).

I will use SW WI as an example. There are no ATT wireless stores in that part of the state since they do not offer native coverage and very little in the way of roaming coverage. If tracfone (etc.) has to rely on ATT for their coverage hence it would make no sense for the FCC to permit their services to be sold in such an area. Again, we aren't talking about granular coverage over a couple of square miles but widespread lack of service in a particular area/region.

-Pedro

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Then nothing but slapping would occur.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 13, 2009 4:57 AM PDT
In reply to: LOL ;)

Not a single carrier I know today could cover it well enough for everyone out there. Do you think that today's newer owners understand the limitations of cellular coverage?

I already know the cell companies are not ready to hold classes on how such things work.
Bob

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Indeed
by Pepe7 / April 14, 2009 1:47 AM PDT

Hence the need for a little more consumer protection that was certainly lacking a little under the former regime.

-Pedro

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Huh??
by birdmantd Forum moderator / April 14, 2009 2:37 AM PDT
In reply to: Indeed

What is wrong with a little consumer responsibility? No more legislation is needed. It is up to the consumer to do a little research and most (if not all) cellular providers offer a 30 day trial period to allow cancellation of svc without ETF.

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You didn't read the entire thread in detail
by Pepe7 / April 14, 2009 3:16 AM PDT
In reply to: Huh??

Tracfone (and other wireless carriers) should not be given the right to offer/sell service in areas where they have no coverage for 100+ miles. Place such as Wal Mart if permitted would willingly resell such services if allowed by law. It's simple common sense, folks. This is a mistake and you can see how many consumer problems would ensue. I'm not excusing consumers from doing due diligence, just starting off from a fair base.

-Pedro

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I have complaints with t/FCC and atty generals
by Chigal48 / April 14, 2009 5:39 AM PDT

Hope that helps get me some relief. So far no word from anyone. Not even Tracfone.

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Gee thanks
by birdmantd Forum moderator / April 14, 2009 7:09 AM PDT

I read the entire thread and responded to one post. When I need you advice, I promise you will be the first to know. I have over 7 years of cellular customer service experience, over 15 years as a cellular device user and I know the arguments on both sides of the fence. Please don't insult me with a remark like "You didn't read the entire thread in detail". Have a good day.

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To Birdman
by Pepe7 / April 14, 2009 8:36 AM PDT
In reply to: Huh??

Simply because you have 7 years of experience as a wireless CSR doesn't mean another opinion doesn't hold any water.

Why for a moment would you want to permit sales of cellular service in a state where none existed(?) Now I'm not talking about the edge of a large urban area where you could drive across the state line and get full bars. I'm referring to the situation where a carrier put up small kiosks with flashy marketing tools in a wal mart in the middle of bumble-f egypt. Of course folks will shop by price, as that's what they see when they walk in. Why do you feel Tracfone has the right to sell when they cannot deliver to a customer unless they drive across the entire state(?) Please don't answer with 'Ive used a phone for 15 years'. How about a reason why a firm would be allowed to conduct shady business in this fashion(?)

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The Nanny State.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 14, 2009 3:24 AM PDT
In reply to: Indeed

Sorry I couldn't resist.

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Must be nice...
by Pepe7 / April 14, 2009 3:35 AM PDT
In reply to: The Nanny State.

....living in a bubble where your actions have no impact on anyone else. I always *love* the blanket 'Nanny state' retort. Unfortunately, everything in life isn't always so black and white.

How about coming up with a more valid counter argument? I bet you attended at least a four year university at some point.

-Pedro

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Just let me reveal.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 14, 2009 7:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Must be nice...

I was on design teams for 2 way paging systems that used cellular technologies. This gives me an insight to this issue and if you had your way, no company could exist at all.

What you appear to want is the Nanny state where the gov protects us all from everything.

If we go to the top of this discussion it almost got a lock because someone might have been trying to sell their phone. But the mods give this a lot of rope.

Then again, should rope be regulated and some federal oversight be put into law that rope abuse can never happen?
Bob

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To Bob, etc.
by Pepe7 / April 14, 2009 8:46 AM PDT
In reply to: The Nanny State.

And that project you've described below gives you what superior credentials exactly in the context of this discussion(?) (rhetorical)

Nobody's suggesting banning Tracfone. Again, you & birdman seem to see the world very black and white apparently, at least from a business perspective. If Tracfone (etc.) puts up very visible small kiosks in the front of a Wal Mart that is 600 miles from the nearest cell site, we have a problem. If they cannot reasonably provide service, they have no business having permission to do so IN THAT AREA. I suppose you think telco lobbyists are a good thing for the consumer as well(?) (again, rhetorical).

We can keep this civil and on track and have a healthy discussion if you like, or you can continue revert to the 'nanny state' comments without backing up with any useful reasoning. Your choice.

cheers,
Pedro
-------------------------------------------------------------
"I was on design teams for 2 way paging systems that used cellular technologies. This gives me an insight to this issue and if you had your way, no company could exist at all.

What you appear to want is the Nanny state where the gov protects us all from everything.

If we go to the top of this discussion it almost got a lock because someone might have been trying to sell their phone. But the mods give this a lot of rope.

Then again, should rope be regulated and some federal oversight be put into law that rope abuse can never happen?
Bob"

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Why yes it does!
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 14, 2009 10:14 AM PDT
In reply to: To Bob, etc.

Given your criteria not a single provider could sell their products for the prices we see today.

You've made your point. Now write your congressman.
Bob

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Trrafone
by birdmantd Forum moderator / April 14, 2009 2:44 PM PDT
In reply to: To Bob, etc.

Pepe maybe you didn't realize that the FCC will not allow any carrier to sell cellular service where they do not have a license to provide service. You are telling me that someone would actually walk out of store without verifying that their cellular phone actually works? Somehow I doubt it.

BTW: it is not possible for a carrier to sell a phone that is "600 miles from the nearest cell site". Granted there may be certain areas of limited or no coverage but the brand of phone used or if the phone is being used indoors can affect coverage.

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Tracfone is bought at Target, not verified that it works bec
by Chigal48 / April 14, 2009 9:02 PM PDT

because Target doesn't activate the phone right then and there in the store. You buy it off the shelf, then you go online or call 1-800# to have it activated. I wanted to transfer minutes from an old phone to the new phone.

I didn't know that cell phone comp's cannot sell where they have no service. I complained to the FCC, so we will see what happens.

On the package, it should state which states/ac/zc it doesn't service. metro PCS won't sell in states that it doesn't service.

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reply to Bob re:"Yes it does"
by Pepe7 / April 15, 2009 12:25 AM PDT

Bob-

Your argument is flawed, and your notion that such measures would limit firms ability to operate are unsubstantiated. Again, we aren't talking about requiring each and every carrier to cover every square inch of the country in order to legally be permitted to offer service, as this is impractical per se. What I am proposing is that the resellers/MVNOs such as Tracfone not be allowed to market their products in areas w/o reasonable coverage. My aunt (from my WI example) lives in a small town w/ only a couple square miles of GSM roaming coverage. In this sense, ATT should not be able to sell their prepaid cards in her local Wal Mart since there is no native coverage for at least 100 miles. The FCC at the very least should be able to fine either ATT/Tracfone/Wal Mart for such deceptive practices. They generally do not actively pursue this on the ground level.

-Pedro

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To birdman re:Tracfone
by Pepe7 / April 15, 2009 12:32 AM PDT

Birdman-

Yes, I do realize this. But it's clearly not being enforced in many cases (consider my aforementioned example). Again, I can purchase prepaid ATT cards in areas where I know certain MVNOs/carriers do not offer native coverage/coverage at all for hundreds of miles. This has nothing to do with frequencies/handsets in this case. The big box stores will not be so concerned about which prepaid service works within a 100 mile radius when they can receive $100/week for permitting the small kiosks to go in front near the cash registers.

If you think that folks shopping for phone service in Wally World or Target are going to hang around and test their phones you need think about the logistics a little harder. Please read the response about activating online or via the WATS line....

----------------------------------------------------
Pepe maybe you didn't realize that the FCC will not allow any carrier to sell cellular service where they do not have a license to provide service. You are telling me that someone would actually walk out of store without verifying that their cellular phone actually works? Somehow I doubt it.

BTW: it is not possible for a carrier to sell a phone that is "600 miles from the nearest cell site". Granted there may be certain areas of limited or no coverage but the brand of phone used or if the phone is being used indoors can affect coverage.

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If you know - is there a class action lawsuit against Tracfo
by Chigal48 / April 15, 2009 7:21 AM PDT
In reply to: To birdman re:Tracfone

Tracfone? I'm searching, but is there a class action vs Tracfone?

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class actions are a mixed bag
by Pepe7 / April 15, 2009 3:12 PM PDT

Generally they benefit the large law firms or attorneys involved. Not that there's anything wrong with joining one per se, it's just a bit frustrating to receive a measly $25 check after two or three years, etc.

I am more interested in finding you a wireless carrier that works for your needs instead of suing Tracfone ;). What's your zip code so we can figure out who's coverage is good where you are located? (Did you end up finding a decent carrier yet(?))

cheers,
P

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Prepaid
by birdmantd Forum moderator / April 15, 2009 11:55 PM PDT
In reply to: To birdman re:Tracfone

Pepe, the reason why they can cell PP cards or phones (even if there is little or no local coverage) is rather simple. Let us assume for a moment that you have a prepaid phone from Tracfone and you are traveling to visit a friend who lives in an area not supported by Tracfone. Before you leave you realize that you need to buy a refill card or worse your phone has to be replaced. Should they not be allowed to sell a PP card or phone to you because they don't have local coverage? Granted the total sales of the PP cards and/or phones may be very low but it would be available. If a carrier doesn't have a license to provide cellular service they cannot assign a local # but they could still activate it on an existing mobile # from a different market. Just playing devils-advocate here.

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Understood
by Pepe7 / April 16, 2009 12:56 AM PDT
In reply to: Prepaid

I hear your argument, and I feel it does have some merit. OTOH, I feel there has to be some reasonable balance between companies being permitted to heavily market a product and very simple protections for the consumer. Your scenario is weakened slightly by the fact that someone could top off online or over the phone (even a landline, mind you). That is certainly the method becoming more and more common when dealing with active users of prepaid. I don't know if the doomsday scenario of losing one's handset is the best example either per se since there are other ways of obtaining a replacement handset given wireless devices are ubiquitous, even in very rural areas.

A lot of this nonsense and consumer headaches would be taken care of if the FCC bothered in the first place to direct a single technology on similar frequencies used by the rest of the world. Things would also be easier if the subsidized model of obtaining handsets would be both eliminated by the carriers and rejected by consumers.

cheers,
Pedro

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prepaid
by birdmantd Forum moderator / April 16, 2009 3:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Understood

You do make some good points but there is no chance that the FCC would "mandate" that all US carriers use the same cellular technology at this point, too late in the game now. When cellular technology was first introduced, the FCC couldn't force international carriers to standardize the same technology (TDMA/Analog, CDMA, GSM) or frequencies as in the US. They don't use the same frequencies as we do in most of the world, if only it were that easy.

I certainly don't disagree the US carriers have a lot to blame for the current situation either. We can agree on this much.

The marketing issue is now that much of it is now created at the national level and less at a local level, just look what is happening to print media today.

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