I've been a Net10 customer for about 3 years and never had a problem with the service and coverage or phone usage for the first 2.5 years, always bought my cards at department stores, entered the airtime pin and in 5 seconds or so the new time was on my phone. Never had to call support for anything. The phone was a simple one, no real bells and whistles, but it always worked fine. Only problem I ever had with it was it would somehow vibrate and mash around in my pouch and come unlocked and call people! That's just the phone design and not a Net 10 problem so I accepted it. A few years later I looked at the Net 10 website and saw I could upgrade phones, and found a phone that was a flip phone, had a camera and I wouldn't have to worry about it calling people on its own. Plus, it came with 300 minutes, and I would only have to pay a net of about $10 for a new phone after air time cost. I waited until it was close to time to add air time and decided to upgrade to the new LG 600 flip phone which I ordered from their website. I had to call Net 10 support and that's where the issues started... This was October 09.
I spent a few hours on the support line with them giving me codes to enter and such and it was finally decided that the SIM card was bad so they sent me another one. Called again and went through the process of getting it working and after asking for a supervisor, this lady, although hard to understand her accent, she got the phone working. A few days later I realized my voice mail didn't work. I tried to follow the steps to set it up, but it never gave me any response but that this voice mail account was invalid. Called them again, several times over three months, hours on the phone, never got it resolved. Each time the last person I spoke with would tell me to give it 2 or 4 or even 24 hours, leaving the phone on and it would be working. Never a change. I gave up on having voice mail. It was starting to seem to me that the 2, 4 or 24 hour statement was their way of getting me off the phone and admitting they had no idea how to help me. This was December 09.
A few weeks ago I crushed the display of my LG and although the phone still works, I can't read anything on the display, so I don't know who's calling me, and I have to call out by entering the number since I can't see my phone book. So, I ordered the exact same phone from them. Figured it was worth the few dollars since it comes with 300 more minutes. Basically cost me $8 after air time to get a new phone with a coupon code. Got it Friday and called to get it activated, minutes transferred from the old phone and phone number etc. Was on the phone long enough that my home wireless phone went dead, right after I had asked to be transferred to a supervisor and was starting to explain to him what I had been through when the house phone died. Called back and got a different tech, went through all the same process again, asked for a supervisor and was told none could speak to me and I'd have to wait 24 hours, leaving the phone on while he escalated the issue to a department in Florida. I told him that was unacceptable and wanted to speak to a supervisor. He hung up on me! I called back Sunday evening (of course the phone still didn't work, and the old phone still was sending and receiving calls even though the new phone had the minutes on it and showed my phone number) and spent another 1.5 hours speaking to supervisors. Again they claimed I needed to wait 48 hours this time and someone would call me when it was resolved. I didn't argue this time, just accepted it and decided in the mean time I would research other options.
I read the complaints on this site and saw someone recommending Pure Talk USA so I looked at their options. Their info looked good and I couldn't find any complaints about them, and the folks who were talking about them were all happy customers, and some said their tech support and customer service is in the USA and you can actually understand them and they treat you with respect...
I found Net10 customer support page and submitted a request and told them what I had been going through and that I was giving this one more chance to be resolved and was going to give up and go with another provider. I got an auto response that confirmed they had received my request and that someone would be in touch with me...in 24-48 hours! So, I went to the customer support page on Pure Talk USA and sent them an email asking a couple questions. Within 5 minutes I got an email back from one of their customer support persons answering my questions and telling me they would love to have me as a customer. Not an auto response, but a real human. First impressions are golden in this industry...
I called Net10 tech support again last night (Tuesday--48 hours later) and told the first tech that this was my last phone call and that they had this phone call to get my new phone working or I was done. Over three, yes three hours, and 5 support people, (the last 4 were supposed to be level 2 or 3 techs) and several codes entered, turn off and on, remove SIM cards, read numbers etc. no one could get the phone working. Every one of them, before I told them once again that if they couldn't resolve the issue I was done, told me to wait 24-48 hours with the phone on and it would be fixed! Every one! When I would give them the "I'm done" speech, they would transfer me to a higher level supervisor and I'd start all over again with the codes and reading them the SIM number off the card etc. After three hours of this, and the 5th tech telling me to wait 24-48 hours, I calmly told him that I am a patient man, but I have my limits and I was done and would be packaging up the new phone and sending it back for a refund and going with a new provider.
I signed up with Pure Talk USA last night and am waiting for my new phone. I'm not going to be porting the number I've had for 3 years from Net10 because I just don't want to have to deal with them again in any way. I'm ready for a fresh start. I'll report back here in a few months and let everyone know how it's going.
It is sad that a company I had no complaints about for so long has such bad tech support and customer service that a loyal customer of 3 years has been turned away, even hung up on when all I was trying to do was upgrade to a nicer phone and keep the service! Very sad. I guess if all you ever do is buy the package phone from Walmart and it works, you should be good to go, but if you ever have to get involved with tech support, may God be with you!
Side note: While typing this I received an email from the lady in customer service from Pure Talk USA thanking me for becoming a customer! What a timely email!