Tracfone / incompetent customer service and tech support

Miami, FL, United States
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I have had an account with TracFone for several years. My phone was a 2G and I was told it was necessary to upgrade to a 3G phone. I did an online chat with a sales rep and a customer service rep at TracFone After verifying my zip code, I was given a list of 10 different phones to purchase. With their recommendation and assurance that "any 3G phone on this list will work", I placed an order for an Alcatel flip phone, which is similar to my husband's cell phone. Before I received my new phone from TracFone, I went to their website and bought more minutes that added 90 days to my service, in order to keep my phone active. When my new phone arrived, I followed the instructions provided with the phone, inserted the battery and charged it for 5 hours. I went to the website to have my minutes transferred to the new phone and have it activated. However, even after the minutes were transferred and the phone was activated, I was not able to make a phone call. The screen message was either "No Network" or "Emergency Calls Only". I did an online chat with Tech Support and was told the SIM card in the phone they sold to me would not work in my area (zip code) or it would "not work with the tower" near my home. That did not make sense. Why they would sell me a phone with the 'wrong' SIM card? They would not admit they made an error or that I purchased the wrong phone. They would not tell me why my phone would not work. I asked if I could exchange my phone and I was told they would not do that unless the phone was "broken" or "inoperable". Well, to me it was inoperable, simply due to the fact that I could not make or receive phone calls with it. Mary opened a new Ticket and advised me that I would receive a replacement SIM card by Friday, 5/12, and that the replacement SIM card "will definitely work" in my zip code. When I did not receive the card on 5/12, I contacted Ramon, via Chat, and was give the USPS tracking number. Today, 5/15, I received the replacement SIM card. Per the instructions, I called the 800# to have my phone activated with the new SIM in the phone. I spent 45 minutes repeatedly spelling my name, my street address, city, state, and zip code. My 5-letter city is well known State Capital and is very easy to spell and pronounce. However, I had to repeat it several times and hear her tell me that my address "is invalid"! She could not or would not pull up my account to verify my address. And she asked me, "Have you recently moved?" How utterly ridiculous! If I moved, how would I be able to receive the replacement SIM card, as well as the new TracFone they sent to me? After repeating my personal information and the NEW SIM card number a dozen times, I was told that the new SIM card "does not work" in my phone and they will be sending me a replacement SIM card to replace the replacement SIM card I just received. I let her know that I was dissatisfied and extremely upset with their incompetent service. And, of course, I was assured (by Mikaela) that the next SIM card I receive "will work". After reading other complaints similar to mine, I highly doubt the 3rd SIM card will work, if and when I receive it. TracFone Wireless is a farce. Both the Customer Service Dept. and Tech Support Dept. lack qualified and knowledgeable employees. They cannot answer simple questions, provide good customer service and/or technical support. You might save money by going with TracFone, rather than another cell phone company, but the headaches, frustration, lack of phone service, and time spent dealing with this company is just not worth it.

May 15, 2017

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