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Moderator: Inner Sanctum
The round of card purchases earlier this year kept my service active until August 25th when I purchased a new airtime card to keep the thing active. I noticed that this time, the card had a different look and display "new look" up in the left hand corner. When I went to "scratch" the numbers off of the back to read the PIN, it was immediately obvious that I had a problem. The heavy rubber scratching area was thicker than previous cards and pulled the layers under the PIN up as I gently scratched. I stopped and contacted TracFone customer service regarding the problem, with the belief that merely telling them the other numbers on the card would give them all they would need to resolve the issue.
How wrong was I?! They informed me that I needed to fax (technology nearly as antiquated as smoke signals) a copy of the receipt and the front and back of the card. No problem, I did that and received a return call stating that the fax transmission was received but was not legible. I could certainly understand that, so I re-organized the necessary material and re-faxed the evidence.
One month later, after over 2 dozen fax transmissions in every document type and image type known to current age mankind, in every size ranging from huge to medium to tiny, they continued to respond to my (ticket) as un-resolvable because "we cannot make out the details on the images". Every update on the status was a different problem - receipt was blurry but the card images front and back were ok. Then, the receipt is clear and the image of the front of the card is clear but the image of the back of the card is black. Then, the images of the card are okay but the receipt is blurry.
With the over 2 dozen fax transmissions that I sent to TracFone, there is adequate documentation in sextuplicate to make up an evidence package of my situation. Not to mention the fact the over twice as many fax transmissions that I sent to them failed because of problems with their receiving fax facility.
I finally told them to close my ticket, the resources spent trying to recoup a $19.00 airtime card (plus the .50 911 service add-on) was not worth the effort now and that they had lost a good customer after nearly 8 years. I then said if they can't "fix it" within 24 hours that I was done.
Of course, the issue remained unresolved so I did about the only thing a typical American could do and filed a complaint with the BBB, which in the case of TracFone is located in South Florida. South Florida! That doesn't provide me with much hope for ever getting my money.
This is not about the amount but the principle of the ordeal.
TracFone is willing to let long term customers go if they don't fall into a profitablity category - it is obvious. This is not illegal and sounds like a strategic campaign on their part to perhaps free up resources for new (higher potential gains) customers. I understand that. However, the moral approach that TracFone uses in their approach is unsound and should be made more visible to consumers.
TracFone's credo - "Buyer Beware"
A couple of weeks after filing the complaint and after I'd given up any hope of resolution on my issue, I received a phone call from TracFone's corporate office. The lady was very pleasant, professional, and re-assured me that she would make sure that my issue was resolved and that the company was sorry for the INCONVENIENCE.
Over one weekend, the corporate personnel at TracFone Wireless in Miami, Florida, performed what took nearly 2 months to resolve as a common customer dealing with their customer service staff.
As a note to anyone who experiences any problem with these people, TracFone, save yourself some time and file a complaint with the BBB. That seems to get them jumping.
In fairness to TracFone, even though I am a long-term customer, I'm not a big spender with them. So, I proved that they really do care about their business, though perhaps they need to streamline their operation a bit - perhaps they should stay with their old airtime cards!