I’ve had a TracFone for almost a year now and have been completely happy with it. The only problem I had was that the phone I was using was not the filp-phone type; it had the buttons exposed on the front and when it was in my pocket the coins, ChapStick, and other loose items would depress the buttons. (A couple of times it pressed the right sequence of buttons and actually called someone from my phone book. Imagine my surprise when out of the blue I started hearing that person’s voice coming from my pocket!) I decided to upgrade to a better model, a slick Motorola flip phone that is based on their RAZR design (but lacks some of the RAZR’s high-end features, none of which I need).
After purchasing the new phone I called TracFone customer service to transfer my phone number and unused minutes to the new phone. I had read bad things about TracFone customer service, but other than the fact that I had to wait about 45 minutes on hold it went fine. The customer service guy was friendly and everything transfered smoothly. Well, almost everything.
I had purchased one of their “Double Minutes” cards for my old phone. A couple of days ago I added minutes to my new phone and did not receive double minutes! Not wanting to wait on hold I submitted a support request through their website asking why I did not receive my double minutes. Two days later and no response. Today I did some online research and it looks like the double minutes cards do not transfer under any circumstances. This means if you upgrade your phone or need to replace your phone for some other reason you can transfer your existing minutes, but double minutes on future purchases is gone.
I suppose this is a case of caveat emptor and the information regarding the double minutes not transferring is buried in the fine print somewhere, but even had I known this in advance I still would have upgraded my phone. The thing that bothers me is that I purchased $40 worth of additional minutes without knowing I wasn’t getting double minutes. If I had known I would have purchased the double minutes upgrade first. Live and learn.
Follow-up (11/26/07): I got an official answer from TracFone today! It says:
The Double Minute benefit may only be used once; it only applies to one TracFone cell phone and may not be transferred to another TracFone. This only applies for the life of a single phone. This can only be transferred in cases like technology exchanges (phone technology incompatible n the local area), defective phone (TracFone will send the replacement) and for TDMA migration cases. If you happen to purchase a new phone to replace your old phone, then the double minute plan will not be transferred.
Although this reads like it was cut-and-pasted from a FAQ, I could not find this information anywhere on their website.