The Pros And Cons Of TracFone Wireless Prepaid Cell Phone Plan

TracFone is a prepaid wireless cell phone service that actually runs on the Verizon Wireless network.  I know this because I used TracFone for several years until I recently switched service.  If you ever encounter a service issue on the Tracfone network you will receive a Verizon Wireless network error message.  This means that you get the same level of service from TracFone that you get from Verizon.

TracFone is reasonably priced for as long as you don't need to use a large volume of minutes. If you start getting to the point where you use more than 500 minutes per month, you will be better off switching to a cheaper prepaid service. TracFone also has a very poor selection of telephones to choose from so if you want to be on the cutting edge of telephones, this is not for you.

If you are just looking for low cost, reliable cell phone service and you don't use heavy minutes, you may be a perfect fit for TracFone.



TracFone Reviews: Customer Reviews Of TracFone Prepaid Cell Phone Service

Welcome To TracFone Reviews where we let you review and share your experiences with the popular Tracfone Prepaid Cellular Telephone Service.

Here is how it works:  You leave your comments below this post and share your experience using Tracfone with others.  Once you leave your comment, we will move it up here with the rest of the reviews for all to see.  Please take a moment to share your Tracphone experience now.  Go to the end of this post and leave a comment now.

Latest TracFone Reviews:

Apr 21, 2012 07:48 AM 
The Tracfone Lg800g is a really grand phone except for one factor. The screen is very sensitive and the phone does its own little thing when in my pocket or purse. Someone suggested that if I wanted another option I should go for the LG401 which also comes with triple minutes. Has anyone had any experience?

Apr 20, 2012 01:57 PM 
If you buy a Tracfone make sure you buy it from the webb site using your zipcode. You will have the least amount of problems and customer service will be the most effective this way. If you buy it from Walmart or some other store your asking for trouble. ReplyDelete 

Apr 21, 2012 09:58 AM 
I bought the one for my mom from Walmart and we have had nothing more than smiles on our dials. I think it is time to get her a new phone and I was wondering if there is a similar model from Tracfone that we should look at or whether the SVC is the way to go. I don't want to use another company as I have really had a good track record with Tracfone ReplyDelete

Mar 23, 2012 06:51 AM 
 sorry to hear about your bad experience with Tracfone. I have had the SVC for over a year now and have not encountered any difficulties. I have saved a tremendous amount as it only costs me $20 for 3 months service - I dont think that any other service provider can beat this!

Mar 11, 2012 08:56 AM 
Worst company ever. Customer service sucks and website is a joke. Unless you're prepared to just buy airtime cards at your local convenience store, try Verizon, AT&T, etc or another company offering prepaid minutes. Tracfone sucks 

Mar 4, 2012 01:40 PM 
I had tracfone for 3 months. To recharge the minutes i had to go to a payphone. i was never able to recharge minutes without having to contact the service department. it was the absolute worse phone i ever had. The service was lousy. i moved to tmobile and im much happier now. 

Feb 26, 2012 07:57 AM 
The Tracfone SVC is an ideal way to introduce the kids to cellphones. They are simple to use and it costs less than $7 a month. No need to get the fanciest technology for first cellphones

Feb 7, 2012 11:18 AM 
Tracfone was my only cell phone provider for ten years. I let my landline go two years ago, and also now use a StraightTalk phone. Tracfone is the cheapest way to go for low volume cell phone useage. You can often find a one-year card with 400 minutes for $100 or less. I paid $82 for my last one. You can add the DoubleMinute feature to your Tracfone for $7.00-20.00. If added before adding a one-year card, this will allow you to obtain 800 minutes from a one-year card, and if you plan ahead, you can usually find an active Bonus Code that will add 150-250 minutes when you activate the one-year card, for a total of 950-1050 minutes. These airtime minutes only expire when used, as long as you keep your Tracfone active. Tracfone customer service is very difficult to use. Use a landline when calling them, or just toss the problem phone, and purchase another. When you join Tracfone, it is best to purchase a NEW phone from WalMart or another vendor IN YOUR AREA. Refurbished phones have problems, and if Grandma sends you a new Tracfone for Christmas, you get Grandma's area code for your phone. Purchase the $19.99 card for initial activation in order to make sure that your phone works. If you are satisfied, buy a one-year card and add to your Tracfone. If the new Tracfone does not work to your satisfaction, return to WalMart within their FIFTEEN DAY return window. You will not get a refund on the $19.99 airtime purchase, just the phone cost. Five years ago, I got Girlfriend a Tracfone for auto emergencies. She keeps a landline, so seldom uses her Tracfone. She has about 4000 minutes accumulated on it. Were she to lose the phone, there would be no recourse with Tracfone. All would be lost. But, for $75-100 per year, the monthly cost is dirt cheap. Heavier cell phone useage is best handled with StraightTalk or Net10, also American Movil companies, and also impossibly bad customer service. My Tracfone is my permanent "official" phone number for employer and government. I ask my friends and family to call me on my StraightTalk number, using Tracfone only if they are unable to reach me. The biggest downside with StraightTalk is lack of an airtime meter on most of their phones. You have to telephone StraightTalk or go to their website to check your airtime balance. Tracfone models with a "G" suffix operate off AT&T or T-Mobile towers. Tracfones with "C" suffix are Verizon. NEVER enroll in Tracfone-Net10-StraightTalk automatic refill programs. They will screw it up, along with your credit card/bank account. Use refill cards. Porting your old phone number to an American Movil service is hit-or-miss. And, only a FOOL would purchase advertising for his business, using American Movil as a contact number. If your livelihood DEPENDS upon a cell phone number, PAY the price for service with Verizon or AT&T. BE CAREFUL where you buy airtime. Dishonest Asian vendors will sell you CHEAP airtime purchased using stolen credit cards. When the chargeback hits Tracfone, Tracfone turns off your phone, permanently! Good Luck with your Tracfone.

Jan 31, 2012 10:08 AM 
We have had our old tracfone for several years and decided to get a new phone. Our number and minutes were transfered to the new phone and then we realized that we could not get reception in our area. We have been trying for over a week to get the minutes transfered back to the old phone. After being put on hold for over an hour and trying to understand the operator competing to be heard over other operators in the background, I was finally transferred to a superior. She again had me on hold for almost an hour then told me to call a number at 7:44 last evening. A recording said my phone was activated. Great. I knew that. I just do not have any minutes. Again, I called this morning, given another ticket number to call within 24-48 hours and I should get my minutes back. If we did not have over one thousand minutes of air time coming. I would just chuck the whole phone. Buyer beware of the reception in your area before purchasing a Tracfone. Linda in Northern Wisconsin

Jan 16, 2012 06:43 AM
My first mistake was not googling TRACFONE reveiws BEFORE I bought the phone...I asked the customer service reps that were acting like they were trying to help me if they have ever read they reveiws and he responded NO that he does not have computer....lol

Jan 16, 2012 06:38 AM
I bought a TRACFONE for my husband for Christmas and I should of just bought him a bag of coal....probably would of gotten more satisfaction out of it...this has been the worst experience I have ever had after purchasing any product...I cannot beleive that WALMART would sell a product where the company that makes it will not back it up and you cannot have a customer service rep that speaks english well enough to where you can understand them and they do not even have a call center in the USA..they have a office in Florida but when you call you get someone in Belize or El Salvador or some strange land...Tracfone will not even try to help you get a phone that works....they just want to keep trouble shooting the one you have after you have been on the telephone with them for hours requesting them just to give you a refund or send you a telephone that works...after speaking to 3/4 people they transfer to someone who is suppose to give you a address to send it back too....well they too want to do a trouble shoot...and I am like what part of IT DONT WORK dont you understand.!!! DO NOT BUY A TRACFONE AND STAY AWAY FROM STRAIGHTTALK AND DONT TRUST WALMART'S CUSTOMER SATIFACTION POLICY!!!!

Anonymous said... 
I couldn't stand any more wasted hours trying to get help from this company. I guess they either do not have knowlegable people there or they just don't care. Everytime I got someone on the line after long waits about the same problem they each told me something different . Everything from changing my code entry mode, new sim card, and last of all a new phone, and each time a new number.Still not working as it should. I'm switching to Consumer Celular where ratings and reviews are excellant and USA based service people who care. 
January 10, 2012 10:03 PM

Ken Schiff said... 
If you want to get cheated, ripped off, and treated badly, then TracFone is for you! They refuse to block web access, email, or messaging, regardless of my requests. They have the buttons on their phone conveniently placed so that it's easy to hit a wrong button which you realize when you get the message that "X minutes have been deleted" from your account. TracFone itself sends unsolicited messages and then charges for you to view them. Unlocking a phone? Forget it. They won't do it, and a local shop said I shouldn't even try. TracFone does all kinds of things to make it impossible to unlock. Therefore, I had to buy another phone when I changed over to another non-contract service. All I can say is DON'T SPEND A MINUTE OR A DIME WITH THESE PEOPLE! 
January 5, 2012 1:43 AM

Debbie said... 
Working with customer service is the biggest headache! Never have I had a easy experience changing phones (and keeping my phone number). It ALWAYS requires a long turnaround time (3-5 days) as well as 3-4 phone calls to get the switch made and my minutes transferred. When I don't have to call for anything the service is fine for me but the Customer Service is awful! Many times I can't understand the rep that is supposed to be helping me and they don't document our conversation or pertinent information in my account. FRUSTRATING!!!!! 
December 30, 2011 7:24 PM

davesmusing said... 
If you need a phone, buy a very cheap one and just get it activated. From your most common area of use, make a few one minute calls, like to your home or the like, to see if you get good reception. I only get one antenna bar at my house so I never use my cell phone at home. Also, if you ever have to call customer service, you will wish you did not have Tracfone. IT is the worst imaginable; incompetence combined with bad English, and hour-long waits to get someone. 
December 30, 2011 7:00 PM

Anonymous said...
I've had a Tracfone for about 3 years. I spend about $100/year for minutes (I got a phone that provides double minutes for life) and it works great for me. I add minutes via the Tracfone website using promo codes I find online; it's always worked for me. I text rarely and don't use my cell phone much (we have Comcast unlimited long distance at home so I use that for most of my calls). I guess most people are the opposite - they use their phone a lot and wish to text. Well, if you're in my category, it beats $50/month for a contract phone. Works for me!
November 28, 2011 3:01 PM

Anonymous said...
Probably the most incompetent and ineffective customer service I have ever encountered. Their online service authorized two different credit cards but couldn't complete the purchase - bottom line: no minutes and no credit. Over three hours on the phone with more than six people (half were supervisors) and still no resolution and my credit was tied up for over a week. So I wrote a letter complaining about the incompetence of their telephone customer service reps and they called and left me a message to call them back at the same number I'd called before about the problem. I promised them that if they didn't satisfy my loss of credit and bonus minutes that I would inform the world of what an incompetent, inconsiderate, really stupid company they are - so consider yourself warned, world!
November 27, 2011 6:10 PM

Anonymous said...
I got charged even when I didn't make the connection. I totally regret getting tracfone.
November 25, 2011 8:30 AM

Anonymous said...
Straightalk is owned by Tracfone....customer service sucks....you cannot understand them. I have had my phone for a year and a half...no problems til last Oct. 2011 when I renewed my minutes online...they took $140 out of my checking account but did not deliver my minutes....after over 3 hours on the phone with them, filing a dispute with my debit card carrier that cost me an additional $20 and emailing them a copy of my bank statment where they received my money.....I STILL HAVE NOT GOTTEN MY MONEY BACK.....I will march my happy butt down to Walmart and pick up a prepaid card from now on.....that's my only complaint...
November 23, 2011 9:20 AM

Anonymous said...
I am just a few minutes away from switching to trafone and all these negatives reviews scare the living hell out of me. I currently have straight ttalk but I never use up my minutes in a 30-day cycle. I simply do not jabber like most of you. What should I do now? I want a definitive answer to facilitate a proper decision before it is too late. Thanks humongously!!
November 11, 2011 1:18 PM

Anonymous said...
Tracfone stinks! Nobody understands a word they say, and they seem to think everyone has time to reset the phone everytime i go to put more minutes on it! Plus im SICK of the promotional text message crap, and people i do not even know texting at 2am in the morning that should not even know the cell number. Im useing a different phone service, one that BLOCKS all this text bullcrap, if they had to pay to send all these text messages they would not be doing it as often if at all, im sick of people texting me..i pay for it, and don't have enough minutes for family,..sending me text messages is NOT going to get ME to put more minutes on...it will go to the trash where it belongs!
October 16, 2011 4:29 AM

Anonymous said...
I've had Tracfone for four years. Customer service was always incredibly frustrating. You have to use minutes to call them, are on hold forever, then talk to "Jane", who has an unusual accent for someone named Jane. Charged 84 minutes for a 411 call when stranded in Utah with a flat tire. Ran out of minutes. None of my friends have been able to leave voicemail, despite adding 240 minutes (which lasted less than a week - and I probably was on the phone for less than an hour total). I'm done. Just got my landline today, and GOODBYE TRACFONE!!!
October 12, 2011 8:21 PM

Anonymous said...
One customer service rep tells you one thing...
the next tells you another...
you guessed it...the next one adds a third opinion...
Supervisors(STUPIDVISORS) are no better than front line attendants!
All Morons...non can speak a language that is clear...must have said "excuse me" a dozen times...
My advice...stay away
October 12, 2011 4:45 AM

Smart said...
Two tin cans are better.
October 12, 2011 4:48 AM

Anonymous said...
My wife has used a tracfone for about three years I think. Bought a double minutes for life phone so 365 days of service with a 1000 minutes is $160. Ends up being 2 x 1000 = 2000 minutes which is plenty of minutes. Phone does texting, mail box, caller ID etc. Works out to be about $13.33 a month and I simply don't know why people complain??? Phones come in two versions, any model that ends in a "C" will be on the Verizon network, any others are on ATT or sprint. If Verizon works well where you are use a "C" phone if ATT works better get a non "C" phone which is actually a GSM phone. In our case Verizon is by far the best carrier where I am which does limit the phones you can purchase but I'm not 18 and I don't need all the bells and whistles. My wife's phone worked so well I canceled our land line which was $40 a month and bought a tracfone. For us two tracfones is cheaper than one land line and is much more functional.

There are better phones available lately for the texting crazy crowd and some phones come with triple minutes so heavy users can still get a good deal. If you want to spend $80-100 a month go get an Iphone or what ever. If you want a Porsche buy a Porsche don't buy a Chevy Cruze and complain that a Porsche can blow you off the road.

Pros works well for a phone calls and texting. Cheaper than anything else if you use under maybe 300 minutes a month. You really need to run the numbers.

Cons, the web site doesn't work right I always have to call to add minutes. Really my only complaint but I always have some extra minute code so maybe that's the problem.
October 10, 2011 7:10 PM

Anonymous said...
I activated a Tracfone 10 weeks after purchase using customer service in Spanish. This required special handling.
On the same day, I received an incoming call from a (786) area code offering me, in Spanish, a free cell phone sent to any address I cared to give them without any identity check whatsoever.
I am done with Tracfone, and I destroyed the phone itself. What you do is your choice.
August 22, 2011 9:23 AM

Anonymous said...
Phone is great as long as you don't have a problem. Customer Service is horrendous!!! Pray you will never have a problem. If you do, expect to be glued to your phone chasing down customer service call centers around the world!!!! Hours not minutes.
July 26, 2011 6:56 PM

Anonymous said...
I have had tracfone for a couple of years and have had numerous occasions when there were a couple of glitches in service. Every time I call I have had to sit on the phone for more than 1 hr. and every time they make an error in my plan and I have to renew the entire plan and they cannot get things back to where they should be. Recently there was an error in billing; the person was supposed to have taken care of everything but he left off my husbands phone and I then had to call back and attempt to put my husbands phone back on it but that didn't work, they still have not been able to get us back on the family plan. I telephoned today, was on the phone for 1 hr. ten minutes and eventually had to hang up due to the woman not being able to comprehend what I was saying or because she was trained to not give any satisfaction in service. I give up!
July 12, 2011 12:20 PM

Bill said...
I was intrigued by the offer so I ordered a $20 TracFone with overnight delivery and 60 minute starter card. The phone arrived as promised, but that was the end of the good deal. Upon activation, I was assigned a number with an area code 250 miles away. If my neighbors want to call,me they must make a long-distance call! But that really doesn't matter, because I get "No Service" at my home location without going across town to the highest hill for reliable service. Both of these situations are allowed under TracFone Terms and Conditions of Service. My Verizon service is perfect. TracFone is a joke, but perfect for pimps and drug dealers. I only wasted $20 for the experiment, I'm sure it cost TracFone much more than that to send me the phone. I will toss the phone, and buy no time. Be a careful consumer!
June 27, 2011 6:31 PM

Anonymous said...
I have had various cell phones over the last twenty years and Tracfone is by far the worst deal and the worst customer service I have ever seen. If you have a problem, their call centre is out of India and though they've trained their staff to speak with Southern accents, they forgot to teach them English comprehension. Keep jobs in the US and boycott this company!
June 25, 2011 5:00 PM

Anonymous said...
We bought our TRACFONE from HSN or QVC or one of the other TV shows. Can't remember which one, but what's the differents their all rip offs. However, It sure sounded good when we purchased it. $100.00 for two phones with 800 minutes good for one year. (not bad). Now this is where they get you. To continue the service you have to buy a card for $100.00 for the year again or you can buy one for $19.99 for 60 minutes. Are they for real!!! (although mind is double minutes, so it would be 120 minutes,wow big deal) and you're forced to use it by 30 days or you lose it. That's like spending $240.00 a year or more.Give me a break!GOOD-BYE TRACFONE!!!!!
May 8, 2011 2:45 PM

jofka said...
I am comfortable with tracfone. Before I was on a contract and I found that I was paying for calls that I didn't make and wasting precious money. With Tracfone I am not tied down to any contract and they have a deal of when you purchase minutes you get the same amount free. I use the SVC which costs me $7 a month and I don't think that anyone can beat that. If you have the phone for emergencies as I do I can't think of any better way of doing it
May 22, 2011 2:32 AM

HelpNeeded said...
I've been doing some research into the various senior cell phone options for my parents, and it seems like the most popular are Tracfone's SVC and Jitterbug. I just find Jitterbug to be a bit pricey-the phone alone is $100, compared to SVC's Samsung for $15. The monthly service is also lower with the SVC. I see the phones both offer similar senior friendly design features, but just wondered how the data side of each compared-I see the SVC phone does mention that it is capable of web browsing, but not sure how that part is charged. My other question is, does the SVC come standard with double minutes for life, or is that dependent on where you purchase it? Please, if anyone can help on these, it would be greatly appreciated. This seems to be a reliable and affordable service and would just like to have all the facts available.
May 15, 2011 6:10 AM

Anonymous said...
I had a tracfone for a long long time and it was really good for what i was doing. Eventually I outgrew it as my minutes used per month got to about 1000. Then it was more cost effective for me to switch to Straight Talk Prepaid cell phone
November 26, 2010 12:17 PM

Anonymous said...
Net10 for me...10c a minute to call and 3c a text....easy to use and easy to remember.....any major store like Walmart has them and they all come with 300 free minutes! You get awesome national overage and slear reception wherever you go!
November 30, 2010 2:42 PM

Jck said...
Tracfone is a really great service, it's no wonder a lot of people is switching to prepaid and opting for tracfone, the coverage is great and the promotions they carry for their air cards are awesome.
December 30, 2010 11:12 AM

ffreda6 said...
Tracfone brought out Straight Talk a year ago and it's the best unlimited deal on the market! For $45.00 a month you get unlimited calls, texts and web access and you can even have a smart phone if you want one for $79.00 only from Walmart!
January 22, 2011 5:52 AM

Anonymous said...
I don't talk much on my cell phone which is why Tracfone has saved me allot of money by using their cheapest plan $19.99/60min/90 service days. I keep my phone for little emergencies and for the free '911 emergency locate assist' feature that you find on all Tracfones. I believe every person from young to old should have this facility to rely on in times of emergency and it is so easily affordable.
January 28, 2011 2:04 PM

tracy said...
Tracfone being Tracfone have even considered the elderly when it comers to cellphones. There is the Tracfone SVC which is a Samsung T155g. This is an extremely uncomplicated phone to operate. Its keys and screen are on the larger side and you can attach a hearing aid if needs be. This phone goes for the bargain price of $15. For 3 months of service including 60 minutes it only costs $20 making it less than $7 a month. Most seniors can definitely afford this phone
February 11, 2011 4:57 AM

Anonymous said...
I agree Tracfone is the cheapest prepaid phone, BUT, their customer service is not good. Their web-site is non-functioning. You get an Arab if you try to call them and only after a wait of at least 15 minutes. Another 10 to 15 minutes trying to understand them and if you are very lucky you might get somewhere. I have tried emailing them, no response and after 3 days, 2 attempts on their website, 3 phone calls and a couple of wasted hours I was finally able to add minutes to my phone. Do yourself a favor and get a real phone service. It's well worth the money to save your sanity.
February 16, 2011 4:07 PM

tomspeckle said...
when you get older all you really need a phone for is to be reached on by your family and friends, for the odd call and sms and of course for emergencies. the svc phone is under $20 and can cost as little as $7 a month from then on. free incoming texts and 411 calls
February 28, 2011 12:36 PM

Jen the Hen said...
I really can't think of too many cons for Straight Talk. Although I wish they had an iPhone-ish kind of phone, i know that is asking a lot. It is kind of hard to beat a plan that offers unlimited everything (including internet) for $45 a month. They have a few phones that allow you to use the internet, and I am pretty sure they offer a PDA phone, however, I am not sure off the top of my head. I have the Samsung slider and have used that since i started using straight talk.
February 28, 2011 9:39 PM

Timothy said...
Tracfone isn't a deluxe service but it sure is very good and what it says it does, which is provide great value for lower-income spenders and people who want to not waste a cent on extra bells and whistles that drive up costs. And the signal strength is really remarkable and excellent for what this costs!
March 1, 2011 11:17 AM

Ulrich said...
Sometimes tracfone really confuses me. This business with the tracfone SVC plan had me baffled for a while. The fella in the videos kept speaking of a $7 per month plan. I went to walmart, where I know they sell tracfones, and sure enough the phone was there, but no $7 plan. After a little head scratching, meals, and as time passes, I realized it was just the ordinary $20 plan, devided by the three service months. Couldn't they have just said that in the beginning? However, the phone they tote as being the SVC phone usually comes with double minutes for life included in the purchase of the phone. That at least isn't ordinary.
March 18, 2011 5:31 AM

Tish said...
the SVC phone really does make cell phones so much more accessible to people who would otherwise have to battle to afford a phone. a phone for under $20 is an amazing deal and it comes without a contract as well whichis a huge bonus. Why pay for a huge contract deal when you don't actually even need half of it each month?
March 31, 2011 12:56 PM

Tish said...
the tracfone deal that i have heard the most about is the senior value cell phone! it is under $20 for the actual phone and then if you don't need to call/text that much each month it can be as little as &8 a month to top up. no contract involved either so you pay for top up as and when you need it..
March 31, 2011 2:01 PM

Anonymous said...
Tracfone is the most horrible customer no service I have ever experienced. I got a Tracfone, which did not work. They sent another one..it did not work... spent 6 hours on the phone with with Columbian/Phillipino barely speak English reps. Send it back within the 30 days of the original purchase with no refund. I have tried for the 2 1/2 months to get a refund...lots of emails, lots of wasted time with the no English reps. They constantly stall and keep saying "another 30 days"...I don't think I will get a refund....so watch out. I switched back to ATT Go phone that only costs 3c a minute more and worth it because of the huge hassle of Tracfone.
April 24, 2011 1:06 PM

Why Are Prepaid Cell Phones Better Than Regular Cellular Phones Anyway?

Prepaid cell phones allow you to stay in control.  Long gone are the days when you had to sign massive long term contracts that guaranteed you will pay monthly fees with no escape for years.  Prepaid cell phones such as Tracfone, Pure Talk Usa, and other prepaid cell phone services allow you to pay a low monthly fee for cell phone service that is scalable to your needs.  Plus, you can cancel at any time.  No contracts & pure freedom makes prepaid cell phones the smartest way to manage your cell phone budget.

TracFone Wireless customers get:

* All the convenience that a cell phone provides – without signing a contract
* Vast, reliable Nationwide Coverage
* Affordable brand name cell phones (Motorola, Nokia, LG and Kyocera) starting at just $9.99
* Service as low as $20 every 3 months
* 3 easy ways to buy Airtime – Pay As You Go cards, Buy Now, Monthly & Yearly plans without contracts
* Complete control over your cell phone expenses

With TracFone there are:

* No Bills
* No Contracts
* No Credit Checks
* No Activation or Cancellation fees

So join the over 10 million people who have chosen TracFone because only TracFone lets you design your cell phone service to suit your lifestyle and budget –all with no contracts.