I have been a Net10 customer for six years with the same number. It was good. I didn't have a contract. It was cheap. I had decent coverage. I started out with a phone that did nothing, slowly progressed, and recently decided to upgrade to a smart phone. Of course, I had to "upgrade" plans too to the unlimited but no problem, I knew this as I had researched it thoroughly. I bought a Net10 phone and attempted to activate it and port my number. You'd think that moving your number from one Net10 phone to another Net10 phone would not be a problem. Well, think otherwise. It is if you involve the incompetent Customer Service/Technical Support departments. After 24 hours of no phone service and multiple calls, it happened. I then noticed that I had no data service. I called back multiple times and since I bought the phone(and bought the more expensive plan) so that I would specifically have Internet available when I was away from home, I wanted this to work.
Now let me just warn you now about Net10 Customer Disservice. If you can avoid them, do so. The time you spend with them is time you can never get back. Every call lasts twenty to forty minutes once you get a person. "I'm still looking up your account, sir. Just give me three more minutes." "I'm still waiting for your account to come up sir. Just four more minutes, please." That goes on for nearly an eternity. Once they have your account, you have to repeat all of your information again; your number, your name, your address, your pet's name, your serial number, your sim number, etc. Apparently, every time they pull up my account, there is absolutely nothing there because they need all the info again. I have to say that they are very polite, almost annoyingly so particularly since they do not seem capable of helping in any way. We go through every machination and permutation of things to do on the phone. Off. On. Off. On. Battery Out. Battery In. Sim card out. Sim card back in. Delete everything. Put everything back. Clearly(?)....the phone was defective. They tell me that they will give me 300 extra FREE minutes for my troubles. I attempt to explain to them that I paid for unlimited service so 300 free minutes is meaningless. They keep insisting that I only have ten minutes on the account. We eventually straighten that out.
It was decided that they would send me a new phone and give me a month of "free" service. That was just the first week so a month of free service would have meant something. They send me a postage paid FedEx envelope and I packed the phone and schlepped it over to a FedEx store. 5 days later I get a new phone. I'm excited. I should not have been.
Same problem. We get the number ported and no data, no 3G. Multiple calls back to the Net10 Manager's hotline. The service rep decides that the phone settings are wrong. We attempt to change them to no avail. The settings are locked in and are not Net10 settings so we can't change the APN setting. The only recourse is to send a new phone. I wait again for the envelope. I get it. Pack up the phone. Schlep it back to FedEx six miles uphill.
Today I get a new phone delivered again. Third phone for those keeping track at home. I call my special Net10 manager hotline(since I am a problem) and get "Tricia." First question she asks is the phone number I am calling about. I tell her and explain the history with a very brief summary and tell her that I need to get my "new" phone activated. I wait while she pulls up my account and then pulls it up some more....and then some more. Finally, she tells me that the deed is done and I should be able to make and receive calls within the hour, and if not within the hour-a few hours, and if not then, sometime in the next 24 hours. I turned the phone on and called the house phone I am talking on and I hear the call waiting ring. Great, I have phone service. Then while I still had her on the phone, I quickly checked to see if I had data service and just like the first two phones. I did not. I explained this to her AGAIN and she asked me to wait again and she emailed a link to the phone. It was a Net10 SETTINGS app. I downloaded it. Presto, it changed the settings in the phone and I had data service. She then extended my billing date so while I am not getting anything free or anything for my time or anything for my loss, but I am still getting to use my phone for the month I had paid for it.
We ended the call. A few hours later a friend calls me on the house phone and asks why the cell is not working. I call my cell and it doesn't ring. I call my house phone from the cell and an unrecognizable number shows up. TRICIA GAVE ME A NEW PHONE NUMBER. I am livid. I have had the same number for 6 years and through six Net10 phones (three in the last month) and apparently Tricia decided to give me a new number. Wow. Just wow.
So, I call back spitting bullets and try to maintain some composure so that the woman doesn't hang up on me (because YOU KNOW SHE CAN) and I explain what has transpired. "I don't know why she did that" she said in response to my angry query. She asks for my information. My pets name. She tells me now that she check to see if my old number is still available. "Just a few minutes while I pull up your account." Just three more minutes sir." Just four more minutes sir." My head is about to explode at this point. She tells me my number is still available and warns me several times that when she deletes the new number, I won't be able to get the new number back. I agree and reiterate that all I want is MY OLD NUMBER. Then she asks for my address. WT#? My address? Why would she need my address?!?!? Well, she can't give me back my new number today....she has to mail me a new sim card which will take 3 to 5 days and I will have to call back then. Now.....one would think she could have said "We can't reuse a sim card so I will mail you a new one and then you can get your old number back. In the mean time, why don't you keep this number so you, at least, have a working cell phone?" I would have said "YES."
So let's recap:
In the past month, I have had three NEW Net10 phones. They might have worked if someone at their Manager's call center had heard of a Net10 settings app. If only....
I have gone nearly two weeks with no phone at all while they have been in the mail.
I have had to waste hours of time, gas money and I have lost business(several hundred dollars) because I don't have a working cell phone.
What do I have today? A nonworking phone and the promise of not being billed again for thirty days so I can use the time I paid for. And, I'm SURE they are going to bill me anyway and then I will need to deal with that. They are nothing if not incompetent.
This afternoon I was ready to drive to Central America, swim across the Panama Canal and walk 700 miles to the Net10 call center in Guyana and bitch slap everyone there into the middle of next week. Now, I think I am going to get the sim card, use my month of airtime (if they let me) and then find another provider. There are several available now with no contracts. It's a great phone but I can get the same phone with someone else. I can't take anymore. I can't afford anymore. They're just killing me. THEY ARE SUCKING AWAY MY WILL TO LIVE.
And I know....that in 3 to 5 days when the new sim card arrives and I call them, my number will likely be no longer available. Monday, look up in the sky around 2pm(when the mail arrives) and see if you can see a mushroom cloud in Ohio. That would be me.
Net10 phones should come with a warning: THIS PHONE MAY CAUSE SUICIDAL AND/OR HOMICIDAL IDEATION, SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION, SELF IMMOLATION, MAJOR DEPRESSION, PSYCHOSIS AND PROFOUND DESPONDENCY. Whatever you do, don't use Net10. DON'T USE NET10. If you are already using them, never ever EVER call their Customer-No-Service hotline. Do whatever you can online instead. It is a Pandora's Box of pain and regret. And when the huge tsunami of gross incompetence washes away your hope of a working phone, don't say you weren't warned.