On or about the end of October, 2007, Tracfone decided that they were doing away with their TDMA (Analog) phone service to their customers and contacted me to force me to change over to digital service (which I had already determined would not work as well in my area). They offered to send me a "replacement" phone for free and agreed to transfer my Tracfone number (which I have used for my business for over 5 years) to the new phone.
I received my new (cheap toy) phone and activated it and Tracfone supposedly transferred the phone number to it. I used this phone (even though it did not work as well as my old TDMA Nokia) until about May, 2008, when I noticed that I had not been getting any calls on my phone for some time. At first, I just dismissed the lack of calls due to the down economy or my business contacts were just busy.
Then, I tried calling my Tracfone from a landline, and, low and behold, I got someone elses phone on my phone number. I immediately called Tracfone's customer service number and waited an excruciatingly long time to get someone on the phone that I could hardly understand and explained the problem. They said that the number was no longer my number and that it was not available to transfer to my phone as it was now someone elses phone number.
I asked how my phone number could be changed without my consent or without even notifying me. The Customer No Service Representative from Tracfone stated that they could not further assist me and I did not know what to do at that point. I tried calling back several times and got no assistance from Tracfone each time I waited the long wait for customer service. I tried emailing them, as there seems to be a significant language barrier at customer service.
When my airtime card became due in September, 2008, I still renewed it, as I now had a boatload of unused minutes left on the phone and did not want to loose them. I again tried contacting Tracfone with no positive action on the part of Tracfone to rectify the situation. Tracfone is the one who changed my phone number, not me. Only Tracfone can correct the situation.
It also must be fairly annoying for the poor soul that has my phone number to be contacted by all of my business and personal contacts daily trying to reach me. I can just imagine the frustration of that poor individual. Again, Tracfone has created another problem.
Finally, in December, 2008 I emailed Tracfone and sent them a letter detailing my Tracfone experience in a last, final attempt to get them to respond with some customer service, prior to me taking much more harsh actions against the company. They responded two weeks later by calling me (not on my Tracfone, of course) and telling me that there was nothing that they could do.
When I asked to speak with a supervisor, he told me basically the same thing in many circles of illogical rhetoric. When I asked to speak with his supervisor, the general manager of Tracfone, or the President of the Company, he said that that was not possible. I will now have to push this issue to a new venue. I have heard that the Public Service Commission of the State of Florida regulates phone companies in the state, and, thus will file a formal complaint with them.
I also may be seeking assistance from the FCC, as they govern wireless carriers due to the radio frequencies employed. This is sure starting to stink like a telephone fraud scheme perpetrated by Tracfone. First, they force me to change my phone to one that does not work as well, then, they agree to transfer my phone number to that phone. Then they change my phone number without my consent or knowledge, and. lastly they refuse to correct their mistake or worse yet, just plain don't care about this customer!
It has been rumored that the State Attorney's office investigates such apparent cases of fraud by businesses against consumers. I may look into opening a case file with them, as well. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services may be of assistance, as well. We will see.
Beware of anything that Tracfone tells you, either in writing, or, on the phone. Choose any other company that has a good reputation for customer service. Tracfone has demonstrated to me that they are either unwilling or unable to rectify the situation that they have created, and, I must now seek legal recourse to this dilema.
They still refuse to correct their error. They still refuse to give my phone number back. They still refuse to acknowledge that it was their error that caused this mess. They have the worst Customer Service in the business.
STAY AWAY FROM TRACFONE!
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