Report: #1279803

Complaint Review: TracFone

  • Submitted: Wed, January 13, 2016
  • Updated: Fri, May 06, 2016
  • Reported By: Ronald — Raymore Missouri USA
  • TracFone

    Miami, Florida

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I bought a 1-Year service refill for my tracfone through a seller on eBay offering a discount on the refill.

I paid and the extension of service appeared on my phone airtime minutes and days.

The day after Christmas I tried to use my phone only to be told by a robo that my account was deactivated.

I called customer service and was promised they would get service restored.  When they went into the corporate computer system to get details they found that the Stop-Loss Manager (SLM) had placed a block on my account without my knowledge or notifying me of this drastic action, so I only became aware of it when my service stopped.

I told the CS (customer service) that my phone showed over 3000 minutes and 355 days of service remaining.  I also stated that I had paid for a refill of 1 year service on October 30 and felt there must be some mistake or misidentification of my account with another.  

CS called the SLM who informed me that he had placed the block on my service because I had charged back the cost of the 1-year refill on November 2, and that the only way I could get service restored is to pay $109.68 by certified check or Prepaid refill card from a merchant store such as WalMart or Target.  

I replied that I did NOT at any time since paying for the refill charge back the cost.  I also stated that I had bought the refill through a third-party seller on eBay, and that if the seller had done the charge-back, then TracFone should go after that criminal for fraud.  

It surprises me that TracFone would allow a charge-back in such a short time-frame, especially since the time had been placed on the account.  I believe someone at TracFone, perhaps the SLM, had authorized the invalid charge-back and now they are trying to extort their loss from me by holding my phone number hostage.

In the past 3 weeks I have sent proof of the third-party being the buyer who charged-back the payment, even though they did not receive the service. 

I have provide the credit card statements showing that no charge-back was done on my MC account  Proving that I was not the person performing the invalid charge-back.

I have provided complaint information for eBay and PayPal, the information identifies the party that paid for then charged back the fee.

All three businesses involved on my behalf have reversed the payment to this third party, finding that I was not provided the service for which I had paid.

TracFone, inspite of weeks of emails to  and, the customer service departments of TracFone, have not replied or corrected this error.

I bougth a 60 minute card and applied it to my account in order to have valid airtime and days available to continue use until this issue is resolved.  TracFone did not reactivate my number for the service time I paid them, and when I called CS I was told that I had to post a full replacement $109.68 payment to restore my service.  

I spent over 100 minutes of airtime on a borrowed phone in try to find someone within TracFone who would listen to me and view my documentation in proof of my position as the victim of a fraud and identity theft.

Each time I was handed off to another CS I had to repeated the backstory because nothing of what I have provided had been entered into the complaint file.  Each time I was told "you performed an invalid charge-back" which is why your account is blocked. After hearing this for the fifth time in 90 minutes I asked for the supervisor of CS because I needed to speak with someone who could listen and take action based on the facts and not the suppositions of a simple-minded SLM.  The supervisor, after hearing my information, attempted to speak with the SLM, and he hung up on her.

I have filed a complaint with IC3, and await their intervention on my behalf.  Maybe that idiot of an SLM will listen to the FEDs?


Meanwhile corporate customer service is impotent and non-responsive to my proofs and supplications. 

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/13/2016 09:23 AM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Author of original report

IC3 Complaint - Yes it is a TracFone fault

AUTHOR: - ()

TracFone continues to not reply to my discussion questions regarding this complaint.

The claim by the Stop-Loss Manager (no name provided) that the buyer charged-back the credit card payment is false, as I have proven by charging-back the 60 minutes airtime card that I applied to the account due to TracFone not providing the service for which I paid.  My credit card provider is conducting the normal and usual investigation which involves having the seller, merchant, provide their side of the story and asking for their agreement to the charge-back.

For the TracFone SLM to make a false claim that when the order was placed by me on 10/30/15 the purchase was made, according to the seller's feed-back message, the following day, 10/31/15, and the charge-back took place on 11/02/15 is inconsistent with credit card protocols for charge-back and therefore a false statement.  Why would the SLM make a false statement in order to justify the action against me?  His demand that I pay $108.69 to reactivate my phone number becomes extortion when a fraudulent claim is made to justify the action.

The situation more consistent with this obvious discrepancy is that due to the recent devaluation of the Yuan, sellers in the US are taking advantage of the increased value of the dollar to buy TracFone airtime in China through agents known to them.  They can charge $79.99US for the same service time that a US buyer would pay $108.69 which TracFone SLM claims includes the state sales tax (which I have reason to believe they do not pay to the state).

I believe the SLM became aware of this exchange rate decrease of revenue and reversed the payment, which the merchant can do without justification and without the knowledge or approval of the buyer affected.  He then did not inform or warn me of the action so that when my phone was deactivated at the termination of the existing contract I would be panicked into paying whatever was demanded to maintain service on a number I have had for over four years and rely on for my business and personal contacts.  This is the extortion aspect of this crime.

In reply to my Rip-Off Report complaint posted and directed to the attention of the TracFone Corporate ERD (Executive Resolution Department)he, or someone familiar with this situation informed me that if the third-party purchase was made off-shore then I would have no chance for recovery of the money paid to this third party that he claims performed the charge-back.  This indicates to me that the currency devaluation scenario is confirmed.

Since the Federal Government has begun action to prosecute business crimes and the unnamed criminals hiding behind corporate walls I ask that you consider this case for prosecution.  I have given TracFone ERD over a month to work with me to resolve this issue, have offered purchase airtime to continue my account, asked them to remove the questioned airtime service, and have had no discussions with anyone who has the power to resolve this impasse.  I have spent over 190 minutes of airtime ($23 value)talking with multiple Customer Service representatives only to be told that the SLM will not remove the "risk assessment" block from my account. I purchased the demanded 1-Year 400 minute airtime PIN and entered it into my phone account. I still do not have service on my 8166167016 number.

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#2 UPDATE Employee

TracFone Extortion by TracFone to recover their loss


Dear Ronald,

Good day. I work with TracFone Wireless.  I read your post on this blog and we are sorry for the inconvenience. Let us review your account. For further assistance, please send us an email to or you can chat with us live @ Thank you.

TracFone Wireless

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#3 Author of original report

Illiterate consumer?

AUTHOR: - ()

You seem to be under the impression that I don't think that there is some fraud going on here, that is 100% incorrect.  There was indeed fraud and both you and T-Mobile are victims.  Unfortunatly, you are also under the false impression that T-Mobile is somehow responsible to "make it right" with you.

The fact is that a card that YOU used was "charged back".  You seem to be obsessing on the statement that they say "you" did the charge back.  At best this may be a miscomunication but in the end it doesn't give you an "out".  Most likely the person who's credit card was used ORIGINALLY to purchase the card reported the fraud to their bank.   You can send letters or even singing telegrams all day long to T-Mobile with proof that you didn't charge back your portion, but that does not matter.  As again, they are going to hold the person who USED the card responsible. 


Apparently you either cannot read and comprehend or are illiterate.  Which is it? T-mobile ?  Apparently both.  "who's" really? what third world country do you come from...Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, or South Carolina?


The card I used with the eBay seller was NOT (that means NO) my card, a fact that is proven by the lack of a charge-back dispute in my statements.  Also, my MC dispute takes weeks to process and sometimes a month before the temporary credit is made permanent.


I agree that the person using the credit card, then doing an invalid reversal is responsible...however, even though I have proven that my credit card was not used Tracfone does not persue the person whose credit card was used.

I have repeatedly pointed out this fact to the Tracfone SLM who continues to ignore it because it does not fit his CYA scheme.

The fact that the SLM does not reverse the charge-back to the credit card used is not consistent with Good Business Practices regarding credit card transaction protocols.


I suspect due to your incapacity to reason and process information that YOU are the SLM hiding behind anonymity in this forum. You certainly sound like him, your reasoning ability is obviously stunted.  IQ of 80, perhaps?


I will bet if you got ripped-off by a merchant who took your money, posted the expected benefit, then reversed the charge which was seemingly just fine with the service provider, and as a result had your phone inactivated without warning or message.  Good Business Practices when an unexpected and unusual event occurs in the transaction of business usually have a desire to find out from the customer what is the problem.  SLM it appears had no concept of customer service.


Don't continue to embarrass yourself by posting stupidity...oh, of course, you can post and no one knows who is writing such drivel.


I'm going to put you on ignore because you obviously have nothing intelligent to provide.  Here's hoping you are similarly ripped-off and have the same comments provided to your complaint.


Have a nice day?



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#4 Author of original report

At Long Last a Response from the Managers

AUTHOR: - ()


ERD Management

1:08 PM (20 hours ago)
to me
Good afternoon,

According to our records you contacted customer service with a $19.99 pin number (60 minutes and 90 days) however the transaction was for $108.69, you need to either send a money order for that amount of purchase a one year card which is for $99.99 + tax. If you have questions please contact our corporate office at 1.800.626.4883 ext 1029

Thank you,

Executive Resolution Department

As you can see these people are unable to process information and irrationally stick with the Stop-Loss-Manager's (SLM) demand.  What can a person do when dealing with illiterates?  
Obviously uneducated and lacking any business acumen, I tell them I have a 1-Year refill available but since the account is blocked cannot apply simple can it be?
This was the reply to my message:

I have provided ample proof that I did not perform an invalid chargeback in the question of the 1 Year refill of my account.

TracFone did not advise me of this situation until my account became inoperative.

Your customer support people all promised they could resolve the issue and each time they deferred to the Stop Loss Manager that had placed a block on my number and demanded payment of $109.68 by certified check or prepaid PIN card.

I have arranged for a 1 Year refill to be applied to my account in order to recover it, but the block appears to prevent it from posting and being credited.

Based on the proof provided the block should be removed as I am in good-faith trying to work with you to reactivate my account and fund it.

Please respond since the last four (4) messages have no response from
your organization.

Thank you
Notice that it took 20 hours for them to come up with this non-resolution, non-compromise, non-win, nonsense.
Looks like they have finally lost another customer.  
Don't fall into their trap.
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#5 Consumer Comment

You seem a bit misguided...

AUTHOR: Robert - (USA)

You seem to be under the impression that I don't think that there is some fraud going on here, that is 100% incorrect.  There was indeed fraud and both you and T-Mobile are victims.  Unfortunatly, you are also under the false impression that T-Mobile is somehow responsible to "make it right" with you.

The fact is that a card that YOU used was "charged back".  You seem to be obsessing on the statement that they say "you" did the charge back.  At best this may be a miscomunication but in the end it doesn't give you an "out".  Most likely the person who's credit card was used ORIGINALLY to purchase the card reported the fraud to their bank.   You can send letters or even singing telegrams all day long to T-Mobile with proof that you didn't charge back your portion, but that does not matter.  As again, they are going to hold the person who USED the card responsible. 

You are also under the false impression that somehow EBay has some duty to "vette" it's sellers, again this is 100% wrong.  There is no way that Ebay is expected or required to screen it's sellers.  Now of course once they find out a seller is doing any fradulent activity, they will cut them off.  Which is why I pretty much am betting the seller that sold you the card is no longer there.  Oh and as for this responsiblity...when you signed up for EBay you agreed to these terms. 

One thing that is a bit scary though is this statement...

Citi Bank MC has issued a credit and is giving the seller until 2/22/16 to respond to their claim.

- It's good you got a "temporary" credit and I hope they approve it.  However, this statement appears that you may have gone outside of EBay to complete the transaction, which is not only increases your risk but is against EBay policy.

Now, again you can continue to believe that you are right, and T-Mobile will pay for all of this distress they caused you.  You will continue to come here and say you are going to sue them taking it to the Supreme Court and every media outlet you can to prove you are right.  But sadly in the end there is nothing THEY are doing that is illegal.  In fact I would also not be surprised if this situation is covered in the terms and conditions you agreed to when you got the phone initially.

Oh and as for this being your lifeline for the business.  If this is truly as critical as you are saying, why are you running your business on a Pre-Paid cell phone?  But that not withstanding, if you think you have such a good case where you know you will prevail.  Why don't  you pay the $109 now to get your number back and then go after them to get it back?  I think we all know the reason you haven't.

In the end good luck and I hope you get your resolution you want...just don't count on it.

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#6 Author of original report

TracFone responsibility

AUTHOR: - ()

Good Business Practices includes due diligence in conduct of issuing a credit card refund.  For TracFone to be claiming that I did the charge back is proof of no due diligence.  To use extortion to force me to pay for their error is not right nor legal.  Sure eBay is responsible for allowing their brand to be used for this fraud.  The seller gave a US location. 

Again, due diligence in conduct of Good Business Practice.  I have no problem getting the refund of payment.  Citi Bank MC has issued a credit and is giving the seller until 2/22/16 to respond to their claim.  Something that TracFone obviously was provided and lacking due diligence did not perform.  The fact that TracFone did not challenge the charge back is not explained, and was obviously not performed through my Citi Bank MC credit card account. 

When I ask what credit card was involved in the payment and charge back TracFone refuses to provide that information because of this inconsistency.  The only way for them to recover their charge back loss is to extort it from me by holding my phone number hostage.  I have worked for 3 weeks providing proof after proof of their error, thus removing their excuse for the extortion. 

I bought an applied airtime using a merchant PIN card, but TracFone refuses to remove the fraudulent airtime and apply this qualified airtime so I can continue to use this number.  Denial of service is costing me in real business and livelihood income and customer disruption due to being unable to contact me.  My repeated attempts to resolve this issue are ignored, TracFone does not communicate and continues to use an obvious LIE to justify their actions.  This is not the behavior of Good Business Practice, and a responsible service provider.

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#7 Author of original report


AUTHOR: - ()

Many sellers on eBay are TracFone wholesale resellers, and some even offer to reduce their commission in order to make money on the volume of business.

This is the "Free Enterprise - Free Market" philosophy that drives our economy.

I placed trust in eBay to vette or screen the sellers that they allow to use their marketing site. eBay is duplicitous in this fraud and in included in the IC3 complaint.

The seller listed "reviews" from customers that appeared to support their honesty and ability to provide the listed service or product.

The fraud was committed by the person that did not provide the good or service which was offered and received value to provide.  That is the legal definition of fraud...look it up rather than reveal your ignorance of the law.

You do not know the law and should not embarrass yourself by making such fatuous statements that reveal your ignorance of legal criteria.

Of course I could have bought an airtime card from a brick and mortar merchant.  Of course I could have bought through the TracFone airtime refill service...but I would have to register my credit card with them and be assigned a PIN in order to perform the transaction, for which they would also charge me state sales tax (which they keep).  I do not trust them to safeguard my credit card information and recent events have demonstrated why I should not.

What you ignore is that TracFfone after the charge-back was initiated within 2 days of the credit card payment did not contest or dispute the charge-back, which is the right of every merchant.  This indicates someone within their organization who must review and approve such an action did not do their job.  My credit card was not used to buy the refill, I did not perform a charge-back, and now that I have initiated a dispute charge back against the eBay seller my credit card is allowing the seller until 2/22/16 to reply to the complaint that service was not provide.  My phone is deactivated rather than the continuation of service which was posted on my phone one day after I paid the ebay seller.  This is fact, not infurrence.

TracFone did not dispute the charge-back, which is their fault since it is inconsistent with Good Business Practice.

TracFone did not contact me for an explanation of why I did not want the service and was preforming the charge-back.

TracFone did not warn me that my service would be deactivated on the expiration of my existing service contract. Which would have prevent this escalation.

I have provided documented proof that I did not preform the charge back.  They have ignored and not replied to my supporting evidence.  I asked that TracFone remove the refill posted to my account and provided the PIN for an airtime refill card which I bought from Walmart to carry me through this period of dispute resolution.

TracFone continues to state that service was deactivated because I charged-back the payment...which is a LIE that has been disproven by authorities such as Citi Bank MC, PayPal, and by documents showing no charge back was performed. TracFone ignores the factual evidence and like any dictatorial persona repeats their LIE as justification for their outrageous behavior. 

By providing this factual account of my experience as a customer of TracFone I hope to warn others of what to expect in customer disservice from this rouge company, which needs to be put out of business by a class-action lawsuit of similarly injured former customers. 

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#8 Consumer Comment

Not a TracFone issue...

AUTHOR: Robert - (USA)

Your entire problem can be traced back to this one statement you made....

I also stated that I had bought the refill through a third-party seller on eBay, and that if the seller had done the charge-back, then TracFone should go after that criminal for fraud.  

- Your issue is that you bought this from someone on EBay.  They didn't try to use the refil on TracFone YOU as far as TracFone is concerened you are the fraud.  They don't care how or who charged it back, all they care about is that the cards that you used were charged back.

Yes, of course this sucks for you.  But unfortunatly because you tried to save a few bucks and think you got a good deal, you in fact got ripped off.  As they say "S*** rolls down hill, and you are at the bottom".

Trying to go after TracPhone getting them to help you out because you got Ripped off will get you no where. Now, if in the end they help you out great and consider yourself lucky.  But they are not legally bound in any way to help you "make it right".  Your only recourse is to go after the EBay Seller, but my guess is that the seller is long gone and no where to be found.  Oh and EBay won't help you for many reason, the main one being that most of their guarantees do not include these type of services where you are provided with codes and/or "gift cards" because of the huge amount of fraud out there.  You may try to file a Small Claims case against they buyer(if you can find out the info).  But if the buyer is out of the US you are totally SOL.


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