never never do this

July 25th, 2006

You should never get a Tracfone and I’ll tell you why.

a.) Stupid name. This should have tipped me off instantly. Do they not have the time to put the k in track or spell phone the normal way?

2. Your phone number MUST be fixed to your actual location (they use your zip code to accomplish this) yet it’s frikin long distance no matter where you call from. Even your land line. Which you must have. We’ll get into that later.

iii)YOU LOSE YOUR PHONE NUMBER if you ever run out of minutes, or if the period expires. On your phone, you don’t get to see the actual date. No, you have to stare — for three months or more — at the date they expect your phone number to get the axe.

Fourthly, To renew your minutes you have to either go online or use a phone (not on your trackphone mind you– I mean tracfone –) and receive long codes. No, not like credit card numbers. Longer than that. No, not the longest number the screen on your tr*kF*ker can hold, longer than that. Really long frikin codes. Three of them. And then it gives you codes to write down and enter laboriously into that candybar-sized source of all evil. And guess what? Sometimes they’re on the card you purchased, and, just to keep it really fun, sometimes they’re on the receipt instead. Wooo! But that’s not all. They require you to identify your phone to them with the SIM code every frikin time. So it’s either write it down on something you will never lose, or take the battery out of the thing midway through the process and then start all over. But this is the worst part of part Fourth. Despite the fact that your whole damn phone number expires at midnight, their call center is only open until 8 or something. If you didn’t get to it until 9, you might think, well I’ll just use the website. 2 nightmarish interface hours later, you (I mean I) still can’t get the codes I’ve got to work, and I’ve only got 1 hour to doomsday for the phone number I’ve preciously kept hidden from the whole world since it costs me units every time I pick it up or even imagine glancing at it briefly. I’ve got the cold sweats, I’m jamming in these codes as fast as I can, I feel like Indiana Jones trying to get out of the Temple of Doom.

Finally, and this is what would feel like a kick in the nuts if I had them, they are constantly text messaging my phone with advertisements for their services. I hate the damn thing, so I both already have it and already know I don’t want it. And frankly my friend, neither do you.

36 Responses to “never never do this”

  1. Jeff says:

    V). I hear that Count Baculas shoot out of it if you aren’t very, very careful. And by being very careful I mean by not buying one.

  2. MoreFiles says:

    if anyone needs a 120 minute refferal ;) I hand em out like candy (I only put in the website because I figured this might drum up a load of business) :D (they give me minutes) – supposedly refer a friend / but I’d prefer to maintain friendships ;)

    but yeah … I’d never actually give tracfone money

    you can pickup voice mail by using a landline phone (dial yourself push some number / I think setting it up had to be done from the ttrakfone

    there is some series of numbers you can push on the phone to . get the SIM to display … then you need to email it to yourself and use googledesktop to always know what it was.

    lastly – I think a dead tracfone can still dial 911 (at Least I’ve heard that) so I keep a dead one in my bike pack

    have a great day :)

  3. Carrie says:

    Ah yes… that reminds me. I tried to get extra free minutes for my phone (I mean, fone) that way when I was first getting it and I could not for the life of me get the special code for it to work. Man that phone sucks.

  4. MoreFiles says:

    try net10 ;) tracfone owns them too (some different price structure) / the coupons generally (but not always) only seem to work (most of some of the time) when buying time online. or mabye its when redeeming? and to get to the right instructions at tracfone (you usually) have to enter that sim code

  5. Joshua says:

    Never before has Sprint seemed so attractive. MoreFiles, are you recommending the use of a service you know to suck, or the service that you speculate doesn’t suck as much as the one you know, but is owned by the same company?

    Cuz that’s transparently dumb.

  6. Jeff says:

    Sounds like he’s getting something for nothing, which depending on the amount of work you’re willing to put into it, can be as dumb or as non-dumb as one wants it to be — either way, calling someone dumb kinda sucks.

  7. Joshua says:

    Hey, I didn’t say he was dumb, just the scheme of using something shitty for free on the backs of other people, then recommending the same.

    You’re right. He’s not dumb. He’s brilliant.

  8. Evan says:

    Why did you conisder the tracfone as an option in the first place? Why didn’t you go with a large carrier?

  9. Jeff says:

    Personally, I avoid the entire mess by not having a cell phone — all of which suck to varying degrees — and additionally, by avoiding talking to people on the phone with a fervent zealotry bordering on religious mania. Problem solved!

  10. morefiles says:

    my wife uses it … I don’t like talking out loud (esp on phone)

    on the net10 / tracfone (they are two pricing models) I’m sure the interface is all the same … I’m not recomending anything – just saying everyone likes options but that other than money these two are the same thing. (ie Carrie probably should avoid Net10)

    For some people its a decent option – my elderly parents use tracfone for their amount of usage – its better than monthly service and they seem to know how to renew / add minutes ;)

    I had to comment since I’ve been apparently feasting on others misfortune and the topic came up … my feasting has not been that prolific, ok?

    no offense taken on the dumb comment – I am not known for proofreading much.

    I’m also not knocking the service – its always worked decent for us / the interface on typing in the phone, yeah – YUCK.

    I think your longdistance issue is maybe more due to cell numbers available in your area

    sorry to be so longwinded I’m just aspiring to post stuff:

    I enjoy everything you guys post on ldopa

  11. Pokey says:

    I agree with MoreFiles. He seems to know what he wants and is using their product how it best suits him. If it doesn’t fit your needs fine, but don’t get mad at him. That and MoreFiles is a real dream boat.

    p.s. I really need to go potty.

  12. Carrie says:

    Good question, Evan, about why did I wander into Tracfone Alley in the first place. I’ll admit it. I am cheap. Another question one might ask is, why am I still wandering around in Tracfone Alley. I’ll admit it. I am lost.

  13. Jeff says:

    Carrie, I think you were better off with that candy cell phone that I used to call Paris Hilton.

  14. Carrie says:

    They keep offering me ponies and millions of dollars on that line. Too bad I took out all the M&Ms and ate them. Paris keeps calling but it’s just not the same.

  15. Evan says:

    You took M&M’s out of Paris and ate them? Carrie.. you’re dirty.

  16. Joshua says:

    So’s Paris.


    What a thoroughly unpleasant husk of a latex mask of a human.

  17. Jeff says:

    She’s like the monsters of Springfield. just don’t look. just don’t look.

  18. Elizabeth says:

    Help I hate this tracfone. The only reason that I have it is cuz the parents gave it to me to make sure that I have a contact telephone nbr for job interviews… I can’t find my damned charger and now I can’t check voice mail. I keep calling it and pressing various buttons and it still doesn’t let me check the msgs now what? How do I check my vm from a landline?

  19. morefiles says:

    first … you have to set up voice mail … if you haven’t it can’t be done without the phone having minutes

    so to set up – Items in RED should be entered on your TracFone.

    Voice Mail Setup

    On your TracFone dial your 10 Digit Wireless Number then press CALL or SND depending on phone model.

    Follow the instructions for setting up your voice mailbox.

    Voice Mail Retrieval

    On your TracFone dial your 10 Digit Wireless Number then press CALL or SND depending on phone model.

    Enter your pass code and follow the instructions

    for a land line (if you have set up voice mail previously)
    Just call your cell phone and let it go to voicemail. When the voicemessage comes up click the pound sign. It will ask you to enter your password. – then navigate the normal voice mail menu (I don’t know how to skip ahead in a long message)

  20. Noso says:

    I just tried checking the voice mail from a landline. Doesn’t seem to work when you press the # sign. Any other ideas?

  21. Ln says:


  22. Ln says:


  23. Joshua says:

    Well I’m convinced! Tracfones for everyone!

  24. shaniqua says:

    i have a tracfone and i hate it! it doesnt work since the day i got it

  25. dude says:

    re voice mail try the * key .. that worked on the new phone they sent me (somthing about the gms stuff)

    I can state that I enjoy grandcentral also ~ you can put a button on the web and use that to make people call you at home (and not pay long distance) ~ for land lines.

  26. […] service for less Sponsored by: [Found on Ads by Google] 5. » archive » never never do this on the net10 / tracfone (they are two pricing models) I’m sure the interface is all the same … […]

  27. P.J. says:

    tracfone are soo stupid. i hate them. i should have the frredom of unlimited texting. and wtf is up with units? UNITS!?!? wtf. i hate tracfones. and by the way WHAT A STUPID NAME. TRACFONE

  28. S.A says:

    Omg I just got a tracfone yesterday!!!! lol

  29. Kelly says:

    Only problem I’ve had is when I try to add airtime, it never takes it online and I always have to call their customer service #.

  30. connie bowman says:

    S.A. – u poor thing. my tracfone was great at first, tho sometimes i had trouble getting my minutes loaded – God help u if u make a mistake online and push the wrong button!! reception was great but….if u hav e a problem it takes hours and i really mean hours to fix it if u r lucky enough to get it fixed…they made a mistake and i used 5hours getting it straight. i have thrown my tracfone into the big tracfone hell and got verizon (great service free phone and guess what free min!!!!) NO MORE F**** UNItS!!!!!

  31. Monica says:

    I figured it out!

  32. Monica says:

    To access your net10 voice mail from a land line:
    1) set up your voicemail through your phone and set your pass code.
    2) on your cell phone, go to “messages” icon.
    3) go to “voicemail”, a number will display under the caption “# Mailbox Number”
    4) call that number
    5) the automated prompt will ask for your mailbox number; enter your phone number
    6) enter your pass code

    VOILA! You are set. I had the hardest time trying to figure this out and looking all over net10’s website. They don’t tell you this!

  33. Johnny5 says:

    For net 10, calling and checking your voicemail from a landline:

    Simply call your number and press * (star) . You will be prompted for your password. Enter your password and you are done.

  34. Jose says:

    Monica, You are the best! This worked! I wondered what that phone number was and I dialed it. It said it was AT&T’s voice mail. So I called Net10 and they said that it was not possible to check voice mail from a land line. We guess what… The “Do no evil” company lied. By the way, the pass code is the 4 digit PIN you set up.

  35. spinner23 says:

    I have had a phone from TracFone for over 3 years. The first one I started out with was rinky dinky, but it was a cell phone.

    Since then I’ve had a Net10 phone, and a Verizon phone. Verizon just cost too damn much. I didnt use it enough for how pricey it was.

    Now I’m selling my Net10 phone so I can go back to TracFone.

    As long as I’ve been with TracFone, I’ve been able to buy an airtime card and enter the number on the back into the phone itsself and then a minute of two later I get a text telling me how many minutes just filled. I’ve always done it that way unless I had a coupon code, then I would do it online.

    The reason why I’m going back to TracFone is because they’ve got a deal where several models are coming with Doulble Minutes For Life for free.

    With TracFone you can get a 120min card for $30. With the Double Minute plan that would be 240mins. Since TracFone only charges .3cents for each text you can get rougly 720+ texts from that card if the phone is used for texting only. (which my phone is)

    Net10 has a $30 card that has 300 minutes, but they charge .5cents per text. So a 300 minute card used strictly for texting only warrants 600 texts.

    There are several places online where you can find codes for extra minutes and the two phones I’ve bought came with booklets of coupons inside the packaging.

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