TracFone Logo
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4.6

Overall Score

LAST UPDATED: December 19th, 2023

TracFone Wireless is a subsidiary of America Movil, Mexico’s largest telecommunications company. The company functions as a mobile virtual network operator, holding agreements with different large network operators like Sprint and Verizon to provide nationwide service coverage for its customers. Established in 1996 as Topp Telecom in Miami, Florida, TracFone now has over 90,000 retail locations nationwide.

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The Good

  • No Contract
  • Airtime Flexibility 
  • International Calling

No Contract

TracFone is "America's #1 National No-Contract Wireless service provider." They offer no contract, bills, daily or monthly fees, with nationwide coverage on America's best and most dependable networks, like Sprint. TracFone is a pay-as-you-go wireless phone service, which means you can pay month-to-month or as needed. They have various customer service options offering live chat, email, and phone service, from 8 AM to 7 PM EST.

Airtime Flexibility 

TracFone products and services are easy to understand. Each prospective customer follows the same three steps prior to enrolling in the service:

  1. Choose a phone - customers need to purchase their phone up-front since there are no contract discounts or promotions to bind them to the service. The TracFone inventory offers a few different phones, including Android smartphones and iPhones.
  2. Activate - once you order your phone, customers simply need to follow the activation instructions found in the package. At this stage, customers will need to have an airtime card or service plan.
  3. Add airtime - to continue service, customers will continuously need to add "airtime" to ensure minutes, texts, and data are available. This can be done over the phone, online, or in one of the retail stores.

TracFone has unlimited carryover, which means your unused minutes, texts, and data never expire as long as your service is active and in use within each six month period.

The carrier also triples everything, which means that when you buy a 60-minute Airtime Card, you'll get 180 minutes, 180 Texts, and 180 MB of data at no extra charge.

International Calling

Some international service is included with every TracFone account. You can purchase a $10 global calling card to cover additional calls to Mexico, United Kingdom, Germany, India, and Colombia.

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The Bad

  • Expensive Minutes
  • Customer Service Concerns

Expensive Minutes

Pricing is something that has also caused concern amongst the TracFone consumer base despite the overall affordability of the business model. The minutes are pretty expensive, and because you have to purchase them upfront, you may end up spending a lot more on minutes than you would on another unlimited plan. The tradeoff is that minutes carry over from month to month so if you buy more than you need, you can use them next month.

Customer Service Concerns

Despite having several customer service options like live chat, text message, email, and phone availability to address a problem or complaint, many PureTalk reviews describe challenges understanding customer service reps or getting the help they need.

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The Bottom Line

TracFone is a good option for prepaid phone service, but customers should be aware that minutes tend to add up and are quite expensive to buy in bulk and there are no unlimited data or unlimited texts plans. Read customer reviews for more details about the customer experience and compare TracFone's service plans to determine if it's a good service provider for your needs.

TracFone customers can expect the following:

  • No contracts
  • Custom talk and text amounts
  • No unlimited data options
  • Limited device selection
  • Prepaid plans
  • No hidden fees
  • GSM network coverage
  • Unlimited carryover
  • Pay for phone up-front
  • Some international coverage

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Star Rating

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3.0

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227 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

42%

4 grade

25%

3 grade

16%

2 grade

5%

1 grade

12%

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Service

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Michelle Thomas Anaheim, CA

TracFone I used in 2009 and my mom used hers from 2010 to 2017. It was great for controlling how much you wanted to pay. Also, when you buy minutes the double minute bonus was really great! It works for those that don't want to commit to a cell company.

6 months ago

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Darleen

You can get cell service almost anywhere with tracfone. Great for people who dont use the cell a lot. We have an active tracfone still and 2 inactive. They are a good company. Excellent customer service.

6 months ago Edited October 31, 2023

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Mindy Clarke Tacoma, WA

Way back years ago when I was not able to get a cell phone provider contract, I used the pre pay option and this was the best on the market in my opinion and the price was affordable. They were the only provider at the time that allowed one monthly payment for unlimited calls.

10 months ago

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Brett Schiftner Weatherford, TX

I've been with TracFone for about ten years and have really enjoyed their service. I am not a high volume user and pretty much only use the cell phone for emergencies and short calls. At these low volumes I can get by on less than $10 per month. This is hard to beat in today's market. Coverage is pretty good but I do have a few dead spots. This is not a problem for me.

2 years ago

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Vanessa Scott

I have the alcatel tracphone. so far it has been supper. The coverage has not been a problem and the hotspot I run all the time, never any problems with it. the Monthly card is $55. for full everything and that is Much cheaper then any carrier. I was able to get great info from the salesmen and I would totally recommend to anybody. Customer service was OK I was not able to transfer old number but other then that. it still a great phone.

6 years ago

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Kort Kort Hopkinsville, KY

I have been with this company for several years now. It has been the best phone service that I’ve ever had since I got my first phone when I was 15. I’ve not had a single issue with the company or products or the website. I’ve had some really great customer service experiences and that alone has convinced me to stay with them longer. They are very dedicated to what they do and love to help customers. On the other half, they could work on making sure that the product that is listed on the website is actually in stock. There were times that different products showed that they were available to buy, but then it turns out that they were all sold out. That could be something that they could work on and it would make a very big difference. Overall, I’ve had a great time being a dedicated customer.

2 years ago

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John ,

I grew up using TracFone. I always sought the lowest prices and TracFone couldn't be beat. 60 minutes and 90 days of service for $20. I rarely needed to use my phone and largely kept it for emergencies. That was outstanding. When my peers were paying a lot more for service, I was paying almost nothing. The only drawback is for those who make far more calls and texts. Then, TracFone might not be the best. Though, they do have other service plans, aside from minute cards, that you can check out. I never really used anything other than the minute cards, so I can't really comment on that. Overall, though, great option for those who just want a cheap phone and service. Highly recommended.

3 years ago

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Micael James Pontillo Atlanta, GA

Tracfone has done wonders for me, as much as nightmares. It's CS is horrible so I hope stop outsourcing so problems can get solved by americans who care, not third world people who can can care less. The policies are very good, and they've replaced tons of phones for me without a single dime.

4 years ago

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Herman PARNES Staten Island, NY

I have this cell phone app. 4-5 years and it came with triple minutes. I buy a 60 minute card and get 180 minutes for 90 days. service has always been good. Please note that I do not use it very often as I am more concerned with safety.

5 years ago

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Ella Endicott, NY

Highly dependable service, very good usage for the price, $45.00 unlimited. The cons are you can’t get a print out of calls (if need to) after 30 days Customer service is blah— Easy to recharge service via a card or by calling in with your credit card from anywhere. Phone you buy are tied to this network only and can’t be brought into another from what I know...maybe someone else can speak on this. Had them for 7 years, comparable to AT&T, if this is your first company, just read the instructions well. Not hard, but if you are not tech savvy and need help, you may want a local store. Speed is good, not the fastest, but reliable. To get a tandem line to link to your other devices costs money, when other companies provide this freely. They removed this option from their phones, so to have your phone be a hot spot you need to pay money.

2 years ago

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Vic Omaha, NE

I liked tracfone. I used it for a long time when I still depended on my landline. And it was dependable; you knew what to expect, as it was a pay as you go, and there was no contract, so it was convenient for what I used it for at the time. It's good for people who exclusively use landlines, and only need a mobile phone for emergencies (when they're out of the house), and don't want a recurring monthly bill.

3 years ago

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Sdianas Saint Paul, MN

TracFone provides great service, especially for people who have a landline home phone and use the cell phone for short calls. I get better reception on my LG Tracfone than I do on my CenturyLink home phone. At $22 for 120 minutes (after doubling), or 140 minutes (with a special code I sometimes receive) and 90 days, it is very affordable as as second phone. Starting in January they are switching to 4G only, and I hope my new phone sounds as wonderful as my current one! (I am using the one I have as long as possible.)

3 years ago

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Tina Taylor Ebensburg, PA

Tracfone is the only cell phone brand that I have had, I am on my 4th one. Also, my sons and husband have them. You can't beat the value. It also takes great pics. There is no need to spend a fortune on a phone. I am able to get service in many places that people with expensive phones can't get. The speaker quit on my son's phone, they had a new one in the mail to him in a week.

3 years ago

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Dorene Davis Albuquerque, NM

Do not choose Tracfone. I’ve had tracfone for about 2 years as an emergency phone. I purchased a one year service card and had plenty of minutes, texts, and data and they turned off my service twice. The first time they said I had to change phone numbers so I did and then they turn my set off again 2 months later. I have 6months of service left. I called them they say they don’t see anything on my account. They didn’t try to help or resolve my issue after being on the phone for hours and being hung up on. I have proof of my purchase but still no service. Run from these crooks!

6 months ago

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Moureen Meggers

I like this phone due to the nature of the service I receive. Never a dropped call. The prices are great for their plans and the customer service is great.

7 months ago

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TC B Florissant, CO

I had this for a VERY brief period of time when I first started getting cell phones. It is great for people building their credit, and to control how much you use/pay each month. However, the nickel and dime breakdown of the pre-paid cards make what you put out monthly for cell phone use actually pricier than contracts with carriers such as At&t and Verizon.

9 months ago

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Teresa Bills

I had a TracFone years ago and then it was not so good. Calls would drop and service was kinda bad. Quality when I could get a call was ok. I can't say don't try it, or even it was great, but I will say go try it for yourself. I gave 3 stars because that was my experience then. Now I heard it was much better then years ago

9 months ago

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John A Ward, AR

DO NOT USE Tracfone!!! My plan was set to expire in November 2023 and currently had 975 min, 822 texts, and 1.01 gigs of data remaining. Knowing I wouldn't use all of that, as this is a back up phone for work. I purchased a 1 year extension on May 20 carrying me until Nov of 2024. Out of the blue the other day I get an email stating my service was set to expire on July 29 unless I renew. (Where did that date come from??) So, I called Tracfone yesterday the 29th and spoke to Victor (Employee#518484) who assured me he had set my phone to reflect the correct expiration date 11/20/24 at midnight. I wake up this morning and you guessed it NO PHONE!!! Tracfone just stole $80.00 from me. The employees lie just to get you off the phone. If I could leave negative stars I would!! UPDATE 08/01/23: I spent 3 hrs on 07/30/23 speaking with Jenny, Mika, Aira, Jolo, & Jessica and 2 reps which I didn't catch their name. Each time having to explain the whole story over and over! They then transferred me to refunds where I was disconnected 4 times before anyone answered, spoke with Michelle twice (disconnected twice) , and Melanie who found the 1 year extension I purchased and was in the process of refunding when I was disconnected again! I can write off 1 disconnection, possibly even 2 but not 7! I have to believe this is a tactic your reps are told to use. As, I left a callback number and no one has called back! DO NOT USE TRACFONE!!! UPDATE: I spoke to TracFone regarding BBB complaint ID **** on 08/02/23. The person I spoke to said their system updated and couldn't confirm any information regarding my account. Or why it was turned off on a non-applicable date of 07/29/23.When confronted with the fact that my phone had been on for two yrs and I wanted to know how since I hadn't purchased minutes (Because I've purchased only extensions that they claim not to be able to see) His only answer to every question I had was the system updated and does everything and he couldn't see it! Absolutely pathetic company! I am not satisfied ! DO NOT USE TRACFONE!!!

9 months ago Edited August 2, 2023

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Eliphas Levi Racine, WI

After being a loyal customer for a couple of years, they switched to the Verizon network. I ordered my new SIM card, installed it, and nothing happened. I spent an hour on the store phone at Best Buy trying to get it to work. They tried so many codes it locked out my SIM card. Bought another one and nearly locked that one out, too, but I managed to get it to work with a 10 year old Tracfone I had laying around. Because suddenly my Samsung Galaxy S8+ phone wasn't compatible. This took another two and a half hours. Then they cancelled my service because I didn't pay, even though I've been on autopay since day one. Got the number reinstated. Will keep it long enough to move it to Mint Mobile. I couldn't understand tech support half the time, the other half they didn't know what they were doing. Tried the website today. It took them five minutes to ask me for my name and number after I stated my problem. After I gave it to them with no response, they said they were still waiting for it. Told them I already gave it to them. No more communication after that. 20 minutes of my day wasted. Worst experience ever.

10 months ago

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James Erie, PA

This company is the worst! The customer service is horrendous. If you made any complaints then they will erase your balance so that you would not make any phone calls. This company manipulated your balance and account to prevent you from making any complaints and calling their so-called, no-help, useless representatives, and managers. Be prepared to waste hours and go through 6 representatives before you get to the one rep that actually knows their job and how to do it. Their representatives refused to switch you to a manager so you could explain what happened. Then you might get someone if you are luky who claimed to be a manager and if you ask to speak to their supervisor and they claimed they are not allowed to transfer calls. Even if they can recover your balance, they will not give you as much as you had in your account before they erased it and you will be told you have to have whatever is left in the system. They manipulate your account, steal your balance, and force you to accept that because you can do nothing. Don't waste your time and money.

11 months ago

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Susan Bowes Aberdeen, WA

i have a trac phone and i love it i would recomend it i needed a phone and i picked tracfone it's a good phone ... it has a long lasting battery easy to use and a good price

1 year ago Edited December 6, 2022

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Who Knows Baltimore, MD

I loved TracFone! The service was always very reliable. Plus it was great having easy accessibility to refill minutes. Not to mention customer service was extremely helpful. I would definitely recommend this service to anyone looking for a prepaid phone that has great reliability.

1 year ago

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Tiffany Robinson Richmond, VA

They have nice phones for cheap and you can put any amount of money on your phone,when times is hard and you have a little money you put enough for you to make important calls

2 years ago

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Coral Brennauer

Good Snowbird option for Canadians. Huge learning curve- I got. SIM card at Best Buy but they didn’t explain that I needed to buy the Global call card . It works well once you get use to calling a 1800 or 305 number to connect long distance. You need the app to follow the phone usage. The chat feature is useless and call back is troublesome because the robot doesn’t register mobile phone selections. I will try it out for a while and see. I like having the local number.

2 years ago

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John Kohlberg Long Beach, MS

Good for if you want a cheap phone until you get a better one. It's a phone and there is nothing more I can say. Its not terrible buts its not good. It has everything a usual phone would but the camera quality is a bit bad and its slower than the upper class phones

4 years ago

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Tom

Generally very hap[py with it. Service staff are knowledgeable, friendly. I LIKE the pre-paid type service. Wish it would be easier to simpkly ADD data rather than having the pre-paid card divvied up among data, text and phone service.

5 years ago

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J.R. Seifert Sr. Jasonville, IN

Been a TF owner for just over 20 Yrs., TF Customer support service's are located outside of The United States, where all support staff are scripted, very poorly trained, & articulate the English language poorly. In my professional opinion, TF, has reduced the quality of customer service & technical support, in response to the fines imposed on TF, by The United States. This being said; the phones are good enough to call/text & search the web. I travel, so I rarely find issues with bar reduction or roaming. Conclusion, Buy 1, if it breaks, buy another 1. NEVER buy 1 online, Wal-Mart should be option 1, & read & follow the activation process exactly, or you will be very dissatisfied with your customer service experience.

5 years ago

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Ms. KoKo MA

I've had family mobile for almost a decade. When Tracfone took control of Family mobile, it was a rough rough transition. But the did many things to try and fix it and keep their customers. Today they have gotten better with customer service and are always available to help you!!!

2 years ago

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Sara McCreery Brooklyn, NY

I’ve been a customer of tracfone for years. It’s easy and convenient to pay for my bill and know how much data I’m using. I can even get cloud space now which is awesome. I have had other providers and I have not been impressed. This is easy to use easy to buy minutes Everything. The only downfall and it might have to do with something else, sometimes I loose LTE or 4g network and it runs off 3g which just blows.

2 years ago

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Marlene Coville Blakeslee, PA

I love TracFone have had them for well over 20 years. I never have an issue with their service. Sometimes they are hard to transfer the service over to your phone but for the most part I have not had a problem. I would not have had them for a company for so long if I did not like them.

2 years ago

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41BUICK Dahlonega, GA

Customer service and rates are awesome. Always ready to help if a problem. Treat you like a customer, NOT a number. ONLY complaint: when switching from Straight Talk to Tracfone, I couldn't keep my #. Don't understand this, since they are the same company!

3 years ago

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A. Taylor Panama City, FL

Trac Fone has been a fallback system for me at times. A great filler between other systems contracts. The best thing is the flexibility of the TracFone platform and the ability to choose a minutes/serviceplan that suits your own needs.

3 years ago

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Alaskan Bev Chugiak, AK

A little over two years ago, my two-year-old Tracfone wore itself out so I replaced it with a new Tracfone. I had used Tracfones for over a decade and had no major problems with them. My new phone had an incredible Triple Your Minutes for Life offer (TML), published on the front of the box and verified by the counter technician. I used the phone, was happy with it, ordered 1,500 minutes and received my expected 4,500 minutes, and all was well. When I used up most of my time and was down to perhaps 200 minutes, I went online to order more time but could not figure out how to be sure the connected TML would take effect. I ordered the 1,500 minutes anyway and the bill was for nearly as much as I normally pay for my 4,500 minutes - but was only for around 1,000 or 1,200 minutes. I tried the Chat line feature for the Tracfone website and was initially told that my order would be corrected. It was not. I called the Tracfone live conversation and was told that "This offer is no longer being honored." I was irate. "My Tracfone box says right on the front, 'Triple Your Minutes for Life.' Life means the life of the phone! My phone is only a couple of months old! It still works fine. I want the offer I have paid for and expect." I received the same explanation as before. I looked up the CEO's name and address online and wrote to him explaining the issue. No response. I decided I was done with Tracfone and went to Straight Talk. They deduct a certain amount from my credit card on autopay, I have excellent service, and the phone is fine. Straight Talk is connected to Tracfone, but the service and phones are much more satisfactory. Just be aware that what Tracfone offers may not be what you expect or receive.

3 years ago

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Jincey Lafayette, LA

The Bring Your Own Phone works with the newest iPhone models and is very economical for those who don't use their phone a lot so need unlimited minutes, etc. No contracts, just pay as you go, and the coverage uses major cell phone towers. Pay for what you use only.

3 years ago

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Freddie McCain, Jr. Jacksonville, FL

I've had TracFone for ten years. After I retired, I realized that my previous plan was a waste of money because of un-used roll over minutes plus extra fees. I also realized that I did not use the cell phone as much. TracFone was the right plan for me because I only pay for what I use.

3 years ago Edited September 14, 2021

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Brenda Mertes Houston, TX

Tracphone was my very first phone use. I recall being a teenager, excited to buy my first phone. The games for my generation were fun and relaxing. I never had any problems with the phone itself. It did exactly what it was intended to do: make call, text a little, and have a few games.

4 years ago

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Sierra Beck Herriman, UT

I used TracFone years ago when I was getting my very first phone. I had just the simple keypad phone and just a couple of minutes so I could text for a ride home from work. It always worked just fine for me and was a good plan for the price because I needed so few minutes

4 years ago

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Angela Nelson Pleasant Grove, UT

We used TracFone as the first phones for our kids when they were younger. They had texting phones that they could use to text or call (they didn't need internet service) and it worked well because they had to watch their usage since it was prepaid. It helped them to be aware of how much they were using their phones and also helped them get used to carrying and keeping up with their phones. I recommend this product and service for kids or for anyone who doesn't need heavy usage. Customer service was not great, however.

5 years ago

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Lauren Maddock Pleasant Grove, UT

We used TracFone when my kids were traveling to Texas to visit relatives. It was the perfect balance for us. It gave them access to call us when they needed, yet we weren't stuck in any contracts. Its a great option when you are needing temporary access to a phone!

5 years ago

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tini mapu Orem, UT

I got a tracFone for my nephew. It was perfect for what we needed. We added minutes so he can call for emergencies and call for rides. We didn't put internet on it and it was safe for him. It was a perfect phone for a kid. We didn't have an extra bill. Just add minutes when needed and texting was available. I really love it.

5 years ago

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Aaron Anderson

Reliable network, excellent coverage, outstanding customer service. Highly recommended cell phone provider!

6 months ago Edited November 20, 2023

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Jay

When I renewed my service plan online, I noticed that they tax me at a rate of 8%. I reside in Delaware County, Pa. The tax rate is 6%. I attempted to call customer service but that was a waste of time. I then went online to chat with a rep named Marjorie, she was as rude as can be, when I informed her what happened. It may seem like a small amount to one customer, but if they do this to everyone, a Class Action lawsuit should be considered. When you checkout please check the tax amount on your purchases.

9 months ago

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Ron Joy Ft. Washington, MD

Website and account is virtually impossible to use from the ACTUAL LGL58 TRACFONE I bought from THEM and only able to navigate from a metro pcs 10 year old phone I keep in a junk drawer. Customer service is only good for incurring stress as the representatives are untrained in anything past adding airtime. I only keep it because it's cheapest around ... I guess I'm getting what I paid for.

10 months ago

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Sheila Burns Dickson, TN

I purchased a TracFone for my elderly mother. It was a great purchase for her because it is simple and convenient to use. We both have been pleased with it so far.

1 year ago

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Galina Ledet Oklahoma City, OK

Activated service on Monday. Phone could not make calls on Tuesday and 1GB of data had disappeared even though mobile data was off. Wasted an hour with trying to understand support from Mars. Finally got corporate office support that got the phone to work for 12 hours. Called the Martians back on Wednesday and wasted another hour of my life that I can never get back until they finally got it working again for 15 more hours. Called back Thursday and wasted another hour but this time I apparently run out of phone lives because they could not reset. They used a corporate line on me this time and claimed there was a service issue in my area that they're working on and to wait 24 hours with no service and see if it works on Friday. I said this is unacceptable and I want a refund. Agent said since data was used they could not issue a refund even though mobile data had been turned off the whole time I had tracfone. Unless you enjoy talking to people you can't understand every day then I advise avoiding this company.

1 year ago

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Kathleen LaFratta Fall River, MA

Worst cell carrier in the biz in my opinion! Their website is chock full of lies, and they do not give a hoot about the BBB. I bought two cell phones from them 3 months apart, they have a points system where your supposed to get 7,000 points added to your account when you add your second line......HAH! Try to get those points. Your also supposed to get 250 points with every auto refill, but you will never see them. The points are good for a free month of service when you reach 10,000. So they don't want to give them to you. Lousy spotty service at best. I wish I had gone with someone else and as soon as I have time to look I will.

2 years ago

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Jim Bullhead City, AZ

I thought at first it would be a so so service and cheap. I was wrong. Phone is great , helpful service and great value. I would recommend it over their competitors!

2 years ago

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buggy crazy Clatskanie, OR

Alcatel MyFlip A405DL This is supposed to be an easy phone but they put too much smart phone crap on it and made it so complicated it is nearly impossible to use. If I wanted a smart phone I would use one, I want a phone that works. This came with a voice that took and hour to figure out how to shut it up. It doesn't get a signal where I live like my old 3G did (same ATT tower). I cannot save contacts to SIM so the first time I wash this or drop it in the creek I lose everyone, it has very difficult and complicated voicemail. Everything is nearly impossible to find that I need, and I don't need much. What I need is a PHONE, not a computer! And i cannot hear it and have yet to figure out how to turn on the speaker! So now I have no phone to use and I wasted hours and hours of time and trouble, and money. And a 24 hour (so far) migraine from trying to make it work, which it just doesn't. Eventually you will get a non english speaking human on the phone but in my case i have to travel or use my soon to be killed 3G phone since this gets no signal where I live.

2 years ago Edited January 27, 2022

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Don

Good company, fine customer service. They have an excellent website, and keep track of my used minutes. Yearly "stock-up" on minutes at a very reasonable price.

4 years ago

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Zachariah Lloyd Norfolk, VA

Tracfone is an almost criminal organization that has a terrible network, horrible products, and ridiculous so called "Support".... About half the time, you cannot even complete a phone call without a stupid error message telling you contact customer service, yeah right, and the other half you are having your Mobile Data balance drained to nothing by some stupid phone app that is never used.... Trying to contact customer service is a trial of attempting to get the ignorant robot that answers the call to let you speak to a live agent, who also will be of no help whatsoever, and wasting 30 of your minutes begging and pleading with the stupid recording to transfer you to an agent.... "We're sorry, we are unable to complete your call at this time, please contact customer service at *611 for assistance" So, you dial *611, in an attempt to get the assistance suggested, but instead of a customer support representative, you get a recorded message that transfers you to another robot, and that robot has an almost endless list of choices to choose from, none of which includes speak to an agent. After arguing with this robot for 1/2 an hour, they might finally transfer you to a human being, but not guaranteed. You might be forced to deal with the robot only, and never get your problem solved.... So, you can try to get them by chat, but you will likely get a message saying they are experiencing high chat volumes, and telling you to try again later.... Tracfone, like most scam organizations, does everything they can to make themselves inaccessible, because they KNOW their service is terrible, and glitched. As a result, you are often left to just take it, and deal with whatever does or does not work.... STAY AWAY from this company, they are ridiculous!!

4 years ago