I've now had my tracfone for about 7 months. For a while it was 100% free because I would refer other people through a web site
and get free minutes. But that program has been discontinued.
We use a total of about 10 minutes per month, and it's been pretty useful.
However, if something goes wrong, it's one more thing for which you have to call tech support. Email support questions usually come back with a "Call tech support" reply.
One thing that I can say for cell phones is that they eliminate the "NO, I said we'd meet at the store on FIFTH street!" problems.