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Tracfone Newbie Needs Your Help
Old 08-05-2015, 02:23 PM   #1
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Tracfone Newbie Needs Your Help

Thanks for taking the time

About me:
I'm a very light phone user. My sprint plan that expires @ midnight (june 6th) gave me 400 minutes monthly & most months I had around 200 minutes left.
*However, my minute usage will definitely go up when I drop my landline*
(I used the landline for all business calls)

Internet was unlimited, but I still didn't use it that much.
*I may use the net more with this plan because the phone itself will be a huge upgrade over my trusty, but totally antiquated Palm Treo 755p*

I'm looking at this tracfone & plan:
LG Ultimate 2 Android Smartphone with Car Charger, Case, 1200 Minutes and Triple Minutes for Life | HSN

Since I'm a complete newbie when it comes to tracfones, I have several questions:

#1: Phone comes bundled with the following: 1200 minutes, 1200 texts and 1200MB of data + 365 days of service (400 minutes, texts and data tripled)
Question: If I'm on the phone posting here at the forum, I would only be using the 'data' part of the plan & not using any of the 1200 minutes or texts. True or False

#2: Hypothetical Question: I purchase the phone & activate it on August 15th 2015.
Exactly one year later, miraculously, I've used exactly 1200 minutes, sent 1200 texts & used 1200MB of data.
In this scenario, would my total cost for the year have been the $119.95 purchase price plus sales tax ?

#2b: If the above answer is yes, would my only expense going forward be adding minutes texts & data ?
If so, how much does it cost ? I've done a little research here & understand it costs around .10 cents per minute ?

#3: I mentioned sales tax on the original purchase, but what about other taxes that are added to all phone plans ?
I know taxes on my landline & my sprint bill are substantial. Are they built in ?

#4: If I limited the time @ data hogging sites like YouTube, approximately how much web time would 100MB of monthly data allow me ?

#5: The HSN add states: Wireless coverage is not guaranteed in all areas
I live in south central Minnesota. Hoping someone from the area could comment on the coverage here.

Thanks in advance!

Steve
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Old 08-05-2015, 03:31 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ownyourfuture View Post
Thanks for taking the time

About me:
I'm a very light phone user. My sprint plan that expires @ midnight (june 6th) gave me 400 minutes monthly & most months I had around 200 minutes left.
*However, my minute usage will definitely go up when I drop my landline*
(I used the landline for all business calls)

Internet was unlimited, but I still didn't use it that much.
*I may use the net more with this plan because the phone itself will be a huge upgrade over my trusty, but totally antiquated Palm Treo 755p*

I'm looking at this tracfone & plan:
LG Ultimate 2 Android Smartphone with Car Charger, Case, 1200 Minutes and Triple Minutes for Life | HSN

Since I'm a complete newbie when it comes to tracfones, I have several questions:

#1: Phone comes bundled with the following: 1200 minutes, 1200 texts and 1200MB of data + 365 days of service (400 minutes, texts and data tripled)
Question: If I'm on the phone posting here at the forum, I would only be using the 'data' part of the plan & not using any of the 1200 minutes or texts. True or False

#2: Hypothetical Question: I purchase the phone & activate it on August 15th 2015.
Exactly one year later, miraculously, I've used exactly 1200 minutes, sent 1200 texts & used 1200MB of data.
In this scenario, would my total cost for the year have been the $119.95 purchase price plus sales tax ?

#2b: If the above answer is yes, would my only expense going forward be adding minutes texts & data ?
If so, how much does it cost ? I've done a little research here & understand it costs around .10 cents per minute ?

#3: I mentioned sales tax on the original purchase, but what about other taxes that are added to all phone plans ?
I know taxes on my landline & my sprint bill are substantial. Are they built in ?

#4: If I limited the time @ data hogging sites like YouTube, approximately how much web time would 100MB of monthly data allow me ?

#5: The HSN add states: Wireless coverage is not guaranteed in all areas
I live in south central Minnesota. Hoping someone from the area could comment on the coverage here.

Thanks in advance!

Steve
#1 True... all are separate

#2 Yes

#2B... you can buy at low as $20 per 90 days... take a look at their website and determine what you want... if you matched exactly the 1200, I think you can get another year for $100... some have said you can get it cheaper at other places... I have never looked.

#3 There are no other costs you pay ongoing... all costs are paid upfront... I do not remember if there was other charges.... Just checked... I did pay a bit more than 70cents for fees on my last $70 purchase..

#4 No clue... I do not use data... DW has unlimited and I use hers... I will use mine in an emergency if she is not around, but I do not monitor it...

#5 Again, no clue... check Verizon coverage as I think they are on that network
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Old 08-05-2015, 03:49 PM   #3
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100mb is not much at all, 1200 not much better. for comparison, I have a mobile BB device I use winters snowbirding with my laptop. use it much as you might use yours (or a pc) at home - email, news sites, facebook couple times a day, etc; not a web junkie, but spend daily time on it.
I have a Verizon plan that allows me 5G a month, and for those 4-5 months, I usually go over (@$10/G) every month 1 or 2 gigs
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Old 08-05-2015, 04:01 PM   #4
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If you are a heavy data user Tracfone is probably not what you want. I only check email, stocks and weather when not on Wifi and keep mobile data turned off until I want to use it. I will probably not use the 1200 mb of data each year. Tracfone uses AT&T and Verizon networks depending upon where you are located. If either works in your area you should be OK. I believe T-Mobile has a $25/mo plan.
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Old 08-05-2015, 04:05 PM   #5
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You can also get better deals on Tracfones and yearly plan package on Ebay. There are also better phones than the one you are looking at if they are available in your area.
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Old 08-05-2015, 04:31 PM   #6
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I have that phone, with triple minutes, but went for a lower initial cost, by just adding a 60-minute card. Come to think of it, I should have gone HSN. Oh well.

I have mine on wifi, but don't use it hardly. If you have a wireless connection in your house, be sure to use that.
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Old 08-05-2015, 04:37 PM   #7
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My wife recently got a Tracfone just like you're talking about. She's never been active online via computer or talked much on a cell phone. Since getting the Tracfone, she's been a Facebook monster staying up late nights--and buying stuff on the internet.

She went through her Tracfone data long before running out of time on talk and text. But we just bought her an additional $20 data online this afternoon.

With triple minutes, a decent cellphone and 1200 minutes time to use up, you cannot go wrong with this Tracfone offer. If you chunk the phone when your talk and text minutes are used up, you've already got your money's worth. Chances are that you'll just purchase more time online when you've used your 1200 minutes. Only difference is that the time purchased will expire in 90 days if not used by then.

I hate to think how much my daughter has spent with AT&T Cellular, I cannot believe how much I could have saved with Tracfone. But she's got to have the newest and best phones--and the Samsung is the only phone that will hold up to her hard usage. She seldom talks--just texts about 75 words per minute.

In our case, the local Tracfone servicer is AT&T and they have superior service and phone quality in our immediate region. Cell service varies from place to place, but we're good with the Tracfone quality in our area.
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Old 08-05-2015, 05:49 PM   #8
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Just last week I updated my old Tracfone flip phone to an LG android phone with lifetime triple minutes. I purchased from Walmart because they added on 200 extra minutes of talk, 200 extra texts and 200MB additional data just for buying thru them. I am not much for texting and don't plan to go on line unless necessary when traveling. I was told that any extra minutes of talk roll over after the one year but any unused text and data do not roll over.
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom52 View Post
Just last week I updated my old Tracfone flip phone to an LG android phone with lifetime triple minutes. I purchased from Walmart because they added on 200 extra minutes of talk, 200 extra texts and 200MB additional data just for buying thru them. I am not much for texting and don't plan to go on line unless necessary when traveling. I was told that any extra minutes of talk roll over after the one year but any unused text and data do not roll over.
When I bought my LG Android phone I had 4,000 minutes on my old dumb phone and I got 4K voice, 4K text and 4 GB of data added to my new phone.
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:28 PM   #10
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Just as an FYI... when you buy air online they give you the option of buying an extra year of time for $50... since I had plenty of time left on my phone I purchased a $20 and the extra year... so got 15 months...

Then they messed up and did not give me my extra year... so had to call and wait on hold... got passed to someone else etc. etc.... but in the end they messed up again and gave me two years... so I am good to go until the middle of 2017.... I wonder if my minutes will last...
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Old 08-05-2015, 07:02 PM   #11
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I've had a good experience with Tracfone the last few years. If you have WiFi access at home or elsewhere data is not too much of an issue. When you need to use data do so and just turn it off when finished. In short, data useage has not been an issue. Btw, I'm issuing this post on my LG Tracfone via my home WiFi.

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Old 08-05-2015, 07:55 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the replies
Very informative & helpful

I have couple follow-up questions, but don't have time now.
Will post tomorrow.

Thanks again!
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Old 08-06-2015, 06:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ownyourfuture View Post
I'm looking at this tracfone & plan:
LG Ultimate 2 Android Smartphone with Car Charger, Case, 1200 Minutes and Triple Minutes for Life | HSN

Since I'm a complete newbie when it comes to tracfones, I have several questions:

#2: Hypothetical Question: I purchase the phone & activate it on August 15th 2015.
Exactly one year later, miraculously, I've used exactly 1200 minutes, sent 1200 texts & used 1200MB of data.
In this scenario, would my total cost for the year have been the $119.95 purchase price plus sales tax ?

#2b: If the above answer is yes, would my only expense going forward be adding minutes texts & data ?
If so, how much does it cost ? I've done a little research here & understand it costs around .10 cents per minute ?

#3: I mentioned sales tax on the original purchase, but what about other taxes that are added to all phone plans ?
I know taxes on my landline & my sprint bill are substantial. Are they built in ?

Thanks in advance!

Steve
#2 Yes, but I did not have to pay sales tax on my order. Also, I started at the Ebates shopping portal for an additional discount and used an HSN coupon code for another discount. I was able to use the $20 off $40 coupon as a first time customer.

#2b $20 refills extend the expiration 90 days and triple the 60 units to 180 min/texts/MB. The one year extension refills can be bought for $80-85 on eBay and still triple to 1200 min/texts/MB.

#3 If you purchase the refills from Tracfone or a brick and mortar store, you will pay sales tax and a 911 fee if your state has one. The 911 fee is $0.63 in my state. You can avoid both by purchasing the refills on eBay or an online reseller like CallingMart.

This phone uses the Verizon network. When you click 'check coverage' on HSN you get a popup to check the Verizon network for your zip code.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamaman View Post
With triple minutes, a decent cellphone and 1200 minutes time to use up, you cannot go wrong with this Tracfone offer. If you chunk the phone when your talk and text minutes are used up, you've already got your money's worth. Chances are that you'll just purchase more time online when you've used your 1200 minutes. Only difference is that the time purchased will expire in 90 days if not used by then.
The 400 unit refills that triple to 1200 extend the expiration by one year. Unused units from minute/text/data combo refills roll over if you refill before expiration.
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Old 08-06-2015, 11:06 AM   #14
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I thought text was part of the minutes, not a separate portion of the Tracfone plan. Each text message sent or received = 1/3 minute. (I almost never use data. I've experimented a little bit with my phone's wifi ability, but use my Samsung tablet more.)
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Old 08-06-2015, 11:43 AM   #15
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I thought text was part of the minutes, not a separate portion of the Tracfone plan. Each text message sent or received = 1/3 minute. (I almost never use data. I've experimented a little bit with my phone's wifi ability, but use my Samsung tablet more.)
If you have a "non-smart" phone, you are correct. For those, talk, text, and data all come out of the same bucket and the "cost" of each text depends on the actual phone. They also have access to bonus codes for additional minutes.

The OP was asking about a smart phone. They use three separate "buckets" for talk/text/data. The bonus codes don't work on their smart phones.

Quote:
3. AIRTIME VOICE AND TEXT MESSAGING RATES
Feature Phones: TracFone airtime is issued in unit increments. All calls are charged at a rate of one (1) unit per minute. With some older TRACFONE models, roaming calls (refer to the Roaming Section of these Terms) are charged at the rate of two (2) units per minute. There is no additional charge for nationwide long distance or for international long distance to countries designated at tracfone.com. The rate to send or receive a text message varies by TRACFONE model and is disclosed on your TRACFONE package. For most feature phones, the rate to send or open a text message is 0.3 units.
Smartphones: Smartphones have separate buckets of units for voice calls, text messaging and data usage and have the triple minute feature. For example, a 60 minute Pay As You Go TracFone card redeemed on a Smartphone will provide 180 minutes for voice, 180 text messages and 180 MB of data. Voice calls are charged at the rate of one (1) unit per minute. Text messages are charged at the rate of one (1) unit per text. Data is charged based on actual usage.
Source: http://sale.tracfone.com/terms.html
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Old 08-06-2015, 01:05 PM   #16
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ATTN Bikerdude:
"I only check email, stocks and weather when not on Wifi and keep mobile data turned off until I want to use it"


That is basically all I'd use it for also.


ATTN target2019: "If you have a wireless connection in your house, be sure to use that"

When I'm @ home & want go on the web, I prefer my 24" IMAC screen, but thanks for the input


ATTN Bamaman:
"Chances are that you'll just purchase more time online when you've used your 1200 minutes. Only difference is that the time purchased will expire in 90 days if not used by then"


So if I buy the phone & six months from now I've used all minutes & data, & order more, whatever amount I order will have to be used in 90 days ?

PS: As an AT&T shareholder, please thank your daughter for me


ATTN Tom52:
"I was told that any extra minutes of talk roll over after the one year but any unused text and data do not roll over"


Thanks, I'll ask about this when I order.


ATTN Texas Proud:
"Then they messed up and did not give me my extra year... so had to call and wait on hold... got passed to someone else etc. etc.... but in the end they messed up again and gave me two years... so I am good to go until the middle of 2017.... I wonder if my minutes will last...


Was this from Tracfone, HSN, Wal-Mart, somewhere else, ?


ATTN SCGamecock:
"If you purchase the refills from Tracfone or a brick and mortar store, you will pay sales tax and a 911 fee if your state has one. The 911 fee is $0.63 in my state. You can avoid both by purchasing the refills on eBay or an online reseller like CallingMart. This phone uses the Verizon network. When you click 'check coverage' on HSN you get a popup to check the Verizon network for your zip code.


Thanks for the refills/tax info, & the AIRTIME VOICE AND TEXT MESSAGING RATES info from tracfone:

I checked & it does have coverage at my location.


Thanks to all who replied
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Old 08-06-2015, 03:02 PM   #17
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I can see a couple of answers that were either wrong or confused you...

All bucket roll over... minutes/texts/data...


If you use all your minutes in the fist 6 months and buy more airtime, the 90 days are added on the end.... you do NOT lose those other 6 months...

As I mentioned, they messed up on me... I have over 3K minutes, texts and 3g data and my end date is Oct 2017.... so I would know of what I speak...
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Old 08-06-2015, 04:19 PM   #18
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To use tracfone you have to have an active phone ( days of service is not expired ) and minutes. So when you buy a card it come with minutes and days of service, either one can run out. The minutes all rollover. I'm a light user, never run out of minutes. In the past I have bought a 60 minute card and added 365 days of service at checkout on the tracfone site.

Tracfone piggybacks on main carriers, so depending on your zip you may get verizon or AT&T networks ( and determines what phones you can use ). Go to tracfones web site and use the buy phone wizard, it will ask for zip code and show you what phones are available for you.

Also ebay may be a better deal than HSN ( it was for mine ) and the one year card on ebay is about $80
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Old 08-06-2015, 05:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ownyourfuture View Post
ATTN target2019: "If you have a wireless connection in your house, be sure to use that"

When I'm @ home & want go on the web, I prefer my 24" IMAC screen, but thanks for the input
My point was, use your wireless connection for data at home. You've paid that fee, so any data access you need can be had for free through your wireless connection. Be sure to adjust settings so that your apps, etc. are downloaded through wifi, not tracfone. Why waste data minutes if you don't have to?

Psst. Wanna make calls for free? Look into Whatsapp. Download the app to your phone. Get an account. Talk and message people who use Whatsapp through your wifi connection. I talked for over an hour to someone in Australia using Whatsapp.
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Old 08-07-2015, 05:24 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by ownyourfuture View Post
ATTN Bamaman:
"Chances are that you'll just purchase more time online when you've used your 1200 minutes. Only difference is that the time purchased will expire in 90 days if not used by then"


So if I buy the phone & six months from now I've used all minutes & data, & order more, whatever amount I order will have to be used in 90 days ?


ATTN Tom52:
"I was told that any extra minutes of talk roll over after the one year but any unused text and data do not roll over"


Thanks, I'll ask about this when I order.

(snip)
ATTN SCGamecock:
"This phone uses the Verizon network. When you click 'check coverage' on HSN you get a popup to check the Verizon network for your zip code."


I checked & it does have coverage at my location.
Tracfone has 30 day, 90 day, and 365 day refill products. These extend your original expiration date even if you run out of units before then.
Source: https://www.tracfone.com/direct/Purc...ACFONE&lang=en

Unused minutes/texts/data roll over as long as you refill before the expiration date.
Quote:
With Unlimited Carryover®, your unused minutes, texts and data never expires as long as your service is active and in use within each six month period.
Source: Back To School Specials | No Contract Cell Phones | TracFone

I also suggest going to Verizon's website and checking their coverage map for areas you travel along.

Verizon Prepaid Coverage Map: Coverage Locator
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