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Old 01-30-2012, 10:33 AM   #21
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Thanks all for the info...

We are at an impasse as my wife wants one of the expensive phones and I just want to get a cheap $20 phone to replace the one she has...
Net10 & Straight Talk (same company as Tracfone) have LG Optimus 3G Android phones now, though they are $150-180 I think LG Optimus Net(TM). A way to have an actual "smartphone," still no contract and relatively inexpensive. However, I have not actually used one so I don't know how they perform. And I'm sure they won't match the performance of an iPhone 4S or a 4G Android though but those require contracts and significantly higher minimum costs/month - as usual, you get what you pay for more often than not. Good luck.

I'd like to have the latest iPhone myself, I'm just way too cheap.
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:10 AM   #22
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As to others who have posted here.... yes, it is much simplier overseas... my BIL has a phone and when he visits a country he goes and buys a SIM for the local country and uses that... he can switch out which SIM he needs based on rates etc... we just do not have that kind of system...
Actually, we do - it's just that some carriers place artificial restrictions on it.


I've swapped SIM cards across & between my T-Mobile and ATT/Cingular phones just as your BIL has done.

A couple caveats - the SIM will only swap between GSM based phones, that is the standard in most Europe/UK countries, but in the US, some carriers use CDMA instead of GSM. The phones probably need to be unlocked (you can buy unlocked phones, or call the carrier for an unlock code - you generally need to own the phone and have service for some period of time before they will unlock them).

But once you have unlocked GSM phones, you can swap as many and as often as you like. To your carrier, your SIM identifies you, the phone is just the hardware you are using to access them.

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Old 01-31-2012, 07:22 AM   #23
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Just a note on SIM swapping on newer phones.

I just received an upgraded phone from T-Mobile (had them for many, many years and VoiceStream before they came on).

With my last upgrade (over six years ago ), all I had to do was transfer the exising SIM card from the old to the new handset.

Can't do that with this model, since it uses a new micro SIM card (it's a Windows phone - Lumia 710).

Just an FYI, depending on model you are working with...
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:43 AM   #24
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We have had several Tracfones over the years. One hitch we have encountered is that they cannot transfer minutes from the old phone to the new one if the old phone is dead. The minutes are stored in the phone. You may be able to find someone in the organization who can/will give you a break on this.
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Old 01-31-2012, 08:44 AM   #25
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I have had a Tracfone for years. I buy a new one year card every year and always have minutes left over at the end of the year. Good service for around $9 a month seems about right to me. I could do a commercial for Tracfone.

"Hi, are you a cheap grouchy old bastard like me? Do you hate people? Do you hate phones? Do you especially hate talking to people on the phone? Well alrighty, TRACFONE IS FOR YOU!"

My old, make that ancient Tracfone was getting kind of ratty looking (well actually VERY ratty looking) so I just got a new one. The new phone is a Samsung 404 includes webbrowsing but is too small for casual surfing. Kind of a good thing so that I do not use many minutes. The switch moving minutes and old number from the old phone to new phone using the Tracfone website was dirt simple. The new phone cost $50 but includes triple minutes whenever I buy them for life. I will never use all these minutes.
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Old 01-31-2012, 08:46 AM   #26
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The new phone is a Samsung 404 includes web browsing....
If I were designing a device that did web browsing, I don't think I'd name it the 404...
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Old 01-31-2012, 08:52 AM   #27
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If I were designing a device that did web browsing, I don't think I'd name it the 404...
Good point.
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Old 01-31-2012, 08:53 AM   #28
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We have had several Tracfones over the years. One hitch we have encountered is that they cannot transfer minutes from the old phone to the new one if the old phone is dead. The minutes are stored in the phone. You may be able to find someone in the organization who can/will give you a break on this.
Another plus for T-Mobile. The minutes travel with the SIM. Swap SIM, done.

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I have had a Tracfone for years. I could do a commercial for Tracfone.

"hi, are you a grouchy old bastard like me? Do you hate people? Do you hate spending money? Do you hate phones? Do you especially hate spending money to talk to people on the phone? Then TRACFONE IS FOR YOU!"
That's my demographic!

I was at an event recently, and a friend pulls out the same phone I have - I told him, 'We are a dying breed, dumb-phones for us, we just want to make and receive an occasional call.' I'll surf the web when I get home.


-ERD50
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Old 01-31-2012, 09:02 AM   #29
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That's my demographic!

I was at an event recently, and a friend pulls out the same phone I have - I told him, 'We are a dying breed, dumb-phones for us, we just want to make and receive an occasional call.' I'll surf the web when I get home.


If I was one bit cheaper or grouchier I would not even have a cell phone.
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Old 01-31-2012, 09:29 AM   #30
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I have a tracfone for DW and a couple that I help my BIL and SIL keep active. Recently SIL dropped hers in the ocean and even though it remained submerged for a few hours, it eventually died. I transferred the service and minutes to a new phone for her without any problems. They said I had to enter a bunch of stuff into the old (dead) phone but after telling them that the old phone is dead due to being saturated with salt water, they relented and let me add the months of service and minutes to a new phone (without accessing the old dead phone). If the first CSR can't/won't do it after pressing them, call back and try with a new CSR. There is also an executive resolution line that apparently puts you in touch with a higher level of CSR, some of which even have American English accents instead of heavy Spanish accent as I usually get.

OP, your situation was exactly like mine so you should be able to transfer the service to a new phone. Also, check online for buying phones, you might be able to order one straight from Tracfone with a free 3 months 60 minutes card included for $20 (and free shipping). And there are coupon codes for another $3-5 off of that.
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:01 AM   #31
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I've also transferred minutes from a dead tracfone.

I've got a great strategy for getting the most airtime. It involves buying the minimum minutes then supersizing by adding year. I'll post details when I'm at my regular computer.

And don't forget that my tracfone went through the laundry and survived.
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:09 PM   #32
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Here are my notes on the best way to get a lot of airtime without buying a lot of minutes.
Purchase a minimum number of minutes, then, on the next page, supersize by adding 365 days of air time. Note that the total charge shown on the page may not show the supersizing. When you click the Checkout button, it will complete the transaction.
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:41 PM   #33
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Here are my notes on the best way to get a lot of airtime without buying a lot of minutes.
Purchase a minimum number of minutes, then, on the next page, supersize by adding 365 days of air time. Note that the total charge shown on the page may not show the supersizing. When you click the Checkout button, it will complete the transaction.

I will try that when I transfer from Virgin to Tracfone... I still have money on Virgin and do not want to lose it...

Just got off the phone with Tracfone and bought the high priced phone What I do for the DW

BUT, they charged me shipping and taxes

They did say that we can transfer the old phone number and minutes to the new phone... I asked how many we had and he said about 600, so they do keep track of that info.. also, I know what to expect when we get to that point..
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:06 PM   #34
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I will try that when I transfer from Virgin to Tracfone... I still have money on Virgin and do not want to lose.
I must have missed something, I assumed you and your DW both had Tracfones. I would be very, very surprised if you were able to transfer remaining "money on Virgin" to Tracfone. I'd guess that will be lost so you might as well use up your Virgin money and then go to Tracfone. You will be able to transfer your cell number, but that's it...
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:17 PM   #35
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I must have missed something, I assumed you and your DW both had Tracfones. I would be very, very surprised if you were able to transfer remaining "money on Virgin" to Tracfone. I'd guess that will be lost so you might as well use up your Virgin money and then go to Tracfone. You will be able to transfer your cell number, but that's it...

You just did not understand what I wrote... she has Tracfone, I have Virgin... her phone blew up... mine did not... we are replacing Tracfone with Tracfone.

I have been using up my minutes and when I get low enough, I will buy a Tracfone for myself... I do not mind losing a little, but had over $50 on the account when I decided to leave Virgin... still have over $30 and will have to put another $15 on in Feb before I get it down... since I usually only use mine in the city, it works for me. I just do not like them since they decided to not help out my mom who had $170 on her phone and she did not put more money on it.... they said 'it it to late, she lost the money, but we can start her over again'.... no thanks...
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:08 AM   #36
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I'm in a similar position with Virgin, only I have $235 in credit. I thought maybe I could get a smart phone and burn off the credit using remote web access, but they appear to have a firewall between the so called "Paylo" prepaid text / voice and the "Beyond Talk" smart phone service. Any phone with Android capability seems to fall into the other service category and my credit is unusable.
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:49 PM   #37
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My tracfone days expire in March. I just went ahead and bought another year's worth of time (1 Year + 400 mins card). I'll get 800 mins though as I have the double minutes for life thing.

Question. When extending, will that extend 1 year from the previous expiration date, or 1 year from the day I did the extension?

In otherwords, do I need to wait til just before the time expires to milk out the number of days before next expiration? Or can I just add it when it get the card and not lose any days in the process?
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:52 PM   #38
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My tracfone days expire in March. I just went ahead and bought another year's worth of time (1 Year + 400 mins card). I'll get 800 mins though as I have the double minutes for life thing.

Question. When extending, will that extend 1 year from the previous expiration date, or 1 year from the day I did the extension?

In otherwords, do I need to wait til just before the time expires to milk out the number of days before next expiration? Or can I just add it when it get the card and not lose any days in the process?

It will add 1 year from your previous expiration date, so you can add time whenever.
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:18 PM   #39
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Thanks. Makes thing easier as when I renewed last year, I waited until the time almost expired and didn't pay attention as to when the time got extended from.
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:15 PM   #40
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My tracfone days expire in March. I just went ahead and bought another year's worth of time (1 Year + 400 mins card). I'll get 800 mins though as I have the double minutes for life thing.

Question. When extending, will that extend 1 year from the previous expiration date, or 1 year from the day I did the extension?

In otherwords, do I need to wait til just before the time expires to milk out the number of days before next expiration? Or can I just add it when it get the card and not lose any days in the process?

As mentioned, it extends from the last expiration....

The one good thing about buying the more expensive phone is that it is triple minutes for life... so I might get by with less $$$s going forward...
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