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mm
I Did It My Way
Premium
join:2001-04-07
Summerville, SC
kudos:1

Tracfone message 911 only

I have a Tracfone for my Mom. She recently moved to the Summerville, SC area and she is getting an occasional message when she tries to call me "for emergency use only". The phone has all 5 bars for signal strength. She has plenty of minutes on her plan.

I also tried the phone with the same message. I rebooted it and then it started working as normal but the problem keeps coming back. Is this because she moved and I need to get her a different phone or SIM card for this area?


bitemeboy

join:2005-04-06
Otego, NY
How many minutes does the phone show that she has? I have traveled throughout the country for years with three different Tracfones without any problems. I even have one now that I let expire last week but still has a few minutes on it, and it still works to place calls. The "for emergency use only" normally means there are no minutes left as indicated on the phone.


mm
I Did It My Way
Premium
join:2001-04-07
Summerville, SC
kudos:1
She has over 100 minutes and about 30 days.


bitemeboy

join:2005-04-06
Otego, NY
reply to mm
Well, if the phone itself shows those numbers, not what someone thinks they have, and it has a strong signal level and the battery is good, then there is a problem with the phone or something has gotten screwed up on the account.

The Tracfone system is almost 100% automated now, so I buy my yearly time and minutes online and even if the phone is turned off or in an area of no reception, it updates when it eventually can reach the phone.

Tracfone has a trouble forum that I hesitate to send anyone to, in spite of the fact they will always correct a problem, eventually. You need to have 5 authenticated posts before they will help you.
Because the entire Tracfone system is automated, they can do anything and everything with an account. You can hear your phone updating(beeping) as changes are made to it.

Or, you can call them, or you can buy another phone at Wally World for $10. Good luck!

»www.tracfoneforum.com/index.php
--
Ben met Anna...Made a hit...Neglected beard...Ben-Anna split
..................................Burma Shave........................................


mm
I Did It My Way
Premium
join:2001-04-07
Summerville, SC
kudos:1
reply to mm
What's weird is rebooting fixes the problem. If I buy her a new phone can I move the SIM over or do I lose the minutes she has?


bitemeboy

join:2005-04-06
Otego, NY
reply to mm
I should have asked what you mean by "rebooting". If you mean resetting, that just clears everything until it syncs back up with the Tracfone system. I wouldn't doubt you could sneek a call or two in until it's updated.

The Tracfone sim is tied to the serial number of the phone so moving the sim means an error message in another phone.

A new Tracfone means a new number unless you do a number transfer.

You never lose minutes or days since as you add more it is just added on to what you have and they can also be transferred to a new phone/number.

Tracfone is very accommodating if you have patience and explain what you want done.

I just transferred time, days, and number onto a new phone. The Tracfone rep said it would be done and an hour or so later my new phone went "beep" and it was a done deal.

Return phone, new phone, maybe work out the problem with a Tracfone rep are your options.
--
Ben met Anna...Made a hit...Neglected beard...Ben-Anna split
..................................Burma Shave........................................


mm
I Did It My Way
Premium
join:2001-04-07
Summerville, SC
kudos:1
reply to mm
I got my moneys worth out of that phone, it's an LG simple phone I got about 4 years ago for $25 bucks. She is in her 80's, I just need something that works. I can reboot and deal with it but she can't. Since she moved it might be better to get a SC area code, currently it's a NJ area. The number is only known to about 3-4 people so changing it is no big deal.

Maybe when her 30's days are over I will just start a new account and lose the 100 or so minutes she has accumulated. It sounds like customer service is a bit of a challenge.


bitemeboy

join:2005-04-06
Otego, NY
reply to mm
Sounds good. Buy a new phone anywhere and when you activate it, use her zip code and she'll get a local number.

Depending on how much she uses the phone, a double minute, $10. phone would probably do.

I use the yearly plan which gives you the most bang for your buck as well as not having to worry about expiration time for awhile. There's almost always a special on minutes. I have a double minute, $15., LG phone and this year I got the usual yearly 400 minutes plus 200 bonus plus doubled for a total of 1200 minutes.

There are even triple minute phones.

In case you didn't know, the worlds richest man, Carlos Slim, owns the company that owns the company that owns Tracfone. He is so generous with the minutes.!

--
Ben met Anna...Made a hit...Neglected beard...Ben-Anna split
..................................Burma Shave........................................


swintec
Premium,VIP
join:2003-12-19
Alfred, ME
kudos:5
reply to mm
Wouldnt that message come up if there was also no SIM in the phone and such? Maybe the SIM itself is going bad.
--
Usenet Block Accounts | Unlimited Accounts


bitemeboy

join:2005-04-06
Otego, NY
If there was no sim, the phone would give an error message saying so.

Tracfones are cheap and proprietary. You can't jailbreak them and it really isn't worth the trouble to mess with them.

You can send it back to Tracfone and get a replacement or get your budget-breaker $10. back.

I go back to the early days of Tracfone, which were a disaster because I guess they never envisioned the entire planet was waiting for their product, and they were overwhelmed.

Not so anymore. They even have semi-smart-phones.
--
Ben met Anna...Made a hit...Neglected beard...Ben-Anna split
..................................Burma Shave........................................


same problem

@verizon.net
reply to mm
Does this problem only happen to her in one store.

A friend and I have had the same problem but only when we are in a Walmart.

And it doesn't happen in the entire store only parts of it.

Makes me think some type of wireless security etc is causing the problem.


OldCableGuy

@planetcr.net
reply to mm
The phone is displaying that because it is roaming on to a network which Tracphone does not have a roaming agreement with, for the SIM you have. You probably need to switch to a different SIM or switch to a CDMA Tracphone for the region you are in. I had this happen to a family member who had a GSM Tracphone but moved to Iowa where the GSM network is run by Iowa Wireless, not AT&T. Sometimes it would pick up AT&T from neighboring city and work, but most the time they got 5 bars and "EMERGENCY ONLY" calling 611 revealed it was connected to Iowa Wireless. Switched them to a CDMA TracPhone and all was well.