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Tracfone Changes Minute Transfer Policies

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I read today about a significant possible change to Tracfone‘s policy about transferring minutes and numbers between phones. After calling Tracfone, I’m still a little puzzled about whether or not this change is new, but as it is already in effect either way, I’ll go ahead and tell you about it.

In the past, Tracfone customers had the option to transfer just the airtime and service days, just the number or both airtime/service days and number. When you transferred airtime, it was added to whatever airtime was already on the phone you are transferring to. With this new policy, which has gone into effect immediately, minutes are locked to each number and cannot be transferred between numbers. Additionally, if you try and transfer to a phone that still has minutes, both the minutes and the old number will be replaced by the new number and minutes.

I called Tracfone, and the associated insisted that this policy was not a new policy, but his slightly limited English vocabulary made discussing it rather complicated. He confirmed that if you downgraded from an Android Tracfone to a regular non-smartphone Tracfone, you could transfer your number but not your minutes, but seemed confused when it came to minutes/numbers being locked together. I’m not sure if either policy is new, but Prepaid Phone News reported on minutes and numbers being locked together last week, so it is at the least a policy update.

In that same article, Prepaid Phone News suggested that the measure is designed to discourage customers from purchasing phone bundles for the discounted minutes and then transferring it to their better phones. And, while I do kind of understand the thought process, I can’t help but feel like they are going to succeed more in angering their customers than saving any money. Not every customer who transfers their minutes is trying to cheat you, Tracfone.