"Device Pulse" notification at startup - began about April28

"Device Pulse" notification at startup - began about April28

Postby tracqrss » Fri May 01, 2020 9:07 am

I shut down, recharge, and start my Android-based Tracfone device daily. I check for updates daily using wifi. Beginning about 4/28/2020, I see a notification icon (far upper left corner) of shape of a hand, and the dialog box associated with it says

Launch Device Pulse
Your vital device information at your...

As I did not choose to download this app or software, I swipe the banner away (and have done so daily since April 28.)

I do not see an application running called "Device Pulse", nor do I see this in the google play store configuration for this device.

Search for the text above points me to an (emerging?) application from Tracfone by the same name.

I do not wish any new app installed on my phone that I do not choose.

If this came from Tracfone, I wish it uninstalled. Otherwise, I wish to know how to uninstall it.

Please help (and please point me within tracfone forums where I can get help with this problem.)
tracqrss
 
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Re: "Device Pulse" notification at startup - began about Apr

Postby TracFone - Maria » Fri May 01, 2020 1:24 pm

Hi tracqrss. I'm TracFone Maria. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience we have caused you. Device Pulse is still a beta tester app. Please check your Forum inbox for a message. Click on "New Messages" beside User Control Panel to view your Forum inbox. You can use our self-service menu by simply texting the word HELP to 611611. Thank you.
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Re: "Device Pulse" notification at startup - began about Apr

Postby tracqrss » Sat May 02, 2020 11:54 am

5/2/2020:

Tracfone: I'm TracFone Maria. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience we have caused you. Device Pulse is still a beta tester app. For us to assist you with your concern, please contact us via chat

(open chat session):

Tracfone Chat: You can reset the phone to remove that.

Me: Reset will erase all my data. I need solution for removing only this function or feature, delivered by tracfone without my authorization.

Tracfone Chat: We did not send you anything.

Tracfone Chat: The only way to remove unwanted programs is to reset the device.

Me: Please escalate to supervisor.

###

WAIT FOR 1 HOUR DURING CHAT FOR SUPERVISOR, NO SUPRVISOR EVER APPEARED.

###

HEY TRACFONE 5/2/2020: - THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE TREATMENT OF YOUR CUSTOMER
tracqrss
 
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Re: "Device Pulse" notification at startup - began about Apr

Postby TracFone - Maria » Thu May 07, 2020 3:34 pm

Hi racqrss. I'm TracFone Maria. We understand how you feel. Please accept our sincere apologies. This is never the way we want you or any of our customers to feel. Allow us to have another opportunity to assist you and ensure to provide you with a concrete resolution. Kindly check your Forum inbox for a private message. Thank you.
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Re: "Device Pulse" notification at startup - began about Apr

Postby tracqrss » Mon Jun 01, 2020 9:10 pm

Tracfone customer care exactly useless on this issue ("reset your phone to factory".)

JUNE 1 2020:

Here is what I did to fix the problem, absolutely no help from Tracfone:

(I did this to discover the source of the notifications - you won't need to do steps 1-3 because the offending app has been identified here):

1. Install "Notification History" app. This creates a log of previous notifications, importantly including the program from which the notification was generated.
2. Wait for Device Pulse notification (a few minutes after power-up, and occasionally in any event.)
3. Use "Notification History" app to learn that the source of the notification is "tracfone WiFi Utility"

DO THIS:

4. Find "tracfone WiFi Utility in apps.
5. Force stop, Remove Updates, Clear Data. This gets rid of the Tracfone sponsored malware.
6. Go to Play Store, My Apps & Games, Turn off Auto updates. (temporarily)
7. Check for Updates (manually), find WiFi Utility in list, press on icon (NOT "Update") to open utility page, press 3-dots menu, (IMPORTANT STEP!) UNCHECK ENABLE AUTO UPDATE FOR THIS APP ONLY.
8. Return to Play Store and re-enable auto updates in general (auto update should no longer try to update Tracfone WiFi utility, the offending app.)

Removing updates from WiFi utility removes the Tracfone malware "Device Pulse", disabling it's auto update option (as the utility can't be fully removed) should prevent Tracfone from shoveling this garbage back into my device. In any event, the offensive notification is now banished.

The phone runs fine without Tracfone WiFi utility - it is simply and nothing more than a vector for malware from Tracfone.
tracqrss
 
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