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TracFone sent SIM card - now the phone is useless

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2023 3:07 pm
by zippy1989
In 2022 I was told I had to put a different SIM card in the TracFone phone I purchased for my mother. It is my understanding that Verizon purchased TracFone and the SIM in the phone was for AT&T. The SIM TracFone sent was installed and she has been limping along with the poor coverage because she also has access to a landline.

We put an AT&T compatible SIM in her phone back in the day because she can see the lights of the AT&T cell tower in the adjacent municipality. There is supposed to be a Verizon "mini tower" or "booster" in her municipality - before the trees grew she could see the house near where this "mini tower" was going in - but no one with Verizon cell phones that visit her (grandchildren) ever saw an improvement in service.

Today the landline (also Verizon) is not working and the TracFone has only let she make about one out of every 10 calls she's tried this morning. She's in her 80s and if I wasn't here, she would have no way to call for help if necessary.

What are my options? Is there some kind of network booster that can easily be installed? If I port her number to a different carrier, is she just out the minutes/texts/data on this phone or will TracFone give her some kind of refund or let her gift them to another TracFone when I port her number to another option - probably on my family account with AT&T since I know that works here? If she can give the minutes/texts/data, what order does the gifting/porting need to be so the minutes/texts/data is not lost, but she can keep her number?

She's already getting screwed by Verizon because when I told her the bill for her landline was too much (over $100/month) they said if she changed the calling features that her bill would INCREASE. It's time to talk to someone who advocates for seniors I think.

Thanks for the assistance!