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Tracfone Dilemma - via Shopcelldeals

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Background: I purchased a spare TracFone with triple minutes for life from Amazon, through a third party seller - Shopcelldeals, at the end of last year.  I left this device in the box and never used it.  Buying this was cheaper than buying a yearly card - with the same amount of minutes and a year of usage time.  I've had good experience purchasing a couple of other times from Shopcelldeals in the past.


I purchased two of these phones, one was activated in May, no problems.  Last week, as I tried to activate the other one, I ran into multiple issues.  First the phone would not charge normally.  It would blink show a charging screen for a second and then shut off.  I thought maybe it's a bad battery for leaving it in the box for too long.  So I took the charged battery from the working phone, and put it in the brand new phone.  Still the phone does not turn on.  After trying to get the phone working plugging the ac adaptor in and changing the battery several times, I decided to give up on the phone.

It Gets Worse

I took the PIN number from my purchase (the PIN provides the added minutes and time), and tried to add the minutes to my existing phone.  Shopcelldeals provides the PIN number on a sticker that is put on a printed instruction sheet.  I try to add minutes online using the PIN provided, I get an error.  Now I'm very fraustrated, the main reason I purchased this phone was to get the additional time and minutes that came with it.

Fraustrated from this experience I decide to just add minutes from a spare "official" (green and white) Tracfone card I had purchased separately.  It was my last day of service on my existing phone and I didn't want to take the chance of dealing with more problems and losing all my existing minutes - quite a bit since I'm a very light cell phone user.

The next day, I contact the reseller Shopcelldeals, through Amazon's email form.  I would have called them directly but I could not find their customer service number anywhere.  I chose one of the default methods - to return the defective device / PIN.  All I really wanted were the minutes attached to the PIN - but I didn't see any option to choose that from the form.

After some back and forth emails with Amazon and Shopcelldeals - both of whom tells me it's been too long and they can't refund or exchange - I ask them for help to get the minutes I purchased.  They both refused to help further - pointing to their "policies".  What happened to customer service?  I just wanted the minutes I purchased.


Now the story gets interesting - this past Saturday I called TracFone customer service - long story short, after spending about an hour on the phone with a supervisor - she tells me someone else has used the PIN on a phone I don't own.  The supervisor tells me that I will need to contact my vendor and get a confirmation number to confirm I made the purchase.  This number is usually found on the Green and White TracFone card but since I only have a sheet with instructions and a PIN supplied by Shopcelldeals I'm stuck until I can get this number.

I decide to pursue the confirmation on a working day, so I wait till Monday.  On Monday, I email Shopcelldeals, explaining my call with TracFone.  They confirm with me that they can "add" the minutes from their end if I provide them the cell phone number I want the minutes added.  No further explanation.  A few emails later, I get the minutes and time added along with the bonus code for the additional bonus minutes.  Case closed.

Unanswered Questions

Why did my PIN code that I originally purchase get used by someone else?
Did another customer purchase this after my code was sitting idle?
Shopcelldeals - via email - explained that they keep PIN numbers on record for 6 months - but why would someone else end up with the number?

I will continue to purchase from Shopcelldeals via Amazon - they have some of the best prepaid phone prices.  This experience did leave a sour taste and I will be sure not to purchase too far ahead of use.

What you do think of all this?  Has this happened to you?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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Anonymous said...

How do i contact shopcelldeals.com

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