Thursday, March 08, 2007

*228 and "Forever Plan"...and Unlimited Expiration To Boot!

Two things I forgot to mention about Tracfone...

I just updated the PRLs (preferred roaming lists) for my mom's, dad's and my own Tracfones. Just so everyone knows, all Tracfones use the same PRL if they're CDMA, whether they're SingleRate (LG 3280) or not (everything else for the moment). The PRL looks to be what's known as "America's Choice I", still having roaming areas in which Tracfones charge 2x the airtime they usually charge. But I'm thinking this area is getting smaller, and on the LG it doesn't matter anyway, and probably gives you a tad MORE coverage than the typical Verizon plan...just a guess...and no, in case anyone was wondering, Tracfone doesn't seem to use ERIs...

But anyway right now is a good time to take your CDMA Tracfone (LG 3280, Nokia 2285, Nokia 2126, Nokia 5180, Motorola v60, Motorola c343, Motorola v120) and call *228. When Verizon picks up (or your other home carrier...you want to do this when you're in your home area and the PRL update will be good for other carriers besides Verizon, though Verizon is what I'm mainly talking about here) press 1 to program your phone (again the procedure will be different on non-Verizon-powered Tracfones). After about a minute your phone will be reprogrammed, and it may restart itself (the Nokias didn't; the LG did for me). After that, be satisfied in the knowledge that your phone is up-to-date, roaming wise.

Now the other thing: Tracfone's "Forever Plan" as people like to call it. What is this plan? To put it simply: 30 extra units on all refills but the first one when you activate your Tracfone. Probably doesn't apply to the double-minute, zero-minute card but for everything else that's another nice reason to activate a new Tracfone. A little ways through the activation process this notice will pop up to let you know...

Which brings up something interesting: does this apply to the 30-minute card? Who knows...Tracfone probably wouldn't undercut themselves that much, making the card much more attractive than it's double-cost companion, at a mere 17 or so cents per minute. Then again, with the double minute plan the $10 card would rack up 90 minutes, versus the $20 card's 150...no wait, the $10 card is still ahead there, price-per-minute-wise. Odd, that. They probably won't let you have the extra airtime on the 30-minute card, but who knows? If they do I'm buying a new Tracfone ;). With double minutes and such it looks more and more inexpensive...

Yes, I said new Tracfone...ones that are already activated don't get the promo, though I suppose you could call Tracfone up and ask them to apply it...

But one more thing...aside form an exhortation to click some ads and support this site...Tracfone airtime is now infinitely stackable! Yes, that's right: you can now add as many airtime cards as you want, and the expiration date looks like it will extend sometime into the nether oblivion. So if you want to pick up four 60-minute cards and daisychaim them to make a 1-year, 240-minute, $80 card, have at it! Or 360-minute card if you get the 30-minute promotion. Of course, you'd get more minutes with the $100 400 (or 430) minute card (as I pointed out a day or two ago an interesting flip from when cost per month was why you'd buy the 1-year card)...unless you are on the 30 extra minute plan but not the double plan...but the cost per month is a dollar or two lower ($20 over the year...more if you snag some airtime cards off of eBay or Tracfone's own phone store...on eBay they're going for $16 apiece) than the 1-year card so hey...

Again, all I can say is things are interesting for Tracfone these days. Wonder if they'll release some new phones, maybe the Nokia 2366i or something crazy like that...only time will tell...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I received a text message on my tracfone nokia 2126 and motorola v60i about a month ago saying to call "22893" or "228??". When I did call, a recorded operator told me to wait about a minute while they download new roaming stuff. After a minute the operator said thank you you are now updated with the new roaming stuff and then the message hung up. Is this the same as what you are talking here in your column? Thank you.

Ian said...

Yes it is basically the same thing.