Friday, January 11, 2008

When you lose your Tracfone

Used to be, if you lost your Tracfone, you were out of luck. They couldn't do anything for you.

Barry's was stolen out of the Jeep a couple of days ago while he was parked in the ramp next to where he works. (Thankfully they just took the phone and charger and his hat and gloves and nothing else, and they didn't break a window to get in. So no major damage.) He discovered the theft and called for a police officer, and after filing the report, he called me to tell me about it.

I called Tracfone immediately to ask them to just cancel the phone so at least the thief couldn't do anything with it. To my surprise, the agent asked if I had another Tracfone to which she could transfer the minutes! Thankfully we had a spare, one that I had been meaning to sell on eBay and hadn't yet. I pulled it out of the box, plugged it in, and she activated it over the phone and transferred Barry's number and 800 minutes to it immediately, then flagged the stolen phone so that if anyone tries to activate it, they won't be able to without identifying themselves as Barry or me. Pretty neat.

What I have learned from this is the following:

1. Always keep a spare unactivated Tracfone around. Just a cheapie. Just so you have SOMETHING.
2. Always keep a record of the serial numbers of all your family Tracfones in a safe place.
3. Always keep an eye on how many minutes remain on each of your phones. Just a ballpark figure. If I had not known that Barry had over 800 minutes on his phone, they probably would not have done that for me. I had to tell them what I thought was on the phone, they did not volunteer the information.

One frustration as that in the time between the phone being stolen and Tracfone's shutting it down and transferring the number, the thief used it to send harrassing messages to a young lady acquaintance of his. We found out about this shortly after the number was transferred to our new phone and her frantic return messages started coming to us. Barry called her from our home and tried to explain and asked her to report it to the police, but she said she did not trust them.

1 comment:

Mrs. Mac said...

That poor gal that got the harassing message ... (poor Barry too)! We keep our old phones. I've had to loan them out to my kids numerous times when their's get damaged or lost.