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Tracfone vs. Net10 (what's better?)
Topic Started: September 19, 2009, 12:08 pm (6,977 Views)
btrl4

I'm a newbie and have read just about every post on this site and Go4Prepaid as well as spending WAY too much time researching Tracfone and Net10 all over the Web these last few weeks. I'd appreciate it if anyone and everyone can confirm or dispute my understanding of how this all works.

The way I see it the ONLY way to make Tracfone worthwhile is to first buy DMFL, either alone or with the 1-year card or bundled with a phone. With that, and frequent and judicious use of Bonus Codes, Tracfone can be marginally cheaper than Net10.

What bothers me is that Tracfone's Terms & Conditions state that DMFL are locked to one particular phone and can't be transferred to another, although I assume they waive this condition if they have to send you a new phone during the 1-year warranty period. But if I were to lose the phone, or it gets stolen, or it breaks after the 1-year warranty period, then I lose the DMFL forever.

Given this, wouldn't I be better off with Net10 where I can transfer any unused minutes to another phone in any of these contingencies? Granted, Net10 costs a couple of cents per minute more on average but wouldn't it be worth it to retain this "safety net" against loss or breakage?

So outside of possibly getting a particular model Tracfone I might want, just what is the advantage of going with Tracfone? Or am I missing something obvious here?
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AKmaro1
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All of your above observations are pretty much right on. Now keep in mind that the DMFL card is now only $24.99 at Wal-Mart, vs. $49.99 about every other place. So that really changes the overall dynamic there.

Tracfone has long been considered the cheapest way to go if you don't talk alot, but NET 10 which is a Tracfone sister company has always been touted as a better plan for those who may talk a lot on their phone, but still don't want to be tied to a contract plan. So that's about it in a nutshell, if you don't use your phone a whole lot, Tracfone is the cheapest way to go. But if you talk a lot, Net 10 just may be the better option.

I'm sure someone else will chime in on this thread too...

Hope that helps. :)
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btrl4

Yes, I have factored in the $24.99 DMFL card available at Wal-Mart and online at tracfone.com.

Even so, using the best bonus codes I know of, specifically:

51540 - 50 bonus minutes when redeeming a DMFL card
and
84232 - 250 bonus minutes when redeeming a 1 Year card

results in 1100 minutes at 9.09 cents a minute (not counting the cost of the DMFL card).

and using

51540 - 50 bonus minutes when redeeming a DMFL card
and
69874 - 50 bonus minutes when redeeming a 450 minute card

results in 1000 minutes at 8 cents a minute (not counting the cost of the DMFL card) but those 1000 minutes must be used in 90 days, or roughly 333 minutes a month average. Any minutes I don't use I lose.

Net10, however, will let me buy as little as 150 minutes a month average by using either their 60, 90, or 120 day cards, and I always have the option of buying more if I need it, always at 10 cents. And without messing around with bonus codes that may or may not work.

I suppose the aforementioned 1-year deal would be worth it since it breaks down to roughly 92 minutes a month average, but only if the minutes can be transferred to another phone if the first one gets lost or stolen.

This is the part I'm not too clear on. Can those double minutes be transferred to another phone once they're bought with a DMFL card, or do they get lost in the transfer? In other words, do the double minutes already purchased get forfeited, or just the right to buy more double minutes on the new phone?

Either way, it hardly seems worth it to me for just a couple of cents per minute difference. Again, am I missing something here?
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Turk
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* btrl4 ... wow, you really did do your research ... maybe I should put you on the payroll? (lol - just joking)

* You posted alot of good Information here for other people to see that might be in the same situation as you - thanks.
- And, I think you kind of answered your own questions along the way as well.

* You are pretty much correct with your thinking about the two Services - Tracfone is basically for light users and Net10 is better for heavy users.

* Tracfone gives a little more Service Days and less minutes per card and Net10 gives more minutes and less Service Days per card.

* Net10 is the better deal overall - no hassles with Promo Codes and DMFL stuff - and 10 cents a minute all the time.

* But, Tracfone is more popular than Net10 I feel, because it gives those extra service days - because -
- most people who use these services don't talk that much - so Tracfone fits their situation better.

* So in the end, if someone is gonna talk alot - get Net10 .... if someone is gonna talk alittle - get a Tracfone.

* Other than that, you hit the nail on the head with all your statistics and analysis - sounds like to me you prefer Net10?

* If you do get decide to buy a Net10 phone or a Tracfone - let us know which phone you bought? - thanks.

* And good luck on your decision ... and let us know how it all works out, ok?

* Ps: to answer your last question: all minutes are transferred from one Tracfone to another no matter how you got them.

* On a side note: I always wished Tracfone and Net10 would just finally combined into one phone service.
- And get rid of the Promo Codes and DMFL stuff, and combined the Airtime Cards into a good Card like:
> 90 days of service on the basic card and 10 cents a minute all the time. (the best of both worlds) ;)

* If anyone else here wants to add anything or correct me if I'm wrong on anything ... feel free to do so, thanks.


T u B-) r K

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btrl4

I agree that Tracfone gives more Service Days and less minutes per card. I put together this chart comparing current Net10 and Tracfone card rates. It probably seems complex at first but the upshot is that Net10's minimum monthly cost is about $15 no matter which card is bought while Tracfone can be had for as little as $6.66 a month for light users. Note though that the cost per minute goes up as the cost per month goes down.

Net10 Airtime Cards

200 Minutes & 30 Days of Service $20 10¢/min 6.66 min/day $20.00/month

300 Minutes & 60 Days of Service $30 10¢/min 5.00 min/day $15.00/month

450 Minutes & 90 Days of Service $45 10¢/min 5.00 min/day $15.00/month

600 Minutes & 120 Days of Service $60 10¢/min 5.00 min/day $15.00/month

1000 Minutes & 180 Days of Service $100 10¢/min 5.55 min/day $16.66/month

2000 Minutes & 1 year of service $200 10¢/min 5.48 min/day $16.66/month

5000 Minutes & 2 years of service $400 8¢/min 6.85 min/day $16.66/month



Tracfone Airtime Cards

Cards below have already had their minutes doubled with a DMFL card. No other Bonus Codes applied.

60 Minutes & 30 Days of Service $10 16.6¢/min 2.00 min/day $10.00/month

120 Minutes & 90 Days of Service $20 16.6¢/min 1.32 min/day $6.66/month

240 Minutes & 90 Days of Service $30 12.5¢/min 2.66 min/day $10.00/month

400 Minutes & 90 Days of Service $40 10.0¢/min 4.44 min/day $13.33/month

900 Minutes & 90 Days of Service $80 8.9¢/min 10.00 min/day $26.66/month

800 Minutes & 1 year of Service $100 12.5¢/min 2.19 min/day $8.33/month


Since I'm an extremely light user I'm actually inclined to go with Tracfone. It's just the whole DMFL requirement/non-transference thing that really throws a monkey wrench in the works. I'm not happy about that at all.

Another reason I'm leaning toward Tracfone is that I can get the Motorola V170 in my area. I really want that phone for reasons I won't go in to here. Net10 shows the (equivalent) V171 on their Web site until I enter my zip code - then it disappears. I tried to see if I could get it by calling Net10 but the sales girl wouldn't budge. Does anyone know of a way to get a phone not shown on the Web site without using an out-of-area zip code and aquiring an out-of-area phone number?
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mharris127

btrl4
September 20, 2009, 12:40 am
I agree that Tracfone gives more Service Days and less minutes per card. I put together this chart comparing current Net10 and Tracfone card rates. It probably seems complex at first but the upshot is that Net10's minimum monthly cost is about $15 no matter which card is bought while Tracfone can be had for as little as $6.66 a month for light users. Note though that the cost per minute goes up as the cost per month goes down.

Net10 Airtime Cards

200 Minutes & 30 Days of Service $20 10¢/min 6.66 min/day $20.00/month

300 Minutes & 60 Days of Service $30 10¢/min 5.00 min/day $15.00/month

450 Minutes & 90 Days of Service $45 10¢/min 5.00 min/day $15.00/month

600 Minutes & 120 Days of Service $60 10¢/min 5.00 min/day $15.00/month

1000 Minutes & 180 Days of Service $100 10¢/min 5.55 min/day $16.66/month

2000 Minutes & 1 year of service $200 10¢/min 5.48 min/day $16.66/month

5000 Minutes & 2 years of service $400 8¢/min 6.85 min/day $16.66/month



Tracfone Airtime Cards

Cards below have already had their minutes doubled with a DMFL card. No other Bonus Codes applied.

60 Minutes & 30 Days of Service $10 16.6¢/min 2.00 min/day $10.00/month

120 Minutes & 90 Days of Service $20 16.6¢/min 1.32 min/day $6.66/month

240 Minutes & 90 Days of Service $30 12.5¢/min 2.66 min/day $10.00/month

400 Minutes & 90 Days of Service $40 10.0¢/min 4.44 min/day $13.33/month

900 Minutes & 90 Days of Service $80 8.9¢/min 10.00 min/day $26.66/month

800 Minutes & 1 year of Service $100 12.5¢/min 2.19 min/day $8.33/month


Since I'm an extremely light user I'm actually inclined to go with Tracfone. It's just the whole DMFL requirement/non-transference thing that really throws a monkey wrench in the works. I'm not happy about that at all.

Another reason I'm leaning toward Tracfone is that I can get the Motorola V170 in my area. I really want that phone for reasons I won't go in to here. Net10 shows the (equivalent) V171 on their Web site until I enter my zip code - then it disappears. I tried to see if I could get it by calling Net10 but the sales girl wouldn't budge. Does anyone know of a way to get a phone not shown on the Web site without using an out-of-area zip code and aquiring an out-of-area phone number?
You can purchase any GSM Net10 phone and activate it with a local number. A new SIM will be sent to you via overnight mail if needed. However, the V171 (nice phone, I have one myself) ceased production almost two years ago, so they are likely out of them and you will have to look to eBay if you want one. The V170 is the same phone with a different case but that ceased production at the same time, so you likely won't find one of those, either.
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btrl4

What I'm asking is how can I get the V171 from the Net10 Web site? They're selling it along with 300 minutes/60 days for $19.99. That's $10 cheaper than the 300 minutes/60 days card by itself.

The problem is that when I click on the "Buy" link it asks for my zip code and once I give them that the V171 disappears from my available choices.
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AKmaro1
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Turk
September 19, 2009, 10:49 pm
* On a side note: I always wished Tracfone and Net10 would just finally combined into one phone service.
- And get rid of the Promo Codes and DMFL stuff, and combined the Airtime Cards into a good Card like:
> 90 days of service on the basic card and 10 cents a minute all the time. (the best of both worlds) ;)

That sounds like an awesome plan to me, now how do we pitch it to Tracfone... :D
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Turk
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btrl4:
 
What I'm asking is how can I get the V171 from the Net10 Web site? They're selling it along with 300 minutes/60 days for $19.99. That's $10 cheaper than the 300 minutes/60 days card by itself.

The problem is that when I click on the "Buy" link it asks for my zip code and once I give them that the V171 disappears from my available choices.

* btrl4 ... bad news for you ... Tracfone Moto v170 & Net10 Moto v171 are no longer for sale on their Websites.
- They were done selling them about 3-4 months ago now - they just didn't remove them from their Phone Pages.

* If you still really want those two phones ... the only place I can think of is on Ebay - just like mharris127 has mentioned.

* I have on the Topic: Tracfone & Net10 Sale Prices - under the Main Page of Fone Sales -
- all the Links for Phone Sales and Specials that are still available on both Websites - if you care to look.

* If you really want a good deal with a Tracfone + DMFL:
> Sears Stores have the Tracfone Moto w376 on sale for $20 this week.
> And Dollar General & Family Dollar Stores have the Tracfone Samsung 101g on sale for $10.
> Both phones have DMFL on them.

* Hope I was able to help you out ... and if anyone else has anything to add, feel free to do so ... thanks .. ;)


T*U*R*K B-)
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btrl4

I just read all the fine print in Tracfone's Terms and Conditions very carefully. When it comes to the DMFL card they say, "Double minutes for life of single TRACFONE after you purchase and add this card; not transferable to another TRACFONE even if phone is damaged, lost or stolen."

Does this mean that even if the phone breaks in the 1-year warranty period and Tracfone has to replace it they won't transfer the DMFL?

I have to tell you that Tracfone is looking less and less attractive the more I look in to it.
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Turk
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btrl4:
 
Does this mean that even if the phone breaks in the 1-year warranty period and Tracfone has to replace it they won't transfer the DMFL?

* btrl4 ... no, I think Tracfone will replace the DMFL if your phone breaks on its own within the 1 Year Warranty.

* I think they mean that if you break it, or lose it ... they won't replace the DMFL/Card onto a new phone.

* However, if you want, you can call Tracfone's Customer Service and ask them and see what they might say?

* And if anyone here has anything to add to this - feel free to do so - or correct me if I am wrong on any of this - thanks .. ;)


Turk B-)
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mharris127

Turk
September 20, 2009, 5:59 pm
btrl4:
 
What I'm asking is how can I get the V171 from the Net10 Web site? They're selling it along with 300 minutes/60 days for $19.99. That's $10 cheaper than the 300 minutes/60 days card by itself.

The problem is that when I click on the "Buy" link it asks for my zip code and once I give them that the V171 disappears from my available choices.

* btrl4 ... bad news for you ... Tracfone Moto v170 & Net10 Moto v171 are no longer for sale on their Websites.
- They were done selling them about 3-4 months ago now - they just didn't remove them from their Phone Pages.

* If you still really want those two phones ... the only place I can think of is on Ebay - just like mharris127 has mentioned.

* I have on the Topic: Tracfone & Net10 Sale Prices - under the Main Page of Fone Sales -
- all the Links for Phone Sales and Specials that are still available on both Websites - if you care to look.

* If you really want a good deal with a Tracfone + DMFL:
> Sears Stores have the Tracfone Moto w376 on sale for $20 this week.
> And Dollar General & Family Dollar Stores have the Tracfone Samsung 101g on sale for $10.
> Both phones have DMFL on them.

* Hope I was able to help you out ... and if anyone else has anything to add, feel free to do so ... thanks .. ;)


T*U*R*K B-)
I was in my local Dollar General -- they happen to have one V170 on Tracfone left. It was $20. I bet it is gone now, though. I'd try a Dollar General if you happen to live near one.
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The Sweeper
Bad To The Bone.
I have 4 Moto v170 phones in their clamshell (new, never opened). Would be happy to send you one.
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btrl4

Thanks Sweeper and mharris127, but it turns out that one of my local Big Lots has about ten Tracfone V170s for $10 each (no minutes) and one Net10 V170 (surprisingly not the V171) bundled with 300 minutes/60days for $25.

I bought the Net10 one cause I just can't get past the whole Tracfone DMFL thing.
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Turk
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* btrl4 .... I guess as the old saying goes: "alls well that ends well"...

* You got the phone you wanted, and you got Net10 Service ... so it seems you're all ready to go now.

* Welcome to the World of Prepaid .. ;)


T u B-) r K
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btrl4

Thanks Turk.

I would still like to know if anyone has had any difficulty transferring DMFL on a phone still within the 1-year warranty period. Tracfone's warranty states that they will "repair or replace your phone that contains a manufacturer's defect" "for up to one year from date of purchase". Technically, one day is "up to one year". Why don't they just state "for one year" instead of "for up to one year"?

Has anyone had any difficulty proving that the phone was defective due to "manufacturer's defect" versus owner-inflicted damage? Has anyone been able to have them honor their warranty as late as almost a year later? And if so, did they transfer the DMFL (if applicable)?
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Turk
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* btrl4 ... those are some good questions you brought up ... but this is all I can really say about those situations:

* I have read a few stories in the past - from other people across the Internet that dealt with some of your questions.

* These people have all said that Tracfone has honored the 1 Year Warranty and has replaced their bad phones for them.

* What they had to do was call Tracfone - tell them their phone went bad - and then had to send the bad phone back first.

* When Tracfone receives the bad phone, they'll send out another Phone to you along with a new SIM card.

* The new SIM card will have your Phone Number/Minutes/Service Days already programmed on it for your New Phone.

* If the New Phone isn't already a DMFL phone - and you added DMFL to your old phone...
- then they'll also program the DMFL onto the New SIM card as well.

* So finally, when you get your New Phone - you put in your New SIM card and Activate the Phone - and all the Info should be there?

* I know this doesn't answer all your questions, but maybe it clears some things up for you?
- and remember, this isn't my Information, just what I read from other people on the Internet.

* If anyone else here has anything to add ... feel free to do so ... thanks .. ;)


(T)(U)(R)(K) B-)
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btrl4

Thanks Turk. It's nice to have that reassurance.

I assume the same applies to Net10 as well? With the exception of the DMFL of course.
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Turk
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* btrl4 ... your welcome ..... and yes, you are correct, the same applies to Net10 as well.

* Since Tracfone and Net10 are sister companies ... pretty much all their Rules/Warranties/Information are the same.

* On a side note: I was just wondering - if it's ok with you, can we change this Topic Title to just: Tracfone vs. Net10?

* Since all the Information posted here relates pretty much to Tracfone Prepaid vs. Net10 Prepaid.

* Just asking, since you are the original poster.


T_U_R_K B-)
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btrl4

Go for it, guy. This board wouldn't be here without you.
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Turk
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* btrl4 ... ok, thanks for the Title change.

* We all posted alot of good Information about both Prepaid Companies (especially you).

* That's why I thought Tracfone vs. Net10 would be a better Title for all other Members to see if interested.

* Good luck with you new phone ... and if you have any other questions about anything, feel free to just ask .. ;)


T / U / R / K B-)
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