Humberto Saabedra is the Editor-in-Chief of and an occasional columnist for He can also be found musing on things at @AnimeNewsdotbiz

61 responses to “TracFone Debuts StraightTalk Flat-Rate Service”

  1. TracFone Debuts StraightTalk Flat-Rate Service

    […] 1 votes vote TracFone Debuts StraightTalk Flat-Rate Service Venerable prepaid MVNO TracFone has launched a new flat-rate service called Straight Talk for […]

  2. Christopher

    Might want to mention that it uses native Verizon coverage.

  3. RonaldVegan

    Does that mean that it won’t work in an area where the only CDMA coverage is Alltel?

    Also, is there a list of which Wal-Mart locations are participating?

  4. StraightTalkMe

    Here’s the coverage map:

    And here are the retail stores.

    Remember, you can purchase the phone online even if there’s no participating local Walmart.

  5. JJ

    It will work in alltel areas in which verizon has taken over alltel. Most alltel areas that verizon took over are being upgraded to work with verizon.

  6. JosephD

    So far I believe that the areas Straight talk is being launched in are:
    Atlanta , Albany , Dallas , Raleigh , Chicago , Las Vegas , Louisville , Cincinnati and Rochester.
    But I expect that it will probably expand throughout America as soon as Tracfone is geared for it. I for one am very keen to buy a Straight Talk phone.

  7. DaveB

    Unlimited for $45 on Verizon network and no contract? Sounds like a VERY good deal. This totally blasts away the unlimited options from Boost etc. Not hust cheaper but so much better coverage and network reliability.

  8. JordanR

    Maybe, since it runs on Verizon’s network, Verizon will think about lowering the cost of their own $99/month with contract unlimited plan. I like Verizon but it seems like they’re far behind in the cost competition.

  9. DougE

    I am overall pleased with the service for $30. There was a glitch that left me without service for a few days, and customer service at their call center was abysmal. However someone really goofed up and my last call somehow got routed to the corp office. 30 minutes later I had full service restored. Do not expect much help from customer no-service, but 1000 minutes for $30 mitigates that frustration very much

  10. Ray

    Hey when do you all think tha they will come out with another phone? I know its new and all but there afre 4 phones lol. and I wonder if it has a sims card to change phones.

  11. StraightTalkMe

    @ray What kind of features are you looking for? The 3 current phones are it for now, but who know about the future…

    And no sim card switcheroo.

  12. vic

    With regards to Straight Talk, I like what I’m experiencing so far. [I bought into the service a couple of days ago.] Customer service is top notch. They are so eager to help you setup, answer questions, etc. And, since Straight Talk is based on a trusted carrier, Verizon, I have no doubt that they are poised to surprise the competition and change the status quo for good. We could be witnessing the beginning of a turning point in wireless service in the great US of A; and, resisting the change may be fruitless.

  13. Elston

    My Name is Elston and I am a Tracfone Employee and I am here to assist anyone that needs any assistance. My contact information is 1.800.626.4883 ext 6107

  14. Chris Chan

    I did a little digging around and I thing that the best bang for your buck is Straight Talk. $45 a month for unlimited nationwide anytime minutes and texts. Pretty awesome!

    I ordered mine from the website and will let you know how I like it. Can’t beat the price though!

  15. JimInPhila

    Yeah, this does sound like the “Plan of the Century.”
    OK, 3 different phones are offered.
    I did some surfing around. I found that the “Moto W385” got good reviews.
    The “Motorazr” (the most expensive phone got horrible reviews.
    I can’t find any info on the cheapy, “LG 200cm.”
    I know that my workplace got 50 LG phones with 48 of them needing to be replaced immediately, not a good track record.
    Anyone using the LG 200cm? Sure would like some input on it
    Thanks, Jim

  16. dawn

    i have had straight talk for about 2 months so far so goood……but no warning when time is about to run out and the LG 200 sux. as soon as i can afford it iam upgrading

  17. todd

    does straighttalk use sim cards in their phones?

  18. JimInPhila

    Got the Straight Talk W385/Motorola with 1000 minutes.
    Had an issue with my phone being “recognized.” Called the CSR who spoke English without an accent (that’s a biggy to me). She resolved the problem. My interaction with the Customer Service Rep. was superior. Phone is working perfectly in my home (Philadelphia, PA).

    When my contact with Sprint is up in about 10 days, I want to “port’ my cell number to my new Straight Talk. Was told by a ST CSR that I have 14 days after initial set-up to do that. I really hope that is true. I’ll be back here to report on that.

  19. StraightTalkMe

    @todd: no sim card switching. ST saervice works only on ST phones

    @dawn 30 days is how long each period lasts. The MotoW385 seems to be the most popular ST phone.

  20. jane

    i looked on the coverage map, and i can’t relly tell if it covers my area. the only way i can contact c.s. is if i call or write them snail mail. i have a pay-as-you-go phone and don’t want to use up the minutes. i noticed in reading the reviews that someone from s.t. is answering questions, so i’d like to ask if s.t. covers pensacola, florida?

  21. StraightTalkMe

    @jane: what’s your zip code?

    It probably does work (Do you know people who use Verizon in your area? Is so, that’s a big clue since ST runs on VRZ’s network.), but please provide your zip code to confirm.

  22. JimInPhila

    ******TO: THE STRAIGHT TALK REP AT THIS SITE *******************
    AND all who monitor this site:
    Well, my honeymoon with Straight Talk appears to be over. Before I activated my Straight Talk phone ten days ago, I called a CSR who informed me that I had two weeks after activation to port my old number to my new S.T. phone. Sounded great to me. I believed the S.T. rep. (silly me!)
    I just called today to port my number. Spoke to CSR “RYAN” who informed me that he could process the ‘”porting,” HOWEVER it would require a new purchase of minutes for $30.00. When I told him that my current balances were 950 minutes/talk and 975/text, he told me essentially
    ‘too bad, buy new minutes or it doesn’t get done.’ According to Ryan, balances can’t be transferred to a new number because of the way the computer is set up.
    When I asked for a supervisor, first, he said that there were none; then said they were all on a very important Conference Call. I’m used to Conference Calls and know that for an important matter, the Conference Call can be interupted. OBVIOUSLY, CUSTOMER SERVICE IS NOT IMPORTANT AT STRAIGHT TALK.
    When I asked when a supervisor would call me back, there again, first, he told me I would have to call back; then said a supervisor would call me back in 24 to 48 hours. For some reason, I won’t hold my breath.
    Keeping my Sprint account is sounding better and better.
    Congratulations, STRAIGHT TALK is proving itself.

    To the Straight Talk Rep on line here: Is this issue resolvable?
    And please, say hello to Ryan from me. I spoke with him today, Aug 29th @ 0827hrs.EDST Conversation lasted 19 minutes

    To all others here: I will keep you informed !!

  23. JimInPhila

    Well, the 24-48 hours have long been up and still no call from a supervisor. I sent an email to the company, advising that I was requesting that my TracFone minutes be transferred from my old TracFone number to my new TracFone ported number. Gave the serial number on my TracFone phone and the TracFone phone number. Received a reply telling me that I couldn’t transfer my Sprint minutes over to tracfone, which I never asked to do and, additionally, informed me how I could buy a TracFone. If I didn’t have a TracFone already, I’m wondering how I could have provided them with the TracFone serial number and a TracFone phone number.
    The saga continues.

  24. jane

    my zip is 32504. i’ll take a look at the verizon coverage map as well.

  25. StraightTalkMe

    @jane I’m told that there IS Verizon coverage in your zip, so you’re good to go (or is that the wrong slogan?) LOL!

    @JimInPhila It looks like CSR Elston has offered to help. Have you contacted him directly?

  26. JimInPhila

    It took a week to speak with a CSR in the company who actually was willing to assist me with porting my phone number and it is a done deal now. I suspect a secret may be to call during “day shift” hours. Never got any results when calling in the evening.
    Thank CSR Elston, but it won’t be necessary now. Not sure how I would have contacted “Elston” had I still needed assistance.

  27. jane


    thanks for your help!

  28. Wal-Mart Exclusively Launching StraightTalk Service Nationwide on October 18th |

    […] Operators (MVNOs) Following up on the initial announcement of the StraightTalk service plan this summer, Wal-Mart has confirmed it will begin an exclusive […]

  29. Gary Granger

    Have not bought Straight Talk yet and desire to know about the Web services they have. Is it real web browsing or is it the worthless “Open Wave” that Tracfone uses?

  30. kaity

    deos this phone have any covers for it bvecause i want to make mine look stilyish and i really want a cove

    mail me back bye

  31. Russell

    Im having a big pain with straight talk thus far. Im switching from Net10 to Straight talk along with moving my net10 number. I was told no problem !!! Well my Net10 phone no longer works and neither does my Straight talk phone !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wish I had kept my net10. Customer service is a joke, cannot get an answer , the only answer I get is Im trying to call the other department please hold this is over and over and over !!!!! So now I have neither phone that works. It would help greatly If you could understand the customer service reps I have yet to get a rep that spoke understandable English. This is very frustrating !!!!!!!!!! If it sounds too good to be true it most likely is.

  32. jane

    sorry to hear your problems. i too used net10 until i switched to straight talk. i really liked net10, but the price won me over to straight talk. i had no problems switching. i got my number ported over in an hour or 2, and actually got someone who spoke pretty good english.
    all i can suggest is to keep trying and you should be able to get someone who can help.

  33. Jim

    You would call Straight Talk customer service a joke but there is nothing funny about it. The majority of the staff could care less. There’s an Straight Talk “observer” who comes to this site, maybe once a week, He “pre-dates” his replies so it looks like he’s answering the day you write here.
    Yep, I’ve been where you are. The old service off and the new not started.
    It’s a very simple process but it took days for Straight Talk to activate it.
    Multiple phone calls, when I could get to talk with a rep, was “we’re working on it.”
    So I see nothing has changed.
    The final straw for me was when I couldn’t connect the Blue Tooth. So, I took it to 2 different stores. Both techs said, ” Your phone is too cheap a model to handle it” even though the phone listed supposedly as blue tooth compatible. That’s the phone, btw, that Straight Talk has increased the price to $100.00 now. I paid $80 two months ago for the same phone.
    Straight Talk literally tourmanted me every step of the way. Two weeks ago when I got out of their nightmare, I had my number ported to my new service. When the number wasn’t ported (transferred) to my new company in 7 days, I called the new carrier and asked what the problem was. The new rep. called Straight Talk to see why there was a delay on such a standard procedure. The Straight Talk rep. replied, “Yeh, we got the request 7 days ago. We just haven’t gotten around to it.” BTW, my new carrier rep. informed me that the FCC “standard,” but not law, is to transfer the number within 2 hours of a request.
    Russell, I found that customer service is slightly better in the daytime than at nite, but not by much. You might try that. But, Pal, I’m giving you fair warning, you problems and frustrations have only just began.
    I am so glad I’m out of the Straight Talk nightmare.
    My sympathies to you,

  34. StraightTalkMe

    I suggest that anyone who has any issues get in touch with Elston (above) who writes:

    “My Name is Elston and I am a Tracfone Employee and I am here to assist anyone that needs any assistance. My contact information is 1.800.626.4883 ext 6107”

    Others have had success after speaking with him.

    It’s always better to light a candle than to curse the darkness, imho.

  35. Russell

    They got my phone working when I called TracPhone directly. But I still cannot access the internet. So far Im very unsatisfied with the quality of my experiences with ST. Im second guessing my switch, I will be calling to get my browser straightened out. We will see how many hours this takes. My experience thus far is the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing.

  36. Jim

    “It’s always better to light a candle than to curse the darkness, imho.”

    Darkness? I got out of the nightmare.

  37. bob

    I am using a bluetooth blue ant speakerphone with a Motorola RZR Straighttalk phone. The bluetooth disconnects and does not automatically reconnect. You must manually reconnect the bluetooth every time you use it. This is wrong.

  38. Jim

    “Bob,” Oh no, not at this site. You must be wrong. See, no matter what the pay, it just doesn’t work…Dude, take it from me, RUN, run for your life. Its only going to get worst.
    You could call “Customer Service.” I’ll let you in, from personal experience, it will take you weeks to straighten it out, if at all.
    Gee, you could ask to speak to a supervisor, that’s what I did. I’m still waiting for that to happen (weeks later).
    Asked to have my number ported, the standard is 2 hours. Straight Talk said, “Yeah, we know about it, we just havent’t gotten around to it yet.”
    I came into Straight Talk 100 percent positive. I was fought 97 percent of the way. Then it was suggested that I light a candle, rather then ‘curse the darkness.’ There was NO ONE there to offer me a match.
    I don’t understand why I was told by one CSR that I had 2 weeks to port my phone number but when I attempted to do it I was charged for another full month…..That has never been answered—humm. No other carrier I know does that. Gee, what a great carrier. I guess I’m just “cursing the darker,” while they are collecting more money.
    I wish someone could tell me why I’m still waitinf for a supervisor to call me WHEN I was told it would take 24 to 48 hours. I admit, I’m in the darkness!
    I am also in the DARKNESS why I was told I had to pay additionally to have my number ported after I was told by a CSR that I had 2 weeks to port my number.
    I am in the dartkness why my phone would not accept a bluetooth AFTER STRAIGHT TALK advertised it as acceping BLUETOUTH.
    Please, light a candle to the above. Gee, is that supervisor calling me now?
    Why have I had 45 minute convertions in the evening only to be told “Gee,. I don’t know. Call back tomorrow.” I guess I’m in the darkness,.
    When I called back the next day, there was no record of me call the night before.

  39. ron

    Hi, I noticed that w/Trakfone… your “units” reduce @ different rates. One guy calls me for 7 minutes & my units drop about 22! Someone calls me & it drops : 1 unit per minute… another time someone calls for a minute & units don’t drop at all. I have done this experimentally & found alot of variation & I wonder why?

  40. Joe Crowley

    I am a verizon Blackberry who was an Alltel customer until the merger….

    Anyway, I’m paying over $229 per month for two blackberrys and I’m draastically looking for a way to cut my bill. The main thing I need is a way to sync my contacts and calendar between my phone and PC (outlook, and yahoo). Does anyone know if any of the straighttalk phones will do that? If I do activate a straightalk phone, can I later port my number (I use it for my business and DO NOT want the task of getting everyone a new number) and I want to try the service before I switch for good.

    Thank you for your help!

  41. jane

    hi joe,
    i don’t know about sync-ing everything over to a straighttalk phone, but i know you can port your number over. i had no problem doing that and it was done in about an hour for me.
    and when i’ve had to call customer service, i’ve been able to talk with people who speak good english and were very helpful. i’ve been pleased for the most part with their phone service. the only complaint i have is that sometimes i have to dial a number 2-3 times before it connects. i’ve been using their 1000 minute plan, until i got a card for unlimited minutes (which is nicer since i don’t have to listen to the recording of how many minutes i have left). and in using the unlimited minutes i haven’t had a connection problem.

  42. gary

    i think we are both walking around in the same darkness. got my phone this past saturday ported the number and had no problems was thinking wow i going to like this wrong went to try and download a ringtone and could not get on the web on thier website or from my phone called csr and got someone who told me my phone could not do that but on thier website my phone say graphics and ringtone downloads and on the box phone came make a long story short 7 phone calls and more than three hours of useless talking phone still does not work and they want another 48 hours to fix the problem 1 scr phone does not do that 2 crs phone does 3crs does not 4 crs does 5 crs supervisor does 6 crs tech does not oh wait yes it does ….i’m still in the dark with you anyone have a match PLEASE

  43. Amber M.

    I have been on this plan for about 4 months now and it has been great! I picked mine up at WalMart & for $45, I get unlimited text & unlimited minutes. Oh! And no contract which is a BIG PLUS. I just started school in Chicago and love the fact that I don’t need to be worried about going over my minutes or texts for the month! I can keep in contact with all my friends and family stress-free! Love it!

  44. cindyh

    Straight Talk uses the Verizon calling network that in turn provides excellent calling coverage and areas. I used to drop calls all the time with my previous major carrier and now, I have yet to miss one. I was even able to carry over my phone number, but not as my contacts – Straight Talk does not allow you to carry over contacts at this point. Their incredibly well priced deal makes up for any minor issues – I’m saving more than $50 a month with the ST $45 unlimited use plan. I know other prepaid companies offer a similair type of deal, but the benefits with Straight Talk just seemed to be the right fit for me. I even found their selection of phones to be better than I would have expected with a prepaid company – the Samsung Finesse is turning out to be a quality Smart Phone.

  45. Joe Crowley

    I am extremely interested in this service. I currently have a Blackberry Tour through Verizon wireless and am getting hit for over $200 per month on a family plan. The one thing I’m surious about, do any of the phones offered by straightalk allow you to sync your contacts and calendar with your computer, or with yahoo mail? Thanks for your time.

  46. Kimberly

    Despite all the negative comments to the contary, Straight Talk is really a service I’m glad to have. Their $45 unlimited use plan is saving me $50 a month over my previous carrier as well as my usual overage fees. I hated my contracts and buying out of them always seemed more trouble than it was worth, but Straight Talk has no contract and I am in total control of my bills – I can finally just purchase a phone whenever and for whoever I want to pay. I used to drop calls all the time and now on the ST Verizon network, I have double the coverage I ever had and I have yet to drop a call. I was even able to carry over my previous phone number and the customer service really helped smooth over a few minor activation issues quickly. I was never one for prepaid so I’m happy to say that Straight Talk is worth the cancellation fees with AT&T.

  47. Andy

    FOR THE LOVE OF PETE!!!! I have looked everywhere for an answer to my simple question! ALL I want to know is if I can transfer my contacts from my current phone, different carrier, to my new phone if I make the switch to Straight Talk…. C.S does SUCK! The guy told me I could transfer my contacts but then later on in the conversation he said that I couldn’t and he suggested I write down all my contacts on a piece of paper and MANUALLY put them in!!!! I just want a straight answer! IS THAT SO WRONG!?!!?!?!??!

  48. StraightTalkMe

    Best bet is to write down your contacts, or if you have them on a sim, get a sim reader and transfer them to your computer. Might also be able to do so by Bluetooth, but this varies by model.

  49. Ugh Is Me

    While the price on this service it right, you most definitely get what you pay for in terms of customer service. If you are a straight up new user who doesn’t mind having a new phone number, this service is for you. If you are trying to port in a number, well good luck to you!

    I have been in this process well over a week and after my last call 10 minutes ago, I was told that a new order had been placed to get my number and that the process was starting over. This was after a CS person called me yesterday to tell me (for the first time) that they had ported my number, but could not add it to their system due to the initial zipcode apparently not having service with them. I was told my only solution was to go back to AT&T (which is just cost me $200 to buy out of my contract), pay all the fees to initialize a new contract again, and have them try to get my number back from ST. If I followed their current advice this whole process, including buying their phone and two service cards (since my phone had been active for one day on another card, they made me buy a new service card to port in my number), is going to cost me just over $400 and which has gotten me one day of service and over a week of very important missed calls.

    Once again, if you are a new customer with a new number (and have the software to import your numbers (none of ST’s Samsumg models work with this software so see if you can get a hold of the ST Razr which is compatible with most software)), ST is the choice for you. Anything more complex, you will be faced with an absolute nightmare that will cost you money instead of saving you anything.

    If I am told “please call back again in 24 hours” I am going to scream.

  50. Another day, another call to ST CS

    Hey, it is “UGH is me” again with more cheerful news from the nightmare world of Straight Talk customer service.

    Well yesterday they told me to call in 24 hours, and that of course, my line would be activated…

    So I took their advice (have been doing the same thing every day since April 3rd) and called back today, and once again was told, “I am sorry sir, we are still working on activating your phone, please call back in 24 hours.”

    So this time I asked to speak to a supervisor so I could get more details. After 10 minutes or so of shuffling the phone around (person didn’t actually put me on hold), they put a supervisor on the phone who told me the EXACT same thing. I asked her if she could contact someone in technical support (which I know they have the capacity to do) and gather more details for me. She simply ignored my request and said once again, wait 24 hours and call again.

    She then asked me if I had tried calling their *22890 automatic activation service. When I said I had been calling that number about 20 times a day for almost 10 days she acted like she did not believe me and if I was dialing the number correctly…

    So here I am, still no phone, paying for two lines (they still keep telling me not to cancel my phone with AT&T yet until this is completed), and getting the same response once again, “Please call back in 24 hours, we are still working on your case.”

    Their website claims the longest this process will take is 7 days, and here I am on day 9 with a customer service team that is still leaving me clueless as to when (or if) this will ever get fixed.

    If I didn’t have about 100 resumes circulating out there with my number I am trying to port, I would just give up and get a new number, but I really can’t afford to risk a potential employer not being able to contact me (which has been the situation now since April 3rd)…

    Thanks straight talk for another 24 hours of frustration, another day of paying for a non-existent service, and possibly costing me employment.

    When I first heard about this company I told tons of people to check it out and that I would update them on my experiences so they could switch over too… I wonder is ST is even aware of how many potential customers their CS team costs them every day?