January 9, 2017

The Future of Tracfone in 2017

What to Expect from Tracfone in 2017 and a Look Back at 2016

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tracfone 2017
Future of Tracfone in 2017
A lot can happen in a year, and yet the time sometimes seems to go so quickly. Each year we share some of our expectations of what Tracfone will do, or should do in 2017, plus a review of the major advances in 2016. (you can see if we were accurate in our predictions for 2016 in last year's post)

Tracfone has been busy in 2016 and they have released a lot of new phones, and made some changes. We will start by quickly reviewing the key points from last year.

While this website (TracfoneReviewer) is not affiliated in any way with Tracfone Wireless, we are passionate about discovering and collecting the latest information and sharing it with our readers. And so based on that, we want to share some of our expectations of the future with you now.

Tracfone's Key Highlights from 2016

Here are the highlights of what occurred with Tracfone in 2016 in no particular order. Follow the links to learn more.
There were plenty of other interesting developments over the last year, but now we want to transition to what we expect from the coming year.

What to Expect from Tracfone in 2017

Tracfone continues to embrace releasing smartphones to use with their prepaid service, and allowing consumers to bring their own device to the BYOP program.

Budget Smartphones from Tracfone

We expect Tracfone to continue to release a wide variety of smartphones in the $100-$200 range. Phones in this price range usually compromise in certain areas, but still offer great value. Tracfone already released a few smartphones with 16 GB internal memory towards the end of 2016, and we expect this trend to continue.

With many of Tracfone's budget smartphones, users will likely notice the phone slowing down a little over time, and generally starting to not be able to keep up with the latest apps. This is to be expected since the phones don't usually have the latest internal specs, and the best solution is to upgrade your phone every couple of years. With some of the airtime bundles, you can get a new smartphone for just a few dollars above the cost of the airtime.

High End Apple and Android Smartphones

Tracfone released several high end smartphones in 2016 including the Samsung Galaxy S5, S6 and S7. They also released several Apple iPhones. We expect Tracfone to continue to offer certain high end phones such as the Nexus 6P, iPhone 7 and more. They do come at a high price, and for many, buying an unlocked device to use with the BYOP program is much more economical.

Tracfone BYOP Expansion

The 'Bring Your Own Phone' program has grown steadily from its rocky start a few years ago. There are still issues that exist, and plenty of our readers have faced various challenges when trying to activate a device, but overall, the process for activating a phone on the BYOP program has become much faster and smoother. Most unlocked CDMA or GSM phones are compatible, and even certain locked phones have worked. As always, try to check the ESN/IMEI of the phone with Tracfone before you buy, although this isn't always possible.

Better Customer Service

Tracfone is not known for their customer service, and if you have been a customer for very long, you know it can sometimes be very challenging getting problems fixed. However, Tracfone has been slowly making improvements to their customer service, and we expect them to continue to improve.

Already we have seen five Tracfone stores show up, where customers can come in and get help in person, and it would be nice to see more of these open up.

If someone from Tracfone happens to read this, then we also want to share a few things we want Tracfone to do in 2017.

What we Want from Tracfone in 2017

We want Tracfone to improve both their customer service and their budget smartphone options.

While we expect them to make improvements in both areas, we also want them to make improvements. Customer service is one of the biggest issues consumers have with Tracfone, and we want them to take it seriously and make changes that will make customers happy! One of the problems with their customer service is the outsourced telephone services which make it hard for many to understand.

With more and more inexpensive cell phone plans becoming available, consumers will choose the one that is easiest for them to use.

For budget smartphones, we want Tracfone to release options that feature up to 32 GB memory, 2 GB RAM and a reasonable camera. There are growing unlocked options available, such as the Moto G4 Play, and we hope Tracfone will secure phones along these lines and sell them for under $200.

That concludes our expectations for Tracfone in 2017. We hope you found this insightful about what might be coming in the near future.

Be sure to share your own expectations or what you want Tracfone to do/change in 2017 in the comments below.

Take a look at our List of Tracfone Promo Codes for January 2017 if you are adding airtime to your phone and want to get some extra minutes for free.

If you're new to Tracfone, our Beginners Guide is a great place to start.

Thanks for visiting and Happy New Year!

19 comments :

TheLanMan said...

Totally agree on wanting TF to sell more capable budget phones. However, I can see them thinking that will cut down higher price phone sales, and also kill the market for their cheapie barely-smart phones. Thank goodness the BYOP program works well now. In the past three months I've brought two Moto G4 Pluses to TF and they're working great. I was able to do almost all of that via the chat support, which worked fine for me.

MMFloyd said...

Obviously Tracfone is committed to smartphones. But they don't roam!!! I'd really like to see this issue corrected

Anonymous said...

Great article. Very informative. Definitely agree that Tracfone needs to improve customer service. I've been a customer for years and always dread getting a new phone because it always requires several marathon calls to get everything transferred from old phone to new phone.

Pilgrim Paul said...

Where are Tracfone Stores located? I could not find the information on their web site. You stated they have 5 stores.

HOODY said...

The best phone for the right "price" was this Phoenix 2 AT&T GoPhone I picked up for 30 bucks, the specs are a lot better than most Trackphone phones, and even now off Black Friday sales its still 50 bucks, this is about the right price point as far as I'm concerned.

I'm not all that interested in the 5" screen on this thing, I would have rather it been 4.5 with better pixel ratio, but for the money it was the best "food stamp" phone available (I just love those upper spending review fools use that term, smirk)

I'll be holding on to this BYOP most likely till BF 2017, when I hope to see a good 4.5" screened phone. I also think at least 2g ram, a good camera, and a min of at least 16g internal space, and a tight pixel colorful screen view-able in day light would be good. But the cost of this stuff shouldn't be anywhere near 100 bucks at this stage of saturation.

TONY B the TECH TIGER said...

Definitely agree they're getting better definitely agree they've got a ways to go. Think that straight talk would do very well if they knock the price down to $30(everyone else is starting out at that price that's help). Keep going tracfone my bad feelings for you are getting better (still have 2 parents on tracfone that's the only reason I have anything to do with them)

William McInnes said...

My only worry is that TracFone raises their prices... They have been improving their service, byop, and generally expanding their costs. I wouldn't be surprised if prices for service increase in 2017. It would still be worth it, of course.

HOODY said...

As prices and service go, I like TF, only problem I have with them is they just can't seem to offer people that use this stuff on a limited basis a "service time" only card at a reduced price, all I need most times is to just continue with the min/data I have, I never run out before my time expires, so all I end up doing is constantly buy a 60min card, which just adds more min/data for nothing since all I buy it for is to keep from loosing the min/data I already paid for but can't use up in the time allotted.

Maria Stahl said...

Thanks for the message to Tracfone about customer service. I'm in the midst of a mess with a 5-month-old smart phone that had the WSOD error and was replaced under warranty with a refurb that simply will not activate. I have been phoneless for 2-1/2 weeks now, no end in sight, and Tracfone's customer service is not helping at all. It's not a bargain if it doesn't work at all.

Anonymous said...

Last February, I purchased 3000 minutes of talk time for $90 (for another person), which was 3 cents per minute. Now the cheapest per-minute rate--even after an auto-refill discount is applied--is 4.43 cents per minute. That is almost 48% higher than it was a year ago. For a person who is on the phone often, there are better plans available elsewhere. I would like to see TracFone offer more airtime cards with the reduced rates.

Anonymous said...

Hoody,

You can buy a one year service plan at $49.95/yr with purchase of some type of airtime.

In November, I purchased 1000 texts for $5. When I made the purchase, a box popped up offering an additional year for $49.95. There was also an option to extend for two years, although there was no discount for the longer expiration.

Maybe that would help you.

William McInnes said...

Can confirm, you can still buy a one year service plan at $49.95/yr with purchase of some type of airtime, a popup comes up as Anonymous said. Great deal if you've been with Tracfone a while and will be for the foreseeable future. As someone who doesn't use many minutes this is a great option.

Call One said...

In reference to your 2-9-17 publication, your Auto Refill Plan seems a bit ambiguous.
In the area of "Smartphone Cards" the 60 min (180) card is not offered.
In the area of "Regular Airtime Cards" the 60 min (180) card is offered.

Does this mean that I cannot use a 60min (180) card in my smartphone for Auto Refill?

William McInnes said...

You can use the 60min card on any Tracfone, the difference is the smartphone only plans have different amountsof min, and per month instead of 90 days

HOODY said...

I only use the 60 min cards, because of the time, I don't need the min/data text that much.

And I get the same x3 stuff on my smartphone (BYOP)incl the 90 days.

M. Eric Bryner said...

You forgot to mention that we want OS updates OTA from them. I have wasted time talking to them and ZTE and LG about getting Marshmallow for the LG Rebel, and not either company will bother. They are very poor on updates. Where the MOTO G4 Play maybe doubled price of the LG Rebel and gets Nougat update. So Tracfone is a little behind on any OTA updates.

William McInnes said...

Bryner, no tracfone branded phones have ever gotten ota updates. this is why byop is the best option for those of us who care about it, unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

Hi I've noticed that when I purchase a new TracFone when I transfer over my minutes if they're certain that which are usually high they automatically extend my gear I don't have to pay for it so give it time if you're transferring over if you ever run out of minutes and which I never do you know data and tax specialist use the other thousand left then I get the free year

M. Eric Bryner said...

Not all BYOP offers triple minutes for life. So it is not the best option.