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Thread: Safelink Wireless...yay or nay?

  1. #1
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    Safelink Wireless...yay or nay?

    I recently determined that my retired mother is eligible for Safelink service. She currently has Tracfone with a locked Moto e5 on the VZW network, with a decent amount of service on the phone (4500 minutes, 7000 texts, 5GB of data, Dec 2021 last day of service).

    She uses the phone minutes more than anything else, and goes through at least 300 per month. I can get her on a plan that allows for 350 minutes per month, which should be enough to cover the bulk of usage, then I can add more minutes for her if necessary.

    My concern is that Safelink isn't all it's cracked up to be. Free, sure, and I have an unlocked e5 that she can use with the service, however she needs to be on the VZW network. AT&T or TMO are deal breakers, non-starters. Does Safelink offer a SIM for VZW that can be used in an unlocked e5?

    I see that the minutes and data don't carry over month to month, which is fine for the free minutes, but what about minutes that are added by paying for them? Do those disappear also? I assume that you purchase minutes through Tracfone as you would with a normal TF account?

    I guess I'm wondering if this is a case of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". While it would be nice to save maybe $100 a year on service for her phone, the fact is that TF service has been 100% reliable for her over the past few years.

    I'd like some input from those who might have recent personal experience with Safelink. Thanks!

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    Do you have to use the SafeLink phone number they give you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tracfoner69 View Post
    I recently determined that my retired mother is eligible for Safelink service. She currently has Tracfone with a locked Moto e5 on the VZW network, with a decent amount of service on the phone (4500 minutes, 7000 texts, 5GB of data, Dec 2021 last day of service).

    She uses the phone minutes more than anything else, and goes through at least 300 per month. I can get her on a plan that allows for 350 minutes per month, which should be enough to cover the bulk of usage, then I can add more minutes for her if necessary.

    My concern is that the Safelink isn't all it's cracked up to be. Free, sure, and I have an unlocked e5 that she can use with the service, however she needs to be on the VZW network. AT&T or TMO are deal breakers, non-starters. Does Safelink offer a SIM for VZW that can be used in an unlocked e5?

    I see that the minutes and data don't carry over month to month, which is fine for the free minutes, but what about minutes that are added by paying for them? Do those disappear also? I assume that you purchase minutes through Tracfone as you would with a normal TF account?

    I guess I wondering if this is a case of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". While it would be nice to save maybe $100 a year on service for her phone, the fact is that TF service has been 100% reliable for her over the past few years.

    I'd like some input from those who might have recent personal experience with Safelink. Thanks!

    My friend has a Tracfone branded iPhone SE that he uses with Safelink Wireless. I help him with it. I actually just unlocked this TF branded iPhone SE for him since he has had it a year with Safelink Wireless run by Tracfone.

    The service works great. He has the 1,000 FREE monthly minutes & unlimited texts with 3GB/month of FREE data plan.

    At one point they gave substantially less than this so he had to add minutes and data etc since he would run out of minutes. So now in addition to the above that he gets every month - safelink benefits - which is more than he can use, he has like 700 purchased minutes, 3Gb data and unlimited texts as well.. in short, he has a stupid amount of minutes, texts and data. These purchased minutes and data appear to stay forever since he can't use them because they give him so much per month for free now.

    It's also been quite a while since they have bothered him for renewal. Service is listed as good till 2/21.

    It's a hell of a deal.

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    "Safelink Wireless...yay or nay?"

    I say nay. YMMV. This is my thinking. I did not let my mom cancel her landline. Here at least reverse 911 is much more dependable on landlines. Also I put her on a cheap UTT mvno. I don't want her to sweat minutes for a couple bucks.

    And afaik Safelink gives different amount of free usage depending on the State.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tracfoner69 View Post
    I see that the minutes and data don't carry over month to month, which is fine for the free minutes, but what about minutes that are added by paying for them? Do those disappear also? I assume that you purchase minutes through Tracfone as you would with a normal TF account?
    About purchased benefits (or minutes/texts/data ~ yes you buy them like normal w/ promo code)

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  6. #6
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    One thing ~ I believe Safelink Wireless doesn't provide any free international service like straight Tracfone does. IIRC we couldn't get it working on the phone so we bought the $10 international Global card and it has lasted forever to this day. He tends to use a "boss" card in any case for international calls since the connection is often better, though the TF international service has worked fine when he has used it. And of course you get the full TF international service including many mobile phone/countries with the $10.

    Actually here it is:

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    https://support.safelinkwireless.com...stions/3086444

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisme View Post
    Do you have to use the SafeLink phone number they give you?
    No, you can use your own phone number. Just port it over.
    https://support.safelinkwireless.com...stions/3086345

    My friend IIRC ported over from t-mobile to a safelink wireless flip phone.
    Then later I transferred that to a new TF iPhone SE that i bought for him, and now a year later, I unlocked it.

    There is more here about using your own unlocked phone:
    https://support.safelinkwireless.com...stions/3086436

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    Interesting - To help with COVID-19, Safelink Wireless is giving 5GB extra data for each of the months of March and April.
    I was wondering why the data was so high for this months safelink benefits when I checked it out a little while ago.

    https://support.safelinkwireless.com...stions/3089474

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    Quote Originally Posted by tracfoner69 View Post
    Does Safelink offer a SIM for VZW that can be used in an unlocked e5?
    The default is usually TMO, but there is a VZW SIM kit that looks like it is applied after the initial activation. Not sure if you can initially activate with VZW.

    "You must have a Compatible or Unlocked GSM Phone to participate in the SafeLink’s Keep Your Own Smartphone plan. Devices that have another active carrier account and devices that are reported lost or stolen are not eligible for this program. To port your existing telephone number to your SafeLink smartphone, the number you are porting must be active with your current service provider."

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by lappers View Post
    No, you can use your own phone number. Just port it over.
    Not a good idea in this case. The active phone is a Tracfone and it's service would be trapped (then lost) without a phone number. Not sure if you can transfer the entire service to Safelink. The porting information in the FAQs is all for coming in outside of Tracfone.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by loboheeler View Post
    Not a good idea in this case. The active phone is a Tracfone and it's service would be trapped (then lost) without a phone number. Not sure if you can transfer the entire service to Safelink. The porting information in the FAQs is all for coming in outside of Tracfone.
    I meant generally in response to lisme.

    But true, I'm not sure either, since we came from outside.
    Last edited by tomseys; 03-25-2020 at 07:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lappers View Post
    It's also been quite a while since they have bothered him for renewal. Service is listed as good till 2/21.
    Renewal was my downfall. That is done with the state's Lifeline department, and not through Safelink. Tried by chat, and it would cut off after a short time. Tried by phone call, and it would not recognize my number. Mailed in the form, and they claimed not receiving it. The only option was to re-apply, which I declined as it was such a PITA the first time.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by loboheeler View Post
    Renewal was my downfall. That is done with the state's Lifeline department, and not through Safelink. Tried by chat, and it would cut off after a short time. Tried by phone call, and it would not recognize my number. Mailed in the form, and they claimed not receiving it. The only option was to re-apply, which I declined as it was such a PITA the first time.
    That sucks. IIRC, my friends renewal requests i think came either by text or snail mail, and then were completed online in the online account. You have to log in. And it was nothing to do pretty much. Just confirm all is the same. But it's been a while now though.

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    Looking in the account, it looks like his last renewal was April 2017. He is disabled etc so maybe there is some extra extension with that I don't know. I don't remember what the last renewal stated in terms of how often they would continue.

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    Good answers, especially the one about the purchased service carrying over.

    International calling is not a factor. She ditched her landline months ago, so also not a factor.

    I believe I read once that you can request a VZW SIM, so I guess the question is whether it can be done from the outset, or if I'd have to play games with getting the phone on AT&T first, then migrating to VZW once service is established.

    I actually hadn't considered whether her Tracfone account could be "converted" to Safelink. That would be ideal, as it would allow her to keep all of her current minutes and phone number. Ha ha, as if they would make it that easy.

    Oh and yes, the benefits vary by state. Her state's package is only 350 minutes, unfortunately.

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