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Thread: is swapping Tracfone SIM card(Verizon) back and forth between two unlocked phones no longer allowed?

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    is swapping Tracfone SIM card(Verizon) back and forth between two unlocked phones no longer allowed?

    is swapping Tracfone SIM card(Verizon) back and forth between two unlocked phones no longer allowed?

    (iPhone 13 Pro and Samsung S22, both were purchased as unlocked from Apple Store and Samsung.com originally)

    The SIM is usually in the iPhone, but sometimes I wish to put the SIM in the Galaxy S22 to do things that can only be done in Android... then put the SIM back into the iPhone...

    Thanks!

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    Correct, TF/VZW sim swapping is no longer allowed. You can get your service suspended by doing it.

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    For some reason, I had thought that the no-sim-swapping rule is for TF-branded phones. Meaning phones that may now be unlocked, but that were "born" as TF phones, since TF retains information on its "children" in its child-custody database for ever.

    So it seems to me that if someone purchases unlocked phones (like OP did), it's really unfair of Tracfone to prevent people from swapping a SIM from one unlocked phone to another.

    I mean, if I spent more money buying an unlocked phone, I know I'd want to have the freedom to do whatever I wanted with respect to sim-swapping. I'd get quite upset if Tracfone suspended my service for swapping a sim in and out of unlocked phones. Is this sim-swapping restriction - even for phones purchased as unlocked phones - a Verizon thing, or a Tracfone thing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sillyette View Post
    I mean, if I spent more money buying an unlocked phone, I know I'd want to have the freedom to do whatever I wanted with respect to sim-swapping. I'd get quite upset if Tracfone suspended my service for swapping a sim in and out of unlocked phones.
    I think it's funny when people argue "I bought that thing with my money and I can do whatever I want with it". Well, within certain limits. Let's say you bought a car with your own money. Yes, you can mostly decorate it, modify it, paint it however you want, but you can't mount search lights in front of the car that will blind other drivers, or drive 100 mph on city streets, etc.

    Is this sim-swapping restriction - even for phones purchased as unlocked phones - a Verizon thing, or a Tracfone thing?
    Verizon wants to make sure that the phone you want to use on Verizon is compatible with their system. That's why for the last several years you have to provide the IMEI of a phone on Verizon's whitelist in order to activate a BYOP TF/Verizon SIM (they know the TF-sold phones are compatible). Then Verizon pairs that IMEI to the BYOP SIM to know when you do a SIM swap. If they allow you to SIM swap freely after activation, then that IMEI check was for naught.

    TF reps now are asking for an IMEI when you want to activate a BYOP AT&T or T-mo SIM. They might some day start enforcing the pairing for those SIMs too.

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    That's not a reason for disallowing SIM swapping between compatible phones. They could have you register multiple IMEI and check that each phone is compatible. Then let you swap between registered phones.

    The original reason for having SIM cards was so you can swap them in the first place.

    Also, it is all a sham, this bit about compatibility. Verizon can see your IMEI and SIM anyway (that's how they "catch" you SIM swapping). So, they could just not let you use your phone if it really wasn't compatible.

    Finally, other services (e.g., Tello) make it very easy to change your phone by entering a new IMEI their website. So, no reason for TF to make it such a big deal to move your SIM to a different phone

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    Quote Originally Posted by rchang View Post
    That's not a reason for disallowing SIM swapping between compatible phones.
    Then what is the reason for Verizon not allowing SIM swapping?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    Then what is the reason for Verizon not allowing SIM swapping?
    just verizon being verizon.... I don't know any other carrier or MVNO that doesn't allow sim swapping unless it's an incompatible phone or sim in which case it just doesn't register on the network.

    even my extended family finally decided to make the switch to Tmobile last week after nearly 20 years with Verizon, and got a few free new Iphone 14 Pros for switching. verizon continues to bleed customers and with their continued hard handed tactics, so will bleed more in the years to come:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=veri...rizon+lossing+

    Edit:
    Verizon CEO blames it on price increases but I think it more than that...., they're the most inflexible carrier around that puts investors 1st over customers. used to be all about the best coverage at a premium. they're only marginally better in coverage these days. not worth the premium anymore unless you're a business customer. great if you're an investor or business customer with a bulk plan discount

    https://www.lightreading.com/5g/veri.../d/d-id/780397
    Last edited by hapollo8; 09-30-2022 at 03:49 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hapollo8 View Post
    even my extended family finally decided to make the switch to Tmobile last week after nearly 20 years with Verizon, and got a few free new Iphone 14 Pros for switching.
    Your extended family also had to sign a contract to get those free phones. If they don't fulfill that contract they will have to pay the remaining balance on the phones.

    This is the reason some of us go for the no contract prepaid carriers. I myself don't want to be tied down by a contract. If the service isn't working, I want the option of moving on to the next one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NanaC View Post
    Your extended family also had to sign a contract to get those free phones. If they don't fulfill that contract they will have to pay the remaining balance on the phones.

    This is the reason some of us go for the no contract prepaid carriers. I myself don't want to be tied down by a contract. If the service isn't working, I want the option of moving on to the next one.
    I don't know the details of their conversion but if they've been on Verizon for nearly 20 years, 2 years with Tmo would be a walk in the park.
    i may find out more about their contract over the holidays but I've been telling them they've been overpaying for years so they finally decided to make the switch last week when the Iphone 14s came out.

    I've been on Tmo Gold Rewards since 2008 and just added TF last year after various Freedompop, Mint and RingPlus Free plans went away; so the benefits of pre-paid/free is something I am well aware of. Moreover, since GV is the only number I give out, switching plans or phones behind the scenes is easy.

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    Can anyone confirm if Verizon itself allows sim swapping? From a couple things I've read in the Verizon forums over the years, they "recommend" you contact them to confirm compatibility. Not that it's mandatory or you'll suffer some sort of disconnect punishment. There are several Verizon MVNOs that allow it. PagePlus, a TF company, being one. And once when I was trying out US Mobile(Vzw) and having a phone issue they told I could swap the sim to another compatible phone. I also vaguely recall a couple TF users that swapped and saw their imei auto updated in their account.
    In cases where people would swap sims then get some notice to return the sim to the original phone, it ended up being their phone wasn't compatible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rchang View Post
    That's not a reason for disallowing SIM swapping between compatible phones. They could have you register multiple IMEI and check that each phone is compatible. Then let you swap between registered phones.

    The original reason for having SIM cards was so you can swap them in the first place.

    Also, it is all a sham, this bit about compatibility. Verizon can see your IMEI and SIM anyway (that's how they "catch" you SIM swapping). So, they could just not let you use your phone if it really wasn't compatible.

    Finally, other services (e.g., Tello) make it very easy to change your phone by entering a new IMEI their website. So, no reason for TF to make it such a big deal to move your SIM to a different phone
    Verizon could do a lot of things to make the service better, but there not going to.

    I know for a fact service can and will get suspended for sim swapping on Verizon towers. It happened to me and I had to call customer service to see why my phone wasn't working. The CSR told me because I was sim swapping, lectured me about it not being allowed anymore. Told me I needed to do a transfer of service next time or else my service would be deactivated completely.

    Its not just TracFone they don't allow sim swapping on, its Verizon pre-paid also. Couple years ago my husband had Verizon pre-paid and swapped his sim into an unlocked phone then put it back into the other phone. His sim card was deactivated and his phone was blacklisted. This was on a weekend with no live customer service available. All a Verizon walk in store would do was give him a new sim card and a phone number to call. Now this was the kicker, in order to get through to Verizon customer service you had to call from the number associated with your account. Husband couldn't do that since his sim card was fried. He's self employed and needed to keep his number so we had to get another phone and were able to transfer the account from the old phone to the new phone in his account online. Not long after this mess he switched to Cricket, been happy ever since.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpz1 View Post
    Can anyone confirm if Verizon itself allows sim swapping
    I know on VZW postpaid, sim swapping is allowed without any notification to VZW. I've done this multiple times using extended family's sim(s) on various Android/Iphone devices without issues. even used it in a hotspot (depends on plan though) for sharing the data during family trips. Not sure about VZW MVNOs though.

    When you insert the sim into another unlocked phone/hotspot or VZW locked phone, it either registers or not within minutes and the account page updates with a picture of the new device and IMEI.

    Don't know what it is about TF or VZW MVNOs that they have limitations. But knowing VZW, it's profit related.
    Last edited by hapollo8; 09-30-2022 at 05:03 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpz1 View Post
    I also vaguely recall a couple TF users that swapped and saw their imei auto updated in their account.
    The problem is that they don't re-pair CONSISTENTLY. Sometimes they do, sometimes they shut down your service or take other actions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rchang View Post
    The original reason for having SIM cards was so you can swap them in the first place.
    Not exactly. SIM cards were developed to minimize fraud and make US phones more compatible with cellular carriers worldwide. The ability to swap SIM cards was an additional benefit for cellular users but not the primary reason.

    SIM cards were first used in the US on T-Mobile and At&t when the older analog and TDMA phones were discontinued. Sprint and Verizon didn't use SIM cards in the US until 4G (LTE/VOLTE) were rolled out nationwide.
    Just another day in paradise.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Serial Port View Post
    Not exactly. SIM cards were developed to minimize fraud .
    Ironically, nowadays it has evolved to increase fraud thru sim swap scams since 2FA is used for authentication more often by vendors on mobile phones

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