Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Next try at Tracfone Moto G BYOD

 First attempt recap

   This will be my second attempt to bring a 2013 Moto G to Tracfone through their BYOD program.  In my last blog entry I went through my first attempt to BYOD a Moto G to Tracfone.  The seller did not realize it was a locked phone that he sent me so I arranged to return it with him.  I still believe the Moto G is the best phone choice to BOYD to Tracfone so I believe it is worth a second try to find a Tracfone compatible phone. As they say "if you at first do not succeed try try again".  I am not one to give up when I believe there is still the hope of success still in the air, so here it is take two.

    Before I returned the Moto G I backed it up with both Motorola's backup system and Helium by ClockworkMod.  I hope this will help me restore all the settings and apps I had already had set up to lesson my set up some on my replacement phone.  I then wiped it back to factory condition and returned it. (EDIT: It helped with getting me a start, but it is no complete backup. There was plenty of re-setup work to do)

My Moto G replacement 

   The Motorola MOTO G - 8GB - Black Tracfone, Verizon, Page Plus Android smartphone from ebay costs $105 mfg refurbished with shipping as of this post.  I will be giving it a try as a BYOD device. The seller Paradise Aquatics specifically states that it is ready to be used for the Tracfone BYOD program. Here is an excerpt from his add:

 Used Moto G from paradiseaquatics from ebay
Mfg. Rfrb. Moto G from Paradise Aquatics on Ebay
   "Not all MOTO G phones for Verizon and PagePlus will work on Tracfone. I have taken the time to go through these manufactures refurbished phones and verify each phone I sell with Tracfone. The phone must have previously been used on a postpaid account for at least 6 months. 
   These phones have been verified to work with Tracfone . The phones in the photo are the actual phones listed , it has been reconditioned and all of them show minor signs of use and charging port tested. If you have any questions please contact me. I have activated several of these phones on Tracfone service online and if you currently have a Tracfone account the Minutes, Text and Data will be transferred as well as Triple Minutes for life. 
   If you have any questions about this phone please allow at least 3 hours in some cases for me to respond. These are the best smart phones available for Tracfone right now. The phone you will receive is verified to work with the Tracfone BYOD program."
    I am pleased to see that this seller specifically states that his phones are verified to work with Tracfone.

   Easy hookup

   I ordered it on November 26.   I received it on the 1st and went to the BYOD MEID number setup page at tracfone and easily connected it with just a few prompted steps.

The Triple Minute Question

   When I went to subscribe to the Monthly '50 Minute Value Plan' I saw no hint that the minutes would be tripled as I expected. So I did a chat with Tracfone and had the following conversation. 11-3-2014
Junior has entered the session.
Paul : How do I ensure I get my triple minutes when I enroll into a value plan? It is not mentioned when i got to buy it. Scary buying blind. Can I enter a redemption code so it shows up before I purchase? I have 3 other family members who like your tripple minute plan and I also want to assure them it does work smoothly when they BYOD their Moto G's they are also purchasing over.
Junior : Hello Paul. Thank you for visiting TracFone Wireless.
Junior : Please allow me a moment while I check on this.
Junior : Thank you for waiting Paul. Actually, the value plan will not provide you with triple minutes. This kind of benefit is exclusive of TracFone Android phones. You can only get double minutes if you purchase a double minutes card to your phone first and the purchase the value plan.
Junior : If you have any further questions or comments, please contact one of our customer care representatives at 1-800-867-7183. For your convenience, our representatives are available Monday – Sunday from 8:00 AM to 11:45 PM EST. Thank you for chatting with TracFone Wireless. You are the only user left in the session.
  And there I was feeling rather just dropped and hung up on, never got another word in past my original question. I found the conversion rather confusing as all else indicates triple minutes. I did not think the above to be accurate so I took the plunge and tested it out. True to expectations, the minutes were rippled when I subscribed to the '50 Minute Value Plan'. I got 150 Minutes, 150 Texts and150MB of Data added to my previous starter card amounts.

Loose charge plug

   The charge plug on my Moto G phone is rather loose and I have only one charge cable that for some reason fits tighter and gives a charge out of 3 other cables. It looks and measures the same physically as far as the eye can see with the other chords that fit our Nexus 7 and our phone. I contacted to sell to see if he has any experience with this or if a special / proprietary Motorola USB plug is needed. These refurbed Moto G's do not come with a power chord. Dec. 4 2014 9:49 AM
My micro usb plug is VERY loose. I got a couple charges with a standard micro USB. (only one seemed to make any fit at all) I chalked this up to it being a used/refurb phone but it is so loose as to be unusable. Did motorola use a proprietary plug? I will find and purchase one if they did. Please tell tell me all I have to do is buy a proprietary plug. If they went this route I would be disappointed at Motorola, but I do not like the idea of having to return the phone and find another. I am perfectly dialed in and set up too.
  I really like the moto G, it is a nice phone and the rest of our family members are drooling over getting one as well. My Brother Earl already pressed the buy button from the same ebay seller as I got mine from.  I am in real hope to be lead to a cable that works well for this phone by my seller.   Then I can direct the rest of my 3 family members that want this phone to it to make the transition easier on them. If this is an issue with Motorola phones I hope the seller has experience with this. (He is a Moto G user himself)
    Hi, You may need a different USB charger. I used a 2100mA plug/ USB Micro charger to test each phone. The phones USB ports are inspected with a magnified glass for any damage and to make sure the USB cord fits snug. The cord your using and the one I have my be different. It depends on the quality of the USB cord also, I do have some USB cable that fit loose that I got off ebay and they don't work well. If you get another cable and still having problems with the phone I will give you a refund once the phone is returned. Thank you, Tim
   So no specific charger recommended So I am thinking a buying a good brand high quality charger. I will do some research.

UPDATE Dec 18, 2014: I found a newer tighter plug among my cords that works well. From research I found that it is the cords that get looser with age as designed. They will need replacing over time as they get loose. That said wear on the USB port mostly happens through connection torquing. Inserting straight in and out when Un/Connecting and using caution if you use your phone while connected so as not to stress connection.

My Moto G and Tracfone service is working great for me. Mt Brother decided also to get a Moto G and move to Tracfone. My wife and another Brother are merely waiting on purchasing a Moto G. I should have gotten a commision. LOL