Tracfone and Facebook

02/06/09

I am a little frustrated. I feel jipped by the Tracfone.

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Yes. Tracfone.  I bought a Tracfone because there was an incredible sales event around Christmas time—the company was offering me a cheap-looking Motorola razr for only $30.00 with double minutes. The offer also said that phone had a built-in VGA camera and Bluetooth. I thought I would be a fool to refuse the offer, so I bought it. I am learning now the full meaning of the saying ‘the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.’ In other words, the phone and service have not been the dream come true that I had seen in the advertisement during x-mas

First of all, I was hoping to be able to take pictures with the camera, and be able to transfer them to my computer, because my laptop has Bluetooth connectivity. The phone takes pictures, that much is true. It takes full-color pictures, in VGA resolution, but let there be no mistake: The W376g does NOT support pc connectivity. There is no way that you can transfer the pictures you took on your phone to your pc. It does not support pc connectivity through its Bluetooth radio, and it does not support pc connectivity through its usb port. That was disappointing to me. I really researched this too. There are a lot of different forums on the internet that ask the question: can I get the pictures off my phone? And they all lead to the same conclusion: that is not possible, or that is very difficult. You can always send the pictures through mms to another phone that has pc connectivity, but that is expensive if you ask me. I heard you could also send pictures to an e-mail address server, but again, it costs you minutes, and ultimately money.

Second problem with Tracfone: the way it delivers its text messages. This may not be a big problem, but it has lost me some money. When Tracfone sends text messages, when you hit ‘send,’ it deducts your minutes, THEN it sends your text messages. Imagine what would happen if your phone did not have enough service, and you sent a text message—here’s what, you would lose your money and your text message would not be sent! True story by the way! My message did not send, and I lost money for that unsent message. I told Tracfone about what happened through an e-mail, and they directed me to their 1-800 number. I suppose I could have disputed it and called them through a pay phone, but I did not bother. The lesson here: When you send a text message on a Tracfone, be sure that you have a good signal before you hit the send button. Otherwise, you will be making a donation to Tracfone!

The final con of my Tracfone: the web service that comes with the phone. What’s wrong with the service called “openwave?” For one, it is not the web that you see on your pc. If it is, its just about the crappiest imitation. If it is the web you seen on your pc, it leaves about 99% of the features the internet on a computer has, to be desired! Most websites are restricted on the phone, most notably, Google! It says something when a cell phone company restricts a major search engine on the web that comes with the cell phone. So you might ask, what are the features of openwave? Well, you have several options: you can purchase a ring tone, a background, or read the weather, the regular news, or sports news. All for .5 minutes of airtime credit per minute. Now one thing you might ask is, if you don’t want to use the web, why are you complaining about it? The reason I am complaining about it, is because I want to let people know what they are getting into. Here is something that really gets me riled up: the web browser button is huge, and its located right next to cursor wheel, which makes it easy to accidently hit. Unfortunately, I often do. It is unfortunate because even when I hit exit, to get out of the browser, it still takes my money—and I don’t even see the web service! This is no doubt partly thanks to the slow processor that makes the web slower to load and appear. While some may think I should, I do not feel any shame in ripping Tracfone to shreds in this post! ;)

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Now about Facebook. I am not going to give Facebook a smear job, because it actually helped me in a unique way today. There is this girl who sits in front of me in my English class, and we are not Facebook friends, and I do not think she knows me that well, but she sits in front of me all the same. I remembered her name, and so I looked her up on Facebook. Sure enough, she was in my network at Johnny Doe university. I was kind of wondering whether she was single, and I thought it would be interesting to get to talk to her, possibly ask her out. Well it is a good thing I visited her Facebook profile—turns out she is dating some other guy! I can thank Facebook for telling me if the girl was in a relationship or not. I saw a picture with her and this guy who is ‘in a relationship’ with her, and that confirmed it. Now I suppose I could have asked one of her friends, or I could have just found out myself by asking her, (if she was with another guy) the old-fashioned way, but I am glad that I was able to understand her social status one way or another.

While we are talking about facebook, I realize that it is already common knowledge to most people, but if not then I’ll say it anyway: that Facebook is a place that employers visit to evaluate whether or not to hire a potential prospective employee. My sister use to be really into Facebook. She would check it on the order of three to four times a day in the summer. I looked for her profile tonight, and it was gone! I’ll have to ask her why she did it, but I have a strong feeling that her future employment had a hand in why she terminated her account. I do not think that it is right that colleges and employers be able to judge a person by a few words in the ‘info’ tab or a few pictures, or perhaps even one—your profile picture. I do not think that judging is right in the first place, so it is a big problem when you use this hard-and-fast method. It’s a lot of bad things, but of all of them, mainly its unfair. That’s all for today.

-Willard

END OF ENTRY

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3 responses to “Tracfone and Facebook

  1. You are absolutely right about everything you said. But I think you are being a bit harsh on tracfone. I have a net10 phone, which is owned by tracfone, and while I have the same problems as you, net10 is always glad to refund me.

  2. Completely agree on both of your subjects. I have a Tracfone too, possibly the same MODEL. I FEEL YOUR PAIN!!!!1111!111111!!!!!!1111oneone Especially the deduction, THEN sending. You have to resend it from outbox, and it deducts it again!

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