Several customers of TracFone’s Page Plus Cellular prepaid brand reported yesterday that their service had been suspended. On contacting Page Plus they were told that the suspension was due to credit card fraud. All the affected users say they had recently topped up or refilled their Page Plus account using online airtime vendor CallingMart.
I don’t know how widespread the issue is but there are five people reporting the problem on this Howard Forums’ thread, and another one on Reddit and five more on CallingMart’s Facebook page.
Page Plus is blaming CallingMart for the issue. Neither company seems to be making it easy for the affected customers. Customers report very long hold times when trying to contact both Page Plus and CallingMart. CallingMart email support has been slow to respond as well, but one user did get this reply from CallingMart last night;
Thank you for contacting us.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. There seems to be a problem with one of our providers with their credit card with Page Plus so we are sorting that out with them. For the meantime, we have moved to another provider to get your phone reactivated.
In order for us to reactive your account, can you please provide us your PagePlus phone number and account passcode so we can reactivate your service? Please, let us know by replying to this email or you may call us at 1-877-6-GET-PIN (1-877-643-8746) (Mon – Fri: 9:30 am – 11:00 pm EST, Sat – Sun: 10 am – 10 pm EST).
Thank you and we are looking forward to hear from you.’
That customer immediately replied with their phone number and passcode but as of this morning their service had not been restored. CallingMart posted a similar message on their FaceBook page saying affected customers could also get their service restored by sending them a Facebook Messenger message with their order number, phone number and passcode.
Page Plus has not been very helpful either. Page Plus CS is telling customers that they have to buy two months worth of PINs to restore their service, even though only one month’s payment was in question. One user, not liking that answer tried again and was told that he could restore service by purchasing a single airtime PIN from Page Plus online and applying it to his account. He bought and applied the PIN but that still did not restore his service.
CallingMart has been in business since 2006 and is one of the best known online airtime vendors. I’ve personally used them for nearly ten years with no issues. It sounds like the problem was with a distributor that CallingMart buys airtime from and not with CallingMart itself. I hope that’s the case. CallingMart is a small company, I can understand their CS being swamped. TracFone is huge and there’s no excuse for it to treat customers like dirt over an issue that’s not the customer’s fault. Sure, PagePlus wants to get paid for service rendered, but that should be a simple matter of getting the customer’s payment details, charging for one month and restoring service. There’s no reason for Page Plus to require customers to pay double and endure multiple long calls or chat sessions to resolve a straightforward billing issue.
Update 12:40 PM PT: I heard from a Page Plus dealer that TracFone told him that all accounts suspended by the CallingMart issue would be restored by midnight tonight. TracFone is advising customers to send in proof of purchase by fax to 305-715-6971 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.