MacInTouch Reader Reports

Mac Marginalization: Phones

Dec. 7, 2009
Jun. 27, 2012
Jun. 28, 2012
Jun. 29, 2012
Dec. 7, 2009


Roger S. Cohen

I was excited about buying a Panasonic KX-TG9381T two-line cordless telephone/answering machine. It features two firsts for a cordless telephone -- 1) Works with Bluetooth, and 2) Imports up to 600 phone numbers from your cell phone.

But... guess what...

Phonebook Transfer from Cell Phone via Bluetooth*
Transfer up to 600 names and numbers from your cell phone to the built-in directory via Bluetooth. Perfect for business people who constant add to their cell phone directory and need a simple way to get them on their office phone directory.

*Not compatible with the iphone

Jun. 27, 2012


Paul Brandon

Tracfone's Web site does not play well with Macs (at least my iMac under system 10.6.6.

I tried four browsers (Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Camino); all of them gave me error messages.

Switched to my PC netbook and had no problem.

Jun. 28, 2012


David Krafchick

I use Tracfone's web site with no problems. What kind of error were you getting?


MacInTouch Reader

Paul Brandon said:

"Tracfone's Web site does not play well with Macs (at least my iMac under system 10.6.6. I tried four browsers (Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Camino); all of them gave me error messages. Switched to my PC netbook and had no problem."

I just used their web site last night to reactivate a phone with expired service and to purchase more minutes. I managed to complete both tasks running Tiger on my G5 iMac with no error messages.

I say "managed" because I find their web site and instructions very difficult to follow. Some instructions are incomplete and don't cover all situations. Feedback as to whether processes are proceeding properly is inconsistent. Completing some steps reslts in a confirmation screen, some don't.

Sometimes you are presented with several options, none of which which seem to represent your actual situation. After entering lots of stuff, guessing as to which boxes to check, etc. I figured that I wasn't getting anywhere, when I suddenly got a message on my phone's display screen that my account was now active. The corresponding messages on my computer screen seemed to imply that my phone hadn't been reactivated. But the phone works, so I'm all set.

Some of the prompts and info screens displayed on the computer during the reactivation process mentioned a 30-day limit for keeping your previous phone number, so the other good news was that even though my phone service had been inactive for 6 weeks, my same old number was still in my account, and I was able to keep it, and unused minutes from my previous service period were also carried forward.

I know what some readers may be wondering. The answer is yes, I will be purchasing my first iPhone, but I'm waiting until the new model comes out presumably at the end of the summer.


MacInTouch Reader

Taking your hint, I tried to access via my Firefox 13/iMac/Snow Leopard system and discovered a lot of errors on some pages (those requiring form entry mostly). You cannot proceed with TracFone support unless you can enter your phone's serial number on a web form. I did so, and got Error. I was able to get an e-mail to Tech Support and late this afternoon they called back from Asia with a new procedure.

Apparently TracFone is updating its services and that requires rejigging your phone to work with local cell towers. Or more likely , those cell tower owners are forcing TracFone to upgrade. TracFone does not own any cell towers... they lease or code share. In my case I was assigned a local Verizon phone number when I got my phone four years ago.

You will have to enter a new code into your phone before the website will accept queries. The nice lady in India will walk you through this. It is a 17-digit code so be sure you write it down before punching it in. TracFone apparently cannot do anything in less than 16 digits....

She let slip that a *lot* of people using Mac computers have been in touch with them of late.

Jun. 29, 2012


Paul Brandon

This is what I eventually got when I tried to order airtime online:

An error has occurred.

Click Here to go our home page. Or, try one of the links below.

There was no Here to click!

None of the 'links below' provided any help.

I didn't try Customer Service, since in the past that has resulted in long phone calls, which they prefer to do on your Tracfone, thus chewing up more minutes.

MacInTouch Amazon link...

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