* I'll keep this page short: just what you need to know (as of January 2022) in order to check and add minutes on/to an Alcatel, 4g capable, flip ("flip-2") phone --as branded and operated by Tracfone.
* Unlike almost every other web page on this topic, I'll assume that you're using your flip phone as a "ring-ring, hello, good-bye" pocket telephone, that you weren't somehow born knowing how to browse, "SMS" text, and that you probably ignore most of those junk text messages that make a strange sound and pile up on you.
* Here's how to check the remaining minutes and the end date (in 15 easy steps --arghhh):
~ Start with the "Home" display by clicking the lower right hang-up/end-call button (has a red line on it).
~ Click the big "OK" button. (Try to move right along, since the damn thing soonly goes dark. However: you can usually get back to where you were by clicking the "OK" button again --only once, and only when the screen is dark.)
~ Use a fingernail to click the bottom of the ring around the "OK" button --just once.
~ Click "OK" again.
~ Click the upper left (has a white line) button --to initiate a new text message.
~ Now you see a blinking cursor just after "To", where you enter the phone number --but first:
~ You must click the "#" button --twice, which changes you from the default of entering letters (via the cursed "SMS" system) to entering numbers.
~ Enter 611611
~ Use your fingernail again to click the lower part of that surrounding ring. That puts your next entries into the Message box at the bottom of the screen.
~ Click the "#" button once, to be sure you're in SMS letter entry mode.
~ Now the hard part. Quickly click the "2" button twice to enter a "b" --then:
~ Briefly wait --then click the "2" button once to enter an "a".
~ Keep going until you've entered the complete word "balance".
~ Now click the upper left (white line) button in order to send that word to Tracfone.
~ Wait --might take a minute-- and a message will come back, telling you how many minutes remain and what your end date of service is. Use that outer ring (up and down) to read the whole message.
* So okay: you bought a Tracfone "Basic Phone Card" and now you want to add it on to your remaining time.
~ Re-use the above steps to enter "611611" again, but--
~ But this time enter the word "Add" into the message box.
~ Click the "#" button twice to switch back to numbers entry mode.
~ Following "Add" (and there's no need to enter a space), carefully enter the 15 digit (scratch-off revealed) number on your card. --Double check the number you've entered.
~ Click the upper left (white line) button in order to send the word "Add" and the numbers following it to Tracfone.
~ Wait --and Tracfone will send you a message back --that everything is hunky-dory.
~ You might want to check your remaining minutes and end date one more time, but wait a few minutes.
And there you have it!
Our old 3G Tracfones use to always present the remaining minutes
and days. The first item up on the menu
was: "Add Airtime", after which you simply plunked in that long card number, after which you could see your days and minutes go up.
I suppose they made it all so difficult, thinking we'd then open an account with automatic payments --and handing over a lot more than the
$8.33/month we pay now by using a one year card (maybe with double minutes and not talking a whole bunch). Maybe that resulted in a lot of
Tracfone's frustrated senior customers switching to the likes of Consumer Cellular (and paying something like $20/month --forever).