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Zact device eligibility for Ting

This post has been updated 12/11/14.  The Zact phone number listed in the comments below is no longer active, and at this point, it seems like emails to cs@zact.com are no longer getting a response.  The window to transfer a Zact phone may have closed, since the Virgin Mobile Custom people do not seem to know how to deactivate the devices and as discussed below, the devices remain actively tied to them even after a number has been ported. 

 

A couple of users have reported that the "Virgin Mobile Angels" have been able to get their device released.  The email address posted below is "SaveMe@Thevirginangels.com", and some persistence may be required.

 

It is possible that when Virgin Mobile Custom rolls out their unlocking policy (http://www.virginmobileusa.com/unlock) next year, the situation might change.

 

Ting has been great about trying to support phones that were sold by Zact.  The current list is:

Samsung Galaxy Victory (PLSL300KIT) = Yes

Samsung Galaxy S3 (PLL710KIT) = Yes

Samsung Prevail 2 = Yes (confirmation from an actual user would be nice)

ZTE Awe = Yes

LG Optimus Elite = No, see below.  Likely to be similar to the LG Viper.

LG Viper = Yes, but the ROM needs to be flashed to stock.  Thanks Space Cowboy.

Instructions - http://androidforums.com/viper-4g-lte-all-things-root/633776-how-unbrick-lgls840-back-too-ls840zvc-ls840zvd-firmware.html

ZVD to download - http://d-h.st/nP6

 

Other details for making the switch are below. 

Jason Sensibaugh

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Thanks for posting more of the background!  I'm hoping for someone with Ting to engage with us on this, so let's try to keep it more about how they can get more activations and less about what Zact should or shouldn't have said.

Assuming an unlocked ESN and ItsOn software disabled, which Zact devices will Ting activate?  So far the list is:

Samsung Galaxy Victory (PLSL300KIT) = No, even though RingPlus would activate it.

Samsung Galaxy S3 (PLL710KIT) = Yes

ZTE Awe = ?

LG Viper = ?

LG Optimus Elite = ?

Any others?

 

 

Jason Sensibaugh 0 votes
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Great discussion happening here. We've got some really sharp minds here. I'll cut to the meat and potatoes. What is stopping the Zact Samsung Galaxy Victory (PLSL300KIT) from being able to make the move to TIng? Nothing, except our awareness. We've updated our database and the phone is free to add to your Ting account. There was no block or ban. Please add the device to your heart's content.

The BYOD program is still relatively young and there may be a model or two that we're missing. Our goal is to make the BYOD list as big as possible; banning devices moves us in the opposite direction. Thankfully, there may be times where our Ting faithful will catch a device before us. And we love and appreciate it.

Some Zact devices have custom ROMs on them. Those will be unable to make the move to Ting. Here are the devices we know about:

  • LG Viper
  • LG Optimus Elite

We've been successful with Victories and Galaxy's thus far, though we've yet to encounter the ZTE Awe.

As Space Cowboy pointed out, some will also have the ItsOn Client installed, which will prevent the device from moving away from Zact. This application must be disabled from the DATA recovery menu.

  1. Enter # # DATA # into your dial pad
  2. Click Edit
  3. Enter your MSL 
  4. Select ItsOnClient
  5. Select Disable

If you have an ESN for either the PLSL300KIT or the ZTE Awe, we'd love to hear from you.

Brennan V 0 votes
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Ting is awesome.  It is like you have real thinking human beings there somewhere.  I've begun activating my Victory, and will encourage other ex-Zact users to do the same.  I sincerely hope that Zact's demise turns into your gain.

Jason Sensibaugh 0 votes
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About flashing to a Sprint ROM....maybe? There's only one way to find out, so I hope you're either comfortable with flashing ROMs or are unattached to your device. You'd likely to be the first to attempt. 

The only way to get the device deactivated is by the (previous) account holder contacting Zact. I can't comment on Zact's device policy, except to say...that that's not a process Ting would ever adopt. 

Email: cs@zact.com

Phone: (855) 341-4662

 

Brennan V 0 votes
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I had only been a Zact customer for a month when they sold to Virgin Mobile. Zact told me that if they disabled the account it would instantly nuke my phone number.  So I migrated the account because Virgin Custom was touted as being the same all around, only to discover that my phone is now useless because Virgin charges an arm and a leg for roaming, whereas it was free on Zact. (ALL Sprint coverage here is roaming, 100%.) So I am going elsewhere. I'd prefer not to have to buy a new phone right off. (I dislike this phone intensely, but I already have it.)

Anyway it's a ZTE N800. Where do I find this mythical MSL number?

 

 

Rez Zircon 0 votes
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Hey Rez, the MSL can be found under the Device Settings page of your Ting account after you add that phone to Ting.

To add the phone to the account, you will need to check its MEID and put that in our checker. That's usually located under the battery or in Settings - About / Status.

Felipe S 0 votes
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The phone spit up two different numbers. Your checker doesn't like either one of them. :(

I am so unhappy with the whole cellphone thing, I'm about to go back to no phone at all. ;<

 

Rez Zircon 0 votes
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A T-Mobile phone definitely won't work.  If you'd like to preserve your phone number, the very first step is to port your phone number to a different device.  If you don't have one, I've heard that Ting might be able to provide a dummy ESN number to temporarily store it.  If not, I have a device that might be helpful in another day or two, but need to finish porting over a different number first.

Once you port the number, you would contact Zact at the phone or email Brennan mentioned above to deactivate the device.

 

Once the device is deactivated, then there is a chance that Ting's ESN checker will accept it.  However, you might be the first person trying to bring over an Awe, and if the ESN checker doesn't work, it might still be worth opening a help request with Ting and sending your ESN number to them. 

Jason Sensibaugh 0 votes
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If I decide to go with Ting that sounds like a possible plan -- right now the number is parked with Virgin because of the aforementioned fiasco. If I can get a 406 area code number I'd let the old number go.

Supposedly Sprint has coverage in this part of Montana, but since I was right smack in the heart of the best reception area when it insisted it required extra payment for roaming, it appears maybe they don't really have coverage from their own towers.

There is normally no signal at home at all, but while with Zact, using my Wilson booster I could get a weak signal from a private repeater which uses AT&T. Zact did not appear to roam to Cellular One *ever* (which made big dead areas). I know exactly where it should change over from watching the old phone do it.

I'm very reluctant to buy another phone just to find out it's not going to work here.

How do I check if the old T-Mobile phone will work? It's a fairly primitive phone.

 

Rez Zircon 0 votes
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If you don't care about keeping your number, then to go down the Ting route, you need to contact Zact at the info Brennan posted above and fully deactivate your device.  The device needs to be deactivated, not just the account or phone number.  I think Ting assigns new phone numbers based on the billing address you provide, so you should probably get the 406 area code if that is where you live.  There is still no guarantee that Ting will be able to activate this phone, but at this point, it looks like you won't be able to find out until you get Zact to deactivate it.

 

One other perk with Ting is that they support the Airave, which will create a mini-Sprint tower in your home if you live in an area that Sprint publishes as covered, and you have a broadband connection.  The Airave is not without its quirks, but it really does a good job for me in a house that gets very little signal from any provider due to the topography of the area around me.

 

 

Jason Sensibaugh 0 votes
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The reason Zact did not roam onto Cellular One is that Cellular One (in Montana), like AT&T and T-Mobile, uses a GSM signal to communicate.  Verizon and Sprint use CDMA, and they are not compatible with GSM.  Ting operates on the Sprint Network, and can only roam onto other networks that use CDMA.

 

Also, it doesn't look like Cellular One will be around much longer:

http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/cellular-one-shutting-down-service-montana-wyoming/2014-08-13

 

Jason Sensibaugh 0 votes
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"Cellular One was designated an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) by the Montana PSC in 2008, allowing the company to receive approximately $20 million in federal subsidies to build its network in underserved rural areas."

Yeah, and all they actually did was go around buying up locals like Chinook, so now people who had service before Cellular One won't have any. They should have to give the subsidy money back.

So tell me how the Zact phone got a signal from a private repeater that I know uses AT&T ?? (At least, if I had it connected to the booster. The repeater belongs to the volunteer fire chief but doesn't have much range.) Maybe the repeater hardware swings both ways?

 

Anyway I'd need a confirm on what Ting can do me for a phone number before I proceed to nuke the Zact device and the old number.

 

Rez Zircon 0 votes
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I'm not familiar with it, but can see from their FAQ that the Wilson booster would be able to amplify both GSM and CDMA signals.  Maybe the fire chief's repeater was also picking up both, or your Wilson booster was picking up a weak CDMA tower.

Jason Sensibaugh 0 votes
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My understanding is that is a limitation of the ZenDesk forum that integrates with Ting's HelpDesk system.

It also does not support Safari on iPad. You cannot line breaks in your postings from an iPad. Everything is on one line.

Bruce Osborne 0 votes
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So back to the original topic of Zact devices moving over to Ting....Is it possible?  Has there be success with a SG Victory making the switch?  I was bumped to Virgin Mobile Custom, but we do not get service in our neighborhood or around town, (not sure why, as they use Sprint lines just like Zact did and we had great cell service with Zact)  So, do I need to contact Virgin Mobile Custom for have our devices deactivated with them?  Zact said they cannot do that since we ported over to the VMC.  Any new word on the ZWE Awe phone? 

Sharon Compton 0 votes
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As soon as I run out of what I paid for with *&%*&$^^% Virgin Mobile (with their fee for roaming their charges come to... are you sitting down? ... $160 for 1500 minutes!!) my Zact Awe phone is up for an experiment in Tingifying.

 

Rez Zircon 0 votes
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Please give us an update on how the experiment goes.  And could you give details on how you made the switch over...what you have to do to make the switch.  I would greatly appreciate it.  I am not a techie, but willing to try it all out.  Thanks.

Sharon Compton 0 votes
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Sharon....  yes, my SG Victory made the switch without much difficulty.  Here are the steps.:

1) Decide if you would like to keep your existing phone number.  If no, go to the next step.  If the answer is yes, you need to port this number to another device first, and it would be best if this device was already activated with Ting.  If you do not have a spare device, you might try contacting Ting customer support to see if they will help you temporarily port your number to one of their devices.

2) Contact Zact CS at : (855) 341-4662 to disable your device.  You might need to leave a voicemail, but they have been prompt about calling back for me.  Contacting regular Virgin Mobile Customer customer service has been a waste of time.  You will need to provide them the ESN, at a minimum, and possibly the security information for your account.  I found that if I only gave them my account number, they didn't do the deactivation correctly.  I needed to give them the ESN.  The ESN can often be found by removing the back cover, or underneath the battery.  Done correctly, the deactivation should process almost instantly, and your phone we be available to transfer within 5 minutes.

3) Attempt to activate your device by typing the ESN into Ting's automated activation tool.  If it indicates that you are required to port a number (instead of assigning a new one or swapping your phone number that you had saved on your spare device), the deactivation wasn't done right and you will need to contact Zact again.

https://ting.com/go/devices

4) During the activation, you will be provided the MSL number for your phone (on screen and by email).  Once you have it, you can see in the thread above the instructions for disabling the ItsOn software.  That software needs to be disabled before the activation will complete.

 

5) If you've gotten this far, you should have received instructions to trigger a carrier wipe and initiate the automatic activation sequence. This needs be done with Wifi off and in an area with actual Sprint service (not roaming).  If you do not have access to sprint service, there are ways to manually provision the phone, but this thread isn't the best place to explain it.  The number to dial to trigger the carrier wipe is ##72786#

6) If you would like to send / receive MMS (pictures and video in texts), you may need to tweak the settings in your Ting account and on your phone to enable this.

7) On the SG Victory, I've found that to get roaming to work, all of the roaming features need to be disabled and then re-enabled again.  This should only need to be done once after activation.  I don't know if that was just my phone, but it was originally suggested by a Zact CS rep so I think it might be common.

 

Let us know if you have any trouble!

Jason Sensibaugh 0 votes
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@SpaceCowboy

I brought it over from VM Custom.  I was willing to give VM Custom a try, but we couldn't get roaming to work so I gave up.  The GS3 I brought over to Ting had also been activated on VM Custom.  Calling Zact at the number I mentioned was for me the cleanest path that led to deactivation.  Email requests got tied up in answering security questions and confusion over phnoe number deactivation and device deactivation.  It was easier to get it sorted out in a phone call.  Neil and Ian were the Zact reps I talked to.  Neil got the GS3 on the first try (with the ESN), Ian got the Victory eventually, once I gave the ESN.  I had given him the MEID three times, each time he confirmed (either verbally or by email) it was deactivated.  When I gave the ESN, all of a sudden it was like, oh, it isn't deactivated yet.   I have no idea why it made a difference, but that was my experience.  In both cases, I had previously ported my number to an extra Ting phone that I have.  Neil and Ian were both patient and friendly as we worked through it, so points for that.

 

The instruction I wrote are the steps that worked for me.  The ones that you wrote are what worked for you.  I'm glad we are able to share our experiences in one place so that someone struggling may get new ideas.  It is disappointing that the same path doesn't work for everyone.

 

 

Jason Sensibaugh 0 votes
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Thank you, Jason and Space Cowboy.  I appreciate all your help.  As soon as I have the 3 phones under one roof, I will give this all a shot.  My phone is the main one of the account.  The other two are traveling.  I don't want something to happen to their service if I transfer mine.  I could see that happening. 

I called Zact yesterday with the # listed above and it went to voicemail.  I left all my info and requested deactivation.  Within about 10 minutes of calling my home phone was ringing.  I answered and nobody was there.  Then my cell started ringing.  A total bummer because the service with VM is so bad out here.  Of course, it was Zact.  About 30 seconds into the call, it was dropped.  She called back again to say that if I had switched to VM custom, I would have to call them to get the phone deactivated..  She gave me this number:  1-844-326-1261 and ask for deactivation. 

 

In regards to the roaming, yes, we were roaming with Zact, but we didn't have to pay extra to receive or make calls.  We need our phones.  I don't care about the data, we just need to be able to make and receive calls. 

 

Again, thanks guys.  You all have been a HUGE help.  I will keep you posted, hopefully with complete success.  =)

 

Sharon Compton 0 votes
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So, do you guys know if updating my phone with Virgin Custom's software update will cause issues when I want to cut ties with them?   I keep getting a message that there is a software update downloaded but needs to be installed.   I don't want to add more problems to this.  Thanks

Sharon Compton 0 votes
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I haven't been a Virgin Mobile Custom user for over a week, so I didn't know there had been an update. Installing that sounds like a good idea, and might help with the problems you've had. I do not think it will prevent you from cancelling your service, but may help their customer service because your device will be at the current software level.

When Zact is telling you to talk to VM Custom, I think there might be some misunderstanding. For carriers like Ting, "Deactivation" is a seamless process that occurs when you port your number to a new service. Two things are really happening... the *account* associated with that phone number is closed down, and the *device* that was associated with that account is made available to other Sprint network carriers, per whatever rules Sprint has created.

For Zact / Virgin Mobile Custom, the process occurs in two distinct steps. Step 1 is to get your account closed. If you port your number, the account associated with your phone number will be closed, and you can move on to step 2. If you don't port, then you need to talk to VM Custom to terminate the account. Doing this will wipe out your phone number, so if you would like to keep it, you are better off porting it to a new device first. Once the account is terminated, you can go to Step 2.

Step 2 is where you make the *device* available to be used elsewhere. Again, carriers like Ting will usually do this automatically, but Zact / VM Custom does not. I had no luck talking to the VM Custom CSR's for this step, and had better luck talking directly to Zact. It sounds like you might have skipped straight to this step without completing Step 1 first, which might be why the Zact C/S is referring you back to VM Custom.

Jason Sensibaugh 0 votes
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I finally made the switch to Ting.  My son smashed his ZTE AWE by accident, so I figured it was time to get out of Custom Virgin Mobile.  It took some doing to get our two Samsung Galaxy Victory phones switched, but did it.  VM customer service is ridiculous.  It took 4 calls to get the phone deactivated.  Then another to try to get the VM software off the phone.  Spoke with a supervisor who told me it was impossible 1. to remove the software and 2.  to use the phone with another company.  It was their phone therefore it could NOT be used with any other company.  Well, after going around and around with him, I hung up and within 5 minutes had rid the phone of the program and had the phone working.  Once the phone had been deactivated I did the simple instructions that Brennen from Ting gave in this thread: 

  1. Enter # # DATA # into your dial pad
  2. Click Edit
  3. Enter your MSL 
  4. Select ItsOnClient

      5. Select Disable

Worked perfectly. 

So, wondering if Rez or anybody else has been able to activate their ZTE AWE with Ting.  I know it is not on their list of BYOD, but Rez had mentioned that he was going to experiment with his and try to get it to activate.

Thanks everyone for your help.  Happy to say we are a Ting family now!

Sharon Compton 0 votes
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Sharon...  good thing you moved when you did.  The Zact phone number has been disconnected, so going through VMC seems to be the only path forward.  Do you recall who you helped you finally get the device deactivated?  Calling repeatedly and hoping the roulette wheel lands on someone who knows what they are doing sounds awful.

Jason Sensibaugh 0 votes
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Jason, I hope that you can make the switch without the frustration.  The folks at VMC are not very well trained or very incompetent.  When I called I was pretty fried with the run around.  I wrote down his name, but then threw it away once everything had settled and the phones were working.  But I think I remember his name was Charles.  I wish you good luck.  Hopefully it will only take 1 call for you.  Let us know how it works for you.

Sharon Compton 0 votes
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By the way, Jason, you have to request the number be deactivated.  Insist on them checking make sure it is deactivated.  They will tell you that if you have the number ported, then the device is automatically deactivated.  Not true.  I had to keep calling because Ting said it was still active.  Finally I got ahold of someone who looked a little further and found another number that was tied to our account.  A phone number I have never heard of.  Hmmm a little fishy, but we were never charged for it.  So, once they deactivated that phone (hope that person wasn't using it) then I was good to go.  Keep pressing them.  They don't seem to understand what deactivation means.  Good luck.  And like I said before, keep us posted.  Hopefully you will be a Ting family member soon.

 

Sharon Compton 0 votes
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I cannot get them to deactivate my GS3 by any means I have found.  What is the secret word or formula?  They say unlocking is against their policy.

Gloria Cohen 0 votes