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Frequently Asked Questions

Activation Questions

How do I activate my SIM Card?

To activate your PTEL SIM card, you'll first need to confirm the following:
  • You have the correct size SIM card for your phone
  • You have a PTEL Activation Card/Pin
  • You have an unlocked GSM phone

If you answered yes to all of the above, you're ready to get started activating your SIM card and begin enjoying PTEL Mobile service.

Simply visit the Activate page and follow the easy steps to activate your SIM.

If you do not have a PTEL Activation Card/Pin, you can purchase one by contacting Customer Service at 866-CALL-ME-1, or by visiting an Authorized Reseller near you.

My SIM won't activate, what do I do?

No need to panic! We're here to help. Contact one of our friendly customer service representatives at 866-CALL-ME-1, and we will walk you through the activation process.

What do I do after I've activated my SIM?

Congrats on activating your new PTEL Mobile service! Your next step is to set up your online account so you can manage your service, even right from your phone. You'll be able to see your usage, add & remove features, and much more.

And of course, you'll want to tell all your friends and family about PTEL!

Can I activate more than one SIM on my account?

At this time, you can only activate one SIM per PTEL account.

Data / APN Settings

How do I configure my iPhone for PTel?

Easy, watch this instructional video for a step-by-step tutorial of how to set up your iPhone APN settings.

Need more help? Click here for more help.

How do I configure my Android device for PTel?

Easy, watch this instructional video for a step-by-step tutorial of how to set up your Android APN settings.

Need more help? Click here for more help.

Auto-Pay

Does PTel Mobile Offer Auto-Pay?

Yes, we created this feature so that our customers have one less thing to remember to take care of.

What are the benefits of using the Auto-Pay feature?

The benefits of auto-pay include peace of mind and convenience of never missing a payment.

 

How do I set up Auto-Pay?

You can set-up auto-pay by creating a new account or updating your existing account while logged into your account.  Auto-Pay only takes a few minutes to set-up.  The status of your account must be active.

 

Simply follow these easy steps:

1. Activate Account

2. Create online account
3. Set-up payment method by adding payment card information.

4. Confirm the amount to pay, choose the payment card, agree to terms, and select “Start Auto-Pay”. 

What type of card can I use to set-up Auto-Pay?

You may use any valid major credit card or debit card to enroll in auto-pay.

When will my account be charged?

Your account will be charged/debited on the day your access days expire or on the day your balance reaches $0 (whichever occurs first).

How does the charge appear on my statement?

The charge will appear as PlatinumTel Communications on your statement.

Can I have more than one payment method?

Yes, you may add multiple payment cards. The last card selected will be billed unless you log into your account and update your settings.

Can I delete a payment method?

Yes, you can also easily remove a payment method by selected the “STORED PAYMENTS” option to the right and clicking the “remove” button next to the stored payment method.

How do I cancel or de-enroll from Auto-Pay?

You may cancel/de-enroll your auto-pay enrollment by logging into "My Account" at ptel.com. While logged into "My Account" on ptel.com, you simply click on the "AUTO-PAY" option to the right and scroll down and click on "Stop Auto-Pay". You must de-enroll from the auto-pay service otherwise your account may still be charged/debited. You may also call PTel Mobile Customer Care at 866-CALL-ME-1 or dial 611 from your PTel Mobile handset.  De-enrolling your account may take up to 10 business days.

Will I be notified if there are any issues with my payment method?

Yes, we will send you a text message alerting you that we were unable to process your auto-pay top-up and request that you review your saved payment card information.  Sometimes a payment cannot be processed because the card has been cancelled or the expiration date has changed.  If that’s the case, please remove the current card and add the new card information.

What if my payment is declined and/or returned?

Your service may be suspended if we are unable to process your payment.  If this occurs, you should confirm that your payment card information is up-to-date.  You may be imposed NSF or chargeback fees by the credit processor.

Does PTel Mobile notify me when my method of payment expires?

PTel Mobile does not notify customers when the payment card expires.  We recommend that you add a reminder to update the expiration date so that there are no disruptions to your service.

General Questions

What is PTEL Mobile?

PTEL Mobile is a prepaid wireless service on a nationwide GSM network, giving you wireless voice and data services on a prepaid basis. PTEL Mobile is a brand of PlatinumTel Communications, offering affordable prepaid wireless service since 2001.

Can I use the phone number I had with my old carrier?

Yes. You can port your existing phone number from a different carrier to PTEL. This process can take 24-72 hours. To port your number to PTEL, you need to contact PTEL Customer Service at 866-CALL-ME-1.

How is PTEL different from other prepaid wireless providers?

PTEL offers "clean service", meaning what you see is what you get. We detail our rates very clearly for you in the plans section. Also PTEL offers prepaid wireless plans that cover a wide array of usage patterns. So whether you're the casual cell phone user, use your cell phone heavily, or need it only for emergencies, we have a plan for you.

I've read somewhere that PTEL is an MVNO, what does that mean?

PTEL Mobile is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator or MVNO. An MVNO is a network operator that does not own the underlying network. PTEL Mobile has arrangements with major Host Network Operators (HNO) that grant PTEL access to these HNO's networks to carry voice and data traffic over. Not having to manage the physical network, PTEL can concentrate its efforts on bringing class-leading service to its subscribers.

How do I get PTEL Mobile service?

Getting PTEL Mobile service is easy! You can shop online, or find an Authorized Reseller near you.

What are the benefits of a prepaid wireless plan?

A prepaid wireless plan with PTEL Mobile means that you do not have to commit to long-term contracts. You also will not have to commit to a deposit. The service is available to everyone over thirteen years of age. With prepaid cell phone service, you will also be able to control and limit your spending.

Rating & Billing

What is the per-minute rate?

The per-minute rate applies to the Real Paygo plan. Making or receiving calls on the Real Paygo plan are billed at $0.05 per minute. To learn more, visit the plans page.

Do I get billed extra for long distance and roaming calls?

Absolutely not. PTEL offers nationwide prepaid cell phone service. Domestic long distance and on-network roaming roaming are available to PTEL subscribers at no additional charge.

How many different types of prepaid cards does PTEL offer?

PTEL offers the following cards and payment options:
  1. Airtime Top-up Cards/PINs: Available in $10, $20, $30, $40, $50, and $100 denominations, these cards/PINs work across multiple products. All of these denominations can be loaded to the Real Paygo plan. If you are on an Unlimited Everything plan, you must load either the $40 or $50 Top-up/PIN in order to replenish your account.
  2. Cash Top-up: This option is available at participating retailers, and allows the customer to load any refill amount between $10 and $150.Customers on and Unlimited Everything plan must load either $40 or $50 in order to maintain service.

How about other billing information, such as international dialing?

International Dialing rates vary depending on destination using the International Dialing service offered by PTEL. For more information contact PTEL customer service at 866-CALL-ME-1.

Account Status & Information

How can I check my airtime balance?

To check your airtime balance or load more airtime, dial A D D (233) from your PTEL phone (airtime rates may apply), or dial 866-2-REFILL from any landline phone. You can also check your balance online in the My Account section.

You can also check your balance by sending a free text message to P T E L (7835) with the word "BAL" in the body of the message.

Is there a minimum balance required to keep my account active?

In order to keep your account active, you must maintain a minimum balance of $1 on your Real Paygo account.

Why would my account get suspended?

Your account might be suspended or hotlined for one of the following reasons:
  • Your access days have expired. Access days are the days of service that you have prepaid for. Access days vary depending on your plan and the top-up card denomination you loaded onto your account.
  • Your airtime balance is below the required minimum.
  • Fraudulent activity is suspected on the account such as cloning or extremely high usage (this is for your own protection). In this case, please contact our customer service staff at 866-CALL-ME-1.
  • Tethering or misuse of Unlimited Data capabilities. Unlimited Data services are extended to subscribers for use directly from their handset. Connecting your laptop or desktop computer to your PTEL phone to access the Internet is not allowed.
  • Any violation of the PTEL terms and conditions

Do my minutes carry over from month to month?

This depends on the product you have subscribed to. For Real Paygo subscribers, the minutes are good for 365 days on all plans

You should not confuse minute validity with access days or service days. If minutes are valid for 90 days, you are still required to have access days to use minutes.

When will you cancel my account?

PTEL extends a grace period of 30 days to its customers to redeem a new top-up card or PIN to maintain their service. If, after the expiration of your access days you let a period of 30 days or longer lapse without loading another card or PIN, your account will be cancelled. In this case, if you still wish to maintain PTEL Prepaid cell phone service, you should contact customer service at 866-CALL-ME-1 or find an Authorized Reseller near you, and you will be assigned a new wireless number.

If your Real Paygo account is inactive for a consecutive 60 days, the account will be disabled.

Bring Your Phone Number To Us

Can I transfer my existing phone number to PTEL?

You can transfer your current wireless or landline phone number to PTEL with Local Number Portability (LNP).

What is Local Number Portability or LNP?

LNP allows you to keep the same phone number when switching between wireless carriers or between wireless and landline carriers. You will only be able to transfer your phone number to another carrier within your local market. The Federal Communications Commission issued rules mandating that carriers are required to implement LNP back in 2003. It is helpful to use the information on your bill when completing the LNP information for transferring service. Please note that any information provided to PTEL is kept confidential and used solely within the port process.

What is the process to port my number?

There are 3 basic steps that are required for porting:
  • Eligibility check to determine if the number is in our local calling area
  • Signing the LOA (letter of authorization) authorizing PTEL to port the number on your behalf
  • Port request, which is sent to the old service provider to verify if you are eligible to port (account needs to be active and information provided should be accurate)

How long will the process take?

We expect a wireless port with no problems to take approximately 3 hours and a wire-line port to take approximately 3 days to complete. These time frames are not guaranteed and may change depending on the OSP response.

Do I have to deactivate my account with my old service provider?

NO. DO NOT CANCEL YOUR CURRENT SERVICE, THIS WILL CAUSE YOU TO LOSE YOUR NUMBER. Once the port is completed, the old account will be automatically cancelled.

Will I be able to use my existing handset?

PTEL Mobile supports GSM devices. If you have an unlocked GSM device, you should be able to use it with our service.

Will features convert from one carrier to another?

Features do not port, only the wireless or wire-line phone number. As features vary by service provider, you would need to confirm available features with the new service provider.

Do I continue to pay my existing carrier?

Yes. All fees and charges are still applicable until the port is completed.

What information will I need in order to bring my number to PTEL?

To port your number to PTEL, you will need to provide us with the following information:
  • Phone number to be ported
  • Full name
  • Home address
  • Account number (if applicable)
  • Account password (if applicable)

Free Services

Does PTEL include free services with new service?

Definitely! All plans include the following free services:
  • Voicemail: It's OK if you're too busy to answer the phone, they can just leave you a message. Airtime rates may apply if you check your voicemail from your PTEL phone
  • Call Waiting: This service gives you the ability to receive a call even when engaged on another call.
  • Caller ID: See who's calling you before you answer.
  • 3-Way Calling: Talk to 2 other people at the same time, on one phone call. Airtime rates may apply for both calls.
  • Online Account Management: Set up your online account and you can check your balance, view your call records, view your airtime load history, add & remove services, as well as keep your information updated. Create your online account now.

Can I use short codes?

Short codes allow you to quickly access services and account information from your device free of charge. Enter the short code and press the Send (SND) or Call key on your device to initiate the code and display the requested information.

At this time, PTel Mobile only supports select short codes from Google, Facebook and Twitter. We do not support short codes from any other outside vendors.

Please see the list below for a complete list of supported short codes.

NameShort CodeShort Code w/NumbersDescription
Display PTel Mobile Phone Number #NUM# #686# Shows you your PTel Mobile phone number. You can even perform this while using your device.
Reset Voicemail Password #PWD# #793# Resets your voicemail password to the last 4 digits of your PTel Mobile number.
Turn Voicemail Password On / Off #PWO# #796# Turns your voicemail password on or off.
Display Device IMEI -- *#06# Displays your device's IMEI number.
Block Your Caller ID -- #31# Block your outbound Caller ID information on a per call basis by dialing #31# followed by the phone number you wish to dial.
Call PTel Customer Care -- 611 [SEND] Contact PTel Mobile customer service free of charge.
Check your balance -- 9080 Text the word BAL to 9080 and you'll receive a free SMS with your account balance. You may also receive informational messages from PTel from this shortcode.

Does PTel Mobile offer visual voicemail?

At this time, PTel Mobile does not support visual voicemail services. If your phone was originally from another carrier, the visual voicemail application will not work with PTel. Certain phones (Android and iPhone) may be able to download free or low cost visual voicemail applications.

3G/4G Data Services

What are 3G/4G services?

3G/4G refers to a wireless service that utilizes either a 3rd and/or 4th generation network to transfer data to and from your compatible PTEL wireless handset.

What kind of 3G/4G services can I get on a PTEL prepaid cell phone?

PTEL offers web browsing, picture messaging, access to app stores, and more, on compatible phones/devices. You must have a 3G/4G capable device to enjoy these services.

Do all phones support 3G/4G services?

Not all handsets support 3G/4G services. Visit our Phones section to see which phones we offer that are 3G and 4G capable.

If you are bringing your own device, please refer to the manufacturer to confirm that it is capable of 3G/4G services

PTEL Mobile does not and will not guarantee that any device not purchased from PTEL will function correctly on the network, or have access to all network resources. PTEL will not support or guarantee service on devices sold by PTEL that have been altered by the user.

For customers bringing their own device, PTEL will provide you with the settings for internet and picture messaging. However, if these devices were not sold by PTEL, we may not be able to provide technical support and/or troubleshooting assistance. We cannot guarantee that, even if the settings are entered correctly, the device will perform as desired.

Important: Phones without the AWS 1700/2100 band will not work on PTEL Mobile's 3G/4G network due to band limitations. In order to connect with the 3G/4G network, a device needs to use both the AWS 1700/2100 bands (not just one or the other).

What are kilobytes?

Kilobytes are a measure for the size of a web page being visited or digital item being transmitted via the internet, such as an email, picture, video, etc. The larger the web page (the more text, pictures, video, etc) or digital item, the more kilobytes being used.

My data service is not working properly, what should I do?

The first thing you should check is that the plan you are on offers data, or that you have not reached your account balance, or run out of access days. Next, you can check you the data settings on your phone. For details, please see the Bring Your Own Phone section. If you still can't find a solution, please contact our customer service at 866-CALL-ME-1 from a phone other than your PTEL line, to walk through troubleshooting steps.

Please note that if this is not a device that is or has been offered by PTEL, we may not be able to provide technical support and/or troubleshoot the issue. We will do our best to help you resolve your issue.

How can I add data services to my account?

Data services are added to your account at the time of activation based on the plan you choose. Should you need to block data services from your account, please contact customer service at 866-CALL-ME-1.

How much does it cost to send and receive picture messages?

Visit our plans page to see the latest picture messaging rates, as they may vary based on different rate plans.

Can I send an MMS internationally?

No. MMS (picture message) is not the same as an SMS (text message), and not included in the international SMS feature.

How much does it cost to use data services?

The cost for data services differs based on the rate plan or product to which you subscribe. Please visit our plans page for more information.

Signal Booster Registration

What is a Signal Booster?

A signal booster is a device that helps to extend the cellular coverage footprint in areas of weak or poor coverage.

Why do I have to register?

In order to ensure signal boosters are not interfering with cellular coverage the FCC has mandated signal boosters be registered with carriers.  Registration must be made available by March 1st 2014.  All carriers allowing the use of signal boosters on their network must provide consumers the ability to register the use address of the booster.  The carrier can then use this information when troubleshooting network issues.  In the event a booster is causing problems on the network registration helps carriers identify and locate the booster.  Registration helps to protect consumers and carriers by streamlining network troubleshooting ensuring a positive signal experience.

What data is collected for registration and how will it be used?

The information collected during registration is specific to locating the booster use address and contact information on the user in the event the carrier needs to contact the user about the booster.  This information will only be used to locate boosters in the event network issues are believed to be linked to the booster operation. 

 

How do I register?

If you purchased your own booster or have moved from the original use address, you can access the Signal Booster Registration Tool by clicking here.  PlatinumTel does not support signal boosters at this time.

What is a Signal Booster?

A signal booster is a device that helps to extend the cellular coverage footprint in areas of weak or poor coverage.

GSM Phones

What phone can I use with your service?

You can use any unlocked GSM phone with PTEL Mobile. However to take advantage of 3G/4G service the phone must have the AWS 1700/2100 band. See the manufacturer of your phone to confirm which band(s) your phone has.

I don't have my own GSM phone, can I buy one from PTEL?

Yes you can! We offer a variety of GSM phones. Visit our phones page to choose the phone that best fits your needs/

Where can I buy a GSM phone?

You can always shop online with PTEL. However, if we don't have what you're looking for, there are many different online retailers who offer unlocked GSM phones. Or contact a PTEL Authorized Reseller near you.

Can I use my Blackberry phone?

If you have an unlocked GSM Blackberry, it may work on our service. However, we do not support Blackberry services like Blackberry mail, Blackberry Messenger, or any other BIS or BES features. We cannot guarantee all PTEL services will function properly on the device.

SIM Cards

What is a SIM card?

SIM stands for Subscriber Identity Module. It is the card or chip that contains your wireless subscription information.

Do SIM cards come in different sizes?

SIM cards come in many different sizes, however, there are 3 that are most common:
  • Mini SIM: This is the most common size and used in most GSM phones = 25mm x 15mm
  • Micro SIM: Smaller than the Mini SIM, and becoming more prevalent as it is used in popular phones like the iPhone 4/4S = 15mm x 12mm
  • Nano SIM: This is the smallest of the common SIM sizes, and is used newer phones like the iPhone 5 = 12.3mm x 8.8mm

How do I know which SIM card I need?

To find out which SIM your phone needs, please contact the manufacturer of your phone.

Where do I buy a SIM Card?

You can buy a SIM online. Or you can find an Authorized Reseller near you.

My friend gave me their old PTEL SIM, can I use it?

No. Once a PTEL SIM has been activated, it can only be used for that account. Even if the account gets cancelled, the SIM cannot be reactivated on another account.

Where does the SIM card go?

On almost all GSM phones, the SIM card goes underneath the battery. To insert your SIM card, simply remove the battery and look for the SIM slot, usually indicated by a diagram of a SIM.

Do SIM cards come with a warranty?

SIM cards are warrantied against operational failure only within the first 30 days of service. A SIM card that is defective within the first 30 days can only be exchanged for a new SIM. SIMs cannot be returned if the SIM has been activated and /or there is any usage on the account, or if there is physical damage.

Refund, Replacement, & Warranty Information

Can I return my handset?

PTEL allows handsets purchased from www.ptel.com to be returned within 30 days of the date of activation or prior to the use of 300 minutes of airtime, whichever occurs first. PTEL reserves the right to change the return policy terms without prior notice.

Important Note: In order to ensure you continue to receive the best customer service, and are not without your phone, PTEL will ship you your replacement handset prior to receiving the defective handset. You must return the defective handset within 7 days of receipt of your replacement handset, or you agree and understand that PTEL will debit your PTEL account and/or suspend your account, and/or submit your account to collections in the amount of the full cost of the handset you received.

What do I do if my handset is defective?

Contact our customer service department at 866-CALL-ME-1 (866-225-5631) to confirm that you are eligible for a replacement. Additional instructions will be provided on how to handle exchanges. Please note that the warranty will be void and/or not be eligible for replacement or exchange if products returned are physically damaged or not packed properly.

What is covered under the return/exchange policy?

Each handset purchased from www.ptel.com is covered by a 30-day return/exchange policy for mechanical failure. The policy expires 30 days from the initial activation of service. Mechanical failure is defined as failure of the device due to operation, mechanical, or structural failure from defects in materials and workmanship.

What is not covered under the return/exchange policy?

PTEl will not accept handsets that are returned in a damaged condition. PTEL does not warranty against loss, theft, abuse, misuse improper installation, water damage, or customer negligence. We reserve the right to inspect the items for damage and use. Any items that are returned in a damaged condition will not be accepted. Please note that the warranty will be void if products returned are physically damaged or not packed properly. Handsets must be returned with 300 minutes or less of use. Handsets must be returned in the same condition as received (e.g. no cracks, scratches, liquid damage, or any type of damage to housings). PTEL does not accept "Postage Due" packages. Packages received with insufficient postage will be returned to sender.

What can I do if my phone is passed the 30 day return/exchange policy?

If you purchased your phone directly from PTEL, it may come with a manufacturer's warranty. To check your warranty status, please contact the manufacturer of your phone. Here is a list of the most popular phone manufacturers:


Alcatel
HTC
Huawei
LG
Nokia
Samsung

How do I return my handset to PTEL?

  • Contact PTEL at 866-CALL-ME-1 (866-225-5631) to request a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) for reference (returns received with an RMA that is incomplete and/or not signed will not be accepted).
  • Include all original contents in the return package. Handset and all accessories (handset, accessories, charger, battery/battery cover, and/or activation card) must be packed in the original box, and shipping carton.
  • Include completed RMA form in return package.
  • Please ensure that there are no other tracking labels attached to your package.
  • Include original invoice in return package.
  • If provided, please use return label supplied by PTEL.

If a return request does not qualify for a prepaid shipping label, we recommend that you use a shipping service that provides insurance and a tracking method for your return (UPS, FedEx, or USPS). PTEL is not responsible for lost or damaged packages.

Where can I request a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) form?

You may email your request to returns@ptel.com or contact our customer service department by dialing 866-CALL-ME-1 (866-225-5631) to have one sent to you.

The following information is needed to initiate your request:

  • Reason for request to refund
  • Last four digits of credit card
  • Cardholder's name
  • P.O Number found on your sales receipt (if available)

Will I be given a refund?

All card sales are final. Airtime is non-refundable. Shipping charges are non-refundable. Refunds may take up to 30 days from receipt of the package. Refunds will be issued in the same form of payment. No refunds will be issued after 30 days.

Returned packages that are not in compliance with our return policy will be ineligible for a refund and we may return the package to you at your own expense. PTEL reserves the right to impose additional fees in the event the information above is not followed according to our policy. We reserve the right to impose a 20% stocking fee.

Any package(s) refused, returned, or with an invalid address will result in a charge of all shipping fees to your account. When applicable, a refund will be credited to your account, minus all shipping fees.

Contact Information

What are your customer service hours?

The Customer Service Department is available:
Monday - Saturday: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM (Central)
Sunday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM (Central)

How can I contact PTEL?

We love to hear from our customers, so we give you plenty of ways to get in touch with us:

  • Talk to one of our friendly customer service representatives by calling 866-CALL-ME-1, or 611 right from your PTEL phone.
  • Chat online with one of our customer service representatives by clicking the "Chat With Us" link found at the very top of the web page.
  • Send us massage from our online contact form
  • Serve yourself with our Automated Interactive Voice Response System at 866-2-REFILL.
  • Send an email with questions about our service directly to our Customer Service Department.
  • Send an email with sales questions to Sales.
  • Send an email with general questions.
  • Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.


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