SafeLink Wireless® Raises Lifeline Offering - Up to 250 Minutes of Free Talk Time For Louisiana's Eligible Low-Income Families

More Choices for Low-Income Families: Government-Supported Program Offering Free Monthly Talk Time and Free Wireless Cell Phone Now Has Multiple Plan Options

Aug 16, 2010, 13:23 ET from TracFone Wireless, Inc.

BATON ROUGE, La.,  Aug. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- America's number one prepaid cell phone provider, TracFone Wireless, Inc., announced that its federal Lifeline offering, SafeLink, will now offer participants of the program in Louisiana the choice of three monthly plans, including up to 250 minutes of free monthly talk time – nearly an hour more per month than is offered by any other competitor.  

The new choices made possible by TracFone give low-income families up to 250 minutes of free monthly talk time and additional, flexible plan options give families the freedom to choose which plan is best suited for their needs to stay connected, stay safe.  Also, SafeLink is currently the only plan that gives eligible applicants the freedom to use their minutes for either texting or to make a phone call.  

Recognizing that Americans are still struggling through the worst economic recession in decades, SafeLink is renewing and further strengthening its commitment to low-income families by affording them the ability to stay connected with current or potential employers, children at home alone while their parents are at work, health care specialists, vital emergency responders, or relatives in time of personal emergencies, such as roadside vehicle breakdowns.

In addition to the free wireless cell phone customers receive at TracFone's expense, beginning August 16th, participants of the SafeLink Wireless program will have the choice of the following plans:

  • New 250 free monthly non-carryover minutes, one text per each minute and a free cellular handset.
  • New 125 free monthly carryover minutes, one text per each minute and a free cellular handset.
  • 68 free monthly carryover minutes, 3 texts per each minute, International Long Distance to over 100 destinations and a free cellular handset.  

Louisiana customers previously enjoyed a flat allotment of 250 free minutes per month.  The new plans will allow SafeLink customers in the Pelican State more customized options to address their needs.

In addition to the free monthly airtime minutes for one year, SafeLink offers superior coverage area throughout the United States; quality LG, Motorola, and Samsung cell phones; 411 at no additional cost; unlimited access to 911; and in-demand features: voicemail, call waiting, and caller ID.

Linda Burton of New Orleans, 61, has been a TracFone SafeLink customer for six months. Due to Louisiana's volatile weather, Burton sees it as a necessity for everyone to have access to a phone.

"Tropical Depression Danielle has been hitting us really hard.  My electricity cuts off and I'm fortunate to have my SafeLink phone on hand for emergencies," said Burton.  Having experienced the isolating damages of Hurricane Katrina first-hand, she has no desire to relive those times.

"Last night my electricity went out and the weather was horrible. I felt like I was reliving Katrina! I was able to call the electric company right away and get the lights fixed," said Burton.

"It's so great that there's going to be more minutes.  When situations like last night happen, I'll be able to call my family and make sure everyone is ok."

In August 2008, TracFone was the first to modernize Lifeline for the way people communicate today with the creation of SafeLink.  SafeLink is offered in 24 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, with more than 572,300 households eligible for the service in Louisiana.  

The prepaid feature gives customers the freedom to control the cost of their monthly telephone expense without any surprises. SafeLink customers wishing to use additional minutes beyond their free allotment can add minutes by purchasing TracFone airtime cards at local retailers. As an exclusive benefit for SafeLink customers, SafeLink phones will automatically add bonus minutes to TracFone's 60, 90 and 120-minute airtime cards.  However, there is no requirement to purchase additional minutes and no pressure applied to applicants to do so at any time.

Program Eligibility

To qualify for Lifeline in the state of Louisiana, a household must participate in one of the following:

  • Federal Public Housing Assistance / Section 8
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps)
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • National School Lunch Program
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Medicaid
  • Household income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG)

SOURCE TracFone Wireless, Inc.