Frequently Asked Questions
How do I activate my SIM Card?
- 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?
What do I do after I've activated my SIM?
Can I activate more than one SIM on my account?
What is PTEL Mobile?
Can I use the phone number I had with my old carrier?
How is PTEL different from other prepaid wireless providers?
I've read somewhere that PTEL is an MVNO, what does that mean?
How do I get PTEL Mobile service?
What are the benefits of a prepaid wireless plan?
Rating & Billing
What is the per-minute rate?
Do I get billed extra for long distance and roaming calls?
How many different types of prepaid cards does PTEL offer?
- 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.
- 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?
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?
Why would my account get suspended?
- 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?
What is Local Number Portability or LNP?
What is the process to port my number?
- 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?
Do I have to deactivate my account with my old service provider?
Will I be able to use my existing handset?
Will features convert from one carrier to another?
Do I continue to pay my existing carrier?
What information will I need in order to bring my number to PTEL?
- Phone number to be ported
- Full name
- Home address
- Account number (if applicable)
- Account password (if applicable)
Does PTEL include free services with new service?
- 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.
3G/4G Data Services
What are 3G/4G services?
What kind of 3G/4G services can I get on a PTEL prepaid cell phone?
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?
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?
How much does it cost to send and receive picture messages?
Can I send an MMS internationally?
How much does it cost to use data services?
What phone can I use with your service?
I don't have my own GSM phone, can I buy one from PTEL?
Where can I buy a GSM phone?
Can I use my Blackberry phone?
What is a SIM card?
Do SIM cards come in different sizes?
- 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?
Where do I buy a SIM Card?
My friend game their old PTEL SIM, can I use it?
Where does the SIM card go?
Do SIM cards come with a warranty?
Refund, Replacement, & Warranty Information
Can I return my handset?
PTEL allows handsets purchased from 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?
What is covered under the return/exchange policy?
What is not covered under the return/exchange policy?
What can I do if my phone is passed the 30 day return/exchange policy?
How do I return my handset to PTEL?
- Contact PTEL at 866-CALL-ME-1 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?
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.
What are your customer service hours?
Monday - Saturday: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM (Central)
Sunday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM (Central)
How can I contact PTEL?
- 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.