Along with signing up for minutes, TracFone's service requires that you re-establish a service contract as well.
TracFone dones this for several reasons:
1. It keeps the company's database clean (old accounts expire and they don't have to maintain the records in their active database).
2. It gives people incentive to sign up for packages with higher minutes (e.g. the more minutes, the longer the duration that your service contract lasts).
3. They want to flash advertising at you (the more times that they can get you to their site to view their sponsor's ads...the better). Expiring short-term service contracts ensure that you'll have to make repeat visits to their website.
You'll need to go to the TracFone website and use their online form to renew your service contract.
- Click on "Already Have a TracFone" on the right.
When you visit their site, make sure you have your Serial number (IMEI or ESN number found under the battery on the phone), as well as the SIM Chip number (number on the little grey card that you can slide out of the interface - also under the battery).
I believe that you can also renew your service contract by calling their toll free number: 1-800-867-7183
Hope this helps!