Qlink is an excellent provider of free cell service from the government. It even offers a free smartphone when you join for the first time. But is the device they give you worth it? What brand of phone does the company send? And most importantly, how do I get a replacement phone from Qlink if my previous one got lost, stolen, or damaged?
In my opinion, Qlink is not as generous as other providers with free touch screen government phones. However, it’s still nice if you can’t afford to purchase your own device. And even you can qualify for a replacement at no cost in certain situations.
Verdict: How to Get a Replacement Phone From Qlink for FREE
- Confirm you fulfill the Qlink replacement phone requirements
- Call Qlink customer support by dialing *611 or 1-855-754-6543
- Provide the customer rep with your free service account details.
- Print the RMA number the Qlink customer rep gives you
- Prepare the cell phone you wish to replace with Qlink
- Now, turn off the phone (if it wasn’t) and put it in its original packaging
- Next, put the phone package in a shipping box. Then stick the RMA label
- Finally, mail your phone package to the Qlink Lifeline Service Center
When You May Need to Get a Replacement Phone from Qlink
There are various reasons you may want to replace your Qlink phone. The various reasons include:
- Replace your phone with a malfunction. It’s one of the most common reasons to replace a phone (not just from Qlink). A malfunction in this case means technical issues that a device can come with or develop some time
- Replace your phone with physical damages, such as a broken screen, faulty charging system, degraded battery, burnt earpiece/ mouthpiece, et cetera. The replacement policy isn’t too gentle here.
- Replace your phone that was lost or stolen. Qlink phone replacement policy is also not too gentle here. Regardless of how you lose your device, there’s a minimal fee to get a replacement.
- Replace your phone with incompatibility issues. This incompatibility can be like when Qlink changes the carrier network- like when they switched from Sprint to T-Mobile network in 2020/ 21. In the same year period, we also saw carriers push for 4G LTE, which means the consumers with 3G devices had to upgrade. Then, now you need a phone compatible with Qlink 5G service to take advantage of the superfast data speeds.
- Replace your phone to enjoy a better mobile experience. A better mobile experience in this case includes a phone with better specs/ features. Say faster processor, more memory, superior camera, NFC, and wider screen. 5G connectivity also falls in this category, as it’s a better mobile experience than 4G LTE.
Will Qlink Allow Me To Bring My Own Replacement Phone?
YES, you can bring your phone to Qlink Wireless service. In fact, this is one of the ways how to get a replacement Qlink phone.
While BYOP (bring your own phone) option may seem obvious, you should know Assurance Wireless, another ETC, still doesn’t support it. It’s a great perk as the consumers can purchase the device elsewhere with a great deal and bring it to Qlink.
Nevertheless, you can’t just bring any phone to Qlink. Your BYOP device should be a phone compatible with Qlink service both at the software and network levels.
The phone compatibility with Qlink Wireless on the network means the device should have the right frequencies to connect. T-Mobile is the carrier network of Qlink nowadays.
So, for your phone to work on the Qlink network, it should have frequency bands 2, 4, 5, 12*, 17*, 29, 30*, & 66 for LTE. Then to take advantage of the fast 5G data speeds, your BYOP device should have bands N2, N5, N66, N77 (C-Band), N258, or N260.
Secondly, the cell phone you’re bringing to Qlink should have no network (software) restrictions if it’s to work. A perfect example of a phone without any network restriction is a fully-unlocked model.
If you’re in no position to bring your own device, you can get a replacement phone from Qlink. It’s the best approach since the device comes programmed for the (Qlink) service. Thus, you won’t need to worry about compatibility issues.
That said, how do I get a replacement phone from Qlink for free? Then, what kind of replacement phone does Qlink give you?
How to Get a Replacement Phone from Qlink Wireless
As said earlier, Qlink doesn’t have the most generous policy for the free phone discount on its lifeline program. In the terms, the company states they usually “do not provide FREE phones because the government does not supply ACP or Lifeline providers with free phones”.
To get the free smartphone, Qlink is pushing for the subscribers to get the Lifeline + ACP combo plan. The combo plan comes with free cell phone service unlimited everything, plus a tablet and bonus smartphone. You’ll need to co-pay a $10.01 fee, though.
After receiving the Qlink phone, you can apply for a replacement if it has issues. Whether Qlink will charge you for that replacement phone will depend on why you’re replacing your device.
Method 1: Get a Free Replacement Phone from Qlink
The easiest way how to get a free replacement phone from Qlink is when your previous device has malfunctioned. A malfunction in this case includes your device developing defects within the warranty period.
The copy of the Qlink terms & conditions defines the warranty period as fourteen (14) days since delivery or activation of the product. And just like any other company, the limited warranty only “covers against defects in materials and workmanship under normal use by the Subscriber”.
In other words, this means you won’t get a replacement phone from Qlink for free if the malfunction is to your irresponsibility. “Irresponsibility” in this case includes damage at your own hands, unauthorized repair, and alteration.
Note: Qlink can also give you a free replacement phone if the product they had cleared for delivery is lost/ stolen during transit. However, the terms of the Lifeline company further state that this is “a one-time courtesy in Q LINK Wireless’ sole discretion”.
Directions: How to apply for a free Qlink Wireless Phone Replacement
To apply for a free replacement phone from Qlink:
Confirm you qualify for the free replacement program. As I’ve just stated, Qlink only offers a free phone replacement if your product is defective within the limited warranty window. You could also qualify for a free one-time replacement if your new phone from Qlink was lost during transit.
Get a different working Qlink phone and contact customer support by dialing *611. If you don’t have a Qlink phone, you can contact the support team by calling 1-855-754-6543 from any other carrier phone.
Once you get hold of a customer rep, she will ask for your account details to confirm you’re the owner. The agent may also ask for the order number for your defective phone to be able to assist you faster.
After confirming everything, the Qlink customer rep will try to help troubleshoot the issues with your phone. If none of the solutions have worked, the agent will now initiate a replacement request for you. She will provide an RMA (return merchandise authorization) number that you should print (to stick on the return package of your defective phone).
The customer rep will also give you details of the Qlink Lifeline Service Center to send your return merchandise.
Prepare the defective phone you wish to return to Qlink. Prepping the phone here includes backing up the content, then erasing all the data. Oh, don’t forget to turn off the “Find My iPhone” “Find My App” or “Find My Device”.
After everything, turn off the phone (if it wasn’t already) and put it in the original packaging. Make sure you also include all the accessories that may have come with your device.
Next, put the package with your device phone in a shipping box, then attach the RMA shipping label you printed in Step 4.
Finally, mail your returned merchandise to the Q Link Lifeline Service Center using the details the customer rep provided in Step 4.
Once Qlink receives your returned package, the technicians will inspect the supposedly defective phone. The inspection is to ensure the device fulfills all the necessary replacement requirements listed under the warranty policy section.
Once the Qlink team verifies everything is in order, including the serial number (not altered or defaced), they’ll start prepping a replacement. The company will try its very best to send a replacement phone like what you had earlier. If that’s not available, Qlink will send an alternative but comparable phone model.
Method 2: Get a replacement phone from Qlink for a Fee
The other way how to get a replacement phone from Qlink is to pay for it, which you can do in two different ways:
· Pay For A Replacement Phone Standard Fee
Qlink does offer a replacement phone at a standard fee of $34.95 (used to be $ 25 a couple of months ago). The method is applicable when you want to replace a lost/ stolen phone, or that was damaged in your own hands.
To get a Qlink replacement phone at this standard fee, call customer support at 1-855-754-6543. Then after the customer rep verifies everything, she will guide you on the next steps to apply for the replacement.
Unfortunately, Qlink doesn’t let you choose the phone to get, whether applying for the first time or replacing it. The carrier will send whatever is in stock, which in most cases is their branded HP Serrano 3.
· Pay for a replacement Phone Regular Fee
If you’d like to choose a replacement phone from Qlink, check out the catalog from the retail section. The Qlink phones shop has quite a long catalog of devices, including high-end brands like iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel, LG, et cetera.
Nevertheless, the price of most of the cell phones on the Qlink catalog isn’t as low as we’d expect it to be. But the company supports buy now pay later financing through the Affirm company.
Well, that’s how you can get a replacement phone from Qlink Wireless. The process is almost like with any other Lifeline provider, whereby you only qualify for a free replacement phone during the warranty window.
If you don’t qualify for a freebie, you can pay $35 for the standard Qlink replacement phone. But the device you’ll get is the regular entry-level model the company mails without the option for you to choose.
As I conclude, you should know Qlink require up to fourteen (14) days to process your replacement phone order. But for those replacing the device from the company’s retail section, the company can take half the time to process your order.