Are you able to make phone calls without any issues? Also, what did Tracfone say?
I would suggest that you contact Tracfone again because it will need to be activated back on their network. I have never heard of a phone being "defective" after a factory reset and I have factory reset thousands of phones without any issues. The issue sounds like an activation problem with Tracfone and it is possible that you spoke to someone that was confused or unsure how to fix the issue.
You're correct; it does not sound right at all but unfortunately, only Tracfone can activate it back on their network.
The issue is that the phone needs to be activated back on the Tracfone network which is something that Tracfone (and only Tracfone) can do for you. A factory reset will not damage or make a phone defective. The reset option will only make the phone back to factory as if you just purchased the phone.
I know that you have already called Tracfone and spoke to multiple employees there but the issue is with Tracfone. I would suggest that you call back again and ask to speak to a supervisor.
I will but in the years that I have been working on Tracfones, I have not heard of any other solution than having it fixed by Tracfone.
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