Sorry, I don't think I was clear enuf in my first post. My tracfone has plenty of time, and was working fine. I emailed Verizon and got a call back from a very helpful girl named Debbie. She was surprised by the result after calling me on a landline and having me demonstrate the problem using my tracfone. Apparently, if you call the regular number using a Tracfone, Straight Talk or a Net10 phone, which are all affiliated with Verizon, the system directs you to call the tracfone service number without allowing access to Verizon. I see where this is possible, because Debbie was able to quickly identify my phone as a Straight Talk phone by the phone #. Not quite right, but that's what their system sees my phone as.
Anyway, she gave me a different # to call for verizon service when dialing from my tracfone:
I tried it, and it checked out.