BAD ESN

Discussion in 'iPhone 5' started by AdamDaieh, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. AdamDaieh

    AdamDaieh Member
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    My friend is planning on getting an iPhone 5 on ebay but the seller said the phone is locked to TMobile and had a bad ESN. Question is, if my friend buys it will she be able to use it and have iPhone factory unlock so that she'll be able to use it to ATT?

    Thanks!
     
  2. chris

    chris Administrator
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    From my rudimentary knowledge of bad ESN's, it can mean the user did not pay his/her bill or the iPhone as lost or stolen. I'm guessing that T-Mobile puts the bad ESN on the account. Considering any unlock would have to go through T-Mobile, I cannot imagine that let someone who skipped out on a bill to walk over to AT&T. Granted, your friend would be buying the iPhone, but in the eyes of the wireless carrier, that iPhone should not be put into service.

    I'd reach out to the people who offer the unlock service. That should be able to give you a clear answer. I haven't looked at prices. If they are dirt cheap, that would be a red flag.

    Good luck and please report back on your findings.
     
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  3. Europa

    Europa Moderator
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    @AdamDaieh The bad ESN is one problem. Another is the unknown original purchase date. If it was purchased after January 26th 2013, an IMEI unlock is illegal, so she won't be able to purchase one on eBay. The only other option is having the carrier do it and they typically only do it if they sold it to you and it's out of contract. I'd strongly advise against this phone until she's certain of the purchase date and that the ESN can be cleared.

    @chris, IMEI unlocks are dirt cheap. I unlocked my AT&T 4S and my 5 for $5 each.
     
  4. AdamDaieh

    AdamDaieh Member
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    @chris @Europa I never thought bad ESN means a lot. Thanks for explaining.

    My friend told me that the seller got the phone last year (maybe still under contract - not sure though), but they moved to Canada last month. He tried to unlock it so that he can use it with Telus but he can't. The iPhone is unusable because of bad ESN so he want to sell and dispose it. My friend told me that the phone is very cheap and she really wants to buy it. She's in Canada right now for vacation and she want to use it with ATT when she comes back in the US this month.

    Question: Let's say the phone is still under contract with TMobile, does the seller need to contact TMobile about the bad ESN?
    If the seller refuse to call TMobile is there any other way to clear the bad ESN? Can my friend call TMobile about it?

    Thank you in advance! :)
     
  5. RoofMonkey

    RoofMonkey Genius
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    Bad ESN = Red flag! Just moving & trying to unlock it won't cause it to have a bad ESN (unless its under contract & they just stopped paying for it)
    And it's real cheap too? Another red flag, to me at least.
    Got a feeling she will be buying an iPod if she does purchase that phone :(
     
  6. Europa

    Europa Moderator
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    ...or an expensive brick. If you can't activate it, you can't get past the emergency call screen.
     
  7. AdamDaieh

    AdamDaieh Member
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    Thanks all! I will explain to her these stuff you've shared with me. :)
     

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