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Full Version: Reminder: You Can't Trust Sprint to tell you if a phone is okay to activate
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Just a reminder to everybody who plans on buying a used sprint phone. Sprint will give you inaccurate information even if you ask them if the phone is currently associated with an account. This has happened countless time and continues to be a pervasive problem. The only sure way I know to definitely find out is by using the 14 digit meid and trying to manually activate it on your account. If it accepts the number you are good to go...

Sprint: We received your information and will connect you with a Chat Specialist soon.
Daniel P.: Thank you for contacting Sprint, my name is Daniel P.. I am happy to help you today.
You: Hi Trying to buy a s5 online .. want to make sure it's not attached to an account ty ***********
Daniel P.: Hello Phillip!
You: hi
Daniel P.: Thank you for your patience, I will have the information shortly.
You: ok
Daniel P.: The device you want to activate is still good to active.
You: what
You: Are you saying it's okay to activate?
Daniel P.: Yes, it is okay to active.
You: Or are you saying it's still active
Daniel P.: No, it is not active.
You: Okay, because it won't let me add it online.. it says not valid. usually that means it's still associated with somebody elses account
You: hello
Daniel P.: Do you want to activate the device?
You: 9*********** Hmmm… this number doesn't match our records, please try again.
You: I want to understand why sprint says that when I put in the number so I can activate it. Usually, that means it's associated with an account
Daniel P.: Yes, it is attached with a different Sprint account.
You: then how is it okay to activate?
You: why are you telling me I can buy it.. and that it's okay to activate.. this happens all the time
Daniel P.: Please visit your nearest Sprint store to get the phone activated.
You: I can't if it's attached to a different sprint account.. what are you talking about
You: why would you send me to a store
You: is it attached to another sprint account or not. You do understand if it is then it can't be activated on another account.. right?
Daniel P.: In some situations, it's better to talk to a Sprint specialist when troubleshooting your iPhone. Please call 1-888-211-4727 and select the technical support option.
You: is there a supervisor you can transfer me to? I'm capturing this entire conversation btw..
You: It's not a iphone
You: its a s5
You: this conversation will be posted online.. trust me
Daniel P.: To better assist you, I will connect you to a Sprint Supervisor. Please wait a moment while I transfer your chat.
You: S5 is made by Samsung. The only thing I need to troubleshoot is you.
Daniel P.: Is it okay if I transfer you now?
You: yes, please and ty
You: are we transferring?
Daniel P. has left the chat
You are being transferred, please hold...
Agent Liz enters chat
Liz: Thank you for your patience, I've just received your transfer. One moment please while I review the chat so that I may provide the most accurate assistance.
You: okay. Liz are you another agent or a supervisor
Liz: One moment please while I contact my supervisor.
You: Okay, because Daniel said you were a Supervisor. So, you are not?
You: *you are
Liz: I am not a supervisor but I can certainly transfer this chat to my supervisor.
You: Thank You
Liz: Please allow me a moment to review the above conversation so that I may provide the most accurate assistance.
You: ok
Liz: Thank you for your patience.
You: Hi Trying to buy a s5 online .. want to make sure it's not attached to an account ty 9******* Answers so Far: 1. The device you want to activate is still good to active. 2. Yes, it is okay to active. 3. No, it is not active. 4. Yes, it is attached with a different Sprint account. 5. Please visit your nearest Sprint store to get the phone activated. 6. In some situations, it's better to talk to a Sprint specialist when troubleshooting your iPhone. Please call 1-888-211-4727 and select the technical support option.
You: that's the conversation.
Liz: Thank you for the information.
Liz: I am checking the details for you.
You: To better assist you, I will connect you to a Sprint Supervisor. Please wait a moment while I transfer your chat.
You: I am not a supervisor but I can certainly transfer this chat to my supervisor.
You: 7 and 8
Liz: I am sorry for the delay.
Liz: I have checked the information. The device (*********) is already activated on someone else Sprint account.
You: okay, why is it that sprint cares so little about this problem. I've purchased a phone before relying on sprint to give me good information and lost 400.00. Now I asked specifically if it was attached to an account. I was told it was okay to activate. Then I was told to take it to a sprint store to activate. This shouldn't be that difficult
Liz: I completely understand your point.
Liz: I apologize for the inconvenience caused to you.
I'm just going to throw this out there, because it's what I've seen in the past...

If the Sprint activation portal tells you the device is not recognizable, even if it's a Sprint device, then likely the device was migrated away from SPCS to PLBL, which would allow the device to be used on any of the "Bring your own Sprint phone" MVNOs operating on Sprint's network, such as Kajeet, Ting, etc.

To remedy this, you should be able to run the device against the MVNO's "device comparability checker" to see if it will migrate back to SPCS. If it won't, then have Sprint's Tech Support help you with the issue.
I have had good luck so far with ting.com/byod for checking sprint phones, every time it says clear they have been. It has mirrored the results I get when trying to add a phone to an account I have access to. Sprint is bad, but ATT is worse. Since July ATT has directed it's representatives to not give any info. The department manager described it to me as ATT doesn't want to be a 3rd party in any capacity for a used cell phone transaction. This means if you call or go into the store they will not check any phone's background for you, just an immediate blacklist check that we all know is not good enough. Essentially they want their customers to be afraid to buy a used cell phone anywhere but directly from ATT.
AT&T doesn't block phones from being used unless they're lost or stolen, so why would it matter?
I have had phones in the past that didn't show blacklisted but ATT said would not be able to be activated. I have read elsewhere even on these forums from people who have experienced it, it's a risk we don't need to take. I also worry about the possibility of fraud. Sure, there are steps you can take to mitigate risk, but it all takes time, and time is money. If there were a universal type database that anyone could easily check, we would cut down significantly on the amount of people who get scammed by thieves or dishonest people.
The blacklist is that universal database, but it only covers devices reported lost or stolen.

If you have AT&T devices that will not activate and are not lost or stolen, I'd be interested in a few of their IMEIs, as no one has ever shown proof of such a situation occurring.
Oh, by the way don't criticize sprint and their poor service. I'm now blocked from sprint chat since I posted this here and on their sprint forum.
You can't be blocked. Good try.
What? Not on here. I'm blocked on sprint. I can be blocked because I am. I can no longer get the sprint chat ICON to appear even if I stay logged in all day. Can't be blocked. BS
Since they don't require you to login as a subscribed member, if you can't see the chat button, clear your browser history/cookies/cache and should be just fine.
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