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Bad ESN, what does it mean?

Discussion in 'Verizon Wireless Forum' started by Israel82, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. Israel82

    Israel82 New Member

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    Looking at a cell that I want but I have been told that the cell has a bad ESN but the phone is brand new. What does it mean? Can it be activated?!
     
  2. M in LA

    M in LA Super Moderator Super Moderator Senior Member

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    It would help if you could provide more information. Are you buying the phone from someone? From e-Bay? Has Verizon specifically told you the ESN is bad?
     
  3. Israel82

    Israel82 New Member

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  4. KyleAndMelissa22

    KyleAndMelissa22 Woot Woot, Splat !!! Senior Member

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    The ESN is probably attached to a bad account, (one in which alot of money is owed.)
    They won't activate a phone (ESN) if it is, or was attached to an accout with a large unpaid balance.
     
  5. M in LA

    M in LA Super Moderator Super Moderator Senior Member

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    There's your answer. It would explain why the seller is trying to get rid of it. Stay away from this one.
     
  6. KyleAndMelissa22

    KyleAndMelissa22 Woot Woot, Splat !!! Senior Member

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    Yup, and the Alltel reps at the store in Gaffney told me this info last week about buying on ebay,
    I thought they were just trying to stop me from buying on ebay, and I should buy retail instead.

    We have already bought 2 of our phones through ebay, and were thinking of buying another.
    I didn't think about this situation as a possibility, now I know to be careful.
     
  7. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:. Senior Member

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    To be fair, if they list it as bad esn in big red letters then it is the buyer that messed up. There is a market for bad esn phones for parts, etc...

    and no i'm not the seller....i just noticed it was from oak park, mi. :)
     
  8. SmArTeStChIlD421

    SmArTeStChIlD421 Silver Senior Member Senior Member

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    and if the ad doesnt say that the ESN is clear what you can do is contact the seller and ask for the ESN and then you can call Verizon and see if its clear.........most sellers will give it to you cuz there isnt much you can do with just the ESN
     
  9. dmarkson

    dmarkson New England Wireless Guru Junior Member

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    The link shown has a referral ID in it, someone is trying to boost their ad count. Link should be changed to reference e-bay directly, or better yet, just post the item ID.
     
  10. SmArTeStChIlD421

    SmArTeStChIlD421 Silver Senior Member Senior Member

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    yeah thats the way it looks

    ITEM ID: 130187174915
     
  11. leafsfan81

    leafsfan81 Junior Member Junior Member

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    When I listed my old phones on Craig's List buyers wanted the ESN information as well. At first I was concerned but then I realized why they wanted the info and that in the end they really couldn't do anything with the information other than verify it was an ESN that could be activated on their account.

    I don't think it's a bad idea to post an ESN on your listing, but I would think that it would be better to have potential buyers request the ESN instead of just broadcasting it. People out to scam could be/would be dumb enough to try and copy your "clean" ESN to try and sell their unusable device.
     
  12. SmArTeStChIlD421

    SmArTeStChIlD421 Silver Senior Member Senior Member

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    that does make sense.....sounds like a very viable strategy.......or they'll change the ESN of another phone to be the same as the phone on the eBay listing......it's been known to happen like that.....cell phone counterfeiting
     
  13. thewizardatst24

    thewizardatst24 New Member

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    Electronic Serial Number - Its the unit identifier. If you look inside the battery compartment, you'll find it listed as DEC and HEX. Its what tells the cell towers who you are. Also, it is "hardwired" and can't be changed without major software work.
     
  14. leafsfan81

    leafsfan81 Junior Member Junior Member

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    Good point, but people would still try it. [As unsuccessful as they may be]
     
  15. SmArTeStChIlD421

    SmArTeStChIlD421 Silver Senior Member Senior Member

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    its a lot easier to do IMEIs so i understand
     
  16. amaemae

    amaemae New Member

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    I have a verizon phone, samsung alias, and its been waterdamged, but the buttons dried up and 90% of the buttons work...

    I'm bidding on another one, with a "BAD ESN", but everything works, I'm with Verizon and in good terms with them, don't owe a lot of money, can i use my ESN from my waterdamaged phone with the new one?? Or does anyone know a way I can replace parts?
     
  17. Charlyee

    Charlyee Ultimate Insanity Super Moderator Senior Member

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    Hi there, you cannot switch ESN, they are unique to each handset.

    I would stay away from an unit with bad ESN unless you are only interested in the parts & are not interested in activating it.

    Hopefully someone can answer your repair question.

    Good luck.
    Palm850/v0100 Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11)
     
  18. amaemae

    amaemae New Member

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    Thank you! that helps, & I do hope someone can answer my repair question.. I might try posting in a more specific thread as well. Thanks again!!!

    a.mae
     
  19. Dwimmerlaik

    Dwimmerlaik New Member

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    If you send both of the phones to me I can swap out your liquid damaged keypad for the one in the replacement phone that has the bad ESN. $10.00 (your special forum member discount price!)+ $6.50 insured return shipping via USPS priority mail.

    You can visit my website at...

    G-Force Wireless

    Or email me directly at...

    *email deleted -> use PM for contact*

    Please be sure to mention the wireless advisor forum in your email.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 9, 2009
  20. qiewie99

    qiewie99 New Member

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    I'm looking the phone in ebay also and it has bad esn in Sprint. But if I flashing the phone to Metro pcs, Does the esn gonna be any problems to flash the phone?
    Anyone can help me?
     
  21. elmo01

    elmo01 Senior Member Senior Member

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    It means you prolly shouldnt buy it...
     
  22. qiewie99

    qiewie99 New Member

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    okay then.
    thank you
     
  23. dsuh

    dsuh New Member

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    Do companies like Sprint, Verizon, and Metro pcs share bad ESN numbers?
    If they don't and the phone is dirt cheap and you have the firmware to flash, I would think it would work.
    I already did this with a Sprint phone with a good ESN to Verizon.
     
  24. elmo01

    elmo01 Senior Member Senior Member

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    they dont... however ...

    if the previous owner tried to flash it and done it wrong the phone is likely bricked
     
  25. char

    char New Member

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    Can you still use a bad ESN phone as a PDA? I'm looking for one to use as a remote desktop controller for my home theater PC. I need Windows Mobile 6 and WiFi. I don't need the phone.

    Will a bad ESN phone work for me?

    Thanks for any help you can give me.

    -char
     
  26. M in LA

    M in LA Super Moderator Super Moderator Senior Member

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    A bad ESN affects activation with a carrier. If you're not activating a phone, just using the PDA portion of it, you should be fine. Syncing with a PC and using WiFi for internet are fine since you don't need service to use these features.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2009
  27. char

    char New Member

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    Thanks, Mike.
    -char
     
  28. jkjambo

    jkjambo New Member

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    hello everyone
    as a thread is about bad esn, i want to ask two question

    if i buy for example this one from ebay (or some other online store) and i will not activate it, what will happen?

    this is answer on my first question ???

    second question: what will ,if i take unactivated phone outside usa ?
     
  29. M in LA

    M in LA Super Moderator Super Moderator Senior Member

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    First off, GSM phones don't use ESN's for activation, just a SIM card from the carrier you activate it on, whether prepaid or postpaid.

    ESN issues affect CDMA phones, specifically with carriers Verizon, Sprint, MetroPCS, Cricket, US Cellular, and other smaller regional CDMA carriers. None of these carriers use SIM cards to activate their phones (or for basic operation, unlike GSM phones).

    If you get the Captivate, your phone would work in another country with GSM service. The only issue you could run into is if the phone is locked to AT&T. You want to get an UNLOCKED Captivate. GSM carriers, like AT&T and T-Mobile lock phones on their respective networks to discourage use on other GSM carriers.

    Nowhere in that eBay auction does it say it's unlocked. Verify that with the seller first.

    One last thing. If you wish to use even basic features of the phone, you WILL NEED data service. To try to use the Captivate (or any Android phone, for that matter) without a data plan severely restricts what the phone does and renders it just a phone, for which you'd be better off using a regular flip phone for.

    Keep in mind you may need to configure it to get it to work on a non-native carrier, as this phone is programmed to work with AT&T. Not impossible to do, but just be forewarned.
     
  30. jkjambo

    jkjambo New Member

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    thanks for answer, it is clear.
    i'm asking , because i'm interested in this case >if i buy it in usa and than take away outside usa , will be violation of rules of goverment or some carriers?
     

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