If you buying a used cell phone, clock out, since you could get much more than you bargained for.

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There space two species of to move networks used around the world. GMS (AT&T and also T-Mobile), which uses SIM cards to identify individual phones; and CDMA (Verizon and also Sprint), which provides ESNs. ESN stand for electronic Serial Number, and it features just like any other serial number.Carriers use phone ESNs come identify particular phones and also blacklist those that have been stolen. ESNs could be “bad,” which method the carrier has blacklisted the phone. So if her phone is blacklisted, where does this leave you? What deserve to you do about it?

Why would certainly an ESN it is in Bad?

Cellular carrier flag one ESN as poor if the phone call is reported shed or stolen. They’ll also flag it if the previous account holder has an exceptional balance. Dependable dealers will examine with one ESN service before they sell the phone, yet phones bought from private sellers are occasionally reported stolen after the sale.

How do I recognize If mine Phone ESN is Bad?

If you’re suspicious of her phone ESN, you can verify that online. ESN number are uncovered on the ago of the phone call by the battery, or in the phone’s settings. If an ESN service can’t uncover anything wrong, shot calling the transport directly. They may not provide you information about the account, but they can tell you if a hold was placed and also why.

My Phone has a negative ESN - What Now?

Once you’ve shown that the call ESN is bad, your next step is contacting the seller. Most reputable dealers, even online (such together Amazon or eBay), have policies protecting consumers. If her seller to be an individual, they might not recognize the phone has actually a balance and that they have the right to settle the themselves. However, if your ESN is bad and also the seller no cooperative, you still have other options.


ESN number flagged because that account non-payment space still usable by various other carriers. Many carriers room happy come “flash” your phone, or reregister the ESN come themselves fairly than the old organization provider. Plenty of carriers do this at your stores because that a fee. Yet note that carriers will not flash phones flagged as lost or stolen.

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What if the Phone was Reported Stolen?

If the phone to be reported stolen, your only option is to use the phone there is no cellular capabilities. Phones can likewise be offered as sophisticated MP3 players, or come play games. Yet if you execute come into possession of a stolen phone, shot your ideal to return the phone to its owner.When purchase a used cell phone, it’s good to know about ESNs and also how to inspect them. In between stolen phones and late invoice payments, yes a variety of ways to acquire an ESN blacklisted.But even so, if the ESN ~ above your new phone is bad, all is not lost. Refer back to our article and refresh you yourself on what to execute if your phone has actually a poor ESN.