What is an IMEI and how to fix it if its Blacklisted
What is an IMEI?
IMEI stands for "International Mobile Equipment Identity". It’s a 14 to 16 digits long number and it’s unique for every phone and it’s how you identify the device. An IMEI number is unique to every device, and every device has one. It is like a social security number, but for phones.
My device has an ESN. Whats that?
ESN stands for Electronic Serial Number. Is it much like an IMEI number, except it is used in the CDMA. In the U.S. there are some carriers that work on CDMA network: Verizon, Sprint, U.S. Cellular
What is the IMEI Blacklist?
If a phone is blacklisted, it means that the device was reported lost or stolen. Some circumstances, the device has money owed on it. The IMEI blacklist is a database of all the IMEI or ESN numbers that have been reported by the carrier or authorities. In short, the main reason that a device has a Blacklisted IMEI is so that you as the owner or someone else cannot activate the device on any carrier, not even the original one, thus avoiding selling or stealing the phone.
What Should I Do If I Have a Blacklisted Phone?
If you discover that you have a device that is blacklisted, discuss how you can return the phone to the carrier or its original owner. Depending on the carrier, you may be entitled to a full refund. However, if you bought it from an individual seller, let them know that the IMEI or ESN has been blacklisted and hopefully they will give you your money back.AT&T also offers some advice. According to ATTMobilityCare, only the account holder or carrier can remove the block, so you need to try and contact them and it could take up to 24 hours to get it removed.
Ask the seller for a refund
If you bought the device with the bad ESN newly from a retailer or online shop, you might be in luck as they can provide you with a refund or at least a replacement, depending on their policy. For example, Amazon and eBay have refund policies. Unfortunately, if you got the phone from someone you found on the street, or from a seller over sources like Craigslist, this might not be possible. But there are still other things you can do.
Use it as a gaming console or iPod
Smartphones have a whole lot of functionality besides being able to place calls. You can install a bunch of different video games in it, you can use it to surf the internet, watch videos over YouTube, download music and videos to it. You could even use it as an iPod. The possibilities are really endless. You can even install apps like Skype and use Skype call as an alternative to a phone call.
Get the IMEI or ESN Cleaned
Depending on your carrier, you can see if they entertain requests to remove your IMEI from the blacklist. In most circumstances, they do not. In the unfortunate circumstance that they can not, we provide services to help you make your device close to new again. We understand the cell phone industry, we know it is easy to get stuck with a bad IMEI device.
Unlock it and then Sell it
After your unlock your iPhone you can sell it to foreigners at a lowered rate. You can find out how to unlock in the next steps. But why would foreigners buy a blacklisted phone, you might ask? That’s because they won’t be on US soil long, and the IMEI is only blacklisted locally. So foreigners and tourists might be persuaded to buy your iPhone if you throw in a big enough discount.