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Thread: "Bad ESN"

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    "Bad ESN"

    I see a lot of phones being sold on eBay where the seller claims that the phone has a "bad esn" and can't be activated on sprint or verizon etc. Does that mean they can't be activated on Page Plus either? What exactly is a bad ESN? The phones are going for dirt cheap so it would be cool is they would still work on Page Plus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Gonzo
    I see a lot of phones being sold on eBay where the seller claims that the phone has a "bad esn" and can't be activated on sprint or verizon etc. Does that mean they can't be activated on Page Plus either? What exactly is a bad ESN? The phones are going for dirt cheap so it would be cool is they would still work on Page Plus.
    From what I understand phones that have a "bad esn" are usually on a blacklist because the phone had been reported as lost of stolen and so they can't be activated on Page Plus or anywhere else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Gonzo
    I see a lot of phones being sold on eBay where the seller claims that the phone has a "bad esn" and can't be activated on sprint or verizon etc. Does that mean they can't be activated on Page Plus either? What exactly is a bad ESN? The phones are going for dirt cheap so it would be cool is they would still work on Page Plus.
    If a phone has a "Bad" ESN more than likely it is on the Negative File. Phones on Verizon's Negative File can not be activated on Verizon or their MVNO. Honestly you would have a better chance getting a Verizon CSR to activate it than you would a Page Plus rep, due to the repercussion Page Plus would feel if they activated it.

    Now I have seen someone buy a Sprint Bad ESN phone and then flash it with Verizon Firmware and then activate it with no issue. Motorola is easy to flash if you have the right tools.

    But I wouldn't recommend buying a Bad ESN phone, because it is more than likely stolen and you don't want bad Karma.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Gonzo
    I see a lot of phones being sold on eBay where the seller claims that the phone has a "bad esn" and can't be activated on sprint or verizon etc. Does that mean they can't be activated on Page Plus either? What exactly is a bad ESN? The phones are going for dirt cheap so it would be cool is they would still work on Page Plus.
    I would e-mail the Ebay seller and ask why the phone has a bad ESN, and how he knows it has a bad ESN. In most cases, it's because the phone was reported lost or stolen and Verizon will not allow it to be activated on their network (even through a reseller like PagePlus). However, sometimes (rarely) the ESN just needs to be loaded manually into the switch by Switch Support at Verizon. It's better to just avoid these phones rather than add more stress to your life.

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    Some phones have bad ESNs because a customer backed out of a contract. Depending on what carrier was on the losing end of that and how much you might hate that carrier due to past experiences with them, you might have a special place in your heart for an honorably bad ESN smartphone to use around the house on reverse tether over bluetooth. Which reminds me, has anyone done reverse tether on a moto Q? Mine has a good ESN, not that it matters for that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Gonzo
    I see a lot of phones being sold on eBay where the seller claims that the phone has a "bad esn" and can't be activated on sprint or verizon etc. Does that mean they can't be activated on Page Plus either? What exactly is a bad ESN? The phones are going for dirt cheap so it would be cool is they would still work on Page Plus.
    Alot of the feedback here is correct. A "bad" ESN is one that is in Verizon's "negative" file, meaning that it has either been reported as lost/stolen or was involved in an account that is in collections with Verizon. Regardless, the ESN is tagged and will not be allowed on the Verizon network - either through an MVNO or Verizon itself. No CSR at either PPC or Verizon has the ability to override this. One thing worth mentioning for those so inclined - to my knowledge, carriers do not share their "negative" file information with one another. Given this, it is conceivable that a "bad" ESN could be flashed to the software of another carrier and be activated with that new carrier successfully.
    Is This Thing On??

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSilentOne
    One thing worth mentioning for those so inclined - to my knowledge, carriers do not share their "negative" file information with one another. Given this, it is conceivable that a "bad" ESN could be flashed to the software of another carrier and be activated with that new carrier successfully.
    This is a correct statement.

    If you have a Sprint Phone which is on the Negetive file with Sprint, you could flash it to Verizon and use it on Page Plus, Verizon, Lucky, ect....

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    It is also worth mentioning that legally speaking, you can't own stolen property. If you buy a stolen phone and reflash it so you can use it on another carrier, and the carriers decided to share stolen ESN lists, you would probably have to give the phone back, and get nothing in return for it. Also if the original owner read this thread, and decided to call other carriers to check for this type activity on their own, they could find out and get the phone back that way too.

    A phone from a broken contract would probably be a different story, and I don't know if the carriers would ever share that kind of blacklist. Stolen phone ESNs seem pretty cut and dry though and i'm surprised that list isn't shared already. I think it should be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tracfonejunkie
    If you buy a stolen phone and reflash it so you can use it on another carrier, and the carriers decided to share stolen ESN lists, you would probably have to give the phone back,

    Also if the original owner read this thread, and decided to call other carriers to check for this type activity on their own, they could find out and get the phone back that way too.
    That isn't a very realistic "if"
    Carriers aren't known for playing well together and if they haven't taken steps to share this information by this stage it would probably take federal intervention for it to happen. And as far as I know there isn't a big lobby effort for this to take place.

    And on your second point, no way would that occur.
    Why would a carrier give information to an unverified 3rd party about a customer's account and handset just because they claim previous ownership? Good karma? Its not as if Cricket would benefit from taking the time to call Verizon and ask if the handset used on their network is on the VZ negative list. They only lose revenue and they know they aren't going to be held responsible for activating the phone by any governing or law enforcement body. Your scenario on this point is at best far fetched.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Majesky
    Why would a carrier give information to an unverified 3rd party about a customer's account and handset just because they claim previous ownership? Good karma?
    Because they have the ESN. I bought an obviously used phone on ebay that was sold as new, and Verizon was able to confirm that it had been used, but wasn't in an active account or in any way "bad". All I had was the ESN. I didn't get or ask for addresses, but in the USA you don't get stolen property back on your own anyway. You file a report with the police, and they look into it and get it back if they think it is worth their time. To call and ask if your ESN is on an active account would be all you would need, and I was able to get that info without a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Majesky
    Its not as if Cricket would benefit from taking the time to call Verizon and ask if the handset used on their network is on the VZ negative list. They only lose revenue and they know they aren't going to be held responsible for activating the phone by any governing or law enforcement body. Your scenario on this point is at best far fetched.
    It is far fetched, but it is your scenario. I was talking about the original owner of the phone calling other carriers to see if it was in an active account, so I don't know where this came from. It is supposed to be a response to my second point that you quoted. Even if it is a response to the first quote about carriers sharing stolen ESN lists in the future, we both know they would merge a database periodically rather than call each other up at each activation. Right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tracfonejunkie
    Because they have the ESN. I bought an obviously used phone on ebay that was sold as new, and Verizon was able to confirm that it had been used, but wasn't in an active account or in any way "bad". All I had was the ESN. ..... they look into it and get it back if they think it is worth their time. To call and ask if your ESN is on an active account would be all you would need, and I was able to get that info without a problem.
    Your "they" being verizon has the ESN blacklist

    "they" in the statement I made is all the other CDMA carriers who one could activate a VZ bad ESN phone do not have that list. Nor has there been any real movement for them to get it.

    Unless you can show proof that "carrier X" is working with Verizon (or any other carrier) to recover phones on these blacklists everything you said is empty conjecture. A person could activate all the lost or stolen VZ phones they want on someone like Cricket or Alltel and they would never even try to check with Verizon about the phone's history.

    I was talking about the original owner of the phone calling other carriers to see
    Again, that happening isn't realistic.

    Other carriers have nothing to gain by investigating if a phone one of their customer uses is on VZ blacklist. If they can gain a new customer by activating a VZ blacklisted phone and their network supports it they will. If the original owner calls a non-VZ carrier to ask who has that phone now they aren't going to shut off or even contact that person using it even if it is reported lost or stolen with Verizon.

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    Please re-read what I said. Your response has very little to do with what I said.

    Rather than try to parse your last post I will try to restate what I said in my last post to make it more clear, if that is what is needed.

    Point 1: You is defined as the customer that paid for a phone and is the legal owner of it. If your phone is stolen, you are capable of calling different CDMA providers and asking if the phone is currently active in an account. All you need is the ESN. I was able to do this myself with Verizon. You have no need for the personal information of the person using the stolen phone, since you will only need to know if it is in use and then report it to the police, who may very well do nothing about it, but that is the only option. This has nothing do do with lists of any sort, except in a technical sense that you have a list of one ESN for a phone that was stolen from you, and you are calling CDMA providers with this "list" to see if it is registered with an active account. This is ALL that was said in the statement you quoted.

    Point 2: You created the scenario of Cricket calling Verizon, so I responded to it saying if they did anything they would merge databases, not call each other for each activation. You created a ridiculous scenario and attributed it to me, I pointed that out, and then responded to it for the hell of it.

    Your original statement that the carriers will most likely never share this data was never argued by me. Maybe that is where the confusion is coming from. I always believed that it was shared, but am convinced now that they don't and probably won't unless forced to. Everything I say needs to be read in that context. I only argued other points made by you.

    Edit: To clarify.
    Quote Originally Posted by Majesky
    Your "they" being verizon has the ESN blacklist
    The "they" in the statement you quoted was the police, not verizon. It is more clear in the unedited version.

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    If the the color is bad, change it. Thats what may or may not occur if I was a paint and body shop. And thats what may or may not can be done at your mom and pop wireless store.

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