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Thread: TracFone IMEI check problem

  1. #1
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    TracFone IMEI check problem

    I know this is kind of long, and I apologize. Also, I posted pretty much the same question at the TracFone forum, and they replied with an invitation to call them, or start another chat session, which I haven't done yet; I'm kind of hoping that I can get a little more information first.

    The phones referred to are all on TracFone accounts using the Verizon network. they are all unlocked, they are all VoLTE capable, and they all check out fine on the various online IMEI checkers, including Verizon's.

    I got a Moto G5 Plus a few months ago, installed a new, TracFone-bought SIM, and transferred from my old phone to the G5 Plus using the online BYOP transfer routine. The phone cleared the TracFone IMEI check with no problem, and everything went very smoothly. I checked to make sure that mobile data was LTE, and it was.

    I now want to give the G5 Plus to my sister (she's got a separate TracFone account), so I got a Moto X4, and simply moved the SIM out of my G5 Plus and popped it into the X4. Everything works fine, LTE and all.

    But now, when I enter the G5 Plus IMEI number into TracFone's checker, it says "An error has occurred. Please contact our Customer Care at 1-800-867-7183".

    I figure the G5 Plus IMEI is being flagged because it is somehow still linked to my TracFone account. The IMEI *does* pass Verizon's IMEI check, and Swappa's, etc. I initiated a TracFone chat session, but it was very unhelpful. The agent just kept repeating that if the IMEI number doesn't pass their check, then the phone isn't compatible with TracFone.

    To reiterate, the phone passed the TracFone IMEI check a few months ago, and it has been working fine, and it handles LTE just fine. My brother happens to have an identical, unactivated and unlocked G5 Plus, and its IMEI number passes the Tracfone check. In fact, *all* unlocked model 1687 Moto G5 Plus phones pass the TracFone IMEI check, *except* the one I just pulled the TracFone/Verizon SIM out of to put into my Moto X4.

    I haven't gotten back with TracFone support yet. In my experience, it's best to know as much as you can about a problem *before* bringing it to customer support.

    Anybody have any clues, any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by fargap View Post
    I now want to give the G5 Plus to my sister (she's got a separate TracFone account), so I got a Moto X4, and simply moved the SIM out of my G5 Plus and popped it into the X4. Everything works fine, LTE and all.

    But now, when I enter the G5 Plus IMEI number into TracFone's checker, it says "An error has occurred. Please contact our Customer Care at 1-800-867-7183".

    I figure the G5 Plus IMEI is being flagged because it is somehow still linked to my TracFone account.
    I haven't gotten back with TracFone support yet. In my experience, it's best to know as much as you can about a problem *before* bringing it to customer support.
    Swapping the SIM from the G5 Plus to the X4 is the cause of your problem.

    When you activate a BYOP TF/Verizon SIM, you have to provide the IMEI of a phone that passes a check, and that IMEI is paired to the BYOP SIM number. Your G5 Plus is not passing the IMEI check NOW because it's already paired to an active SIM. An IMEI cannot be paired with multiple active SIMs.

    To do things correctly, you'll need to activate another BYOP TF/Verion SIM WITH A TRANSFER from the current SIM/phone number of the G5 Plus, and provide the IMEI of the X4 to pair with it. After the transfer is done, the IMEI of the G5 Plus will be "free and clear" for (re)activation. Use the new SIM in your X4.

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    Tracfone/Verizon keeps track of which IMEI is being used with which SIM. This is done when you supply the IMEI or even if you just swap the SIM unofficially. They know the IMEI/SIM pairing has changed. The network knows.

    So you will have to contact Tracfone and have the sim officially unlinked from the first Moto and relinked to the next Moto. Then the first Moto will be officially clear. I believe you could still just SIM swap and go on your way, but the IMEIs wouldn't be official and might have unintended consequences later.

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    The issue is that the IMEI of the G5+ is still associated with the sim you just swapped into the X4 (BTW the X4 is a great phone, been using one for about a year.) There are a couple of things you can do.

    1. Activate a new TF/VERIZON BYOP sim using the IMEI of the X4 and plop it into the G5+. (Not reccomended) or
    2. Activate a new TF/VERIZON BYOP sim using the IMEI of the X4 transferring buckets and service days. That should free up the IMEI of the G5+ to be reactivated clean. You then put the newly activated sim in the X4 and you should be able to use the old sim to activate the G5+.

    Looks like I need to type faster

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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    Swapping the SIM from the G5 Plus to the X4 is the cause of your problem.

    When you activate a BYOP TF/Verizon SIM, you have to provide the IMEI of a phone that passes a check, and that IMEI is paired to the BYOP SIM number. Your G5 Plus is not passing the IMEI check NOW because it's already paired to an active SIM. An IMEI cannot be paired with multiple active SIMs.

    To do things correctly, you'll need to activate another BYOP TF/Verion SIM WITH A TRANSFER from the current SIM/phone number of the G5 Plus, and provide the IMEI of the X4 to pair with it. After the transfer is done, the IMEI of the G5 Plus will be "free and clear" for (re)activation. Use the new SIM in your X4.
    Thanks! What a great answer. Had I been a member here, I would've asked y'all first. As it was, the chat agent spooked me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cv91913 View Post
    The issue is that the IMEI of the G5+ is still associated with the sim you just swapped into the X4 (BTW the X4 is a great phone, been using one for about a year.) There are a couple of things you can do.

    1. Activate a new TF/VERIZON BYOP sim using the IMEI of the X4 and plop it into the G5+. (Not reccomended) or
    2. Activate a new TF/VERIZON BYOP sim using the IMEI of the X4 transferring buckets and service days. That should free up the IMEI of the G5+ to be reactivated clean. You then put the newly activated sim in the X4 and you should be able to use the old sim to activate the G5+.

    Looks like I need to type faster
    Thanks very much. What a great resource this forum is!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisme View Post
    Tracfone/Verizon keeps track of which IMEI is being used with which SIM. This is done when you supply the IMEI or even if you just swap the SIM unofficially. They know the IMEI/SIM pairing has changed. The network knows.

    So you will have to contact Tracfone and have the sim officially unlinked from the first Moto and relinked to the next Moto. Then the first Moto will be officially clear. I believe you could still just SIM swap and go on your way, but the IMEIs wouldn't be official and might have unintended consequences later.
    Thanks! See, why couldn't the chat agent have explained it to me? (A rhetorical question.)

  8. #8
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    Tracfone/AT&T and Tracfone/T-Mobile are aware of IMEI and SIM identities, but there isn't a pairing thing like with Verizon. The SIM basically freelances.

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    In the past Tracfone didn`t make an effort to warn you. Instead, when you used the same IMEI to activate a second SIM they de-activated the first SIM and the phone number and airtime were lost. There are a few posts here from people this happened to because they didn`t ask here first.

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    In case anyone is following, I followed the gurus' advice.

    I put the SIM back into the original phone.

    I put a new SIM into the new phone.

    I went through the online transfer process, and everything worked smoothly. And now, the old phone's IMEI is compatible with TracFone once again.

    So the moral is: when in doubt, take the long way.

    Thanks everyone!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by fargap View Post
    So the moral is: when in doubt, take the long way.
    Yep, the ease of doing SIM swapping has it's pitfalls.

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