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Can a bad ESN be saved?


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  1. WA_Bob

    WA_Bob VIP Member VIP Member

    I keep seeing phones for sale with the listing clearly stating it has a bad ESN and it's made me curious. Once a phone is stamped with a bad ESN for whatever reason, can it ever be re-flashed to have a "Good" ESN that a carrier, say Verizon for instance, will accept and allow the phone to be used on their network again?

    I understand that no one wants stolen phones out on the streets and that's one way to stop them from being used. I'm just curious as I see these phones being advertised on places like E-Bay or Craigslist for what look like high prices considering they're apparently useful only as an overpriced iPod type device with maybe WiFi services. Is a bad ESN phone only useful for parts now or is there some way to "rehabilitate" it and make it a phone again? (Hence the high prices some folks seem to want to pay for them)

    Just today's random question that's been bugging me. :confused:

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  2. Yeahha

    Yeahha Usually off topic VIP Member

    If you are the person who got the ESN blacklisted then you can have it taken off. I owned a phone that was stolen and had it blacklisted. If it was recovered and given back to me I could jump thru some hoops and activate it again if I wanted.

    If you purchase a blacklisted phone you are SOL if you want to activate it on VZW. Usually people buy them to flash to another network (Cricket comes to mind) or they may want to use the phone to refirb another one they already have with a cracked screen or something or they can be used as an iPod touch type device or (last reason) for use as a dev phone. There is no way you can buy a random bad ESN phone and activate it on VZW unless you somehow get sold a phone you reported as stolen
    WA_Bob likes this.
  3. WA_Bob

    WA_Bob VIP Member VIP Member

    Makes more sense to me now. Thanks!
  4. nkk

    nkk Well-Known Member

    To be clear, there is one exception where the purchaser can have the blacklisting lifted. If you purchase a phone that has a bad ESN because the owner did not pay his bill, I believe you can pay the balance and buy the contract out. Not that that is a logical thing to do, but I believe it is possible.

    -Nkk
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  5. dautley

    dautley VIP Member VIP Member

    I believe this to be true but depending on how much the balance of the contract plus how much you paid for the phone is, you might get a better deal just buying a new phone.
  6. Yeahha

    Yeahha Usually off topic VIP Member

    Thanks, I didn't think of that. I like to think people are honest and good in general yet when I think bad ESN I think stolen phone :eek:
  7. WA_Bob

    WA_Bob VIP Member VIP Member

    That or "What the *bleep* did they really do to this thing?" that they're not telling you. Always curious......... :D
  8. butthead007

    butthead007 Well-Known Member

    badf esn is always either stolen or nonpay disconnect. nothing else :D
  9. archie70

    archie70 Active Member

    On the sprint network, if you report a phone lost/stolen and have the esn blacklisted, once you activate another phone onto your account the bad esn will get lifted and the old phone will be able to get used to another sprint account....the only exception is if there was insurance on the lost phone and then the insurance carrier will not clear/free the esn. This may or not be true on the Verizon network.
  10. jerry42570

    jerry42570 Well-Known Member

    I've seen advertisements where some people know how to flash a phone from one provider to another (assuming the technologies are the same.) Verizon phones are flashed to Cricket in my area.

    If a phone has a hotlisted ESN on Verizon, Cricket has no way of knowing (to my knowledge.)

    I do not know anyone personally who has accomplished flashing a phone from VZW to Cricket, but I do see it advertised on EBay all of the time.
  11. zanza

    zanza Well-Known Member

    its pretty easy, i had my DINC on Cricket for a while, but switched to TMobile since Cricket has bad coverage.
  12. kolosus

    kolosus Well-Known Member

    I was just browsing this section of the forum and came across this question. Thought I'd put in my input.

    Sprint goes back sometimes and "cleans" the ESN of devices. Devices with bad esn will come up clean a few months later. But that's not all the time. Sometimes they're bad for extended periods! Why, what pattern etc I'm not aware of.

    Does the same apply for Verizon? IDK.
  13. wabson56

    wabson56 New Member

    Hi yeahha,
    Thanks for your idea.....


    bad esn
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