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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  
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    Default I have a One S as a paperweight (IMEI number blocked)

    So the screen on my GF's Sensation broke after she dropped it. She has had many problems since the ICS update so decided it was time to update her to a One S. The S III is nice but too big for her and she and I are big fans of Sense. TMobile wanted $600 so scoped out CL and bought one for what I thought was a fair $300. Worked fine and in mint shape. Cut her sim, put it in and voila she was ready to roll. . . so I thought. 2 days later the phone turns into a brick. Went into TMobile and they swap out the sim card for me. very nice of them but all for not. After not fixing the problem and talking with their "customer service" people we figured out that it wasn't us or the phone or the sim card but it was T Mobile that had blocked the phone based on it's IMEI number due to the previous owner not finishing paying for the phone's EIP bill. After speaking with countless reps and managers for many hours as well as going into my local store where they have always been helpful they basically told me there I had a
    beautiful fancy brick and that I should enjoy it as that is all I will ever have with this One S. They told me there was absolutely nothing I could do except, get this, "contact owner and have him pay the EIP bill". Uh huh. Even if I could contact him (he changed his number), this is futile and unnecessary since they obviously already have his information on file. They readily admitted to this. So after all this, I am ordering her a new screen for her old phone (which she now thinks is the slowest, laggiest phone on the planet after just 2 days with the One S) and have it reconnected thanks to my local store getting me a new uncut sim card. Now finally, to my question. I am going to write a letter to customer relations in Albuquerque, NM regarding this unfair practice. Has anyone done this? Am I wasting my time? Am I really out $300 with nothing but aggravation and frustration to show for it? Any other options? I hate to resort to doing something illegal like reprogramming IMEI numbers but as I am out of options, I am considering it. Thank you all.
  2. #2  

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    The truth.... You are out of $300. Once you take over that phone, it is yours, T-Mobile has nothing to for with it, the previous owner is a wash, my suggestions to you is to start looking at other phones at T-Mobile stores instead of Cl. Good luck to you!

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    Default Re: I have a One S as a paperweight (IMEI number blocked)

    Sorry to hear that happen to you. I got burnt a few years ago on craigslist when I bought a OG Moto Droid. Just chalk it up as a lose and lesson learned.
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    Default Re: I have a One S as a paperweight (IMEI number blocked)

    thank you all. Seem unfair to punish someone else for the previous owner's inability to pay their bills but lesson learned. I will have her just keep her Sensation for a bit and then maybe
    add her to my ATT account next year and have her take my One X. I'm sure HTC will have a new phone by then. Is T Mobile the only company that does this? I guess they should probably warn people of this potential issue? I know ATT doesn't have anything like this nor Verizon correct?
  5. #5  

    Default Re: I have a One S as a paperweight (IMEI number blocked)

    contact T-mobile might not change what has happened. But at least you should argue that T-mobile should address this issue. I see Phones on CL all the time. and Im sure some are legit, but regardless. They should have an abilitly to call a specific number that a robot lady will tell you right away about the status of the phone. or show a notification that cannot be cleared until they pay there bill.

    those are just suggestions to mention, but I definitly feel for ya. I almost bought one from CL but changed my mind last min. glad I did. but I hope T-mobile will do something for you
    Good luck
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    Default Re: I have a One S as a paperweight (IMEI number blocked)

    I've used the following web site a few times to check ESN #'s and found it to be reliable:

  7. #7  

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    Get an old phone back up imei and then restore it on the one s. T-Mobile won't do . Right now you're in possession of a "stolen object." You'd get in trouble with the law even if you did nothing wrong. Someone in the gs3 section had this problem the police didn't do anything and T-Mobile didn't do anything. Good luck

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    Default Re: I have a One S as a paperweight (IMEI number blocked)

    Perfect Avataranije! I found instructions on XDA forum on this. WiIl try it out!
  9. #9  

    Default Re: I have a One S as a paperweight (IMEI number blocked)

    Any time I've looked at getting a used phone using CL or Kijiji or eBay I always requested to meet in person (in a mall or someplace public). I then call my carrier with the serial number/IEMI/ESN. I've had a couple people cut and run when they asked why I needed that information. One was cool with it. One didn't know why I needed to do that.

    So yeah, unless its a reputable seller off eBay, or you can meet the seller in person -- don't buy from online sellers. Sadly you found out the hard way
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    Default Re: I have a One S as a paperweight (IMEI number blocked)

    That really sucks, I have considered buying online but always get "stage fright" Why do they block the IMEI not the persons account, I guess they do not want someone selling "their" phone. Have you tried calling and when one person cannot help ask for someone higher up, I did this with my carrier once and took about 15 transfers but ended up getting what I wanted.
  11. #11  

    Default Re: I have a One S as a paperweight (IMEI number blocked)

    How long you been with T-Mo? I've been with Sprint a while (so has my whole family) so whenever I want a free upgrade I just threaten to cut my line off and they always give me it
    You'd be surprised to see what carriers would do to keep you on. If T-Mo is the only place that gives service, then, you're out of luck. But it's worth a try.
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  12. #12  

    Default Re: I have a One S as a paperweight (IMEI number blocked)

    This is grim reading, kinda makes you wary of buying second hand phones from eBay, something I've done several times (luckily, without problems so far).

    In this case, if the issue really is an unpaid bill (ie, the phone wasn't stolen), then maybe there is some chance of paying up the outstanding balance to get it unblocked? It seems wrong to have to do that, of course, but if the alternative is a useless phone, I'd consider it (assuming the outstanding bill wasn't massive of course).

    Good luck, whatever you decide!
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    Default Re: I have a One S as a paperweight (IMEI number blocked)

    Quote Originally Posted by guru0006 View Post
    thank you all. Seem unfair to punish someone else for the previous owner's inability to pay their bills but lesson learned. I will have her just keep her Sensation for a bit and then maybe
    add her to my ATT account next year and have her take my One X. I'm sure HTC will have a new phone by then. Is T Mobile the only company that does this? I guess they should probably warn people of this potential issue? I know ATT doesn't have anything like this nor Verizon correct?
    Sorry this happened to you. As it stands, 2 people got punished. You for this guy not paying his bill and your girl for being teased for 2 days with the One X--having to go back to a broke crappy phone cannot be making her happy right now.

    Seems like someone may have to put her on the acct sooner than next year.
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    Default Re: I have a One S as a paperweight (IMEI number blocked)

    All carriers do this including AT&T and writing them or calling the BBB will do you no good.

    In the future always always always check the ESN/IMEI of any used device before spying. There is a LOT of fraud in mobile and this is one of the ways they fight it.
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    Default Re: I have a One S as a paperweight (IMEI number blocked)

    Put it on Ebay but make it clear it can't be activated on T-Mobile. You'll probably get about $200 for it. At lest you'll get some of your money back.
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    Default Re: I have a One S as a paperweight (IMEI number blocked)

    Quote Originally Posted by SCXR View Post
    Put it on Ebay but make it clear it can't be activated on T-Mobile. You'll probably get about $200 for it. At lest you'll get some of your money back.
    What this guy said. It cant be activated on T-Mobile but there are of bunch of other carriers it will still work with and as long as you're up front about it the buyer will be happy. You can even sell it on Craigslist(irony at its best)
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    Default Re: I have a One S as a paperweight (IMEI number blocked)

    Hmm, yep I can try listing it on CL and see what happens. I would think it would have more international demand?
  18. #18  

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    Quote Originally Posted by guru0006 View Post
    Hmm, yep I can try listing it on CL and see what happens. I would think it would have more international demand?
    EBay, not craigslist. You'll make more money off eBay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mallyuk View Post
    This is grim reading, kinda makes you wary of buying second hand phones from eBay, something I've done several times (luckily, without problems so far).

    In this case, if the issue really is an unpaid bill (ie, the phone wasn't stolen), then maybe there is some chance of paying up the outstanding balance to get it unblocked? It seems wrong to have to do that, of course, but if the alternative is a useless phone, I'd consider it (assuming the outstanding bill wasn't massive of course).

    Good luck, whatever you decide!
    They won't do this, as this outstanding balance is a privacy matter, so releasing that would violate the privacy laws. If they did, then the previous owner could sue them for releasing their private info.

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  20. #20  
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    Default Re: I have a One S as a paperweight (IMEI number blocked)

    You got taken and that really sucks, but it is your moral responsibility to make sure whomever you sell it to is fully informed. This device is all but worthless.

    They only way you are going to get anything out of this is if you sell it for parts. Remember T-Mobile USA uses different frequencies for 3G/HSPA than the rest of to world so even if you get the device unlocked putting it on any other network will get EDGE only service.

    Selling it to someone else without fill disclosure will get you in trouble with eBay and PayPal or whatever payment processor you use.
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  21. #21  

    Default Re: I have a One S as a paperweight (IMEI number blocked)

    just curious... have you tried to unlock the phone using the forums in XDA? i know this changes some stuff around possibly allowing you to use the phone. its worth a try. all the steps you need is on there website
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  22. #22  

    Default Re: I have a One S as a paperweight (IMEI number blocked)

    Hopefully you've figured out something with your problem, but I thought I'd clarify a few things. The IMEI blocking has always been a very common thing for years with Verizon and Sprint, and very commonly related to unpaid bills. T-Mobile and At&t have always had the capability as well, but have only recently been enforcing it more.

    The HTC One S (specifically for T-Mobile) is compatible with At&t 3G, as well as all GSM carriers in Canada, as this is one of the few T-Mobile phones that has the 850mhz and 1900mhz bands that are compatible with them. The phone also has the standard 1700/2100mzh bands that T-Mobile has always used. This version of the phone does not have the 900mhz, which is commonly used in Europe and Asia.

    You can get the phone unlocked from the T-Mobile network for $5-10 by searching on places like eBay.

    I don't know what T-Mobile's policy is on IMEI blocking, but it would seem like they would be more lenient on unblocking the phone once they have sold off the unpaid balance to a creditor.

    While I do understand your frustration on this, you have to realize that the carriers do this because they take a loss on phones by selling them to the customer at a cost that is way below what the carrier paid for them, with the intentions of recouping the loss over the course of the contract. If I had my phone stolen, I would definitely want them to block the IMEI, which they can do. If I thought I could still use something that I hadn't fully paid for, I would expect to be blocked for that too.

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