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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default "Unlocked" Galaxy S4 help

    I just got an S4 off of craigslist that I was told was unlocked. Is there a way to tell that the phone is unlocked from the phone itself? It was originally a US Cellular phone which means it is a CDMA phone. I am assuming I will have to flash it to another carrier if I dont want to use it on USC?

    There is an interesting issue with it, it keeps asking me for a SIM card. To my knowledge a CDMA phone doesn't use a SIM card unless it is for international use. Could it be doing that because there is some setting turned on or is it because it is not linked to a specific carrier?

    I also found out that it is attached to an active account for USC, this could be problematic as the phone could possibly be stolen. USC will only tell me that it cannot be activated at this time because it is on an active line, yet I cannot make calls on the phone and it has no assigned number. So I am not sure what that is about. Can it be flashed to another carrier if it is attached to an active account on another carrier?
  2. #2  
    mhinc's Avatar

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    Default Re: "Unlocked" Galaxy S4 help

    Quote Originally Posted by Thad Lozensky View Post
    I just got an S4 off of craigslist that I was told was unlocked. Is there a way to tell that the phone is unlocked from the phone itself? It was originally a US Cellular phone which means it is a CDMA phone. I am assuming I will have to flash it to another carrier if I dont want to use it on USC?

    There is an interesting issue with it, it keeps asking me for a SIM card. To my knowledge a CDMA phone doesn't use a SIM card unless it is for international use. Could it be doing that because there is some setting turned on or is it because it is not linked to a specific carrier?

    I also found out that it is attached to an active account for USC, this could be problematic as the phone could possibly be stolen. USC will only tell me that it cannot be activated at this time because it is on an active line, yet I cannot make calls on the phone and it has no assigned number. So I am not sure what that is about. Can it be flashed to another carrier if it is attached to an active account on another carrier?
    The IMEI may be bricked by the provider you mentioned it was still active to, if that's the case you're screwed., you really need to be careful when buying things off Craigs list like this.
    In the mean time can you grab the IMEI from:
    SETTINGS > MORE > ABOUT DEVICE then STATUS
    and plop it in this website to get some info
    Check IMEI - IMEI.info
    Also under the same STATUS area. Scroll to the very bottom. What does the DEVICE STATUS part say? Official? Custom? Modified?
    Samsung Galaxy S4 SGH-I337M - 4.2.2
    Telus Mobility
    Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
    ---
  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  

    Default Re: "Unlocked" Galaxy S4 help

    Quote Originally Posted by mhinc View Post
    The IMEI may be bricked by the provider you mentioned it was still active to, if that's the case you're screwed., you really need to be careful when buying things off Craigs list like this.
    In the mean time can you grab the IMEI from:
    SETTINGS > MORE > ABOUT DEVICE then STATUS
    and plop it in this website to get some info
    Check IMEI - IMEI.info
    Also under the same STATUS area. Scroll to the very bottom. What does the DEVICE STATUS part say? Official? Custom? Modified?
    While I completely agree I should have been more careful, the bright side is that I did not actually really pay anything for the phone. I got it in trade and if it is a total loss I have earned enough from other trades to exceed my initial investment.

    The specific language the CS rep used was "that phone cannot be used at this time". Which leads me to believe it is not bricked.

    I have tried to use that site, but the IMEI in phone is only 14 #s and they want 15. Also, the number I give the CS rep is not the IMEI, its the MEID which is like 18 #s long.

    It says Official.
    Last edited by Thad Lozensky; 06-18-2014 at 06:46 PM.
  4. #4  
    mhinc's Avatar

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    Default Re: "Unlocked" Galaxy S4 help

    Quote Originally Posted by Thad Lozensky View Post
    While I completely agree I should have been more careful, the bright side is that I did not actually really pay anything for the phone. I got it in trade and if it is a total loss I have earned enough from other trades to exceed my initial investment.

    The specific language the CS rep used was "that phone cannot be used at this time". Which leads me to believe it is not bricked.

    I have tried to use that site, but the IMEI in phone is only 14 #s and they want 15. Also, the number I give the CS rep is not the IMEI, its the MEID which is like 18 #s long.

    It says Official.
    Glad to hear you didn't loose out on too much then IF this ends up to be a bad buy. Now as for the comment the CS rep made
    "that phone cannot be used at this time". I don't believe it's bricked either, but I do think that it's been reported as "LOST" and
    will eventually end up being bricked. Phone companies everywhere are very careful what they say about another customers phone.
    Here's a suggestion. Contact CS again, and tell the, you bought the phone from Craigs list. Since it's active you can't do anything '
    with it. You would like the owner to contact YOU, leave your number or if you aren't comfortable, leave an email address.
    Chances are the owner has already got another phone and if you explain the situation they will just tell you to keep the one you have.
    At that point at least the owner can call CS and have the phone removed from whatever status it's in and you can do what you want.

    As for it saying OFFICIAL. Just means it's not rooted. I don't think it's unlocked either to be honest.
    Samsung Galaxy S4 SGH-I337M - 4.2.2
    Telus Mobility
    Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
    ---
  5. Thread Author  Thread Author    #5  

    Default Re: "Unlocked" Galaxy S4 help

    Quote Originally Posted by mhinc View Post
    Glad to hear you didn't loose out on too much then IF this ends up to be a bad buy. Now as for the comment the CS rep made
    "that phone cannot be used at this time". I don't believe it's bricked either, but I do think that it's been reported as "LOST" and
    will eventually end up being bricked. Phone companies everywhere are very careful what they say about another customers phone.
    Here's a suggestion. Contact CS again, and tell the, you bought the phone from Craigs list. Since it's active you can't do anything '
    with it. You would like the owner to contact YOU, leave your number or if you aren't comfortable, leave an email address.
    Chances are the owner has already got another phone and if you explain the situation they will just tell you to keep the one you have.
    At that point at least the owner can call CS and have the phone removed from whatever status it's in and you can do what you want.

    As for it saying OFFICIAL. Just means it's not rooted. I don't think it's unlocked either to be honest.
    I will give that a try. Just curious why do you think that it does not display a phone number or any network information if the phone is active on someone's account?
  6. Thread Author  Thread Author    #6  

    Default Re: "Unlocked" Galaxy S4 help

    So I took your suggestion and they were more willing to help. This may be useful information for anyone else in this situation.

    After some carefully worded questions the main USC customer service told me that if I called a brick and mortar store that the associate would be more able to help me. So I did that, unfortunately she could not help me. The phone has been wiped and there is no phone number in the phone. They apparently cannot tell what account the phone is linked to via ESN, just whether it is clean or not.

    She said that if I hold on to the phone that eventually it will be released from the account. The account is probably suspended or in collections and after 6 months any phones attached to it are released. I have no idea how long the phone has been in limbo, but I am going to have to wait at most 6 months to use it. Good news for anyone else having this problem. If the rep says that the "phone cannot be used at this time" it means it is probably in that 6 month period.

    PS the phone is definitely not unlocked.
  7. #7  
    mhinc's Avatar

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    Default Re: "Unlocked" Galaxy S4 help

    Quote Originally Posted by Thad Lozensky View Post
    So I took your suggestion and they were more willing to help. This may be useful information for anyone else in this situation.

    After some carefully worded questions the main USC customer service told me that if I called a brick and mortar store that the associate would be more able to help me. So I did that, unfortunately she could not help me. The phone has been wiped and there is no phone number in the phone. They apparently cannot tell what account the phone is linked to via ESN, just whether it is clean or not.

    She said that if I hold on to the phone that eventually it will be released from the account. The account is probably suspended or in collections and after 6 months any phones attached to it are released. I have no idea how long the phone has been in limbo, but I am going to have to wait at most 6 months to use it. Good news for anyone else having this problem. If the rep says that the "phone cannot be used at this time" it means it is probably in that 6 month period.

    PS the phone is definitely not unlocked.
    Glad you got some answers! And at least know what you can expect now!
    Thanks for letting us know!
    Samsung Galaxy S4 SGH-I337M - 4.2.2
    Telus Mobility
    Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
    ---

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