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T-Mobile Bad IMEI
04-30-2012, 09:49 PM (This post was last modified: 05-05-2012 07:31 PM by deathtrip.)
Post: #1
Good Evening! I just encountered my first bad ESN for T-Mobile. It was a phone I purchased and then sold 2 and a half months ago. It was working just fine until day before yesterday when the phone suddenly stopped working and said "not registered on network" Just figured I would give a heads up to those of you dealing with T-Mobile phones.

I also saw on facebook that you have applied for access to the global GSM blacklist database. How is that status coming along? I am just curious because it would be great to be able to check T-Mobile ESN's on your site like I do with all the other carriers. I know it would not have helped me in this situation but may help others and myself in the future.

Thanks again for all you do and have a great night!!

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05-01-2012, 06:34 AM
Post: #2
I've seen the issue with T-Mobile disabling blacklisted IMEIs for several weeks now.

Unfortunately, I'm waiting on T-Mobile to give permission to us, which they've not done yet.

I will see if I can get in touch with someone today for an update.

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05-02-2012, 05:39 PM
Post: #3
(05-01-2012 06:34 AM)deathtrip Wrote:  I've seen the issue with T-Mobile disabling blacklisted IMEIs for several weeks now.

Unfortunately, I'm waiting on T-Mobile to give permission to us, which they've not done yet.

I will see if I can get in touch with someone today for an update.

Thanks for your help!

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05-05-2012, 02:59 PM
Post: #4
(05-01-2012 06:34 AM)deathtrip Wrote:  I've seen the issue with T-Mobile disabling blacklisted IMEIs for several weeks now.

Unfortunately, I'm waiting on T-Mobile to give permission to us, which they've not done yet.

I will see if I can get in touch with someone today for an update.

Thank you for your efforts. Once you do have access to the database, will it indicate if an IMEI is currently attached to/active on an account (like Sprint, Verizon, etc. currently do), or only whether it has been blacklisted? If it only tells us if it has been blacklisted, unfortunately that will be less than half the battle, since if I buy a phone which is active on an account but not yet blacklisted, I could run into the same issue as Harvis912 did.

Also, while you are waiting for access, have you tried contacting T-Mobile Customer Service to see if they are willing/able to let you know if an IMEI is attached to/active on an account or blacklisted? I don't have any T-Mobile phones that I can try for myself.

Thank you!

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05-05-2012, 05:44 PM
Post: #5
Yes, T-Mobile will tell you if an IMEI is blacklisted.

Also, the Blacklist database is currently only supporting T-Mobile, but will eventually support AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon.

Also, it will only be added to the blacklist if it was purchased fraudulently, or if it was reported lost or stolen.

On T-Mobile and AT&T, it doesn't matter if the IMEI is tied to an active account or not, it will work for you if you have a supported SIM. Only once the IMEI is blacklisted will the phone stop functioning.

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05-05-2012, 06:52 PM
Post: #6
(05-05-2012 05:44 PM)deathtrip Wrote:  ...
Also, it will only be added to the blacklist if it was purchased fraudulently, or if it was reported lost or stolen.

On T-Mobile and AT&T, it doesn't matter if the IMEI is tied to an active account or not, it will work for you if you have a supported SIM. Only once the IMEI is blacklisted will the phone stop functioning.

Before any U.S. GSM carriers started blacklisting IMEIs, it didn't matter if the IMEI was tied to an active account. However, now that the blacklist is operational for T-Mobile, if an IMEI is tied to an active account, then the account holder can potentially sell the phone, then report it as lost or stolen and receive an insurance replacement, which would result in the phone being blacklisted.

I'm not sure exactly what being "purchased fraudulently" means, but assuming it means that a customer signs up for a contract then sells their phone the next day and abandons the contract, after a period of non-payment when T-Mobile figures out what the customer has done, they may blacklist the phone, making it stop working unexpectedly.

This is why it is now important to find out whether the IMEI is tied to an active account (unless I am misunderstanding part of the process). This only used to be an issue with CDMA phones.

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05-05-2012, 07:24 PM
Post: #7
The relevance of an IMEI being active on an account doesn't matter to probably more than 95% of people who deal with GSM phones because it doesn't prevent someone from putting their active SIM into the phone and using it. Yes, the person selling the phone should have the IMEI removed from their account, but unfortunately not all GSM phone users understand that the IMEI is tied to their account. They just know they can swap SIMs and keep going.

T-Mobile has had a blacklist for a long time, but only recently have they began enforcing how it effects phones in the USA.

I understand what you're saying, I know that it can be an unforeseen issue, but with the new blacklist rules going into effect in the USA, other things may change too. No one really knows what's going to happen yet, and T-Mobile so far is the only one reporting their IMEIs into the national database in the USA.

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05-13-2012, 10:35 PM
Post: #8
I finally had the chance to call T-Mobile to check an IMEI; unfortunately, it was not a smooth process. I spoke with three different reps, and the result of two of the calls was that they told me that they could not check to see if the IMEI was blacklisted unless I had a T-Mobile account that they could "test" adding it to my account. The third rep could not understand what I was referring to, and kept saying something about unlocking the phone.

I wasted at least half an hour wading through the menus and misinformed reps. Finally, a friend who had a T-Mobile phone number was able to get through to tech support and they told me that it was not blocked/blacklisted. Unfortunately, they said they could not tell me whether it was active on an account, so the person I bought it from could still technically report it lost or stolen and it could end up being blocked.

I can't wait 'til your access to the database is approved. Although it won't be able to provide all the information that phone resellers need to make sure their customers aren't stuck with a blacklisted phone at some point in the future, at least it will be a lot faster and easier than what I went through today!

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05-21-2012, 02:11 PM
Post: #9
Hi, I buy lots and lots of gsm phones used or new on ebay and craigslist ..then resell them. Can someone clarify what tmobile is doing as before when it was an att or tmobile phone i was fine once i checked the phone. now i see i can get ripped off pretty easily. also, if i unlock the phones will they work for simple mobile still or other carriers if the person reports it stolen or doesnt pay their contract? is this working for androids and blackberrys too? i really appreciate this. This has been my new job since the economy went bad and now im pretty worried that i can get scammed.

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05-27-2012, 10:45 PM
Post: #10
Good evening everyone ! i have a question about the imei of T-Mobile phone ! i jsut bought 2 HTC Amaze from craglist ! after i bought it and i call the T_Mobile technical support to ask them about the phone is black list or not ! They just told me the phone i just bough is clean never activate ! So my phone is black list or not ! any one can help me and let me know Thanks

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