If you’re buying a supplied cell phone, clock out, since you could get an ext than friend bargained for.

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There are two varieties of to move networks used about the world. GMS (AT&T and also T-Mobile), which offers SIM cards to recognize individual phones; and also CDMA (Verizon and also Sprint), which offers ESNs. ESN stand for digital Serial Number, and it features just like any kind of other serial number.Carriers usage phone ESNs come identify particular phones and also blacklist those that have actually been stolen. ESNs can be “bad,” which means the carrier has actually blacklisted the phone. So if your phone is blacklisted, wherein does this leaving you? What deserve to you do around it?

Why would an ESN be Bad?

Cellular carrier flag an ESN as bad if the phone is reported shed or stolen. They’ll also flag it if the previous account holder has an outstanding balance. Dependable dealers will check with one ESN service before they sell the phone, but phones purchase from exclusive sellers are sometimes reported steal after the sale.

How execute I understand If my Phone ESN is Bad?

If you’re suspiciously of her phone ESN, you can verify that online. ESN number are found on the earlier of the phone call by the battery, or in the phone’s settings. If an ESN company can’t uncover anything wrong, shot calling the transport directly. They may not give you information about the account, yet they can tell you if a host was placed and why.

My Phone has a negative ESN - What Now?

Once you’ve shown that the phone call ESN is bad, your next step is contacting the seller. Many reputable dealers, also online (such together Amazon or eBay), have policies protecting consumers. If her seller to be an individual, they may not understand the phone has actually a balance and also that they can settle it themselves. However, if her ESN is bad and the seller isn’t cooperative, friend still have actually other options.


ESN numbers flagged for account non-payment space still usable by various other carriers. Most carriers space happy to “flash” your phone, or reregister the ESN to themselves rather than the old service provider. Numerous carriers perform this at your stores for a fee. Yet note the carriers will no flash phones flagged as shed or stolen.

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What if the Phone was Reported Stolen?

If the phone was reported stolen, your only option is to use the phone there is no cellular capabilities. Phones can also be supplied as an elaborate MP3 players, or come play games. But if you carry out come into possession the a stolen phone, shot your best to return the phone to its owner.When buying a offered cell phone, it’s great to know about ESNs and how to inspect them. Between stolen phones and also late invoice payments, there’s a variety of ways to obtain an ESN blacklisted.But also so, if the ESN ~ above your new phone is bad, all is not lost. Refer earlier to our article and also refresh you yourself on what to perform if your phone has actually a bad ESN.