Activation and a Bad ESN/IMEI/MEID

Gator Architect

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Nov 27, 2010
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Orlando, FL
I am looking at buying a couple used thunderbolts and the guy gave me their IMEI numbers. I tried calling verizon 1-800 tech support line and they didn't know what to do with an IMEI number, they wanted an ESN/MEID number. I then tried calling my local store and the rep there was confused by the IMEI number as well. She didn't think that Verizon used IMEI numbers. Though she tried putting the numbers in the system to see what she could get. The numbers pulled up accounts, but she could not tell if they were clean from that. So, she contacted tech support and they told her that they thought the accounts had a lock on them. It all sounded like they didn't know what they were doing, so I contacted the seller and asked him to send me the MEID HEX # in the battery compartments so I could try those.

In the mean time, I tried putting the numbers into the activate a new device screen in my verizon account (image 1 below) and it gave a popup that said "Thank You! Your new device is 4G enabled..." (image 2 below). I clicked on cancel activation as I have not actually made the exchange for the phones yet and therefore did not want to go ahead and activate it on my line.

After all that, my question is... Does getting that popup mean that the devices' IMEI/ESN/MEID's are clean. Or, is that just an acknowledgement that they are 4g devices and it would have told me at a later step that the numbers were not good. Or phrased differently, at what point in the online activation process would it tell me that a device ID number was bad?
Can't say, 4G activation works differently, you activate a SIM then put it in the TB, IMO the MEID and such are meaningless... Could be wrong though, like I said 4G is new and not many people (even @Verizon) know a lot about it...So why are you entering in the phones info, just activate a SIM, right?

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Checked out the screenshots, it probably just said the device was enabled as if it wasn't before... its probably "enabled" 24/7, always has been, but people are dumb and if it wasn't worded like that people would get confused. So yea, as far as I know the MEID, ESN, etc and just activate a SIM card... Should work if you just put it in ANY 4G phone...

Sent from my DROIDX using DroidForums
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Learned from my mistake

Well, I'm kicking myself now. While I was busy trying to get all these numbers verified, the guy went and sold the phones to someone else. Afterwords I realized I should have just bought them right away without verifying as I could have easily made my money back even if they couldn't be activated. He had agreed to sell me both phones for $325. Considering ones with "bad ESNs" are selling on ebay for over $200, I could have actually made money if I wasn't able to activate them on my lines.

Now that I have a better idea of the ebay market value on these I will keep my eye out for any good deals and snatch them up as soon as they show up.
I know it's too late, but thunderbolts (and all 4g devices thus far) will have an imei that starts off like "990000" and then more numbers, any meid hex info is irrelevant. Also will have a sim card and that's what is really active on the account and holds all the account info, but that's also irrelevant to you. VZW tech support should have been able to search their negative list for the imei info, because if you put your working sim card in a 4g imei that is on the neg list it's not supposed to work. I haven't actually seen this happen in the wild, but that's what's supposed to.
You are, however, at the mercy of the reps since they have access to the negative list and you don't. But they should be able to verify the stolen device, and there's a dropdown menu where they can select whether they're inputting an esn, meid, imei, etc. and search that way.
Too bad about the deal. Maybe they actually were useless though and you saved yourself the hassle of having to resell them.