1. Koinonia's Avatar
    Hello everyone,

    So here's the deal. I like iPhones a lot as do many of us, and my friend on Verizon wanted one as well. But their contract doesn't expire for a long time. So I've dealt with eBay/craigslist before and I offered to help them.

    Anyways, I do not have Verizon, nor have I ever dealt with it. I know about iPhones quite a bit, but not the CDMA area. So I wasn't the smartest about ESN's...

    So I found a brand new iPhone 4 32 GB on craigslist. The guy bought it thinking it was AT&T, so he didn't have a use for it. Stupidly, since it was new, I figured there was no way the ESN could be bad. Yes I know I should have called and verified first, please don't tell me that I already learned my lesson.

    Well, got it to my friend, he tried to activate it and it can't be because it has a bad ESN.

    So I have been talking to a good chunk of people trying to figure out my best option. No I don't plan on reselling it and scamming someone. But I heard people still buy bad ESN phones and can flash them for other networks. So that is one option I am thinking.

    But first I talked with Verizon and they said in-store they can tell if it was owned previously, or if it came straight from the store. Obviously, if this was someones phone I'd like to man up and get it back to them, although it'll hurt to be out $400. But chances are it wasn't activated before since it was brand new correct?

    In that case Verizon told me that if I go in and talk to a manager I may be able to get it for a discount or something.

    But my main question is what should I do? Should I bring it in? And if so is there any chance I could get it taken by them and basically have lost my money?

    I was told by another person that Verizon will not budge at all and won't help in anyway so my best option would be to have someone flash it.

    All in all, what does mmi recommend?

    2011-04-23 11:47 PM
  2. j3st3r's Avatar
    personally i would try to find out if it is indeed stolen, if so i would return it to the rightful owner and report the person you bought it from on craigslist for selling stolen property. if you find out it isn't stolen then maybe by going in you can find out why it has the bad esn to begin with. worst case verizon takes the phone in which case you will be out $400 but as it stands now you are basically out the $400 anyway because you have a useless phone. just my $.02
    2011-04-24 01:24 AM
  3. Koinonia's Avatar
    Okay and the only way I can find out if it is taken from a person or from a truck/store is going in and having Verizon check it correct? I was told they can determine where it's from.

    But have you ever heard of Verizon actually TAKING a phone from someone who bought a phone that was "stolen" from their truck? Can they legally do that? At any rate, they wouldn't resell it anyway right?

    Also another thing someone brought up is, someone could have used a fake name/ssn and got a Verizon plan, got it for $200, then cancelled, then sold it on cl. If this is the case then I am totally screwed right? Because then it's not really taken from a store or person

    And I cannot really report it as such, because the guy I bought it from bought it from another person, who probably bought it from eBay or something.

    Ideally I would like to find the original owner, but it's near impossible since Verizon couldn't give me their number anyway. But as of now I do not think there ever was an original owner, since as I said it was BRAND NEW.

    Thanks for the input thus far.
    2011-04-24 01:43 AM
  4. killface99's Avatar
    no it is not"stolen" it is scamed.Original "owner"sells it on cl.waits untill he/she is paid reports it stolen/lost..buyer is f...ed!no,not really,just challenged as am I.cdma workshop is to say the least foreign to me,but I will"hack"away @ qwerty untill I reach my goal&then share.The very def of hacker comes from old school reporters or hacks who will hack @ their keyboard untill they have "something".I don't pretend to be saavy only determined.I must also share that when you(I)show true grit,i.e,really giving it my all+sharing help comes from people who have allready done the dirt.Again I am not a code breaker but i damn sure respect them
    2011-09-22 10:35 AM
  5. Scmed27's Avatar
    Why do people buy phones with bad ESN's then? Somehow they figure out something to do with it.... I had a guy call me today offering me $150 for a bad ESN phone.
    2012-02-27 11:55 PM
  6. johnnylingo's Avatar
    I know it's possible to take bad ESN Verizon iPhones and flash them to use on MetroPCS. Not sure about Sprint, Virgin Mobile, Cricket, etc.

    Worst case, you can use the WiFi and have the same functionality as an iPod touch
    2012-04-03 09:21 PM
  7. Gopher_Otis's Avatar
    There are people who have extra ESNs stockpiled from phones that are either broken or lost to the world. There is a way to assign a new ESN, but I do not know how to do it and I am not even sure that it is legal.
    2012-04-25 04:08 PM