If your device has an unsatisfactory ESN (MEID) or IMEI and you cannot use it, you have various options of using it on the phone or selling it. Find out whether your phone has been blocklisted (and why) and what you can do to resolve it.
How can you tell if the phone is on the blocklist?
The phone is blocklisted if reported stolen or lost or stolen, and in some instances for not paying the fees of carrier financing plans. You can determine whether your phone has been banned by contacting your service provider or using an ESN/IMEI checker.
The CTIA’s Stolen Phone Checker serves as the database used across the nation for stolen phone numbers; other alternatives comprise IMEI Pro, IMEI Check, and carriers’ websites like AT&T, T-mobile or Verizon. Find out how to locate the IMEI to use with your iPhone and Android.
Sell your phone
You could sell your phone if it has a poor ESN/IMEI. There are buyback sites that buy phones with financing that you have to pay for. For instance, repair shops in your area might purchase it as a part. You can also sell your phone using traditional methods if you are in a position to remove it from the block or change carriers (more about these below).
Contact your carrier and ask them to remove your ESN/IMEI
If your ESN/IMEI is listed as blocklisted because of nonpayment, you could be able to take off the blocklist by making sure you have your account current. Contact your provider about this possibility. When it’s taken off the blocklist, you’ll be able to either keep it on your list or sell it.
Pay to unblock your ESN/IMEI
Numerous services will allow you to remove your ESN/IMEI at a cost that can vary between around $22 for the older versions such as Galaxy S4 to Galaxy S4 to $80 for an iPhone X and up to $190 for Galaxy Note 9. Galaxy Note 9.
The companies such as Unblock My Samsung, IMEI Authority, and Unlock Samsung provide a money-back guarantee if they cannot get your ESN/IMEI off the blocklist. If you choose to go this route, make sure to steer clear of companies with bad reputations involved in fraudulent practices, and know that there’s no guarantee that you will not block your phone in the future.
The carriers don’t always adhere to one other’s blocklists. Therefore, it’s possible to change your network service provider. Suppose your device is tied to your current provider. In that case, it is possible to use programs that allow you to “flash” the phone.
You can carry the possibility that you’ll end up “bricking.” should you make a mistake, or you can purchase unlocking services for your phone from companies such as Codes2unlock and UnlockChase. Prices can vary, and however, you can expect to spend about $20.
Be aware that you’ll have to switch to a provider based on the same type of network you’re currently using. AT&T, as well as T-Mobile both, are GSM networks. However, Verizon and T-Mobile are also CDMA networks (though certain CDMA phones do have GSM capabilities, which allows users to switch carriers).
Could you take advantage of it while on WiFi?
If none of those options sound appropriate to you, you could still use your phone through WiFi. It means that you can use messaging and calling apps, check your emails and play games – you’ll need to be connected to the WiFi network.