If you are buying an iPhone online or if you have just purchased it, a clean ESN is necessary to ensure you can use the phone on its default service.
However, the worst thing is that most manufacturers do not give a quick and a simple way of checking if an ESN is clear and clean.
This article will guide you on how to check the status of the ESN and how to clean or clear your Verizon iPhone, iPad or Android that has a blacklisted or bad ESN, MEID or IMEI.
However, before this, we have to understand some basics to get the insight on the technical part of it.
What is an ESN or MEID?
There are a thousand plus people out there who have phones and they have never bothered to know what some of the tools and services provided by the manufacturer mean or even how they impact their experience.
We bet you ever heard someone talk about ESN/IMEI! If you haven’t heard anybody talk about it yet, then thank us because we’re going to explain all what the terms pertains and how they can impact your iPhone usage experience.
An ESN is a serial number that is specific and unique to each mobile device. This serial number connects every phone on a CDMA network either like Verizon or Sprint.
In this case, a CDMA ESN is a unique identifier of each mobile phone that allows it to be validated and connected to the cell tower.
Unlike AT&T or T-Mobile that use sim card as the identifier and a validation line, Verizon uses this unique CDMA ESN to connect to the cell towers.
Then how can an ESN be bad or blacklisted?
If you have a SIM card, then you probably don’t have an ESN attached to your phone.
For Verizon iPhones and Android phones, if it is lost, stolen or claimed as an insurance loss or if it is used to carry on illegal activities, the carrier can blacklist the ESN that is connected to that specific phone.
What this means is that the phone can never again connect to the provider that issued it.
There are several online tools that can help you check if the phone ESN is blacklisted.
Although some of the online tools are not as reliable as checking directly with the provider, they can help you confirm that the connection problem you are experiencing is due to ESN Blacklisting.
The good thing is that we are here to provide solutions to some of the problems you are encountering with your new Verizon iPhone or Android device.
The worst thing about buying iPhone/iPad/Android device off eBay or Craigslist is finding out that it has bad ESN or MEID, which literally makes it a paperweight.
Reasons for a Bad ESN
There are plenty of reasons why your Verizon iPhone or Android device can be blacklisted.
The reality of the matter is that ESNs never expire; what happens is that they can be bad and affect your experience.
If you happen to know the main reason why the phone you just bought was blacklisted, then you have already made the work easier.
Knowing the specific reason puts you at a better position of deciding on the best method to fix the bang. In this brief, I will just discuss three reasons why the iPhone can be Blacklisted on a certain carrier.
Lost or stolen phones
This is the main reason why most Verizon phones have bad ESN. If the buyer reported the phone as lost or stolen to the carrier, then the next move is for the carrier to flag the phone and later block it from activation on the same carrier and to some extents to other carriers too.
According to several carrier’s TOS, trying to activate a stolen or a lost phone is futile. They don’t tolerate stolen equipment and that’s why they take these attempts seriously.
Unpaid account balances
This is the second most common reason why most phones are blacklisted in the US.
There are several CDMA networks that require a contract as a prior exercise before purchasing and activating a smartphone for a certain price.
Getting into a contract is not the main issue here; the big issue is terminating the contract before the end of the date.
The worst of all is leaving without paying off the remaining balance. If that happens, then the carrier will flag the ESN and eventually blacklist it to prevent any activation.
If an owner bleaches the contract or leaves without paying the actual balance, the carrier can block the ESN to prevent reactivating it. In some extreme cases, getting blacklisted by one carrier can also hinder activation on other carriers.
If the phone is already activated
The reality of the matter is that it is not possible to activate the same device more than once at the same time.
If you happened to buy a new smartphone and trying to activate it you get a notification that the ESN is bad, then there is likelihood that the device has an active activation with another user.
Although this is uncommon, it can as well be a cause of worry.
There are several ways to fix this.
However, the best method depends upon the reason why the carrier blacklisted the ESN.
But, the user needs to resolve the problem before trying to activate the device.
Just visit the website and type in the ESN to check for the results.
If you don’t know where to check for the ESN, we’re here to help.
There are several ways through which you can check the iPhone’s ESN number.
Check at the back especially underneath the battery. Just note that ESN number is also known as MEID
If it’s blacklisted or has a bad ESN, you will get the result as ‘please contact customer service‘.
If the ESN is clean, you are likely to get a green notification saying so.
Can someone still use a phone with a bad ESN?
If you remember my prior explanation for an ESN, then you can deduce that even if the phone will not be able to connect with the current carrier, it can still work on WiFi.
The only issue here is that you will not be able to make calls, send SMS or even use Mobile data.
However, you have a chance to make video calls, send messages through online platforms and also participate on social discussions through most of social media platform.
You can use WhatsApp to keep connected to your friends, use Facebook and Instagram to just keep yourself entertained.
For a long time people have believed that only the person who reported the phone as lost, or stolen can remove it from the list but the reality of the matter is that there are a couple of ways you can get it cleaned.
If you bought the phone through a reliable and open market, then you can contact the seller for a refund or replacement.
If the seller is the one who reported it to the carrier for blacklisting, then he or she can help you on the process.
Can you turn on or activate a blacklisted Verizon phone?
If you happen to purchase a blacklisted iPhone or Android smartphone there are several options to choose from and in Most cases you might not lose any money.
One of the alternatives is that if you bought an iPhone 11/X or any iPhone with a bad ESN, there is likelihood that it can never connect on Verizon but it can connect on other GSM pre-paid carriers in the US and also internationally.
Most people sell their iPhones at a lower price simply because they have a bad ESN without considering the fact that if the iPhone is blacklisted in Verizon it can still work good for AT&T or T-Mobile.
All what you need in this case is setting change to deactivate CDMA radio and activate it on GSM.
So, what’s next for Verizon bad ESN?
You won’t be able to activate a device with this problem or if you manage to do so, it can be a very complicated or overwhelming task.