Be REAL carefull buying a new T-Mo compatible iPhone off eBay!

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by TB07-NJ, Apr 13, 2013.

  1. TB07-NJ macrumors 68020

    Jul 7, 2008
    There are already a number of T-Mo iPhones on eBay. Be real careful. If the seller purchased the iPhone from T-Mo and purchased it using the $20/month deal then cancels their contract 1 or 2 or even 23 months from now without paying off the full price of the phone the phone will become a brick (for calls anyway).

    There really is no way to tell where the phone originated from or how it is being paid for even if you have the SN. There are a number of them on eBay for $600- $650 so I would certainly assume they were NOT bought from Apple for $679 or Tmobile for $580 but from T-Mo on the $99 down $20/month deal.

    You could be in for a big surprise anytime between now and TWO YEARS from now as T-Mo would kill the ESN and wouldn't reactivate it unless the full balance is paid off if the seller cancels their T-Mo contract which is easy to do now since there is no contract.

    Maybe it would work on ATT or another carrier but if you bought it for T-Mo you'd be in trouble.
  2. Fdfan100 macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2013
    Good PSA, this is good information for potential buyers. T-Mobile IMEI block before blocking lost/stolen, was originally instated first for blocking off phones on value plans that weren't paid off.
  3. Diseal3 macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2008
    I wonder if they would. Unlike normal subsidies that they pay the bill, They aren't the bank in this case financing the phone. You would get a ding on your credit report and probably debt collectors.
  4. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Do you actually have any evidence of this? It seems to me that with the new T-Mobile offers you buy an iPhone for a downpayment of $99 plus 24 monthly payments of $20. Emphasis on buy. The phone is yours. You are free to sell it. You still owe the monthly payments, but that has nothing to do with the purchaser. If that is correct, then any interference with the rights of the new owner would be highly illegal.
  5. Satnam1989, Apr 13, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013

    Satnam1989 macrumors 65816

    Nov 16, 2011
    Very good call! but I want to add that it WILL NOT WORK ON ANY GSM/SIM-BASED CARRIER WITHIN USA! Since AT&T & T-Mobile are the only two providers and rest are MVNO's (rent towers from them two) if T-Mobile blocks the IMEI number....

    I see lots of them on sale @ craigslist as well!

    Buyers be warned those iPhones are nothing but bricks!


    If you sell me your iPhone, but decide that you all of a sudden dont want to pay your bill because you initially "BOUGHT" the iPhone just to make a quick buck or just for gigles to "try out" but it so happend that the initial 14days was just not eough for you....well then I will suffer more than just your credit score...because T-Mobile doesn't care what you do with your iPhone, they only care to get their money like every other carrier, so if you don't pay they aren't going to let you (or who ever has the device) enjoy that smartphone/device while you owe them hundreds of dollars....there is nothing illegal about that practice on T-Mobile's end because T-Mobile sold you the phone..not to you the next guy who u sell it to.

    its like if you have a lein on your car, but then you sell it to someone without telling them that the car has a lein on it...the buyer gives you tons of cash for it, you disappear, buyer goes to register the vehicle and finds out that hes screwed....even with that cash you still dont pay the the buyer is out cash and the car because the company will take the car more than likely or wont let the buyer register....(same as being blocked on T-Mobile towers)

    Its jus common sense...just give it a few weeks we will start seeing threads of buyers getting screwed....
  6. MVRL macrumors regular


    Oct 17, 2011
  7. 617aircav Suspended

    Jul 2, 2012
    I dont think it affects the phone itself. Just like anything you owe it would go on your credit report. Blocking the phone does absolutely nothing to help tmobile record what is owed to them.


    I agree with this. The OP is making assumptions.
  8. TB07-NJ thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jul 7, 2008
    It's more than an assumption. Just like another poster posted. Just like a lien on your car. The bank (T-Mo in this case) takes it back but if you leave town and you (try to) sell it BEFORE they repossess it the next owner can't register it. In this case T-Mo holds the lien and won't allow anyone else to "drive the phone" unless it was paid for whether it killed the original owner's credit rating or not. If they DON'T do that they will basically be selling $99 iPhones to thieves to buy and flip.

    Under the "contract plan" they did it as well. If you jumped out of your contract and didn't pay the ETF your IMEI was blocked.
  9. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    It's a pretty safe assumption, but until someone confirms that this is what TMO actively does, it's still an assumption. I wouldn't doubt you are right, but again, I would want to confirm something like this before starting a thread and writing a lengthy post.
  10. aneftp macrumors 601

    Jul 28, 2007
    Tmobile blocking unpaid phones is nothing new. Even before their "uncarrier" promo ads.

    T-mobile USA has had these "EIP" Equipment installment Plans in place for several years.

    Not just iPhones. But other Android and Windows and Blackberry phones.

    It's pretty common knowledge on craigslist (those who use craigslist a lot). Many scammers from T-mobile who put very little down on the phone and immediately resell it for profit and never pay off Tmobile's bill. They probably have or will have pending bad credit. So they don't care. Some people start missing house payments in Florida.

    It doesn't ding your credit until the 4th or 5th month. People than open up 5 Tmobile lines with these installment plans and sell off the phones at the same time for $400 profit per phone x 5 lines.

    People know what they are doing when they doing this.

    Nothing new.
  11. TB07-NJ thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jul 7, 2008
    I agree 100% but with the popularity if the iPhone I think it's going to get a LOT worse.
  12. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601


    Jun 21, 2010
    This isn't anything new, and it's not just for T-Mobile. VZW/Sprint/AT&T all block phones that idiots buy and flip (Without paying their bills, etc)
  13. 617aircav Suspended

    Jul 2, 2012
    You have to pass a credit check to qualify for these plans so I don't see someone with good credit putting $100 down for the phone just to sell it and ruin his credit. Makes no sense.

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