Bought an iPhone from Craigslist 4 months ago and have been using it... now locked?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by andyACEcandy, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. andyACEcandy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #1
    So, I had a Craigslist guy meet me at a T-Mobile store about 4 months ago to sell me his iPhone 5.

    Everything was legit, the rep confirmed the clean IMEI and everything and then activated it on my account. All was good.

    I used this iPhone 5 for the past 4+ months and now suddenly it's blocked/locked. I called T-Mobile and they said the original buyer must have stopped their payments on the phone. I have no way of getting in touch with this guy.

    WTF do I do? Am I shi* out of luck??? There's no way T-Mobile will unlock this for me? They said they can't even tell me how much is left to pay off the phone.. like they need the original buyer's information.

    UGH if there was still money to be paid on the phone, then WHY did they activate it on my account to begin with? Seems fuc*ked up to me...
     
  2. EDH667 macrumors 6502a

    EDH667

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    #2
  3. andyACEcandy thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Man, that is so fuc*ed up... I feel like it should be up to T-Mobile to tell the buyer if the phone has any payments/holds on it BEFORE they activate it onto the account.

    Ugh... this really sucks
     
  4. EDH667 macrumors 6502a

    EDH667

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    Nov 25, 2009
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    #4
    I agree T-Mobile should definitely be able to tell you if there is a possibility the phone could be deactivated due to money owed. I'm sure this will hurt the T-Mobile phone resale values.
     
  5. andyACEcandy thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 11, 2008
    #5
    And I'm assuming there's been no cases of T-Mobile reversing such a block?

    Hell, I'd even be willing to pay whatever is left at this point. It's so odd they I used this phone successfully for 4-5 months before it getting blacklisted. Like wtf kind of scam is that? I'd get it if it were within like 2 weeks... but why wait 4-5 months?
     
  6. EDH667 macrumors 6502a

    EDH667

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    #6
    I would contact corporate and tell them your perdicament. If they don't straighten it out for you, I would go to another provider.
     
  7. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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  8. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #8
    T-Mobile probably doesn't deactivate it after one missed payment.
     
  9. andyACEcandy thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 11, 2008
    #9
    So just after 4 or 5 missed payments? Lol

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    And how does one contact T-Mobile corporate? I can only find their generic contact info online
     
  10. ron7624 Contributor

    ron7624

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    Houston, Texas area
    #10
    This. They deserve for you to jump:mad:
     
  11. EDH667 macrumors 6502a

    EDH667

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    #11
  12. MattMJB0188 macrumors 68000

    MattMJB0188

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    Dec 28, 2009
    #12
    No it won't; AT&T & T-Mobile share the same IMEI blacklist database.

    The OP should have never bought a phone off CL. In this day an age, this type of behavior is inevitable.

    OP: Try to go through old phone bills and get his number. Try calling him. Be nice, but firm. Tell him you will involve law enforcement.

    Good Luck.
     
  13. CEmajr macrumors 601

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    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #13
    Unfortunately there is nothing you can do. The phone is blocked on both AT&T and T-Mobile and any other US GSM network you might try to use it with. Calling corporate or customer service is a waste as they're not going to unblock it for you.

    This is a major flaw in the T-Mobile EIP system. You could buy a phone that's good today and use it for a whole year and it get blocked later because the original owner defaults on their bill. As such I wouldn't recommend buying any used T-Mobile phone unless you can meet at a T-Mobile store and verify that the device is fully paid off and no longer being financed.

    www.swappa.com can now determine with their IMEI checker whether a device is still being financed or not. I'd recommend checking there before ever purchasing one again.

    At this point your phone is a brick. All that you can do is sell it for parts on eBay. Someone will probably buy it to use overseas.
     
  14. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    #14
    Didn't realize they were doing this now. Sucks for the OP. :(
     
  15. BenTrovato macrumors 68020

    BenTrovato

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    Jun 29, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #16
    Technically, there has to be a remedy for a customer in all cases unless the customer is found to be at fault. When you call a provider and ask them to verify that an IMEI is clean and can be used on their network, they are giving you information which you use to determine if you want to enter a contract with the provider. If at this point they fail to inform you that despite the IMEI being clean, the status change in a few months time when a payment toward the device has not been made, then the customer was not properly noticed on their determination whether or not to do business with the provider.

    At this point, the customer has been damaged. The customer did their due diligence and the provider has failed to perform. The provider is now liable to provide damages the customer incurred as a result of this situation.

    Worst case: They reimburse you any fees for the time you used this IMEI, and cancel any future contractual obligations you entered as a result of the information they provided you regarding the IMEI.

    Best case: They offer you a replacement device at their discretion.

    *If you stick to this, which is staying within the bounds of contract law, then you have to win this case, there is no other way. If you go off the reservation then you will lose which is what is happening to a lot of people. They are going to change the blacklist laws, but it hasn't happened yet.

    **If at any point the provider noticed you that in the future they may terminate the devices ability to function without notice, then you have no recourse in this matter.
     
  16. MattMJB0188 macrumors 68000

    MattMJB0188

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    Dec 28, 2009
    #17
    True. But couldn't a person pay off the EIP in full, write down the IMEI, then 3 months later call T-Mobile and report it lost or stolen? The buyer of the device would still be SOL. What T-Mobile and AT&T need to do is offer some tool which completely transfers the IMEI # to the new owner. This way the original owner can't do anything with it.
     
  17. 617aircav Suspended

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    #18
    This is a bad situation that a lot of people like the OP who are ignorant of the way tmobile operates find themselves in. I buy lots of used phones on craigslist for resale and will never touch a tmobile phone. Even if you meet and do the deal with the help of a tmobile store, the phone may still be blacklisted. Tmobile will not give you the eip status from a customer's account for privacy reasons. Its up to the seller to be honest. Its the risk you take when buying a used phone, from any carrier. There is simply no way around this.

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    There is no benefit for the carrier to do this, financially that is.

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    The provider is not liable for anything, they could never guarantee that the person selling the phone will not end up not paying their bill.
     
  18. Paddle1 macrumors 68030

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    May 1, 2013
    #19
    Don't buy iPhones in contracts unless you are going to pay the contract.
     
  19. ron7624 Contributor

    ron7624

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    Location:
    Houston, Texas area
    #21
    Funny thing about this eBay auction, if you look at the feedback, you will notice the 100% feedback score consists on only feedback left for the buyer. In other words there is no feedback left by any of his customers for him. Something fishy about that....
     
  20. andyACEcandy thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 11, 2008
    #22
    I wonder if T-Mobile can tell me the exact date and time that they activated this iphone on my account.

    I can then look at that date and time and look back at old text messages on my history/usage to see what phone number I was in contact with at the exact time. That would probably be the Craigslist seller... right before we met at the T-Mobile store.

    I doubt T-Mobile has the exact date and time of my activation though. That'd be too convenient huh
     
  21. 617aircav Suspended

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    #23
    This is why I will only buy below market value and only buy a phone that I can easily unlock.
     
  22. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #24
    They can. If they pull up your account on their computer there's a section where which shows all the phones you've ever used and what dates you started using them and the last date you used them.
     
  23. Newtons Apple macrumors P6

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #25
    So T-Mo can also collect the ETF off you!

    This is not T-Mo's fault! When you buy a used phone form CL, eBay, etc, you always take this chance!
     

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