"New" 3gs Locked to Phone #?

strmmrgrrl

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 21, 2012
7
0
Just purchased a "new", locked to AT&T 3gs off of ebay. Cannot for the life of me get it activated.

During the activation process it displays "Your current number is ###-###-#### but it is not my phone number. Then when I enter my billing zip code and last 4 of my social it displays that AT&T cannot verify the information entered.

I just spent two hours on the phone with AT&T and Apple - AT&T linked the IMEI of the phone to my SIM # and Apple instructed a reboot and restore to factory settings. Did that and it's still coming up with the phone number that doesn't belong to me (it's a Michigan # and the seller is located in Michigan).

At this point I've been advised to just return the phone. Do I have any other options? Should I bother setting up an appointment at the Genius Bar or don't waste my time?

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank you.
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,260
1,352
IIRC, iPhones ordered online come partially activated under the account of the person that ordered it. If the previous owner did that, and never activated the phone, it's sort of stuck in that condition.

I've seen other threads on here about that condition, but I don't remember the details. May be worth doing some searching.

If your phone is in that condition, Apple Store folks can't do much to help as they don't have any access to the activation servers.

Have you tried a new SIM?
 
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strmmrgrrl

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 21, 2012
7
0
Haven't tried a "new" sim but the sim I'm trying is only a month old, so technically it's new.

I did try searching but amazingly came up with nothing. It's got to be the search terms I'm using. I will continue to trudge on though - thanks!
 
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Applejuiced

macrumors Westmere
Apr 16, 2008
40,672
6,531
At the iPhone hacks section.
IIRC, iPhones ordered online come partially activated under the account of the person that ordered it. If the previous owner did that, and never activated the phone, it's sort of stuck in that condition.
Like the bro said above that particular phone can only be activated initially with the original sim that has that phone number, the owners billing zip and last 4 of his social.
The seller should have done that first and you wouldnt have the problem but many dont know about it and just sell it as is sealed in box.
Nothing else you can do.
Bring it to Apple and let them know you're stuck on that screen. And since its still under warranty they will just swap it out with another one that doesnt have that lock in place.
I heard a few people doing that and they took care of them at the Apple store.
 
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strmmrgrrl

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 21, 2012
7
0
Like the bro said above that particular phone can only be activated initially with the original sim that has that phone number, the owners billing zip and last 4 of his social.
The seller should have done that first and you wouldnt have the problem but many dont know about it and just sell it as is sealed in box.
Nothing else you can do.
Bring it to Apple and let them know you're stuck on that screen. And since its still under warranty they will just swap it out with another one that doesnt have that lock in place.
I heard a few people doing that and they took care of them at the Apple store.
Hmmm. Thanks for the info. I have an appointment with the Genius Bar for tomorrow and was wondering if I should bother at all (since the 800 number was no help). How do I know it's still under warranty? Is it one year? Like I mentioned, I bought it from someone on ebay and it DOES have the "iCloud" emblem on the box so I'm assuming it wasn't one he had sitting around for eons.
Maybe he'll just give me his billing zip and last 4 and I can be done with this. Yeah, right! :D

----------

Meh. Just called the local Apple Store and since it's a 3gs it's more than likely out of warranty. FML.
 
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miss.manson

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2011
764
30
Georgia
Hmmm. Thanks for the info. I have an appointment with the Genius Bar for tomorrow and was wondering if I should bother at all (since the 800 number was no help). How do I know it's still under warranty? Is it one year? Like I mentioned, I bought it from someone on ebay and it DOES have the "iCloud" emblem on the box so I'm assuming it wasn't one he had sitting around for eons.
Maybe he'll just give me his billing zip and last 4 and I can be done with this. Yeah, right! :D

----------

Meh. Just called the local Apple Store and since it's a 3gs it's more than likely out of warranty. FML.
Actually, I bought an iPhone 4s brand new off eBay and came across the same issue. I told the seller about it and he gave me his info no questions asked. Phone has been fine since.
 
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strmmrgrrl

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 21, 2012
7
0
Actually, I bought an iPhone 4s brand new off eBay and came across the same issue. I told the seller about it and he gave me his info no questions asked. Phone has been fine since.
For real? I'm going to give it a shot! Thanks!
 
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Applejuiced

macrumors Westmere
Apr 16, 2008
40,672
6,531
At the iPhone hacks section.
Hmmm. Thanks for the info. I have an appointment with the Genius Bar for tomorrow and was wondering if I should bother at all (since the 800 number was no help). How do I know it's still under warranty? Is it one year? Like I mentioned, I bought it from someone on ebay and it DOES have the "iCloud" emblem on the box so I'm assuming it wasn't one he had sitting around for eons.
Maybe he'll just give me his billing zip and last 4 and I can be done with this. Yeah, right! :D

----------

Meh. Just called the local Apple Store and since it's a 3gs it's more than likely out of warranty. FML.
You can find out if its still under warranty here:
https://selfsolve.apple.com/GetWarranty.do
If the seller will not give you that info then your only option is the Apple store. Tell them you're having problems and cant activate it using your sim.
They will need to swap the iphone for you and you will be able to activate the replacement with no probs.
Good luck.

For real? I'm going to give it a shot! Thanks!
Yes, if he gives it to you then you're good.
You will only need to enter that info once and never again after that.
But again you gotta see where someone will not want to give a stranger his last 4 of his social and billing zip code;)
 
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strmmrgrrl

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 21, 2012
7
0
You all are so incredibly helpful - Thank you!

I checked with the seller and it's not his billing info the phone is looking for so no go there. I input the serial on the Apple site but it's not giving me much info because the phone has not yet been activated.

HOWEVER, I did some more research online and, if I did it correctly, it appears that based on the Serial # the phone was only manufactured this past November. So, I should be covered (fingers crossed).

I just hope I have better luck at my appointment today. When I phoned the Apple store yesterday the "kid" that answered the phone basically told me "ummmm, wellll, it's a 3gs and those are old phones so it's probably not covered anymore but I don't know, a "Genius" will have to figure that out".
SMH

Again, thanks for all your patience and help for this :apple: noob!
 
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Applejuiced

macrumors Westmere
Apr 16, 2008
40,672
6,531
At the iPhone hacks section.
Im sure its still under warranty. Like you said it hasnt been activated yet so the 1 year hasnt started to count down yet. They will be able to tell as soon as they enter your serial.
Good luck with it, let us know how it went.
 
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strmmrgrrl

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 21, 2012
7
0
Success!!!!!
Got a replacement, although he did try to say it was a problem with the sim (the phone did the same thing with multiple sims). Meh, I don't care. Hubby is happy, I'm happy. Thanks again everyone for your help and advice. :D
 
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AlphaDogg

macrumors 68040
May 20, 2010
3,415
6
Boulder, CO
I wonder why the Apple store people were feeding him the ******** that the 3GS is an old phone. They still sell them!
 
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strmmrgrrl

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 21, 2012
7
0
Glad it worked out. You had to jump through hoops but happy you can finallly enjoy your purchase:)
Thank you!

I wonder why the Apple store people were feeding him the ******** that the 3GS is an old phone. They still sell them!
Yeah, that gave me a chuckle. As I mentioned before, I checked the serial of the one I had and it was manufactured this past November. Saturday (when I called) must have been his first day, lol.
 
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