Used Apple Watch Can't Activate on Verizon

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by renzska, Jan 24, 2018.

  1. renzska macrumors newbie

    renzska

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2016
    #1
    I’ve run into an issue activating an Apple Watch Series 3 on the Verizon network that was previously activated in a different network. Verizon Support is aware of the issue saying you need to exchange the watch for one that wasn’t activated on another network. Apple’s Engineering team is aware of the issue stating that it’s an issue with Verizon’s system and they do not know if Verizon will fix the issue.

    My story: Bought an Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE on eBay that had been activated against T-Mobile. Went to activate it on the phone and it failed. I had to call Verizon who then asked “if I had purchased an “Unlocked Apple Watch” (no such thing) and said I needed to exchange it for one that supports Verizon.” Called Apple and the support person came back immediately saying that they were aware of this issue and it was only with Verizon and was an issue with Verizon’s system. Now I’m stuck with an Apple Watch that says it supports all networks, but cannot be connected to Verizon. To solve my problem, I have to sell my watch (at a loss) and buy a new one. The question now is, do refurbished watches have the same issue or is their IMEI reprovisioned to avoid this issue on sale? I’m most likely going to buy one from Best Buy and find out. Wish me luck.

    One Apple Watch device supports all carriers: https://www.apple.com/watch/cellular/

    As more used watches are sold, the more we’ll see this issue. I’m hoping to save others from this same issue. Has anyone else experienced this?

    Thanks,

    John
     
  2. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    Sep 21, 2012
    Location:
    In the middle of several books.
    #2
    I have read another thread about this very thing recently. Don't recall the outcome.

    It sounds to me like the folks at Verizon don't know what the heck they are talking about.

    Maybe Dave will chime in soon. He is very knowledgeable in this area.
     
  3. hexagenia, Jan 25, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019

    hexagenia macrumors regular

    hexagenia

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
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    New Hampshire
    #3
    John-

    I experienced this same situation, except I had bought a Best Buy refurbished AW3. Initially I hoped that I had only to play Verizon roulette and I would arrive at a technician who could help me, but even when I got escalated to their advanced engineering team, they could not add the IMEI of the watch to their list of eligible devices. I know this flies in the face of "One Watch, All US Carriers," but Verizon clearly has a problem activating any watch that has been activated on another carrier and I arrived at that impasse.

    Apple acknowledges the problem, including at a Senior Engineer level, and advised me to return it to Best Buy. My bet is it is some kind of NumberShare issue, but it's clearly something to be concerned about if Verizon is your destination carrier and you are looking at used/refurbished AW3.
     
  4. renzska thread starter macrumors newbie

    renzska

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2016
    #4
    Hexagenia,

    That's exactly what I needed to know about the Best Buy refurbished AW3 watches. Looks like if I want to resolve the issue I'll need to sell the current watch and by a brand new one instead or just wait and hope that they resolve the issue soon. However, I bought the wife as she goes on long walks and runs and leaves her phone at home so having LTE is a huge plus, mainly for safety, but secondarily for being able to contact while she out on a run. We have six kids so coordination and unexpected events are a regular occurrence. Because of this, it looks like I'll just have to sell and re-buy new.
     
  5. dave006 Contributor

    dave006

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Just West of East
    #5
    I think that we will find out more to this story as we discuss the possible "reasons" that Verizon would be unable to add the watch's IMEI to their system. There are really 3 possible reasons.

    Reason 1: The watch and the associated IMEI was reported lost or stolen and it has been blacklisted. Reason 2: An Insurance claim (carrier) was made for this watch and the associated IMEI and it has been blacklisted. Reason 3: watch was originally purchased on an installment plan and the original purchaser stopped paying and it has been blacklisted.

    @renzska, if the cause of your problem is not listed above than Apple and Verizon should be working together to fix this issue for you in 2-3 days. Worst case since your watch should still have a valid Apple warranty, Apple should cover this issue as a warranty claim and simply replace the watch. Do you have an Apple store nearby? If not you can always call Apple again and escalate your case.

    The information you posted about Verizon claiming that you need to get a "Verizon" model is as you suspected just bad information from an uninformed CSR. There are only 3 versions of the cellular model available worldwide. There is only 1 version for use here in the USA by all 4 of the Major carriers: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint. We have had reports from all 4 carriers where a rep is insisting that you must buy your watch directly from the carrier. They really can't explain why Apple would also sell the Cellular watch if it "must" be purchased carrier specific.

    Now let's look at the issue being simply a poorly trained carrier CSR. What the rep needs to do is to "park" the IMEI and the EID numbers from the watch on to a new $10 Wearable plan on your existing Verizon billing account. Both the IMEI and the long EID numbes on located on the bottom of the watch's box. Once this is done you should be able to complete the rest of the setup using the Watch app on your paired iPhone.

    A couple of things to also be aware of is that your plan must be a fairly recent plan and be a post-paid account and there are limits to the total number of phones and connected devices per plan. You must login to the MyVerizon mobile app as the Account Owner or Account Manager to add the NumberShare feature that allows your cellular watch to use the same phone number as your paired iPhone.

    Dave
     
  6. Hooterville macrumors 68000

    Hooterville

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    #6
    Wonder if you cancel the LTE service on a watch that is already activated with Verizon, will it be able to be activated again in the near future back on Verizon?
     
  7. DevinNj macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 27, 2016
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #7
    Can't find it now to reference it, but I recently read that they charge another activation fee when you do this. I'm still looking for that article.
     
  8. TC_GoldRush macrumors 6502

    TC_GoldRush

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  9. renzska thread starter macrumors newbie

    renzska

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2016
    #9
    @dave006, thanks for the detailed reply. I'm not quite sure which one of those was the issue, but I decided to take the watch to an Apple Store to see what could be done. I explained to them that I had purchased a Used watch from eBay that had previously been activated against T-Mobile and that it wouldn't activate on Verizon. I explained that I called Verizon and they gave me the incorrect information about needing a "compatible" watch. I then showed them my case number for my call to Apple Support where they explained that it was a known issue with Verizon and that they didn't know when/if Verizon would fix the issue. We went through the routine of unpairing the watch, repairing the watch, trying again, etc. and nothing resolved the issue. Surprisingly they said they would replace the watch. I did this on Monday around 11am, had it shipped to the Apple Depot for replacement, and had a replacement watch on Wednesday by 11:30am. I am happy to report that the watch activated on Verizon without issue from within the Watch App on my Wife's phone!

    I wanted to give a shout out to Apple Support on taking care of the issue for me!

    Obviously, if you're experiencing the same issue I recommend taking it to Apple, however, your mileage may vary.

    John
     
  10. dave006 Contributor

    dave006

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    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Just West of East
    #10
    Hey @renzska Thanks for the update. I expected that Apple would cover it as a warranty issue since it was not your issue but an issue between Apple and Verizon.

    Dave
     
  11. jbizzybeetle macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    #11
    Verizon tried to pull that nonsense on me in Dec. They managed in 3 days to add the IMEI for AW.

    THE AW does not transition to cellular when in the yard and does not pick up wifi from house. It does transition within a block.

    I will be switching back to AT&T where transition did work. Just have to swallow the $20 month more as AT&T thinks their data plans are so valuable.
     
  12. bruinsrme macrumors 603

    bruinsrme

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #12
    When the other story like this was posted I called bs.

    I went to 3 Verizon, 2 corporate and 1 retailer.

    All 3 gave me very similar lines.

    First they all said no to activating a t-mobile watch on Verizon.

    Then all three provided they would only activate watches that never been activated or previously activated on Verizon.
     
  13. dave006 Contributor

    dave006

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    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Just West of East
    #13
    They are poorly informed. By default, since it is not already registered in the Verizon system, the numbers will not be in their inventory system by default. Yes, they can manually add them but must don't know how or will not bother to lookup the process.

    Just like at McDonalds or fast food companies, any devastation from the standard process leads to a "we can't do it".

    The automated system makes it very easy for all the carriers: for orders from Apple, the box is scanned and the information is sent directly to the appropriate carrier. When you purchase retail via third party or at the Apple store or via a carries retail train a similar process happens. The box is scanned and the related numbers are automatically add to the carriers inventory base.

    Now, when you are a end uses wants to swap carriers, that trows a wrinkle into the system. The rep will have to manually add the information. Same type of issues when swapping iPhone that are compatible but most reps tell you that you need to buy a new "Carrier" phone.

    Dave
     
  14. jbizzybeetle macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    #14
    very interesting, Dave. It so should work better than it sometimes does.

    AT&T was my first carrier with Apple Store-purchased AW S3LTE.
    We all remember that hellacious launch weekend in September, right?

    I was lucky the second time I called to activate—CS rep had read two days worth of AT&T reports and knew how to activate the AW. one hour—good to go.
     
  15. bruinsrme macrumors 603

    bruinsrme

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    Oct 26, 2008
    #15
    Good stuff Dave.
     
  16. pirarre macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    #16
    One thing too at least for refurbished or used Series 3 Apple Watches on Verizon.

    If the original owner did not completely remove the watch off their account, would that also be an issue ?

    The reason I ask is because I originally bought a brand new 38m AWS3. And then exchanged it for the bigger 42. When I checked my Verizon account two days later, the 38m watch was still on my account. I had to actually call Verizon and have them remove it off my account.
     
  17. AppleMichael macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    #17
    I purchased an LTE Apple Watch in the UK off eBay and it wouldn’t let me add an LTE plan in the Watch app but I called EE and all they did is take the IMEI and EID and within about 5 minutes I could active it.

    I know it’s a different country and different carriers but it’s definitely possible.
     
  18. dave006 Contributor

    dave006

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    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Just West of East
    #18
    One of the key steps that Apple always mentions is that you will need to actually contact your cell carrier to physically have the watch plan removed from your billing account,

    Deleting your plan from the watch / iPhone does not actually remove the billing from your account. You always need to contact your cellular carrier to remove the plan from your account.

    Dave
     
  19. bruinsrme macrumors 603

    bruinsrme

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #19
    EF239409-8AC2-47F3-AE61-F83521A414E9.jpeg
    Apple support article
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207578
     
  20. SDJim macrumors member

    SDJim

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    #20
  21. Mking75 macrumors newbie

    Mking75

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    May 20, 2018
    #21
    Ok. I just went through the Apple Watch 3 nightmare. To everyone wanting to use an Apple Watch on Verizon that you had on another carrier...here is what you do and what you need to know.

    1. There is one model of Apple Watch for North America. No matter what a Verizon rep tells you..this is the truth and they are told to tell you this.

    2. Apple Watch uses e-sim technology so it can be switched

    3. Call Verizon and ask to speak directly with the Level of Tech support that handles the Database Management System

    4. They will try to help you with telesales, tech support and transferring you probably 100 times in an endless loop of “know it alls”... but don’t get mad. They only know what they know.

    5. When you finally get to a database tech. They will ask for your IMEI number, serial, make and model of your Apple Watch.

    6. They will then provision/add it to the Verizon database.

    There is an intentional beef in the tech industry trying to make it really difficult for consumers to switch carriers without buying new devices. This is absolute bs.

    Thank you to Wally in Tech Support in the Phoenix Arizona office for helping me ...and ending my 10 hours on the phone, 2 visits to Verizon stores and one visit to an Apple store 45 miles from my house.




     
  22. jbizzybeetle macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    BRAVO! Mking75!
     
  23. tksams macrumors newbie

    tksams

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    Boston, MA
    #23

    I wish you could put me in touch with Wally - I'm stuck in this support hell right now. Any tips on how to get a hold of someone who will add my watch to the database? I have gotten the runaround for 3-4 days.
     
  24. james2538 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #24
    Did you ever figure it out? I had better luck when I called Apple Support first and then had them contact Verizon Customer Service while I was still on the line. Verizon Tech then submitted a request to add the device to the database. It apparently takes 3 days. Here's hoping it works.
     
  25. jamezr macrumors G4

    jamezr

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    US
    #25
    I'm going through the same thing. I just ported 3 lines to Verizon from T-Mobile. I have an unlocked paid off TMO AW series 3 GPS + Cellular. Verizon says it can't activate on there network and I have to buy a new Verizon AW for it to work.
    But I thought all AWs have the same esim and chips in them.
     

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