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Thread: Buying used phone checklist

  1. #1
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    Buying used phone checklist

    Here is a checklist of things to do when buying a used phone that going to be used to port your number to PagePlus (PP), or you are replacing an existing cell phone that you currently have on PP.

    If you are porting an existing Verizon phone number, then your existing phone should be OK and you shouldn't have to do anything special other then activate the phone when directed to by PP. This checklist is for the those who porting a number that requires a new phone that works with PP.

    1) Buy used phone. There are sticky and other threads that talk about what phones work. Before you pay for the phone, obtain the MEID (or if the phone is older and doesn't have a MEID, then the ESN). Some sellers will post the ID in the ad, or will provide a picture of the battery compartment (where the ID is listed), or both. Some E-bay sellers will only give the ID out to the winner of the auction. Now we are going to verify this is a clean phone. If you are a Verizon customer, you should be able to do this via their web site. If your not, take the ID and call Verizon Customer Support (800-922-0204) and ask to verify a used phone ESN. The CS guy that I talk to would NOT do it for me since I wasn't a Verizon customer, but did pass me onto a Tech Support guy who did. Make sure that you have the correct ID (MEID if the phone has one, ESN otherwise). They will check to see if the phone has be listed as stolen, and then check to see if the phone attached to account that hasn't be paid off. If it on either of these list, PagePlus will not activate this phone. Make sure that you give the right number, Verizon can't tell if the number is valid or not, just if it blacklisted or attached to an current account. If the ESN is a 8 digit hex number that starts with 80, then you have the pESN, not the MEID that Verizon needs, stop and find the correct value.

    2) Obtain the phone. Make sure that the phone's ID is the same as one given to you when you bough the phone. Check both behind the battery and via the menu. On Motorola phones, it should be menu->Settings->Phone Info->My Number. While you are there, also record the MDN (current phone number). From the seller, if you can, obtain the old phone number and the phone security code (lock code).

    3) Port or swap the ESN. While you are waiting for this to happen, you might want to do the next two steps.

    4) Clear out the Message list. If there is any old contacts, remove them. Remove any call restrictions the phone might have (not all phones have this feature), on Motorola phones, Menu->Setting->Call Settings->Call Restrictions->(Outgoing Calls, Incoming Calls). For both, set it to "ALL" (it should be label "ALL allowed"), unless you want restrictions. For some or all of these actions, you might need your phone security code. While some phones allow you to change the security code, Verizon and PP both set the default security code to the last four digits of the phone number (that why we got the old phone number). Note that if you change the security code, this will get changed when you do the Over The Air (OTA) activation.

    5) Save your contact list from your old phone, and then transfer it to your new (used) phone. It never hurts to have a backup of your contacts on your PC.

    5) Once you have been told that the service has been done, you need to do the OTA activation by calling *22890. You might want to power cycle the phone afterwards to make sure it gets reset correctly after all the changes. While your at it, do the PRL update by calling *22891.

    6) Make sure that you can call out. A simple one is to call you voicemail (*86 or #738) or PagePlus (#737, air time free).

    7) Make sure that other phones can call you new cell phone.

    That should do it.

  2. #2
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    Good post. I can't think of anything you missed.

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    Very informative post. Should be wiki'd and stickied.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CRF
    Note that if you change the security code, this will get changed when you do the Over The Air (OTA) activation.
    I don't think my security code/pin was changed or cleared after I did OTA programming a second time (after porting in my old number and doing OTA again). I remember the phone required me to enter my original security code/pin after the second OTA was done.

    I don't think it would be a good idea for OTA to clear the security code/pin during every OTA because a thief would just have to press *22890 after stealing the phone to set his own security code--that is, if he stole your phone and did OTA before he was required to enter the code (on my phone I can set it up to only ask me for the security code after 24 hours of non-use, but I currently have it set to 12 hours. When I travel, I'll set it to 5 minutes, just in case.)

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    But if the security code is active, he can't dial *22890 in the first place.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dervari
    But if the security code is active, he can't dial *22890 in the first place.
    That's why I said I'd set my code entry box to pop up after 5 minutes of non-use when traveling. Read more carefully :-P

    But if you have it set to 24 hours, the thief doesn't have to know the code if you used your phone even 17 hours earlier.

    Also there's no need to update the PRL with *22891 after you activate the phone with *22890 because the updated PRL is included in the activation :-P This was mentioned just a few days ago.

    I purposefully left out this second correction in my reply so as not to come down too hard on the Original Poster. He did do a good job of summarizing what needs to be done, and only had 2 mistakes.

    Calls for stickie were premature, however

    You might want to see this related thread from a few days earlier: Expectant HoFo'er
    Last edited by Built_Well; 10-01-2009 at 12:21 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Built_Well
    I don't think my security code/pin was changed or cleared after I did OTA programming a second time (after porting in my old number and doing OTA again). I remember the phone required me to enter my original security code/pin after the second OTA was done.

    I don't think it would be a good idea for OTA to clear the security code/pin during every OTA because a thief would just have to press *22890 after stealing the phone to set his own security code--that is, if he stole your phone and did OTA before he was required to enter the code (on my phone I can set it up to only ask me for the security code after 24 hours of non-use, but I currently have it set to 12 hours. When I travel, I'll set it to 5 minutes, just in case.)
    I know that PP OTA does change the security code/pin on the first OTA. I had the problem where the OTA failed on a ESN swap to a W385. Every time I did the OTA, the phone would reset the phone number/SID back to the original phone number and reset the security code to the last four digits of the original code. I got the phone to work by manually programming, and found it reset it back to the old phone/SID when I did an OTA, so I had to manually program it again.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Built_Well
    Calls for stickie were premature, however

    You might want to see this related thread from a few days earlier: Expectant HoFo'er
    This post was clearer and more concise. Despite any factual errors, which can be fixed, this was the best single-post description of the process. It would have saved me a lot of time to find this first instead of digging through 100 posts here to find the same information. It also included helpful advice.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRF
    6) Make sure that you can call out. A simple one is to call you voicemail (*86 or #738) or PagePlus (#737, air time free).
    Just wanted to add - calls to listen to the voice mail are NOT free, you'll be charged minutes the same way as somebody's calling your number.

  10. #10
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    Good info. Thanks for the post.

  11. #11
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    you also want to check the physical features of the phone (does it charge, do the speakers and mic work?) this can save you a lot of time and aggrevation before you hand over the cash. its different on ebay though.


    Android fanboy til I die!!! G1 FTW!!! F$^k Apple!!

  12. #12
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    Thanks

    Thanks for the info. I'm currently looking at used phones and I hope to use your info within a week or so.

    Thanks,
    Glenn

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    This was a great help, thanks!

  14. #14
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    I have/would not buy a used phone off ebay. What was described as "good" turns out to be not so good, phones with bad ESNs, scratched up, menu selection and ringtones don't work.
    Using Craigs List you can confront the seller face to face and inspect the phone. I've only boughe GSM phones off CL. I put my SIM card in and make a call before handing over my money.

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