Sprint/T-Mobile blacklisted my verizon phone

  • 23 November 2021
  • 6 replies


I bought a new iphone X from in 2018.  It's worked fine with no issues.  This past weekend, I tried to trade-in the phone to verizon and found there was a "lost or stolen" flag on my IMEI number.  Upon further investigation, it was by Sprint in 2019 (a year after I had been using the phone through verizon).  Note - I have never had sprint.  The phone was bought new from The flag occurred after I had already been using the phone.  In talking with T-mobile, they are absolutely useless and refuse to take the IMEI off the black list even though I provided the original invoice and can provide monthly statements that show the phone was never through Sprint.  


6 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +15

Do you have the receipt that you purchased it from Verizon and do you still have the device?  What makes you think T-Mobile blacklisted the device?  Regardless of which carrier blacklisted it as an example.  The blacklist for a device would span all North American carriers in the US and Canada.  


Yes, I have the original receipt that shows the purchase on and includes the IEMI along with my information.  I also have all the invoices for the monthly statements that show the same phone was always linked to me through verizon.  Yes, I still have the device.  For what it’s worth, the device and the paperwork both show the same IEMI.  

In talking with Verizon, we were able to verify that it was Sprint - now owned by T-Mobile that flagged the device in 06/2019.  I talked with T-Mobile for multiple hours on Friday and they verified that the flag is through their system.  Although I could show them the paper documentation/PDFs, they kept saying “it wouldn’t have been flagged if there wasn’t an issue”.  They refused to believe there could have been an input error on their end or that IEMIs can be spoofed.  Verizon has called them also and explained that I have been in the verizon system for 8 years, purchased the new phone through them, and that they have been the carrier for the phone.  

Yes, I agree that the blacklist spans all the regional carriers.  However, only the carrier that puts the flag in the IEMI can take it off.  So, in this case, T-Mobile is the only one that can remove the phone from the blacklist.  

Userlevel 7
Badge +15

Sometimes, it's just a typo that blacklists the wrong IMEI.  Try reaching out to the T-Force Team via Facebook or Twitter.  You start with an elevated tier of support through them.  If you don't get a satisfactory answer from them.  File a complaint with the FCC. 

I purchased services with T-Mobile. I brought
my own paid off device (iphone 12 pro max) to
use on the service, along with a series 7 apple
watch i started leasing from T-Mobile. I
decided to upgrade to an iphone 13 pro max,
2 weeks after i started service with T-Mobile, so
sold my 12 pro max to cellfix (a cellphone
store) and bought a 13 pro max from them. 

I put my T-Mobile sim card in my new iphone 13
pro max. I then reset my watch and set it up
with my new phone. I received an email stating
that a change was made to my watch sim and
that if i didnt do it, then i should contact T-
Mobile, but ignore it if I did. I had just
switched my watch to a new phone, so i
ignored it as instructed to. A day later, T-
Mobile had blacklisted my brand new
iphone 13 pro max (which does not belong
to them and was not reported stolen) simply
because they said their fraud system was
triggered by me setting up my new phone
and watch, with my sim card and same
apple id. I spoke to a rep that promised to
fix it and call me back, but they did not do
so. I spoke to a second rep. They stated
that I would not be able to get my phone
back. A $1200 dollar device. I spoke to a
supervisor who demanded i provide proof of purchase, even though the device does
not belong to T-Mobile, and was not
reported as lost or stolen by anyone
because i am the first and only owner. I
spoke to another rep after the supervisor
hung up on me. That rep credited my bill
$25 because i am out of a phone for a
while now. He told me that the back office
team would be removing the blacklist status
but it could take 3 to 5 business days even
though I need my phone for work. I am so
disappointed in this company. What they dis
is theft. They took my ability to use a $1200
device that is rightfully mine. If i had done
that to someone, i would be in jail.


Userlevel 6
Badge +12

Sorry to say some things don’t add up for me.

If you bought the phone through Cellfix after selling your phone to them the device sold to you by them may have been already reported stolen.  Errors are kicking back when they try and fix it.  You may have been sold a phone used in an insurance fraud. 

As for the OP Sprint didn’t become part of T-Mobile until last year.  I’d be surprised if T-Mobile even have Sprint IMEIs in their database as a whole just yet.  From what I remember don’t quote me.  Without the IMEI being in their database they can’t block regionally IMEI’s.  They can only do it on their network.  For example you can buy an unlocked device from Japan and use it.  If it gets blocked you can use it on another carrier.  Now if it’s in the system then it can be regionally locked as Apple has a database for stolen devices which checks.

Sorry no CSR is going to believe someone on the phone from other carriers.  Anyone could act like they work for XYZ not in person.

Nope. Ive considered all of that. The phone was brand new. Cellfix sells used and new devices. 

T-Mobile is listed in the data base as being the one that blacklisted it. 

last night, they admitted to doing it, and said that their system thought it was a fraudulent phone transfer etc. They told me it would take 3-5 business days for them to remove the blacklist status. 

i used to work for them and was absolutely in love with this company until this happened. Im scared to even buy another phone and use it with them because they may just blacklist it. A $1200 device! 

i will definitely be suing if they dont fix this. Ive already made a report with the BBB. 

it doesnt really matter to me if everything doesnt add up to you. The company admitted to it, told me its because they thought someone was using my sim,l (eye roll), and then the y locked a device that has not been reported as stolen, and that does not belong to them in any way, so no debt reason for blacklisting. Op isnt alone.