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Bought a phone on Ebay and IMEI says it has an Outstanding Balance and may not work. Was I ripped off?

  • 16 January 2017
  • 17 replies
  • 211 views

Bought a used phone on Ebay and when I enter the IMEI on TMobile sight it says there's an Outstanding Balance. Everywhere else, including Swappa, says it's clean. Did I buy a future "brick"?

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Best answer by tidbits 16 January 2017, 23:24

Wouldn't matter. If the balance is unpaid then they'll lock the phone regardless. The only time they don't lock the phone is when there is no subsidy lock.

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Potentially. If the previous owner does not pay off the remaining balance it will be.  If they pay it off,  you are fine.

They have to pay it off, correct? I'm not allowed to?

Just got off the phone with T Mobile and they said it will not block the line even if the previous owner stops paying...interesting twist.

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They won't block the line but they will block the phone. The phone would be considered stolen if the phone isn't paid for.

So it depends on if the 'unpaid balance' was for the phone, or for the line of service previously used by that phone,

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Wouldn't matter. If the balance is unpaid then they'll lock the phone regardless. The only time they don't lock the phone is when there is no subsidy lock.

Good to know. Now I know what I have to do to repair it..permanently, sooner rather than later. Thanks!

I would force the seller to take it back!

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You can get a refund from eBay if it does become locked and you can't use it.  Will take some legwork.

There are other ways to deal with this....perfectly legal. I love T mobile so it's worth spending some more $ to fix the problem. The phone was dirt cheap, with good reason now I know.

That was going to be the second half of my post...

'Unless you got the phone for way less than typical value, and you can smooth it over with T-Mobile.'

Good Luck! I hope it works out for you. 😊

Actually T-Mobile is SO not wllling work with me. I stupidly bought a "bad phone" for $375. In all my efforts to try to pay what's owed T-Mobile has slammed the door in my face. They can't even tell me if the outstanding $ is on the phone or on some contract. I have no alternative to pay $130 to have a service remote in and fix. Whatever.

THANKSthough for the good wishes! 😊

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rftsr wrote:



Actually T-Mobile is SO not wllling work with me. I stupidly bought a "bad phone" for $375. In all my efforts to try to pay what's owed T-Mobile has slammed the door in my face. They can't even tell me if the outstanding $ is on the phone or on some contract. I have no alternative to pay $130 to have a service remote in and fix. Whatever.



They can't legally do this even if money is owed to them and wanted to take it.  Privacy laws wins over.

Also services can't legally unblock the device either if money is owed.  There's more than a few threads on this on this board or other carrier board for that matter.  The only way would be to actually change the hardware inside to make it a different phone with a IMEI that is not marked as stolen.

So a forced buyback via eBay is your only option.

Not a pleasant prospect, but whatever you can recover of your $375 is better than nothing.

If you can give the fraudulent seller a black eye, all the better.

If you've had the phone less than 30 days since you paid on eBay, you can get your money back without involving the seller in any way by going to the resolution center.  They'll refund your money and you'll be able to print out a return label to send the phone to the return address provided by the seller.  I've been on both sides of this before.

I bought a phone that said outstanding balance when I checked the imei also. I told the guy I bought the phone from on eBay and he had paid the phone off in full so TMobile just had it messed up in there system. The seller called TMobile and got everything straight with them so now it doesn't say that when I check the number. I just wanted to say this just in case this happens to someone else because it's possible that someone made a mistake that can be fixed pretty easy.

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