iPhone was blacklisted by Verizon and got it removed from the blacklist


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hello all. 

        So my vexing fiasco occurred on june 20th, 2023. I went to work by subway. when I got to my stop, I noticed my phone network status bar had said SOS. I tried restarting the phone. After restarting the phone, the status bar still displayed SOS. I then just thought T-Mobile was having an outage. it was a headache because I had plans that day to meet up with friends later in the afternoon. 

       later on I checked my other line and called other family and friends who are T-Mobile customers, and confirmed that it wasn’t T-Mobile’s Network. it was indeed the device having an issue. I did call T-mobile customer care to troubleshoot the issue. this involved network resets, e-sim reinstalls, physical sim installs, going in and out of airplane mode, turning off and on cellular data, and ultimately a factory reset. T-Mobile escalated the issue with management, but never heard back. I was with 1 week without my main line not connected due to the device not connecting to the network. 

        On this battle to get my phone working again, I called apple to troubleshoot the issue. explained all the procedures to get the phone out of SOS mode. they originally said it was the network. with them saying this, I had ended up going in circles between t-mobile and apple trying to fix this phone. the last of it was that T-Mobile said that it was the device and not them because it was showing as connected to the network. I then finally got in contact with an Apple customer service rep that scheduled me a Genius Bar appointment.

        At the Genius Bar appointment, diagnostics were run and later on found out that the device was reported lost/stolen and is the reason for the device going into SOS mode. I was perplexed; how could a phone I bought brand new in April 2022 from the Apple store be reported lost stolen and it is in my hand? as per the Apple rep, only the carriers can do it. the circle started again. I called T-Mobile and they have no record of my device being reported lost stolen and is not on any list of their’s deeming such. then it was back to apple customer cars since that particular Apple Store wasn’t disclosing any information or willing to help after the discovering the device was lost stolen. 

      After a second runaround between Apple and T-Mobile, an Apple Customer service Rep, referred me to a site that showed that my phone was reported lost/stolen after entering the device’s IMEI number. after doing so and confirming that the device was indeed reported lost/stolen, I then sent an email to the database company to find out how to get my iPhone off this blacklist since it was wrongfully done. They have replied that it was the doing of Verizon. so now a new fight was starting. 

       I then contacted Verizon about the matter and explained to them that I am not or never was a Verizon customer and have been a T-Mobile customer for 21 years and I am looking to fix this blacklist issue with my device. I was sent to the Verizon store to see if they can removed the blacklist. the store was perplexed by my situation and told me that they cannot do anything. I decided to call Verizon customer service back and was put through to their fraud department. their Fraud department was insisting that my iPhone 13 Pro Max belonged to a verizon customer who has an outstanding balance with them and the only way to remove the phone from a blacklist is to pay the outstanding balance. I argued with them telling them that it is my device, I bought it from apple brand new a year ago and have the proof of such, and that it isn’t associated with one of their customer accounts. They said they couldn’t remove it until it was paid. 

     Left angry with a brick that I am still paying off, and now 2 weeks with my main phone number not connecting,  I kept researching ways of trying to resolve this before spending $1,000+ on another device, I realized that I can file a complaint with the FCC with my issue. I then filed a complaint on the FCC website against Verizon Wireless for holding my phone capabilities ransom. 2 days later I received correspondence from the FCC and right after, a call from Verizon’s Executive Relations department. Verizon finally accepted my proof that it my device and was activated on T-Mobile. The rep sends it to their fraud department. 2 days later my device removed from the blacklist. It was explained as a clerical error and they apologized to me for their massive inconvenience. I feel though that I should’ve been compensated for their vexing mishap causing me to miss important phone calls and texts. after this, my iPhone has been reconnected back to T-Mobile and working as designed. Away from that, I am still vexed that some big conglomerate were so arrogant and dismissive of their wrongdoing and that it took a federal government agency to rectify what I have been telling them all along. 

     Now that my device is back up and running, I would like to inform and warn anybody who owns an Android or iPhone. These carriers can blacklist your device at any moment. In order to prove it is your device, it is imperative to keep the receipt as proof as it has the device model, serial number, and imei number on it. just be mindful that some carriers will not be willing to fix this wrong and it may take getting the FCC involved. I personally believe that there must be measures in place to stop these harrowing mistakes from occurring; possibly a new regulation that could have these carriers double check their info before proceeding with blacklisting a persons device instead of doing so to innocent owners. 


19 replies

Thanks for your detailed challenge you had with your IMEI.. It Just happened to me.. 

On August 25, my phone went into SOS mode. After speaking with tech and receiving pretty much the same comments (its not showing locked), he told me that it was reported lost/stolen in May.. Told me it would take up to 5 days. 

On August 26, I walked into a TMobile store and the manager was nice to assist me as much as she could and said it would take 24hrs.. Next day (Aug 27) I walked back in and here is where the run-around started. She was ultimately told it would take up to 5-days. 

Today, Aug 28th, I started chatting with Dan (via tmobile.com) to tell me it was resolved.. Why wasnt I informed. He told me to go to settings / Reset Phone.. Did not work.. Told me to remove/reinstall sim. I did that and reinstalled / rebooted.. NOTHING.. He basically told me to call their 800# and speak with Tech Support.. Thats where I got Thalia.. I explained and she began to assist / troubleshoot, Only to hit another brick wall. She did state in our conversation that it was Verizon who reported my phone. Lost/Stolen.  What was even more troubling was that I should call Verizon to have this resolved.. 

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Do so. And if Verizon doesn’t comply, do

What I did and get the FCC involved. But make sure you have the receipt for your phone to get the blacklist removed 

Userlevel 7
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Unfortunately if the rep who enters the imei# accidentally enters 1 wrong number or letter when reported the wrong phone will be blacklisted.

I'm glad you were able to resolve this and you should be compensated for your time and effort to fix this issue.

The problem is that it is unresolved~

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Unfortunately if the rep who enters the imei# accidentally enters 1 wrong number or letter when reported the wrong phone will be blacklisted.

 

that’s what Verizon’s executive relations told me as to why my phone was blacklisted. Clerical error. It’s terrible and there should be extra verification before they can Willy nilly blacklist someone’s phone. This is starting to be common.

Verizon was a total waste of time… 

I decided to write a very detailed explanation to the events that occurred and I forwarded to the CEO & to the COO of T-Mobile.. I received a response relatively same day, as my e-mail was at midnight (EST. ).. Because I have insurance, they are sending me a replacement phone. 

While this is a learning experience, most importantly, don’t take out your frustrations on the people trying to assist you.. I was very professional and maintained a very calm demeaner as I spoke to everyone within T-Mobile, while sharing my anguish of being a business owner and unable to properly function on account of not having a working phone. In the end, the people you speak to aren’t the ones at fault.. I’ve been on that side of the fence too, so be nice to them..  

I wanted to thank you for sharing your experience. This exact scenario happened to me this week after I lost signal on Wednesday, 6 days ago. I went back and forth between T-mobile and Apple, until I saw your post and reached out to Verizon which confirmed my IMEI was blocked by them for non payment. I just did exactly what you suggested, went straight to the FCC with my proof of purchase, paid in full IPhone (which happens to be the exact same model as yours) with the screen shots of the conversations I had with Apple, T-mobile, and Verizon. I am still unsure how Verizon could get access to an IPhone’s IMEI that was bought directly from the Apple Store, unlocked, and brand new and have the capabilities of blocking it without any repercussions or safety checks. During that time I was unable to pay bills, log into my work (because I could not get SMS 2 Factor Authentication), check my bank, check on my family, receive updates from Walgreens SMS/Phone calls about medication. This was absolutely debilitating and humiliating to explain to employers and clients what was happening and why I could not work or reach out to them. I am hoping sharing my experience will encourage others too, like your experience encouraged me. Thank you. 

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I wanted to thank you for sharing your experience. This exact scenario happened to me this week after I lost signal on Wednesday, 6 days ago. I went back and forth between T-mobile and Apple, until I saw your post and reached out to Verizon which confirmed my IMEI was blocked by them for non payment. I just did exactly what you suggested, went straight to the FCC with my proof of purchase, paid in full IPhone (which happens to be the exact same model as yours) with the screen shots of the conversations I had with Apple, T-mobile, and Verizon. I am still unsure how Verizon could get access to an IPhone’s IMEI that was bought directly from the Apple Store, unlocked, and brand new and have the capabilities of blocking it without any repercussions or safety checks. During that time I was unable to pay bills, log into my work (because I could not get SMS 2 Factor Authentication), check my bank, check on my family, receive updates from Walgreens SMS/Phone calls about medication. This was absolutely debilitating and humiliating to explain to employers and clients what was happening and why I could not work or reach out to them. I am hoping sharing my experience will encourage others too, like your experience encouraged me. Thank you. 

Agreed. It is debilitating and harrowing of a situation. I bet that when you tell people this event that they look at you confused. I am glad that I was of encouragement to help you resolve the same problem. 

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This situation mirrors mine almost identically, but T-Mobile has yet to tell me who put my phone on the blacklist, and why it somehow returned to working status upon returning to Denver from my trip to Pittsburgh. I still fear that when I travel again the same issue may arise. The other infuriating thing is that T-Mobile only offers to contact you by phone which is impossible if your phone isn’t working and you’re out of town with no access to another phone. That necessitates going to a T-Mobile store and having to beg them to contact customer service on your behalf after they insist on trying to restore the phone even though you tell them it’s been blacklisted.

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As a follow-up my most recent call to customer service produced the incredulous claim from the customer service rep that mine was an iPhone problem affecting some 2.5 million iPhones.  Were that true it seems that my call would have taken a few minutes and resolution would have been swift, if it were truly that pervasive an issue. They now allege that they will fix the issue within 48 hours and will notify me by e-mail  I’ll post follow-up information to report if they do what they say they’ll do. By the way my phone began working again as soon as I landed in Denver upon returning from Pittsburgh.

Had similar issue. Been TMobile subscriber for 17 years. On Wednesday 10/4 my esim (imei2) showed SOS only. On checking online through imeipro.info transpires that Xfinity Mobile, a company with whom I have no affiliation or relationship had accidentally blocked imei2 they acknowledge they made a mistake and promise to sort this out. I have addressed a letter to the CEO of Comcast and a second letter recently addressed to him. It’s now 16:12pm on 6 October and I still have no coverage. My phone is still blocked. I’ve checked again online and it shows it’s still blacklisted. Obviously it’s now clearly apparent that Xfinity mobile. Don’t know what they’re doing. This is no different to somebody coming and stealing your car and then realizing that they picked the wrong car and now want to return it to you at the date that suits them. This is unacceptable. The next stage this evening is to write a letter to the FCC and start handing matters to my attorney and claim damages above a new phone. 

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This is useful information. To date I have never been able to find out which company blacklisted my phone. I read in another post to file a complaint with the FCC which I’ve done against T-Mobile since they were my carrier when it happened. The offending company has 30 days to reply. Sp far I only filed against T-Mobile hoping it will force them to fix it or at least tell me who did it.

Userlevel 7
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if TMO didnt do it they are unable to fix it..whomever is the one that did it is also the one that must reverse it.

This is useful information. To date I have never been able to find out which company blacklisted my phone. I read in another post to file a complaint with the FCC which I’ve done against T-Mobile since they were my carrier when it happened. The offending company has 30 days to reply. Sp far I only filed against T-Mobile hoping it will force them to fix it or at least tell me who did it.

In my case on the report from imeipro.info it’s shows Xfinity Mobile as the company that reported and my subsequent calls they admitted fault. 

Frustration at all time high. Nothing worse than writing to a thief telling them you caught them red handed and they don’t bother replying. Thief they are as they ‘stole’ my phone from me. 

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I still am unable to find out who blacklisted my phone, it’s unconscionable that whoever did it can keep their identity a secret!

Userlevel 4
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Why not file a small claim against them?  That will get their attention.  You may even be able to claim additional damages beyond the phone itself.

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hello all. 

        So my vexing fiasco occurred on june 20th, 2023. I went to work by subway. when I got to my stop, I noticed my phone network status bar had said SOS. I tried restarting the phone. After restarting the phone, the status bar still displayed SOS. I then just thought T-Mobile was having an outage. it was a headache because I had plans that day to meet up with friends later in the afternoon. 

       later on I checked my other line and called other family and friends who are T-Mobile customers, and confirmed that it wasn’t T-Mobile’s Network. it was indeed the device having an issue. I did call T-mobile customer care to troubleshoot the issue. this involved network resets, e-sim reinstalls, physical sim installs, going in and out of airplane mode, turning off and on cellular data, and ultimately a factory reset. T-Mobile escalated the issue with management, but never heard back. I was with 1 week without my main line not connected due to the device not connecting to the network. 

        On this battle to get my phone working again, I called apple to troubleshoot the issue. explained all the procedures to get the phone out of SOS mode. they originally said it was the network. with them saying this, I had ended up going in circles between t-mobile and apple trying to fix this phone. the last of it was that T-Mobile said that it was the device and not them because it was showing as connected to the network. I then finally got in contact with an Apple customer service rep that scheduled me a Genius Bar appointment.

        At the Genius Bar appointment, diagnostics were run and later on found out that the device was reported lost/stolen and is the reason for the device going into SOS mode. I was perplexed; how could a phone I bought brand new in April 2022 from the Apple store be reported lost stolen and it is in my hand? as per the Apple rep, only the carriers can do it. the circle started again. I called T-Mobile and they have no record of my device being reported lost stolen and is not on any list of their’s deeming such. then it was back to apple customer cars since that particular Apple Store wasn’t disclosing any information or willing to help after the discovering the device was lost stolen. 

      After a second runaround between Apple and T-Mobile, an Apple Customer service Rep, referred me to a site that showed that my phone was reported lost/stolen after entering the device’s IMEI number. after doing so and confirming that the device was indeed reported lost/stolen, I then sent an email to the database company to find out how to get my iPhone off this blacklist since it was wrongfully done. They have replied that it was the doing of Verizon. so now a new fight was starting. 

       I then contacted Verizon about the matter and explained to them that I am not or never was a Verizon customer and have been a T-Mobile customer for 21 years and I am looking to fix this blacklist issue with my device. I was sent to the Verizon store to see if they can removed the blacklist. the store was perplexed by my situation and told me that they cannot do anything. I decided to call Verizon customer service back and was put through to their fraud department. their Fraud department was insisting that my iPhone 13 Pro Max belonged to a verizon customer who has an outstanding balance with them and the only way to remove the phone from a blacklist is to pay the outstanding balance. I argued with them telling them that it is my device, I bought it from apple brand new a year ago and have the proof of such, and that it isn’t associated with one of their customer accounts. They said they couldn’t remove it until it was paid. 

     Left angry with a brick that I am still paying off, and now 2 weeks with my main phone number not connecting,  I kept researching ways of trying to resolve this before spending $1,000+ on another device, I realized that I can file a complaint with the FCC with my issue. I then filed a complaint on the FCC website against Verizon Wireless for holding my phone capabilities ransom. 2 days later I received correspondence from the FCC and right after, a call from Verizon’s Executive Relations department. Verizon finally accepted my proof that it my device and was activated on T-Mobile. The rep sends it to their fraud department. 2 days later my device removed from the blacklist. It was explained as a clerical error and they apologized to me for their massive inconvenience. I feel though that I should’ve been compensated for their vexing mishap causing me to miss important phone calls and texts. after this, my iPhone has been reconnected back to T-Mobile and working as designed. Away from that, I am still vexed that some big conglomerate were so arrogant and dismissive of their wrongdoing and that it took a federal government agency to rectify what I have been telling them all along. 

     Now that my device is back up and running, I would like to inform and warn anybody who owns an Android or iPhone. These carriers can blacklist your device at any moment. In order to prove it is your device, it is imperative to keep the receipt as proof as it has the device model, serial number, and imei number on it. just be mindful that some carriers will not be willing to fix this wrong and it may take getting the FCC involved. I personally believe that there must be measures in place to stop these harrowing mistakes from occurring; possibly a new regulation that could have these carriers double check their info before proceeding with blacklisting a persons device instead of doing so to innocent owners. 

I am in similar situation, and have tried the contact on many different imei check sites to find out who blacklisted my phone and so far no response,  and I paid cash at a wal mart so its even more infuriating  

 

I have the exact same issue with my iPhones, not just, but 3 iPhones all in SOS. Spent hours and hours since August 28th with T-Mobile(current carrier), AT&T(previous carrier), and Apple support with no resolution.

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