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Verizon blacklisted my phone after 22 months due to non-payment from original owner

Miembro

I bought a Samsung S7 Edge in June 2016 off a seller on eBay.  When I received it, I tried to activate it, and was told it was reported lost/stolen and to contact original owner.  I contacted the seller, and he tells me that is incorrect, and that he will contact Verizon to clear things up.  A few hours later, he let's me know that Verizon phone should be able to be activated now.  Sure enough, the phone was activated and I have been using it on a prepaid plan for 22 months.  Yes, I have made 22 months of prepaid payments.

My visit to Verizon store was Friday afternoon.

Due to a couple dropped calls in my apartment which hadn't happened before, I stopped by San Francisco Verizon store on Market street to see if there was a setting that needed changing.   The girl says the only thing she can do is swap out my SIM card as SIM cards get worn out over time.  When she switches out my SIM card, she tries to activate phone. Two hours later in the Verizon store she tells me she put my original SIM card in, as the phone is now showing a non-payer status.  Huh?  She said the original owner must have stopped paying his bill, and Verizon sent the account to collections. The problem is that now even with the original SIM back in phone, the phone is on the blacklist.   She said she cannot do anything, and had been on hold multiple times trying to get someone at Verizon to help.  She states that the store employees really cannot do much troubleshooting as they aren't technical people. I actually hear this same comment from 2 other employees unable to help customers who leave the store frustrated as their issues weren't solved.  And that's how you treat your paying customers? 

I call Verizon customer service when I get home, and they confirm it is on blacklist.  I ask what is the balance that is owed?  "We cannot see that information."  Well who knows this information, as I would like to get this phone off non-payer status?  "You have to contact the original owner of the phone and tell him to pay his bill."  Now, two years later, of course that person is not even active on eBay any longer, and eBay's guarantee only covers the first 90 days following purchase.   The agent tells me that I can try to get information from the Recovery Department when they are open to see if they will tell you the balance since the account likely went to a Collection agency."  I get the number, and they are only available M-F 8am - 5pm so have to wait to Monday.  My guess is that I will get a runaround.

Apparently, Verizon sells used phones on eBay... so I would be able to order a used S7 for about $200 which will arrive in 2-3 days.  OR just switching to another carrier's prepaid plan.  Best Buy tells me that AT&T's prepaid plan options are better than Verizon's.  (AT&T $40 autopay plan gives 6GB data vs 3GB data for $40 Verizon autopay plan, and includes calls to Mexico/Canada.)  

Option 1: Contact verizon recovery to see if they can tell me balance due, and if it is low enough, see if I can make payment.  not likely I will get anywhere with Verizon on this matter

Option 2: Switch to AT&T with a new phone (existing phone is likely blacklisted as the list is shared between carriers).  most likely

Option 3: Buy a used/refurbished phone from Verizon on eBay... yes, Verizon sells their trade-ins on eBay.  At least this way, I will know it has a clean IMEI/ESN. this has been a bad experience with Verizon why give them more business?  so unlikely

I have seen others have had a similar non-payer status placed on their account many months/years after purchasing a phone second-hand.

I will update this post on Monday after speaking with Verizon to let others who run into similar situation.  I've been a Verizon customer since 1995 -- yes, over 20 years...have never run into an issue like this before with other phones purchased off eBay.  Something is definitely off with Verizon... they should give their agents access to information to service customers who call with one call resolution.

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Re: Verizon blacklisted my phone after 22 months due to non-payment from original owner

Sr. Member

Nothing is off, you just got lucky for nearly 2 years that a non-clean phone went so long without being detected.

As for the last part, do you know how much of a breach of security/privacy that is? Would you like for a compete stranger to have access to your account? Device payments are strictly for postpaid customers, prepaid agents don't have access to those anyway.

At this point, the phone is a wash. If it's been 2 years, chances are a collection agency owns the account now. Even if that isn't the case, no department is going to give you information from someone else's account.

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Re: Verizon blacklisted my phone after 22 months due to non-payment from original owner

Miembro

Please let us know if you get this resolved!

This is so annoying. I purchased a phone off Craigslist from who I thought was a nice woman. Before purchasing, I called Verizon to see if it had a blocked IMEI. They said no. I purchased the phone, was using it for about 10 months until I was having broadband service issues with it, Verizon recommended put a new SIM in it. I went to the Verizon store and got a new SIM. Verizon then blacklisted the phone and told me the phone was under a contract! I was like how, I've been using it for 10 months? They told me to contact the person I purchased it from but I no longer have their number after 10 months (thought there was no need to save the number after it seemed to be working fine.) I said I called them and asked if the phone had a clean IMEI and they said it was at the time because the contract was still being paid. Whaaaat? I even offered to pay the rest of the money on the contract. This would have been better than me having to go and purchase another phone, but no, they wouldn't let me do that either.

Anyway, is it possible for the phone to work under another carrier?

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Re: Verizon blacklisted my phone after 22 months due to non-payment from original owner

Miembro

You can always try to take Verizon to small claims court if you are a bonafide purchaser.

If you can show you purchased the phone and now want to pay off the amount due on the finance plan.

You can subpoena Verizon for the amount to pay off the loan on the phone.    Make an offer then to pay it off.

When the verizon person refuses, get his name phone number etc to subpoena him to court if he refuses to put it in writing.

It is likely, Verizon will not send an attorney at $400 per hour to a small claims court action for a $400 phone.

You need an order from the small claims court judge ordering Verizon to accept the finance payment to pay the phone off, remove it from the blacklist, and activate the phone. 

Of course, doing all this is a headache for you too.  You will invest may hours to do this.  There is no guarantee of success.   It would be easier to just purchase a new phone or a used phone you know is not financed.    If you buy a used phone off craigslist, meet at an official company owned ATT, Verizon, Tmobile, or Sprint store to activate your used phone.   Ebay is a gamble but at least you can ask if the phone is financed and paid off,  stolen, or newly found.  

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Re: Verizon blacklisted my phone after 22 months due to non-payment from original owner

Miembro

I have the exact same problem I purchased my wifes used Apple i8 Gold cell phone  in Oct 2018 from Gazelle phones on Ebay and it was clean then.  But 4 months later apparently was put on Verizons  Non payment black list due to the previous owner non payment...

Verizon allows me to continue to use their service but Now I cannot sell my phone or change carriers.  Verizon will not tell me how much the non payment is....I am caught in the middle and not sure what if anything I can do short of buying another phone which I do not want to do...

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated so I can sell this phone or change carriers.

 

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Re: Verizon blacklisted my phone after 22 months due to non-payment from original owner

Sr. Member

Changing carriers isn't going to resolve people selling phones they never owned. Use this as a lesson to never buy a used phone. These are lifelines, something you always want to buy new.

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Re: Verizon blacklisted my phone after 22 months due to non-payment from original owner

Community Manager
Community Manager

Bobpta, as a consumer, I know how painful it is to buy a phone that you are not able to use. I wish there was a way for us to help you with this issue, but only the person that originally bought the phone can resolve this issue. 

Did you ever contact the seller? Did you dispute the purchase with ebay? JacobV_VZW

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Re: Verizon blacklisted my phone after 22 months due to non-payment from original owner

Líder Sénior

@Bobpta wrote:

I have the exact same problem I purchased my wifes used Apple i8 Gold cell phone  in Oct 2018 from Gazelle phones on Ebay and it was clean then.  But 4 months later apparently was put on Verizons  Non payment black list due to the previous owner non payment...

Verizon allows me to continue to use their service but Now I cannot sell my phone or change carriers.  Verizon will not tell me how much the non payment is....I am caught in the middle and not sure what if anything I can do short of buying another phone which I do not want to do...

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated so I can sell this phone or change carriers.

 


There is no solution unless Gazelle will refund or replace, which is unlikely, but your only option.   Verizon has the right to be paid, and to hold the equipment hostage. 

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Re: Verizon blacklisted my phone after 22 months due to non-payment from original owner

Miembro

Verizon needs to come up with a way to remedy this situation that is acceptable to honest paying customers....  This is an abomination just separate the collections and financial issue from the device...

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Re: Verizon blacklisted my phone after 22 months due to non-payment from original owner

Miembro

Of course there are things that Verizon could do if they wanted to improve customer service for this Blacklisted phone situation….

 

Verizon is a behemoth company that generated over $131B in Annual revenues in 2019, with Earnings of $19B+.

 

  • Verizon Wireless Tech, Fraud and Collections (and maybe some other groups) need to work together on this. Somewhere under a VP or SVP or higher is the person that has these three areas as his/her responsibility.

 

  • Prevention – Create an effective online IMEI check tool that not only checks Lost/Stolen, but more importantly, Unpaid Bills, and 2nd account owners so the potential new owner of the device can be made aware ahead of purchase of a used phone or at least during a typical 30 day return window, not 8 months or 2 years down the road! AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint all have public IMEI checks online. Verizon, I believe you sell your Trade In phones through 3rd party online retailers like eBay correct?

 

  • Share blacklisted phones with 3rd party IMEI companies like CheckMEND & lMEIpro.info. I had a Verizon Blacklisted phone that showed up clean on every IMEI check out there (including Samsung), and was told by some of these IMEI companies that Verizon is not sharing the Blacklist info with the Global database. Why would this be the case? Shouldn’t we be trying to help people? Endless phone calls to Verizon Wireless Fraud & Tech support finally provided me with some blacklist documentation for verification purposes but clearly there was no defined process by which to do so at Verizon.

 

  • Fix your broken process that does not flag a device as lost/stolen or having a 2nd account with Unpaid bills immediately upon activation when the phone is fired up at the Verizon wireless store with the new SIM card. How is it possible to use a phone for 9 months only to discover at that late juncture that the phone has a 2nd fraudulent account!

 

  • Fix the Problem for the Honest Paying Customer - Create a process to separate the Finance/Unpaid Bills and Collections process from the IMEI of the device. The only person typically being punished by Verizon when a phone is shut off and blacklisted is the honest paying customer…the person that sold the fraudulent device is long gone working on other scams.  Verizon collection can keep trying to collect the debt, but the honest paying new customer can remain in service and not make countless calls (and being on hold for over an hour in some cases) to Customer Service, Fraud & Tech support to find out what happened to their service. This would save you money Verizon! The last thing a loyal paying customer wants to hear is “there is nothing we can do in this situation”. Unacceptable Verizon!

 

  • Implement a process whereby an alias IMEI can provide Verizon service to the customer, but still leaves the original device blacklisted so it cannot be resold and used by other carriers or in other countries.

 

Verizon - There are probably numerous other things you can do with all the smart people you have working there….perhaps the community can suggest some others. Some services you provide may even provide a revenue stream as well as better overall customer support for this blacklist phone epidemic.

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