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Verizon Phone with IMEI Blocked? Here’s What You Can Do

Verizon Wireless is the nation's leading carrier, a fact that might leave you feeling helpless if your Verizon phone's IMEI is blocked. The reality, however, is that even with a blocked IMEI you still have several options for selling your old Verizon phone. The following examines reasons why your IMEI might be blocked and lists options for selling your blocked IMEI Verizon phone.

Why is my Verizon IMEI blocked?

If you don't know why your IMEI is blocked, you can contact Verizon Wireless support to find out. Reasons for blacklisting IMEIs include an unpaid balance on your wireless bill, a reported theft, or even a mistake.

Find out if your IMEI is blocked by using an online IMEI checker (try several tools to cover your bases). If you don't know your IMEI, you can typically find it in your phone's settings or on a sticker in your battery compartment.

How to sell a Verizon phone with a blocked IMEI

If your Verizon phone's IMEI is indeed blocked, you might still be able to legally sell it via one of the following methods.




Ask Verizon to unblock your IMEI

If you have an unpaid balance with Verizon, contact them to bring your account up-to-date and then request to have your IMEI unblocked. If your phone was previously reported stolen and later recovered, you can likewise make your case to Verizon. If your IMEI was blocked in error (though unlikely), Verizon will also be able to help you remedy the issue.

Pay for IMEI unblocking

Dozens of companies claim to offer IMEI unblocking services. If you decide to give one of these services a try, do your homework first: some companies are unscrupulous or even undertake illegal practices. Others will unlock your phone, but they won't be able to take your IMEI off established blacklists. Even reputable services could have trouble reinstating your Verizon phone's IMEI.

Switch carriers

Verizon is one of several U.S.-based carriers to issue CDMA phones, which means you might be able to “flash” your phone to switch carriers. Essentially, the process involves replacing Verizon's access files with those of a new carrier. You'll need to download or purchase special software to do it, and you'll need to make sure your new carrier will accept your phone; but if you're able to successfully switch carriers, you should be able to sell your old phone. Other CDMA carriers include Cricket and Sprint, plus a host of smaller U.S.-based carriers.

Switch networks

If your Verizon phone has a SIM card, it might be able to operate on GSM networks. GSM phones can be switched between carriers simply by swapping SIM cards. AT&T and T-Mobile both run on GSM networks in the U.S., but the vast majority of global carriers also use GSM technology (CDMA phones are limited, in large part, to U.S.-based carriers).

In any case, if your Verizon phone can run on GSM networks you'll need to find a foreign buyer. That shouldn't be a problem, as used GSM-capable phones are a hot market in many countries. You don't even have to switch the network yourself – just be sure to tell the buyer that your IMEI is blocked in the U.S. The buyer will then swap SIM cards to transfer service to their carrier.

Sell your Verizon phone for repair parts

If none of the previous options appeal to you, you can simply sell your IMEI-blocked Verizon phone to a repair service to use for repair parts. Again, be sure to disclose that your IMEI has been blocked before completing the sale.

Resources

CDMA VS GSM: What's the difference?
Verizon Wireless Support

If your Verizon phone has a blocked IMEI, you have options. You can switch carriers or networks in order to sell your phone, you can petition Verizon to remove the block, you can try a third-party IMEI unblocking service, or you can simply sell your phone as-is to a repair service. Conduct your own research to determine which option is best for your unique situation.




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