AT&T Phone with IMEI Blocked? Here’s What You Can Do
Does your AT&T phone have a blocked IMEI? The following examines reasons why your IMEI might be blocked and details how you can sell a blacklisted AT&T phone.
Why is my AT&T IMEI blocked?
If you don’t know why your IMEI is blocked, you can contact AT&T support to find out. Reasons for blacklisting IMEIs include an unpaid balance on your wireless bill, a reported theft, or even a mistake.
See 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 an AT&T phone with a blocked IMEI
If your AT&T phone’s IMEI is indeed blocked, you might still be able to legally sell it via one of the following methods.
Ask AT&T to unblock your IMEI
If you have an unpaid balance with AT&T, 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 AT&T. If your IMEI was blocked in error (though unlikely), AT&T will also be able to help you remedy the issue. Once unblocked, you can sell it.
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 AT&T phone’s IMEI. You can sell your phone if you’re able to get your IMEI unblocked.
AT&T is a GSM network, which means you can use your phone with other GSM carriers (T-Mobile is another, Verizon and Sprint are not). However, if your IMEI is blocked it’s unlikely you can connect to a new carrier even if you swap your SIM card. Carriers share the blacklist database, so the network will identify that a blacklisted device is trying to access it. It’s best to get your IMEI unblocked before attempting to switch carriers or sell your phone.
Sell your AT&T phone for repair parts
If none of the previous options appeal to you, you can simply sell your IMEI-blocked AT&T phone to a repair service to use for repair parts (don’t forget to disclose that your IMEI has been blocked before completing the sale).
Sell your phone to a buyback store
If your AT&T phone has a bad IMEI for non-payment (and not because it was stolen), some online buyback stores will still buy it. Compare online buyback stores to see if any will buy a financed phone you still owe money on.
If your AT&T phone has a blocked IMEI, you have options. You can petition AT&T to remove the block, you can try a third-party IMEI unblocking service, or you can simply sell your phone as-is to an online buyback store or repair shop. Conduct your own research to determine which option is best for your unique situation.
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