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  1. JnR
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       #1  
    So the other day I bought a Palm Pixi for my girlfriend as a surprise gift. I bought it from someone off Craigslist who told me the phone was good. We try and actviate it and come to find out this guy has an outstanding balance with Sprint and the phone cannot be used until he clears that debt. I've been reading for the past couple days that if the MSL code is obtained the phone can be reprogrammed, right? Well, since the phone is still in his name and calling Sprint doesn't help, is there a way to get the MSL code from the phone itself without having to call Sprint?

    The previous owner of the phone is not cooperating with me after 20+ phone calls and emails explaining the situation. I was more than likely scammed, but only because he told me the phone was working, and it does, but it's still tied to his account.
  2. #2  
    You're pretty much screwed. Even if you could get the MSL Sprint still won't activate a bad ESN.
    Treo 600 -> Treo 650 -> Treo 755p -> Pixi -> Pre -> Pixi -> Sprint Pixi Plus Hybrid -> Pre -> Epic 4G
  3. JnR
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       #3  
    Any suggestions then? Small claims court? Find his address and pull a prank?
  4. #4  
    I certainly don't endorse pranks... your best bet is small claims if you can't get a refund. You would definitely win because when you purchase something like this, your contract for the purchase of an item is that it is ready and available for your full use and enjoyment. It's like buying a car that doesn't have a clear title. If you are hindered in fully using and enjoying the purchase, the contract is voided (unless you were told specifically that there will be an issue with activating the device). If you can prove he sold it fully knowing that you would not be able to get it activated you would be eligible for punitive damages also (but you have to prove the seller knew there would be problems when they sold it and didn't tell you).

    Been there... done that. Good luck!
  5. #5  
    I feel your pain, I bought a 'bad' phone ONCE. Since then I've learned my lesson, it's always best to call the carrier and check the ESN, and I even let/recommend the buyer do it when I sell an old device because I know it's nice to have that peace of mind. Hope it all works out, you may just have to cut your losses on this one though, or pay maybe pay his bill for him? Lol.
  6. #6  
    Hopefully you can get some results from small claims court. I recall a while back someone posted that they had bought a phone that had a bad ESN and it turned out the guy they bought it from was already in jail...
    My device history:

    - Jim J.

    (On Sprint for many years)
  7. JnR
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       #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by HelloNNNewman View Post
    I certainly don't endorse pranks... your best bet is small claims if you can't get a refund. You would definitely win because when you purchase something like this, your contract for the purchase of an item is that it is ready and available for your full use and enjoyment. It's like buying a car that doesn't have a clear title. If you are hindered in fully using and enjoying the purchase, the contract is voided (unless you were told specifically that there will be an issue with activating the device). If you can prove he sold it fully knowing that you would not be able to get it activated you would be eligible for punitive damages also (but you have to prove the seller knew there would be problems when they sold it and didn't tell you).

    Been there... done that. Good luck!
    I have documentation stating that the phone was in good condition and was ready to be switched over to our account for our use. I even asked the seller when I met him and his response was, yeah its good man. I am seriously looking into taking the matter to small claims court.

    Quote Originally Posted by mjkjr View Post
    I feel your pain, I bought a 'bad' phone ONCE. Since then I've learned my lesson, it's always best to call the carrier and check the ESN, and I even let/recommend the buyer do it when I sell an old device because I know it's nice to have that peace of mind. Hope it all works out, you may just have to cut your losses on this one though, or pay maybe pay his bill for him? Lol.
    Lol. No way I'm paying his $300+ phone bill. I paid $100 for the phone which is virtually useless.
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by JnR View Post
    I have documentation stating that the phone was in good condition and was ready to be switched over to our account for our use. I even asked the seller when I met him and his response was, yeah its good man. I am seriously looking into taking the matter to small claims court.
    Unfortunately, Craigslist makes up for a good percentage of court cases now-a-days. If you know his name/address, I wouldn't hesitate to take him to court.

    Also... did you ask Sprint if there was any way of unlocking and assigning the ESN to your name and still hold him liable for his old debt? Right now it seems the debt is assigned to that phone instead of the person. I would think that they could change that... but I believe court is about your only option.
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by mjkjr View Post
    I feel your pain, I bought a 'bad' phone ONCE. Since then I've learned my lesson, it's always best to call the carrier and check the ESN, and I even let/recommend the buyer do it when I sell an old device because I know it's nice to have that peace of mind. Hope it all works out, you may just have to cut your losses on this one though, or pay maybe pay his bill for him? Lol.
    Several members have also recommended that you meet the seller at your carrier's store before you hand over the money to ensure that the phone can be activated on your account. Good neutral territory.

    I know it doesn't help much right now, but we all learn from our fellow members' experiences.
  10. #10  
    ^^^ Best. Advice. Evar.

    Good to add that note here though. Hopefully someone will read this before purchasing off of CL or Ebay.
  11. JnR
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       #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by HelloNNNewman View Post
    Unfortunately, Craigslist makes up for a good percentage of court cases now-a-days. If you know his name/address, I wouldn't hesitate to take him to court.

    Also... did you ask Sprint if there was any way of unlocking and assigning the ESN to your name and still hold him liable for his old debt? Right now it seems the debt is assigned to that phone instead of the person. I would think that they could change that... but I believe court is about your only option.
    I have his email address and phone number written down. I've bought and sold items off craigslist for years and haven't had one bad experience until now. Yeah, I'll take it a lesson learned, but I'm also not going to let him just get away with it.

    According to the Sprint CS rep, there wasn't anything they could do until the debt was paid off and they couldn't do anything with the ESN.
  12. #12  
    Well.. take him to court then... the only thing you will be out is the time and aggravation since if he loses, he will pay court costs.
  13. #13  
    did you use paypal?
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by Workerb33 View Post
    did you use paypal?
    I hope not... he'll never get his money back then!
  15. JnR
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       #15  
    I paid cash for the phone.
  16. #16  
    Can you ask Sprint for his details? That will get you rolling.
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by pip smith View Post
    Can you ask Sprint for his details? That will get you rolling.
    If they actually give you this please let me know cause I will need to contact Sprint cause that would be complete bull.
    Treo 600 -> Treo 650 -> Treo 755p -> Pixi -> Pre -> Pixi -> Sprint Pixi Plus Hybrid -> Pre -> Epic 4G
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by chad4359 View Post
    If they actually give you this please let me know cause I will need to contact Sprint cause that would be complete bull.
    I'm not naiive enough to think if you just ask they will give. What I meant is that if you make a claim with the courts then will they be able to pursue Sprint for the users details?
    Or does it not work like that in the US.

    Maybe I should have added to my first post but I was rushing to type something out.
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by pip smith View Post
    I'm not naiive enough to think if you just ask they will give. What I meant is that if you make a claim with the courts then will they be able to pursue Sprint for the users details?
    Or does it not work like that in the US.

    Maybe I should have added to my first post but I was rushing to type something out.
    Even when going through the courts this information should be extremely difficult to obtain, other than the fact that the ESN can not be activated. Overall, the OP should really not even know that the person he bought the phone off of has an outstanding balance and certainly not that the balance is $300+. Sprint, or any carrier, should not give away info so easily that's all I'm saying. I know the dude who sold it is a total scumbag but his private info should not be divulged so easily.
    Treo 600 -> Treo 650 -> Treo 755p -> Pixi -> Pre -> Pixi -> Sprint Pixi Plus Hybrid -> Pre -> Epic 4G
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by chad4359 View Post
    Even when going through the courts this information should be extremely difficult to obtain, other than the fact that the ESN can not be activated. Overall, the OP should really not even know that the person he bought the phone off of has an outstanding balance and certainly not that the balance is $300+. Sprint, or any carrier, should not give away info so easily that's all I'm saying. I know the dude who sold it is a total scumbag but his private info should not be divulged so easily.
    It's small claims so not much will be needed. I'd make a copy of the actual CraigsList ad before it's deleted to show how it was advertised. And Sprint can fax or email a note confirming that the particular ESN # he has cannot be activated due to an outstanding balance. Other than that... not much else will be needed. Proof of purchase will be the fact that the OP has the phone and the CL ad lists a specific price. In small claims, the judge rules according to a balance of "more likely than not" versus a non-civil case where the plaintiff proof has the "burden of proof".
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