Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Forum

General Blocked IMEI fixed!

I bought my Note 3 on Craigslist back in January. The IMEI was clean, and T-Mobile told me it was not being financed. On June 1 T-Mobile blocked the IMEI leaving me with a brick. Apparently T-Mobile lied, it was being financed and it later went into arrears. T-Mobile told me my only solution was to buy a new Note 3 from them because the phone could not be repaired. That was the second lie.

With the help of my good friend Mr. Google I found several people who can fix bad IMEIs. For most phones it can be done remotely, but for the Note 3 a motherboard swap is required. There are several advertising this service on the net, mostly on eBay. I used Joe the Android Rooter, and I couldn't be happier. For $60 I got my phone back in four days working perfectly with my T-Mobile account, and rooted and unlocked as well.

I should add that this is perfectly legal in the US and everywhere else in the world. Joe and others have been advertising the service on eBay for years, and you know how twitchy eBay is about illegal activity.



#1 John Jason, Jun 12, 2014
This isn't "fixing" a bad IMEI. The original IMEI is still blocked. The new motherboard has a different IMEI, and he one you got isn't blocked. This "fix" is years and years old. (About as old as blocking IMEIs or ESNs is.)
#2 Rukbat, Jun 12, 2014
Of course the old motherboard still has a blocked IMEI. That's why Joe re-sells them outside the US where it doesn't matter.
#3 John Jason, Jun 13, 2014
In other words, the phone was either stolen, or the previous owner stopped paying on a contract they had with T-Mobile for some other reason?
#4 johnpjackson, Jun 13, 2014
It was being financed; that is, the seller owed money on it to T-Mobile. But when I called T-Mobile before buying it they assured me that it was free and clear.

Months later after T-Mobile blocked it I stopped at a T-Mobile store to verify that it had been blocked, because this had never happened to me before and I wasn't sure what the error messages meant. The employee at the store was able to verify that T-Mobile had blocked it because payments were in arrears. He also told me that he had heard the same story many times before - T-Mobile tells people that the phone is free and clear when it is not.
#5 John Jason, Jun 13, 2014
Evidently, johpjackson, that doesn't matter to some people.
#6 Rukbat, Jun 13, 2014
To the OP, I'm glad you got your fix but I have to agree with Rug- what you got was a new phone. The original IMEI is still blocked.

They did not lie to you. You're using repair & fix out of context. The phone was not broken.
#7 ScandaLeX, Jun 13, 2014
Stories like this are why I refuse to buy a phone second hand. There are too many people out there looking to make a quick buck and will scam you. I'm glad the issue got resolved, but this is a story that comes up way to frequently on these forums. Buyer beware indeed.
#8 jhawkkw, Jun 13, 2014
There are many varieties of English. Meanings and usages are sometimes different. If you use 'fix' with a narrower meaning than I do, that is fine with me. But having said that, it is hard for me to imagine anything more trivial to argue about. :)

My purpose in posting here is to make three important points for people with a Note 3 to be aware of:

1) If your IEMI/ESN is blocked by your (U.S.) carrier, you do not have to throw the phone away or sell it for parts, as your carrier is likely to tell you (mine did). But, unlike most other phones, the Note 3 requires a motherboard swap.

2) Motherboard swaps for Note 3s are advertised by many, especially eBay, and I had good service from and can recommend Joe the Android Rooter.

3) If you are a T-Mobile customer, you cannot trust them if they tell you a phone is not being financed. In my case the lady on the phone from T-Mobile even had me read the IMEI of the Note 3 to her so she could "associate it with my account" (her exact words).
#9 John Jason, Jun 13, 2014
The motherboard == the phone, essentially. So if you've got a phone that your carrier has banned from their network, what you're really saying is you need to swap the phone with someone else who's going to use it on a different network, because carriers might/probably don't swap notes on which user's devices they've banned. My take on the other replies that have been made here is that people are just trying to say that you make it sound like it's just an innocent technical problem, when actually, though it is that as well, there's the likelihood that the initial issue is someone did something unsavory to cause it, and the resolution you're supporting doesn't acknowledge that, it just ignores that - which could seem unsavory to some as well. Not that I'm saying T-Mobile or any of the other carriers don't do unsavory things either. Like, the rep telling you don't worry, when actually, somewhere on their end, they were either grossly incompetent or willfully blowing sunshine up your skirt. So, it's just a messy business all around ;)
#10 johnpjackson, Jun 13, 2014
I was thinking the same thing which is why I never bought a used phone. If it didn't say brand new in box I wasn't interested.
#11 ScandaLeX, Jun 13, 2014
Used phone with bad IMEI bad. check
Replace motherboard to get new IMEI good. check
Phone in working condition. check
OP all set with working phone. check

Continued discussion about IMEI's and locked phones attacting less than above board conversation. hmm... ...not on my watch.

thread closed. check
My inbox is open if someone disagrees.:)
#12 Unforgiven, Jun 13, 2014