You bought a “new” iPhone, you are very excited;
You slide in the SIM Tray your SIM card, activate it and then the “NO SERVICE” message appears.
This is a typical Error Message that iPhones with BAD IMEI number have. Trust me, I have been there and it is really infuriating.
iPhones with BAD IMEI will prevent you from using it properly, either with a specific Mobile network or Country(ies)!
If you have the option to immediately return the iPhone and get your money back, stop reading this post and do it!
How an iPhone gets a BAD IMEI?
Since you are still here, it means that you cannot return the BAD IMEI iPhone and you are looking for a solution.
Thankfully, there are some things you can do that will help you to either start using it again OR resell it to get some of your precious money back (In some cases you can also get a profit!).
So, below I will show you how to identify the exact problem your iPhone has, the reason of getting the BAD IMEI in the first place and solutions that hopefully will help you removing the NO SERVICE message.
Identifying the reasons behind a NO SERVICE message
A BAD IMEI number is being treated from ALL Mobile Networks as “someone” that has no place among their GOOD IMEIs, which means that they are trying to push it far away from their services.
This means that iPhones that have a BAD IMEI will not be allowed to use a Mobile’s Network services, thus the NO SERVICE message.
There are many reasons that can cause the NO SERVICE message, so check the most popular ones below:
- The iPhone (Which means that the IMEI number of that device) is reported as Lost or Stolen by its Owner
- The iPhone is reported with FRAUD activities by a Mobile Network or Police
- The iPhone has Unpaid Contract Bills or other Outstanding Financial Balance with a Mobile Network
- The iPhone made an unauthorized changed to its IMEI/Serial number (Only Apple is authorized to that)
Find the real reason of a BAD IMEI with an iPhone IMEI Check
An iPhone IMEI Check report is able to tell you all the information about an iPhone which includes Blacklist IMEI Check results.
It will show you if your iPhone has a BAD IMEI (If it is Blacklisted or not), with which Mobile Network is having issues and the reason behind it.
For instance, the iPhone that I purchased (I thought that I was buying from a trusted seller), had a BAD IMEI, it was Blacklisted by T-Mobile USA Network and the reason was “Reported lost by a T-Mobile customer”.
This means that either the seller sold me an iPhone with a BAD IMEI to his knowledge OR he first sold me that iPhone and then reported it as Stolen to T-Mobile USA network.
In both cases, I got screwed, but hopefully, I was able to return it and get my money back (Thanx eBay and PayPal!!).
The iPhone IMEI Check report, would have helped me to check its Blacklist status and more importantly, I would be able to see if this device is still Under Contract/Warranty. Never buy iPhones that are Under Contract, since the owner still has the right to reported as Lost or Stolen even AFTER he sells it!
Proven Solutions for fixing your Blacklisted iPhone
SO, let me list all available next steps you can take and hopefully at least one will be applicable by you:
- Return the iPhone!! (Just in case you can do it and you kept on reading this post)
- Contact the Previous owner & ask him nicely to call his network and remove the Blacklist status (Very low success rate – Owners have good reasons to report their iPhone as Lost or Stolen)
- Find a service that can Remove the BAD IMEI status (Those are call IMEI Unblacklist/Cleaning services)
- Sell it to someone who will not get affected by your iPhone’s BAD IMEI (More on this below)
- Sell your iPhone for spare parts (You will not be able to get your money back in full, but at least you will cover a portion of your expenses)
Detailed Explanation of BAD IMEI solutions
I will focus only on the 3, 4 and 5 solutions, since the first two are very self explanatory.
Find a service that can remove the BAD IMEI status:
There are some services that are able to CLEAN your IMEI number and remove their Lost, Stolen, Fraud & Outstanding Financial Balance status from your iPhone. They support a limited number of Carriers, so first do an iPhone IMEI Check and then pick the right IMEI Unblacklist service!
Sell it to someone who will not get affected:
Let’s take as an example my case. If you remember, my iPhone was Blacklisted by AT&T USA network. This means that it cannot operate inside USA (USA also shares their blacklist with Canada, Mexico, Brasil & Puerto Rico), but it can normally work in Europe or in Australia. So, if you sold it to someone that lives in those areas, he will have no problem using it, and of course, you can sell it to a very good price!
Sell it for Spare Parts:
Following the above train of thought, you can sell your iPhone’s screen, buttons, battery and other hardware parts and get a very nice price. If you sell them part by part, you will have a higher profit margin, but it will take you more time. Most people sell their iPhones as a package, to save time, but decrease their profit. You can check on eBay your iPhone’s price for spare parts.
My Suggestion on how to deal with BAD IMEI iPhones
Even if you cannot return the iPhone to its seller (Which is the FIRST THING YOU SHOULD DO), you need to make an iPhone IMEI Check and find out everything about this iPhone (Who Blacklisted it and WHY!).
If you still want to keep it and start using it, then the only solution is to find a proper iPhone IMEI Unblacklist/Cleaning service.
If you are really frustrated but you made peace with yourself that you got scammed, then proceed to an online store and list your iPhone for selling it (Either to a different Continent or for Spare Parts).