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Supported Phones: My device didn't pass a financial eligibility check - now what?

Ali Ali Posts: 6,735FreedomPop Master, Test Role, iOS Master ✭✭✭✭✭
If you're trying to bring a Sprint®*-branded device to FreedomPop, you may get an error message about your device not passing Sprint's financial eligibility check.

When this happens, Sprint is blocking activation on its network. Broadly speaking, the reason for this error is that there is an outstanding balance of some sort on the account this device was previously associated with. There are a few potential reasons and remedies.

Check the information below for your device type.



Device purchased directly from Sprint on a postpaid account

If you are the authenticated account holder of the postpaid Sprint account associated with this device, this error means that you have an outstanding financial obligation to Sprint. You will need to fulfill your Sprint Service Agreement by either continuing service until your term is over or paying an Early Termination Fee (ETF) to get out of your contract sooner.

Once you’ve fulfilled either of these two criteria and your account is in good standing with Sprint, they will release their hold on your device within 48 hours.



Device purchased from a prepaid carrier

This includes Sprint, Boost, Virgin or Assurance Wireless. A device needs to be active with a prepaid carrier for 12 months before they're required to release their hold on it. After 12 months have elapsed, some carriers will automatically unlock the device, thus making it eligible to move to another carrier. Others will require you to get in touch with their customer service team to lift the carrier lock.



Device purchased via a third party

If you bought your device from eBay, Amazon, Glyde, or any another third party, we recommend you contact the seller and / or the marketplace directly to arrange a return and refund. Only the "authenticated owner" (the person that bought it from the carrier) will be able to settle up the account and clear the block.

Comments

  • Nathan RoyceNathan Royce Posts: 5FreedomPop Newbie
    I would still like to know where on radioshack's or best buy's site that states prepaid has to be activated for 12 months.
    If you ask me, that still sounds like a "contract" and the phone wasn't free nor $0.99.
  • Nathan RoyceNathan Royce Posts: 5FreedomPop Newbie
    @Katherine Harvest I think if you get a computer with Windows 8 installed, there isn't any guarantee that no other OS would work, but it's a fair assessment for anyone with a reasonable knowledge of computers that if the other OS supports the hardware, that it will work. EG. You can install 64-bit or 32-bit x86 Ubuntu on 64-bit hardware architecture. You would not be able to install 64-bit x86 on 32-bit x86 or ARM hardware.
    In that light, the hardware for the Sprint phone ought to be able to function with any of Sprint's MVNOs since they piggyback off of Sprint's hardware. It appears to be Sprint's policies, that were NOT laid out at BB or RS, that prevent it from being used with FP.


    Sprint decided prepaid devices from their subsidiaries will open up to other MVNO's after 12 months...

    ... of being activated on their service, I assume.
    I currently do use my "phone" for other purposes (including Google Voice/Hangouts), so it's really not a big deal for me as I've been doing that with my last 2 phones as well (since 2010).

    I wasn't informed of this rule until after I bought my phone and tried to activate it.
    The LG Volt was being listed as supported, with no exceptions specified.
    FP did try to activate it, but my phone would not authenticate when trying to update the PRL.
    In fact, I wasn't actually informed it was Sprint's policy that was the issue. The issue couldn't actually be explained to me. @Ali has said that the LG Volt may very well be supported in May.

    You could follow my comments/discussions to get a better timeline view of how it all went down.
  • Katherine HarvestKatherine Harvest Posts: 5FreedomPop Newbie

    @Katherine Harvest I think if you get a computer with Windows 8 installed, there isn't any guarantee that no other OS would work, but it's a fair assessment for anyone with a reasonable knowledge of computers that if the other OS supports the hardware, that it will work.

    Sounds to me like you're upset because the "reasonable knowledge" you had about how Sprint MVNO BYOD service worked stopped being correct. That doesn't change the fact that you didn't get this knowledge from Best Buy or Radio Shack.

    If Best Buy sells you a device with Windows 8 installed and it turns out you can't install the 64 bit Intel Linux on it because it's actually an ARM based device (which many Windows 8 tablets are), it's not Best Buy's fault.

    It seems pretty clear to me that the people to blame are Sprint, that what Sprint told the MVNO's about which phones will be blocked by the Financial Eligibility Check does not correspond with the reality of which phones are being blocked and that Sprint is refusing to even publicly acknowledge this.

    To a lesser degree, I feel like the MVNO's also ought to put a notice on the actual BYOD activation pages saying something to the effect of "Notice: We are currently experiencing problems with activating many BYOD devices, including devices confirmed by Sprint to be clear for activation and even newly purchased, fully paid devices. At this time we advise against purchasing any devices, used or new, with the intention of using them with our BYOD service unless you're able to first check their MEID against our actual activation process."

    I wasn't informed of this rule until after I bought my phone and tried to activate it.
    The LG Volt was being listed as supported, with no exceptions specified.

    I believe there was a very brief period of a few days right after the unlocking rules changed when prepaid devices that had never had service on their "official" carrier were able to immediately activate on FreedomPop. And you're right, it sucks that they gave you the impression it was going to work like that and then changed it without warning.

    But that doesn't change the fact that at this point the rules for prepaid devices seem to be pretty clear, whereas the rules for postpaid devices are kinda anybody's guess.
    Kick away the pigeons / Dripping day glow sidewalks / They stole my bag of horse-hairs / While I was painting a toothy woodchuck
  • Nathan RoyceNathan Royce Posts: 5FreedomPop Newbie
    @Katherine Harvest The "reasonable knowledge" relates to the function of the hardware (freq/bands) and not the restrictive, and also morphing, company policies.

    I was aware of the Sprint-based MVNOs using a particular/set of freqs/bands that will only work with Sprint and it's MVNOs, so I had to search out a phone that filled that requirement.
    I then reasonably "assumed" that it would just work with any provider using those same freqs/bands.
    Akin to porting a phone number. The limiting factor would seem to be the country-code, I think. Other than that, you can port it to any telephone provider.

    Again, this is all technical issues and not companies simply intentionally blocking you.
    That is why I used the analogy of using Windows on x86/ARM, because it is technical and not some limiting policy.

    To follow with that same analogy, the policy would be the EULA only allowing the software to be installed on one device. You are at least given that information.
    Nowhere was I given the information that Sprint will not allow me to use my prepaid Volt with any other MVNO. So yes, in a sense I am upset about not being informed at the time of my purchase (but not so much because I don't really need the cellular service).

    I would concur regarding the needed "notice", but I've said it before, I don't think the one hand knows what the other is doing.
    In the beginning when I was on the phone with FP, they read out the "supported" list on their site which was only a handful of items and I had to explain to the rep that they have a forum that greatly expands that list.
    That sort of thing seems pretty standard with any company :/
    During the whole debacle, that forum list has been amended based on user experience I think.

    I'd still like to know if ANY prepaid Sprint LG Volts were able to get activated with FP.

    The rule seems clear, but isn't provided on the sellers' pages. That is the point I originally made. And I have only come across the rule based on users forum posts.

    *tip: in your message, use the "@" and type the username (it will autocomplete) you are referencing. I think that will send an email notification to said user. I only know you posted because I check FP forums every now and again for anything new.
  • Katherine HarvestKatherine Harvest Posts: 5FreedomPop Newbie

    I was aware of the Sprint-based MVNOs using a particular/set of freqs/bands that will only work with Sprint and it's MVNOs, so I had to search out a phone that filled that requirement.
    I then reasonably "assumed" that it would just work with any provider using those same freqs/bands.

    That's never been a reasonable assumption for CDMA. We've all known for years that every CDMA provider keeps a list of phone ESN's that they'll agree to activate on their network. Sprint started allowing MVNO's to activate Sprint branded devices in the second quarter of 2013, but had severe restrictions on which devices could be activated. (See this link.).

    If your "reasonable knowledge" comes down to having made the incorrect assumption that only technical restrictions govern which mobile devices can be activated with which company then you're simply mistaken. That's never been true of the US cell market.

    Again, this is all technical issues and not companies simply intentionally blocking you.
    That is why I used the analogy of using Windows on x86/ARM, because it is technical and not some limiting policy.

    No, this is not a technical issue, Sprint post-paid, Sprint pre-paid, Virgin Mobile, Boost CDMA devices and FreedomPop branded devices all connect to the same towers using the same technologies. This is precisely about Sprint's policies as to what can be activated where.

    To follow with that same analogy, the policy would be the EULA only allowing the software to be installed on one device. You are at least given that information.

    If Best Buy informs you that a piece of software can only be installed on one device but you "reasonably assume" that you know how to break the copy protection mechanism on it and install it on several, but it turns out you don't... do you have a right to be upset with Best Buy? No.

    If Best Buy informs you that a device can be activated on Sprint but you "reasonably assume" that it can be activated elsewhere, but it turns out it can't... do you have a right to be upset with Best Buy? Again, no.

    I'd still like to know if ANY prepaid Sprint LG Volts were able to get activated with FP.

    Maybe start a thread asking that specific question clearly and concisely so people who are skimming would still notice it?

    *tip: in your message, use the "@" and type the username (it will autocomplete) you are referencing. I think that will send an email notification to said user. I only know you posted because I check FP forums every now and again for anything new.

    It doesn't send me any sort of notice when you use the @ sign with my name. No notice to my Email and no notice when I login to look at the forum, I have to actually look at the thread itself to see if there's new messages.
    Kick away the pigeons / Dripping day glow sidewalks / They stole my bag of horse-hairs / While I was painting a toothy woodchuck
  • Nathan RoyceNathan Royce Posts: 5FreedomPop Newbie
    @Katherine Harvest Perhaps I should have been more explicit with my "tip" in that you should use it for me because I DO get notified.
    Maybe the reason you don't get notified is because you may not have that "Setting" enabled in your Profile.
    For me, I get an email with the Subject "[FreedomPop Forums] <user> mentioned you in <thread>"

    Regarding that link you submitted, "MVNO customers simply bring a deactivated Sprint device to their MVNO, who must determine the device’s eligibility for the BYOSD program", I am not seeing any "severe restrictions" you were referring to, only that the phone is deactivated and financially eligible (which I assume refers to any outstanding payments owed).
    My prepaid Volt has NOT been activated anywhere which also coincides with it not having any outstanding payments owed.

    Frankly, I don't think my reasonable technically-based assumptions are invalid when (again) the policies are not presented when making my purchase, or even after the purchase because the activation simply doesn't complete with no explanation.

    No, this is not a technical issue, Sprint post-paid, Sprint pre-paid, Virgin Mobile, Boost CDMA devices and FreedomPop branded devices all connect to the same towers using the same technologies. This is precisely about Sprint's policies as to what can be activated where.

    I know this issue is not a technical one. I used those analogies to describe what would be a technical issue and how it would differ from a policy (EULA).
    My original reply to this thread even described it as a policy issue, questioning why it wasn't listed.
    You would know it was a technical issue by looking at the device specifications that may list the freq/bands used and the reasonable knowledge of how cell works.
    But where do you look to find the policy that could cause an issue? You can't just assume when it comes to policies because policies can be (and sometimes are) pulled out of the makers' butts.

    If Best Buy informs you that a piece of software can only be installed on one device but you "reasonably assume" that you know how to break the copy protection mechanism on it and install it on several, but it turns out you don't... do you have a right to be upset with Best Buy? No.

    First, let me just be clear about NOT violating any policies EULA or other. That is not what this is about and I don't see where you are getting it from. I stated that you are GIVEN the EULA, but NOT GIVEN Sprint's policy that prepaid can't be used anywhere else until 12 months of use with Sprint has passed.

    My curiosity about LG Volts activated is merely a minor one and not one I would waste a thread on (yet). Once the end of May rolls around, I'll be more apt to start a thread regarding activation of the LG Volt if my Volt can't be activated by then.

    I feel this back-and-forth between us is getting a little out of hand.
    My very short first reply to this thread questioned being notified of the policy, then my reply to you expounded on it regarding the technical knowledge needed to know technically/functionally which network a given phone will work with.

    To try and bring back the simplicity:
    1) Radioshack's site does not specify the phone is locked to Sprint even though it is a prepaid phone and not on-contract.
    2) From a technical/hardware standpoint, I expect the Sprint LG Volt would work with any of Sprint's MVNOs.
  • Nathan RoyceNathan Royce Posts: 5FreedomPop Newbie
    To add to my expectations: "The FCC notes that carriers must notify postpaid customers when their devices are eligible for unlocking, but prepaid customers must only be told at the time they purchase their phone."
    *http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/sprint-t-mobile-not-meeting-all-cell-phone-unlocking-policy-commitments-adv/2015-02-18
  • Iolaire McFaddenIolaire McFadden Posts: 119FreedomPop Newbie
    My iPhone 5 bought from FreedomPop had the defective power button so I brought it into the Apple Store to get fixed under the free replacement program. Turns out for that replacement they have to ship it off, so they gave me a loaner...

    When I booted up the loaner I had to select which network I wanted it to work on including, Sprint, Verizon, VirginMobile and 15 or regional carriers I've never heard of. I selected Sprint... (Its said this could never be changed again.)

    For the **** of it I tried to BYOD this phone, brand new refurbished from the Apple store, and received the SNAP error...

  • djinksdjinks Posts: 1,270FreedomPop Newbie, FreedomPop Expert ✭✭✭✭
    @Iolaire McFadden
    Nice one :)
  • BigkatBigkat Posts: 7FreedomPop Newbie
    I have a 32gb iphone 5 that I bought on ebay that I have been trying to get activated since last December (didn't realize at the time the 32gb version wasn't supported but now it appears to be?). I had Freedompop "activate" it back in December then ported my number over without checking if it worked off of wifi. Turns out it didn't and after I did that I realized I needed a correct model sim card so I bought one and changed my ICCID (No one mentioned the 32gb version wasn't supported) when I called support the first time. After that it still didn't work but I was too busy to call about it until March. I then tried another of the same model sim and got the ICCID changed thinking it couldn't hurt to try again. However, nothing has worked and now within the last month or so somehow now my phone IMEI doesn't pass the FEC when I call Freedompop and that is all the agents say. Well it passed back in December somehow but not anymore. I have called Sprint three different times after talking to support agents and the phone is a post paid phone with no balance owed, is no longer tied to previous account and the reps said I can activate it on another carrier. Is there anything else I can do with Freedompop to try and get it working or am I pretty much stuck and will have to try activation on another carrier?
  • Frank BaileyFrank Bailey Posts: 22FreedomPop Newbie
    I too just filed an FCC complaint as my Sprint Galaxy Tab 3 cannot be activated on Freedompop. The ESN is clear and the Sprint store checked it for me and said there were no problems and that THEY, (Sprint) would activate it if I want.

    I have to assume the problem is Sprint not Freedompop. Let's see what happens...
  • Frank BaileyFrank Bailey Posts: 22FreedomPop Newbie
    Update, the esn needs released from Virgin Mobil. I spoke with Virgin and they confirmed it. They said the only way was for the previous owner to contact them. I'm trying to do this but don't have much hope. Any suggestions?

    SH
  • Frank BaileyFrank Bailey Posts: 22FreedomPop Newbie
    OK FreedomPop what's the problem. After more research I found my Galaxy Tab 3 had to be over 1 year old. It turned 1 on August 1st. Ting will now activate it but FP still sys no go. What else must be done to activate? Moderator please respond..
  • Frank BaileyFrank Bailey Posts: 22FreedomPop Newbie
    Hello Ting here I come. FreedomPop I'd love to stay but your silence is deafening.
  • Frank BaileyFrank Bailey Posts: 22FreedomPop Newbie
    OK FreedomPop, evidence suggests my device might pass the financial eligibility check after one year and one month. I can wait till the end of August. I'm OK with figuring things out myself but there are many paying customers who would prefer a bit better support. For now I'm good and thank you.
  • mikemcreynoldsmikemcreynolds Posts: 1FreedomPop Newbie
    I sent this letter to Sprint.
    Dear Sprint,

    I'm not sure you can or will help but here goes.

    My roommate gave me his Iphone 5 when he upgraded to an Iphone 6; he had paid the early termination fee and all balances are clear on his account.
    I took the Iphone 5 he gave me and activated it on an MVNO carrier (FreedomPop) and used it for over a year. No problems.
    However, after time, the front of the Iphone started coming off and when I took it to an Apple Store, they said the battery was swollen and they replaced my Iphone 5 for free since they couldn't repair the phone and it had been an issue with that model.
    So when I went to activate the replaced Iphone 5 from apple on my mvno
    carrier; they said they could NOT because it could not pass FEC (Financial Eligibility Check).
    From what I have read online, I can see this has been an ongoing issue and generally Sprint requires the original account holder to contact you to clear the FEC so the IMEI can be used on an MVNO carrier. But here's the thing. The replacement phone came from Apple. So do I need to contact them, to contact you, to "unlock" this FEC classification?
    I visited a Sprint store and they told me I needed a new sim but that just didn't make sense as I had contacted my MVNO carrier and they said it was the FEC check.
    My friend who gave me the original Iphone 5 from his business says if he is needed he will help as well but since the replacement phone didn't come from him, I'm not sure that matters.

    Please advise as how I can use this Iphone 5.
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