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How Do I Know if My ESN Number Is Good?

 A bad ESN may prevent you from activating your mobile phone. An Electronic Serial Number (ESN) is a unique code inscribed on most wireless devices. The ESN is checked every time a call is placed to verify whether the call is valid. A mobile ESN cannot be changed; however, it can become bad. Bad ESNs occur when a phone has been reported stolen, lost or the previous owner has a debt remaining on the wireless account originated with the phone. If your phone has a bad ESN, it may prevent you from activating the device altogether. You can verify whether the ESN associated with your phone is good without much effort.

Turn off your mobile phone and remove the battery cover. Remove the battery and locate the ESN on a sticker inside the battery compartment. The ESN is usually below the barcode. Write this number down.
Contact your wireless carrier and follow the prompts to speak with a representative.
Inform the representative of your intent to verify whether the ESN on your phone is good.
Provide the representative with the ESN number when prompted to do so. Wait for her to look up the information associated with the number and confirm whether the ESN for the phone is good.
Before you purchase a used phone, verify that the ESN is clean.
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