Just bought three new iPhone 4s for my kids. The Model: MF270LL/A.
I bought my iPhones from BestBuy, I did not sign up for any contract, There was no mention of restrictions on the Bestbuys.com neither on the receipts. I do have the phones in my possession. The iPhones was bought within the last week, from two different stores, and one mail-order
I want to activate the iPhones on a Sprint prepaid service. I tried on the WEB, with this result:
"There was a problem with the MEID/ESN you provided. Double-check it was entered correctly and try again. If you need help finding the MEID/ESN for the device you are attempting to activate, use our help guide on the right. Otherwise, please call Customer Care at 855-639-4644."
I have called the above number and they tell me that the phone cannot be activated on a prepaid service, only on a postpaid plan, I have called them three times with the same result.
Sprint themselves sells this exact phone as prepaid here:
I tried to get this resolved using the chat on sprint.com, here is an excerpt of the chat:
Customer : I just want to be totally certain that I understand - you do confirm that "SPRINT will not connect this phone under a prepaid term under any circumstances". Leaving me with a brick. The only way I could get this on prepaid service would be to jailbreak it, and go with att/tmobile - or ?
Agent : The device can only be activated with Sprint postpaid service, yes, you do have the option to unlocked the device, however, it is still not a guarantee that the device work since the device manufactured to work only where it was activated originally.
What is going on here, could you please answer these questions:
1) Why do Sprint not want my business ?
2) Is it really legal to put phones out on the market which cannot be made to work, while the exact same phone is advertised for that same service on sprint.com ?
a VERY frustrating start of my relationship with Sprint.
Sprint doesn’t allow interoperability of their “branded/labeled” handsets on their network. That is to say, a Sprint device can only be used with a Sprint plan, a Sprint prepaid device can only be used with a Sprint prepaid plan, a Virgin Mobile device can only be used on a Virgin Mobile plan, a Boost Mobile device can only be used on a Boost Mobile plan, etc.
Even though the devices may look the same (e.g., iPhone 4s), they are restricted to the particular “carrier” and plan. Forget that they all use the same Sprint network. It doesn’t matter because they WILL NOT allow these devices to move around among their company or subsidiaries plans.
If you cannot return these phones, your best bet is to look into a Sprint family data share type of plan, or go to a MVNO like Ting who uses the Sprint network and WILL allow you to use these devices with their plans.
If you can exchange the phones, a nice option is a Nokia 635 ($50 at Best Buy). Boost, Virgin, Cricket, etc. all will activate a model of this device. And I believe the GSM (Cricket model) could be unlocked for use on any GSM network after a year of service.
Brand new Sprint devices and certain legacy iPhones (5c and 5s) can be unlocked as of this February. But they must be purchased unlocked or have completed their contract cycle. For example, someone could get an iPhone 5c unlocked by Sprint after completing their contract. But the unlocking would only allow the customer to stay at Sprint or go to a GSM carrier. You still couldn't use it on Sprint prepaid, Virgin, Boost, etc. Seriously, go figure!
Thank you for your answer which resolves nothing, why we had to do it offline is hard to understand?
So now there are two different iPhone 4s models one which can only be on prepaid-plans and another one which can only be on postpayed plan - who are you kidding - This is just a totally made-up-scenario in Sprint-land. Was it not that I am stuck in this, I would think it is ridiculously funny.
read this little story
So you bought a "brand new old stock" car, I hope you got a good deal, since I can see from the serial no. that it was produced in September 2013, just after the model was introduced. unfortunately you cannot license this car in SPRINT-land.
Your mistake is that you did not come to us, we sell the exact same car, same model-number, maybe even produced in the same week, your "new" car is actually one of our cars which we did not manage to sell back then, so they are totally identical, well the one we sell now is used, so expect minor scratches, the battery is probably ok. We would be very happy to license the used car you buy from us here in SPRINT-land.
We certainly appreciate you business, but our cheap services are only for marketing purposes, but please come and buy one of our full-price-products - we will not regret it.
Substitute "car" with 'iphone" and it is not joke anymore.
The technical impossible claim is totally false.
Having been in electronic business myself for a generation we always used to crack this joke:
What is the difference between a used-car-salesman and a computer-salesman ?
The used-car-salesman know he is lying !
Back to reality - so my options are still only jailbreak and go to ATT/T-mobile and a formal FCC complaint of course
Best Regards and have nice day in Sprint-land