I'm running into some problems activating an iPhone 4s on Sprint, after it had been on FreedomPop for a couple of months. First, some background:
I have an iPhone 4s, purchased from Sprint, that was on my account for a little over 2 years before it was upgraded. Once upgraded, it sat in a drawer for a couple on months until a friend needed a new phone. About that time FreedomPop (a Sprint MVNO) allowed certain Sprint devices to be activated on their network, no Jailbreaking or unlocking required, just give them the ESN and if it were a supported device, they'd activate it. The iPhone 4S was on the list, so we gave it a try. It lasted maybe 2 billing cycles on FreedomPop. Last Wednesday service on FreedomPop was cancelled because the actual usability of the service was, well, terrible.
Now that Sprint allows BYOD w/ no credit check accounts on to be added to a Framily ID, we tried to go that route with the iPhone. We called Wednesday morning to deactivate the FreedomPop account and a couple of hours later tried to activate it on Sprint. No dice. They said that the ESN was coming back as "incompatible." I assumed this might mean that FreedomPop has not actually let the device go, and I may need to wait a business day or 2. No problem. I activated an old LG phone I also had so that my friend at least had a working phone with which to make phone calls and send texts.
Fast forward to Saturday, I do a full reset on the phone, the "Your phone is not activated" message comes up on the lock screen, the Network shows "Unavailable" in General/About so I assumed this means we are free and clear. I even swapped out the SIM card (obtained from Apple that weekend), just in case. I tried to replace the LG phone with the iPhone on the website. I entered the ESN and it said that it was invalid. I tried again, thinking I'd fat fingered it, and same result. I then tried entering the IMEI, and same result. At this point it said I had tried too many times and it directed me to a chat agent. I explained the situation to the agent and s/he tried to activate it and was unable. S/he directed me to call telesales, where I spent 35+ minutes on the line with an agent who was also unable to activate the phone. He made notes and was supposed to escalate to another group for research, after which he'd give me a call with their findings. He said I should hear from him by yesterday, but I didn't.
So, ultimately, has anyone ever seen anything like this? I need to stress that the phone is NOT unlocked, NOT Jailbroken, NOT hacked in ANY WAY. It is 100% completely stock, purchased from a Sprint store.
Anyone have any ideas on what could be wrong, and how this could be remedied?
Solved! Go to Solution.
If you read thru all the strings on the unlock of an iPhone 4s, you will find that Sprint will not do it for domestic use. We got tired of waiting and talking to their service people, so I took our two iPhone 4S's to Ting - mobile that makes sense a Sprint reseller recently and have cut our bill from $150/month to around $50. Still on Sprint circuits, but unless we go nuts with data or international calls, we should save a bundle each month. You can tether devices on them too, if you can stand the slow 3G speeds.
So for now anyway, we are immune to all the misinformation from Sprint Care. They know what I mean(=> many levels of LIES all thru the strings), now we will wait them out and maybe at the end of it the 4S phones we own will be released from hostage, as is only fair, since we paid full price for them over the 2 year contract.
Thank you for the response, but this is not about unlocking a phone. It has not been unlocked, nor do I wish to unlock it. I had it active on FreedomPop, which requires no unlocking, and wish to bring it back to Sprint. It is a completely stock phone, that has not been hacked, jailbroken, or unlocked.
I am trying to give Sprint money here. I have significant time as a Sprint customer (since ~1998) and have managed to build my Framily ID to 6 members, so I have a lot invested here.
The most basic way I can say this is: I want to use my Sprint purchased, Sprint locked device, with Sprint. I want them to take money each month in exchange for using said device on their network.
As stated, I have been to TWO Sprint stores with the device and they have told me that the iPhone 4s that I purchased from Sprint, and used on the Sprint network for 2+ years is not compatible with Sprint. You do see how frustrating this has become, correct?
It appears that I should expect a call tomorrow from Customer Care. Hopefully they will be able to do what 2 stores and multiple phone agents have been unable to do.
On a whim, I decided to try one more time online and, lo and behold, it worked. I don't know what changed that made it possible when multiple phone calls and 2 trips to Sprint stores failed.
3-4 hours to create an account and activate a phone... Ouch.
I have responded to your email.
Since the issue in this particular thread has been fixed, I will respond to the WiFi calling issue in its own existing thread as needed.