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Selling on a contract phone, is it an issue? Can it be blocked?

bex85 Avatar
3y, 10m agoPosted 3 years, 10 months ago
I've searched and searched and searched and still not found the information as it relates to sim blocking.

Basically I bought a phone off Gumtree, I was specifically told it was sim free - to which I was like, ok then. I did of course check the IMEI with CheckMend though as I always do.

However, unknown to me, my partner took out a contract for the phone I wanted and after skinting us buying the one off Gumtree, I listed the one I'd bought back on Gumtree. I had numerous people ask if it was sim free/paygo or contract. Never had this before when buying/selling phones. Since then, I have managed to sell the phone and also got my partner a newer phone and the bloke we got it off was like, it's sim free, that's important, won't get blocked.

As far as I was aware, if someone didnt pay their bill, they cut the service off/the sim became blocked/inactive. Are networks now blocking the phone by IMEI if a bill isn't paid? If so, how long have they been doing this? Surely a lot of people sell their phone on before the contract's up? I know I still have 6 months left of an 18 month contract and I sold that phone 6-7 months ago. I know not everyone does this but, a lot of people do.

Or is it a case of, if say after 3-4 months the bill isn't paid for on a new 24 month contract, do they block the phone under those circumstances, rather than say a few months left of the contract? Or just a blanket block whether you've had the phone/contract a month or 23 months?

I sell and buy phones a lot off Gumtree as I like to change and like I say, never experienced this before until the last month or so. Where all I get constantly is "is it sim free/payg or contract?"
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bex85 Avatar
3y, 10m agoPosted 3 years, 10 months ago
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(1)
stokeyshaun86
If it asnt been reported lost or stolen then they just cut the sim off not the handset.they will just send your sister the bill with the remaining balance whats owing on the contract but tell her just bin the letters and after a few letters they wont bother her again as I no a lot of ppl that have done it.so the only way the handset get blocked is if reported lost or stolen lol

What an upstanding citizen you are.

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#1
The original can always report it lost stolen, at any point.

Networks also blocking phones that have been bought through fraud (id theft ect).
#2
I know that the original buyer can always report it lost/stolen at any point but, it's the whole "if they don't pay the bill, the network will block you" thing that's new to me. I've been in financial difficulties before and one of the first things to go, was my expensive phone for a cheaper one and have had my service blocked until I could pay off the bill.

What if it wasn't bought through fraud but the person I buy a phone from gets into financial difficulty/doesnt pay the bill. Not just that but, with selling phones on myself as well, people are more wary about it being sim free so it doesnt get blocked for non payment, rather than being reported lost/stolen.

I mean, at the moment, I bought my partner a lumia 820 and like I say the bloke was all "its sim free, wont get blocked etc etc". And trying to sell my partners old phone which was bought on contract (and still has 4 months left), people are again asking if contract/sim free etc and when I say contract, about 75% of people disappear :s.

So now thinking of selling the Lumia 820 as it is apparently sim free lol.

Bottom line though is, can a network block a phone, not just the sim, if the bill isn't paid? Cuz I always try and buy a phone with receipt if I can for stolen/lost purposes and always perform a checkmend but, well there's no way round a non payment issue is there lol.
#3
How long have they been doing this, is it recent or, is it a case of it's a more common occurrence now?
#4
It a new thing. So many contacts were going into default for the phone's to then show up on another acc they decided something had to be done.
Its especially bad with iPhone (big surprise), and they are now blacklisted as a matter of course.
#5
Last I heard a case like this was about when the k800 was released.
#6
another reason why cex will go bust so many phones go though there only to be blocked a month or two later the second hand market is getting harder for people to trade in now
#7
sold two bold 9900 at Xmas when its ex contract u get half the price past and go and sim free top price
#8
What happens if you don't keep up your contract, do the phone company send bailiffs
#9
They hardly ever maybe like 1% block phones, more hassle than its worth.

Dont worry about it.
#10
The only time a phone itself will get blocked is if the original owner reports it lost/stolen (i.e. insurance claim).

If someone doesn't pay their contract, their SIM (i.e. services) gets blocked - not the handset.
#11
Will my iphone5 get blocked i bought it off my sister who has stopped paying the bill she has not reported it lost or stolen she has just stopped paying for it will it work still if I put a pay as you go sim in it or will the handset get locked
#12
If it asnt been reported lost or stolen then they just cut the sim off not the handset.they will just send your sister the bill with the remaining balance whats owing on the contract but tell her just bin the letters and after a few letters they wont bother her again as I no a lot of ppl that have done it.so the only way the handset get blocked is if reported lost or stolen lol
#13
stokeyshaun86
If it asnt been reported lost or stolen then they just cut the sim off not the handset.they will just send your sister the bill with the remaining balance whats owing on the contract but tell her just bin the letters and after a few letters they wont bother her again as I no a lot of ppl that have done it.so the only way the handset get blocked is if reported lost or stolen lol

What an upstanding citizen you are.
#14
stokeyshaun86
If it asnt been reported lost or stolen then they just cut the sim off not the handset.they will just send your sister the bill with the remaining balance whats owing on the contract but tell her just bin the letters and after a few letters they wont bother her again as I no a lot of ppl that have done it.so the only way the handset get blocked is if reported lost or stolen lol

Absolute rubbish. If she doesn't pay (assuming there is more than a couple of quid left) then it will more than likely get referred to a debt collector.
#15
Actually since I posted this I've found they do. Or rather it seems to be iPhones that are blocked. I did actually at one point have an iPhone 4 on O2 and it got blocked. The new checkmend said it had not been stolen or lost but there was a network block. It was on O2 so I took it into them. Blocking phones for non bill payment is something O2 do.

What I haven't 100% determined is if it's O2 specific or iphone specific. I've seen more iPhones blocked though which aren't reported lost or stolen than O2 specific handsets so in summary, yes handsets can get blocked for non bill payment.
#16
I spoke to Vodafone about this and they said that they blocm the SIM and bar the phone if they get to the debt collection stage
#17
hello I have a 3 data dongle with a 2 year contract.iam a masters international student.so I will be using the data card till next december after which I've to leave u.k I was wondering is it possible to transfer the contract to someone else or just leave the country without paying the rest of the bill.
I heard that they black list for those who leave the country with a contract phone.
#18
My son bought an iphone 4 from someone about 3 months ago on 3 and the phone has been blocked as the previous owner hadn't been paying, so 3 block them as well.
#19
Okay I need some advice, I don't know much about phones lol. There is a guy I know of who apparently purchases cell phones, Nexus 5's off of Tmobile, with contract and resells them after "breaking the contract." By breaking the contract does that mean that the phone won't be blocked or whatever. Or do the cell phones get blocked only after the two years of not paying contract are up?
I forgot to mention that I purchased one off of him and he told me he had cut the contract off, which meant I didn't need to worry about anything. Is that true? Or if its still with contract will it be blocked if he doesn't pay up after the 2 years? By the way, I'm currently using the phone and have service on it.
#20
1dhd
Okay I need some advice, I don't know much about phones lol. There is a guy I know of who apparently purchases cell phones, Nexus 5's off of Tmobile, with contract and resells them after "breaking the contract." By breaking the contract does that mean that the phone won't be blocked or whatever. Or do the cell phones get blocked only after the two years of not paying contract are up?
I forgot to mention that I purchased one off of him and he told me he had cut the contract off, which meant I didn't need to worry about anything. Is that true? Or if its still with contract will it be blocked if he doesn't pay up after the 2 years? By the way, I'm currently using the phone and have service on it.
Sounds dubious to me. If he buys the phones off other people, who got them on contract it isn't possible for him to "break the contract", unless he only buys phones off people who have paid the contract off or perhaps he's modifying the IMEI of the phone, which from what you've said was my first thought. Which, is of course illegal, as it means even a phone reported stolen could have it's IMEI changed and be fully usable then.
#21
I have an iphone 4s on EE contract. does anyone know if i get the phone unlocked to any network and change to a pay as you go sim if the phone will get blocked or not? I had my sim cut off for nearly a month because i couldnt pay the bill at the time it was due and they just cut my sim off and i was still using the phone but i dont know if they wait so long before they block the phone or just leave it. can anyone help please?
#22
Omg,what you like! Are there any honest people out there??? Anyway' I also have an opinion on this haha I believe I am right in saying your contract is with the PLAN you have,not the phone so you can sell your phone prior to end of contract as long as you register your new handset with whoever your contract is with and your plan is the same price with this handset as was your old and they will then unlock your old one for you to sell on with no problems.
There are only issues with the dishonest people who take a contract, sell the handset then don't pay the bill!!
#23
If i order an iphone5s on contract and dont put the sim card in it, will it get blocked and what will they do about it?
#24
aj211193
If i order an iphone5s on contract and dont put the sim card in it, will it get blocked and what will they do about it?

Nothing they will still want paying as you signed upto a monthly contract, i suspect they are not bothered if you use it or not as they are still getting paid via direct debit from your bank.
#25
aj211193
If i order an iphone5s on contract and dont put the sim card in it, will it get blocked and what will they do about it?
Depends if you intend to pay the monthly sim contract or not. If you order a 5S, sell the phone but, keep the sim and pay the contract, then no they won't block the phone, as long as you pay the bill and don't report it as stolen/lost yourself it won't get blocked :).

Edited By: bex85 on Feb 10, 2014 16:49
#26
phones only blocked if the first owner report stolen or lost. if you buy a phone from gumtree and your phone got blocked, go to police station, the police will trace the first owner and they will prosecute the owner for fraud. you better save the gumtree ads just on the safe side, atleast you have some proof that you bought the phone from gumtree.
#27
Does blocked mean no service???
#28
anniewalters
Does blocked mean no service???

Sometimes no service = wrong network sim or inactive sim.

However a blocked phone my display no service too, Some blocked phones will still show a signal and lock on to the network, However when it comes to sending/receiving calls/texts they fail.

Also no service can sometimes be a faulty antenna etc..
banned#29
I've bought a contract cellphone on october 2012 and on december I didn't pay the bill,and the blocked that simcard, and january they deduct their money double, but the didn't unblock it since then. I want to know what is happening.
#30
helma
I've bought a contract cellphone on october 2012 and on december I didn't pay the bill,and the blocked that simcard, and january they deduct their money double, but the didn't unblock it since then. I want to know what is happening.

Ring them?
#31
I cannot afford my phone bill for my iPhone 5c on ee right will they block the phone or the sim as the SIM card has been removed from the phone and it's been sold will they block which one
#32
Hammond990
I cannot afford my phone bill for my iPhone 5c on ee right will they block the phone or the sim as the SIM card has been removed from the phone and it's been sold will they block which one

*sigh*
#33
I bought a phone from CEX two months ago, great condition. Yesterday I stopped being able to receive network so was effectively cut off for no reason I could figure out. I tried everything I could except a hard reset but had no luck. I spoke to O2 several times this morning who were not especially helpful in their suggestions but when I swapped sims with a friend to test it was obvious the problem was my phone.
I returned it to the shop who identified the problem immediately and were very helpful. I have never had bad service so although I'm slightly concerned it could happen again I decided to swap my useless phone for a new identical one.
I think it's terrible people do this and that it is the next person who will suffer. Not to mention the businesses or individuals who make the sale unwittingly. Phones these days are expensive and hold a huge amount of private data. Just be careful with second hand phones.
#34
My phone was on tmobile contract and I recently upgraded can I just selly old one on eBay even tho it was on contract to tmobile. Would I have to do anything before trying to sell it? Thanks
#35
jg792000
My phone was on tmobile contract and I recently upgraded can I just selly old one on eBay even tho it was on contract to tmobile. Would I have to do anything before trying to sell it? Thanks
No, you won't have to do anything, other than wipe/restore it so you're personal details/data aren't on it any more. If you can, or haven't done so already back it up as well so you don't lose any photos etc before factory resetting it.
#36
Hi my partner and i have just split up and my phone contract is in his name he has changed the password to the account and o2 wont talk to me. I an happy to pay but am worried he will get it cut off. Ive explained this to o2 but they will not help any ideas????
#37
rachaelx
Hi my partner and i have just split up and my phone contract is in his name he has changed the password to the account and o2 wont talk to me. I an happy to pay but am worried he will get it cut off. Ive explained this to o2 but they will not help any ideas????

Make some calls abroad and chat up lines he will be liable for charges
#38
rachaelx
Hi my partner and i have just split up and my phone contract is in his name he has changed the password to the account and o2 wont talk to me. I an happy to pay but am worried he will get it cut off. Ive explained this to o2 but they will not help any ideas????

Put the phone to one side and get your own phone ;) If you are willing to pay for the phone then you should really just get one of your own that you are responsible for, Then tell the ex that if he is going to be a prat about things, To f*** off, Problem solved!
#39
rachaelx
Hi my partner and i have just split up and my phone contract is in his name he has changed the password to the account and o2 wont talk to me. I an happy to pay but am worried he will get it cut off. Ive explained this to o2 but they will not help any ideas????
Is it still under minimum contract? If so, he'd be better off transferring the contract to you, rather than him paying it if its your phone/number. I'm sure he doesn't want that.
Any chance you can talk to him, ask him to do that or if you're able to cancel it now, get the PAC code so you can transfer the number away? And if he's an **** about it, well you have the sim I assume so you could make as many calls as you want and he'd be lumbered with the bill ;-).
At the end of the day, he'll either be stuck paying for a phone bill that he doesn't need, or he could co-operate and not have the bill to pay. I'm guessing as he changed the password, talking to him may not be an easy option but, it's either that or risk losing your number - he could depending on the sort of person he is and only you know this, report the phone and/or sim as lost/stolen and O2 would cancel the sim and send a new one out to him.

Is it important you keep the number?
#40
What would happen if you took out a contract online, decided u didn't want the contract but want the phone? Vodafone think I'm sending it back but what will happen if I decide to keep it? Will I just get billed for the phone?

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