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Sprint Partially Fixes the BYOSP Mess It Created

On Feb 15,2015 Sprint made some drastic changes to the way it validates BYOSP (Bring Your Own Sprint Phones) for activation on Sprint MVNOs. After Feb 15 as many as 80% of all previously eligible devices were failing what Sprint calls a "Financial Eligibility Check" or FEC for short. The FEC was supposed block phones from activation if a previous owner of the phone owes money to Sprint. The implementation of the FEC was apparently flawed as many phones whose previous owner had satisfied their financial obligation to Sprint were failing as were phones purchased brand new at full price and never used on Sprint at all.

Sprint has taken their sweet time about it but it looks like they have finally started to fix the mess that they created. Sprint MVNO Ting posted an update on their blog reporting;

Progress! More than 30 million devices that would previously have failed Sprint’s financial eligibility date (FED) check will now pass.

Now, devices that were freed from a contract due to a hardware upgrade (that is to say, you got a new a new phone on the same contract) will clear the FED check. Likewise, with the exception of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, any device that was activated 12 or more months ago, regardless of whether it’s currently active, will clear. This applies to devices associated with postpaid accounts only.

If you tried to bring your device to Ting previously but failed due to FED, please try again.

While this is a step in the right direction, many phones that should be eligible for MVNO activation are apparently still failing including iPhones 5c and 5s and brand new never activated full price iPhones and Nexus 5 and 6 devices. It also looks like Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile prepaid phones still can't be activated on MVNOs even after they have been used on Boost or Virgin for the 12 months that Sprint says is required for their release.

With many Sprint phones still failing the FEC, prospective Sprint MVNO customers should always check that the ESN or MEID of any phone they intend to buy passes the Ting ESN checker, RingPlus checker or FreedomPop checker. Of the three checkers, Ting and RingPlus' are the easiest to use because they dont require you to enter your email address like FreedomPop's checker does. A phone that passes any of the three checkers should work on any Sprint MVNO.

If you have a phone that you know has no financial obligation to Sprint and it fails the Ting, RingPlus or FreedomPop checker, I recommend filling an FCC complaint saying that Sprint is blocking you from using your fully paid for phone from being used on another carrier. That's the only way I know of that an individual user can bring any pressure on Sprint to fix their still broken BYOSP activation process.

Related: Updated: Sprint MVNO BYOSP is Badly Broken

16 comments:

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  1. FYI: A device that was currently labeled ineligible by Ting and R+ ESN Checkers and then condemned by Sprint through both Ting and R+ support suddenly became eligible on the 17th.
    Also, Ring Plus does not require an account to be opened in order to check the ESN?
    https://my.ringplus.net/device_validation_requests/new
    If the link does not work go to their home page
    http://www.ringplus.net.
    scroll down to Bring Your Own Device and click Check Your Device and it will open a window to do so.
    I actually think Ring Plus has a better working relationship with Sprint than Ting and I would use them over Ting to try and get the ESN cleared.
    With R+ open a ticket, explain that the device failed and that you wanted to BYOD to their service. Include both the DEC and HEX ESN #s.
    http://support.ringplus.net/index.php

    File a FCC complaint on each and every ESN that fails!!

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    Replies
    1. I've confirmed that RingPlus' MEID checker no longer requires a log in and updated the post.

      Delete
  2. Is it ONLY on MVNOs, or does this problem occur for Sprint postpaid activations of phones that meet the FEC? In any case, this whole mess highlights what we've largely known for some time already: That Sprint clearly suffers from GROSS incompetence and mismanagement. This is undoubtedly why T-Mobile is now poised to overtake Sprint as the 3rd largest carrier. It's just such a shame that such innovative, customer-focused companies like Ting and Republic Wireless have to depend on such an incompetent and unreliable supplier like Sprint.

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  3. Last night, I bought two GSM phones to move away from Ting (T-mobile pre-paid coverage in my area (Iowa) is pretty bad, so going with Cricket). Guess I saw this news one day too late.

    Trying to find a used Sprint phone was impossible. I sent messages to seller after seller asking for the ESN, they all failed. Finally I was like, whelp, I'm done with this mess. I was thinking about leaving anyway, but this whole situation basically made the decision as to "when" for me.

    I think I'm going to be done with CDMA carriers forever now. I'll enjoy my GSM device freedom.

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  4. "It also looks like Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile prepaid phones still can't be activated on MVNOs even after they have been used on Boost or Virgin for the 12 months that Sprint says is required for their release."

    hmm. I just tried to activate a old boost kyocera on RP yesterday and it failed. But it worked on FP so we're using it now.

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  5. I just had a never activated Virgin Mobile Kona flip phone pass the Ring Plus check screen. It was failing last week. Almost worth the dollar to activate it on my unused magic plan. Interesting times!

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  6. Expect things to continue to change. I wouldn't be surprise if Virgin/Boost phones get shut down again. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of FCC pressure came about behind the scenes. Mind you it took over a month before we started hearing any good news. I hope byosd continues to improve but this along with this: http://www.phonenews.com/byosd-sprint-blocks-mvnos-using-nexus-devices-dont-subsidize-24553/ where they cut back byosd before. Byosd has seen numerous ups and downs. The fact is there was no byod on any Sprint mvno just three years ago. They've come a long way but still can't compete with gsm and even Verizon mvnos that have lte (Page Plus/Straight Talk Verizon). Sprint has the largest mvno program so honestly, they'd have the most to lose from a move like this one. Who knows how much business and money it has caused used phone sellers, dealers and Sprint mvnos during the last month of broken Byosd? Anyway, hope to hear more good news including allowing Sprint iphone 5c/s.

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  7. I activated an old Virgin mobile Kyocera Loft on 3/17 with Ecomobile. Voice and plain text both work. Was told by Ecomobile that specifically because my device was Virgin Mobile, it was not possible for MMS or Internet to work. I was told if I had a used Sprint postpaid device, then MMS and Internet would also work. So, yesterday, I bought a used Samsung Galaxy S3 and today swapped the devices. No problem activating the Galaxy S3, but had to seek assistance again for MMS and Internet. Internet is now working but my MMS is not. I changed the MMSC as instructed, but that did not fix it. There is an MMSC proxy setting below the setting for MMSC that is blank. When I try to exit that screen, it says proxy must not be left blank. I have no idea what to enter for proxy and am guessing this is the problem why my MMS is not yet working. Does anyone know the proxy setting?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ecomobile CS should be a be able to tell you for sure but I believe the MMS Proxy is: 68.28.31.7
      MMS port is: 80

      Delete
  8. Good to hear that Sprint may have realized that the VM and Boost devices sitting inactive in a drawer belong to people who could be sending them money. Not everyone wants a new phone.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Know anything about https://www.pixwireless.com ? I think they also use Sprint network.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All I know is that Pix Wireless is a Sprint MVNO that launched last year. In addition to offering service under the Pix Wireless name they also own and operate Espanol Mobile.

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    2. Hmmm, they don't seem to be nationwide, even though they are based in Florida I was just told they don't offer services in Florida.

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  10. Dennis, Did you visit the Republic Wireless website lately? It looks like they will be testing a new service that will refund your unused data?

    https://republicwireless.com/labs/maestro/

    ReplyDelete
  11. Dennis,

    I hear Hello is back with a BYOD option riding on Sprint and has roaming with Verizon.
    Is this really happening or an elaborate hoax?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've seen the announcement. A company called UBI Telecom SC Inc has apparently obtained rights to use the Helio name and logo. There's one plan, $29/month for unlimited talk messaging and data. Roaming is included and there are supposed to be no taxes or fees. The catch is that all data is throttled to 128 Kbps.

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