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Sprint Blacklist is Gone, Problems Remain

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There were tons of rumors circulating the web last week that Sprint was going to be removing the blacklist for their MVNOs and finally allow phones less than a year old to be activated. Well, I’m pleased to report that those rumors were true. In a blog post Sunday, Ting announced that they can now activate newer Sprint devices and eligible Boost and Virgin mobile devices.

But, there’s a catch.

Sprint is still working out the bugs in their system and according to Ting, phones that still have an ‘outstanding bill’ with Sprint cannot be activated. Sounds reasonable, right? Well, unfortunately Sprint seems to be including customers who have not paid (or even received) their last bill from Sprint yet. So, you could port your number over, but the phone would be blocked from being activated until you receive and square the bill with Sprint. Talk about underhanded.

This is still developing, so I’m hoping that Sprint will be updating and changing their policy, but I’m not exactly holding my breath. Of all the carriers I have switched to and from, Sprint was the worst sport about getting everything I needed to port my number and everything. This was several years ago, but it appears some things don’t change.

For now, if you have a Sprint device on an MVNO and there is ANY chance that you owe Sprint anything, be cautious about letting service lapse or they may try and block your device from reactivating. Also, if you intend to bring a previously blacklisted phone to a Sprint MVNO, be sure to double-check the ESN is clean and contact that MVNO prior to purchase to be sure that it can be activated. From the comments and other sites I’ve skimmed it looks like there are a lot of bugs in the system and everyone is still trying to figure out what’s going on. For now, better safe than sorry.

If I hear anything new, I’ll be sure to update the article.