Hints and Tips

Sometimes I write up some tips or hints. I've collected some here for your amusement.

Here are some hints

Scroll up for the full list of hints

Check Your Phone

When buying or selling a phone, it's important to check the phone's ESN (or IMEI) number. That's the phone's unique serial number. There are a number of reasons to do thing but the most important is to be sure you'll be able to use the new phone. Here's a real case I heard of. Nobody in the transaction was trying to sell a bum phone but that's the way it turned out.

Member A offered a phone for sale. Member B bought it. Member B took it to Wal-Mart and got it on one of those pay as you go subscriptions. He used it for a couple of years and decided to sell it. Member C bought it. When Member C took the phone to AT&T to be activated, they told him there was an outstanding balance. To get it activate he'd have to pay off more than $300. He tried to get a refund but Member B wouldn't do it saying the phone worked fine.

It really wasn't Member B's fault. Since he used a pay as you go plan, he had no idea there was a bill.

If Member C had checked the IMEI, he'd have found that the phone wasn't clear to activate and saved himself much hassle as well as $300.

Here's how to do this. If you're the seller, put the IMEI number in your ad. If you're the buyer ask for it. You retrieve it by dialing in *#06# . That'll show you the number. Then go to a site that looks it up. I like Swappa.com. You'll see if it's OK to activate. If the phone has been reported stolen, you'll see it show up on the Blacklist.

Better safe than sorry.