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How to activate a used Metro PCS cellular phone.

kazamaa
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So you have an account with Metro PCS, or you're about to open one. Great! And you're shopping for a used phone here on eBay to save a couple bucks. Good idea!

Trouble is, just as with the service, you get what you pay for. And activating a used phone with Metro PCS can be quite the headache, for a couple reasons:

1) Metro PCS locks their phones by region. What this means is if you live in Los Angeles and you purchase a phone from someone in Detroit, you can't call Metro PCS and activate the phone. What to do? Well, there's a few steps involved:
  1. Bang your head against the wall.
  2. Visit a COMPANY Metro PCS store. That is, a official Metro PCS store, not an independent cell phone dealer.
  3. Very carefully explain that the phone is used and was previously activated in a different market.You are now trying to activate it in this (your) market.
Provided the employee is not a total clod, your phone should be activated within minutes. If they say they can't activate it, they are lying. That, or they are being ignorant and/or lazy. I had to visit two different stores twice before I finally got someone to activate my out-of-market phone. (Don't bother calling the 1-888 number for help with this; they won't be able to help you in any way.)

There is another reason you can potentially run into problems:

2) The ESN on the phone has not been properly disconnected/the phone has been stolen. This has been known to happen, and you have no recourse if you get stuck with a phone that has a bad ESN. Your only option to avoid this drama is to ask the seller for the ESN and call Metro PCS' 1-888 number to confirm that the ESN is "clear" and ready to be activated.

Metro PCS doesn't care if you paid money for the phone; if the ESN is bad, they won't activate it. End of story.

One last tip: If you are buying it from someone who is local to you, ask them to meet you at a company Metro PCS store to confirm the phone is good before you hand over the greenbacks.

Provided you, the buyer, are aware of these things, you should be able to avoid any hassles involved with activating your used Metro PCS phone. I've had to deal with both of these situations, and it's not pretty. Nor is it something you want to deal with. But with this advice, you should experience nothing but smooth sailing.
 
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