I have a T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S8+ bought and paid for in full from Samsung.com and went through the major hassle of getting a Samsung sold T-Mobile device unlocked which is not able to unlocked without major support from Twitter. That aside, I broke my phone and had it replaced with a refurbished (100% new looking, perfect condition) though Samsung Premium Care which is run through Assurant. 2 months later it stopped working on the network, no calls/text/data. Called in and they were able to get it working again. I decided to check the IMEI number on T-Mobile's checker site, and it came back as "This device has an outstanding balance that must be paid or it may not be able to be used on T-Mobile network." Went back and forth with Twitter support for a few months with no resolution, promises of Tickets being submitted to their offline team as at the time it seemed to them that it was bug in the website, that there was no EIP due on it.
Gave up after a few weeks of nothing being done, but then tried again a month or so again. After a 2 week back and forth every day, submitting any and all documentation from Assurant (biggest issue being there was documentation of the broken IMEI, but they could not provide any paperwork with the replacement IMEI number). Eventually I got someone who must have had access to a different set of systems as they were seeing there indeed WAS some sort of EIP information from the previous owner linked to my new devices IMEI, and were even able to see that they returned the phone to T-Mobile under a warranty exchange and it was financed under an EIP. Now here's where things get cloudy, T-Mobile and Samsung insurance both use Assurant, but they are run as two completely different business units and Samsung's side of Assurant does not have the same type of access as the T-Mobile division so it seems they were not able to completely remove the previous owners information linked to the device. I was all but ready to give up, as several offline tickets were made with no resolution, but then I got a great T-Force rep who was able to see the situation maybe in a way the others had not and completely the old owners info from the IMEI number in under 10 minutes. The IMEI checker website verified this as well as now no longer showed the "balance due" message.
So here are my questions regarding this:
- Did Assurant not properly and fully remove the previous owners info/EIP?
- Once an EIP is fully paid off and SIM unlocked is a customer's information still tied to the IMEI number forever?
- If I break my phone and get another warranty replacement and the refurbished device was previously on an EIP will I run into this same situation?
- How did this situation arise in the first place?
My main concern with this is being able to sell my phone in the future, I keep very good care of my phones (when I broke mine it was during the 2 minutes it was out of its case being cleaned), but anyone buying the phone and checking the IMEI number had the T-Force rep not wiped the previous owners info off would never buy a phone that shows it's still being financed and many phone selling websites like Swappa will check the IMEI and not even let you list if it has an EIP.
Has anyone else ever run into something like this before, or did my phone just happen to "fall through the cracks" so to speak?