The way cell-phone companies identify any mobile phone is through the phone's Electronic Serial Number (ESN). In order to connect a new phone you must first provide Sprint with the ESN number. Sprint connects ESN numbers to specific account. If a phone is lost or stolen, the ESN number will be bad and unusable. The easiest way to check if an ESN is clean is to call Sprint's customer service department. Another way to check an ESN is by using the website CheckESN.com. They will check your ESN number within one hour and charge a small fee.
Remove the battery from your phone.
Look for an 11-digit number. The label that appears next to the ESN number is depends on the phone model. The ESN number will appear next to the abbreviations ESN, HEX, DEC, IMEI or MEID. If you are using CheckESN.com, you will get the fastest results if you submit the phone's DEC number.
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Call 1-800-639-6111 and press 0 four times to speak with a representative.
Tell the customer-service representative that you want to check an ESN number to be sure a mobile phone is usable.