How to Know if the ESN # on a Metro PCS Is Bad on a Used Phone
Submitted by Kristy Robinson
In The Beginning
Check the ESN history on a MetroPCS phone to determine if the phone is still able to be used on an active account. MetroPCS places phones that are used in fraudulent activity or in insurance claims in the negative file, which prevents the phones from being used on the network. Once in the negative file, there is no way to remove the ESN from the file. Call customer service and ask if the ESN is available for use.
The Main Steps
Remove the battery cover from the phone. Underneath the battery, on the back of the phone, locate a sticker with the serial number. It will be located near the letters ESN, MEID, IMEI or DEC. The number will not have any letters included in it.
Write the number down or leave the battery off so the number will be available to provide customer service. Some phones have an MEID number, which is longer than the ESN. 4G phones will have an IMEI number that the agent will need. Any of the three numbers will suffice to determine if the phone is usable on the MetroPCS network.
Call customer service by dialing 888-8Metro8 from any phone. You may also dial *611 from any MetroPCS phone.
Say "ESN History" when the automated system inquires how she can help you. You will be transferred to a live customer service agent.
Tell the agent you would like to know if the ESN is available for activation. Also tell her you want to perform an ESN history check.
Provide the agent with the ESN, MEID or IMEI number. The agent will input the number into her system and the results will take a few seconds to populate. Then the agent will provide you with information as to whether the phone is available for activation.


  • Verify that the ESN listed under the battery on the phone and the ESN listed in the phone settings are the same. The ESN will be listed under "Phone Info" in the "Settings Menu." If the numbers are different that indicates the phone has been tampered with, and is a good indication that the phone was previously added to the negative file.

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