Buying a Mobile Phone?
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14 June 2006
Buying a Mobile Phone on Ebay these days is an absolute minefield! The obvious ones to look out for are the nigerians with an auntie abroad who wants the phone and they offer to pay direct into your bank, somtimes even offering more than your buy it now price! Then there are the phones that are brand new and 'unlocked'. Most legal phones bought into the uk are sim locked, if they have been unlocked then they have been tampered with, do you know what youre getting? Sealed unlocked phones are often very very dodgy. So you've found your perfect phone, when it arrives check a few things, is it EXACTLY the one in the picture? A common trick is to claim an insurance loss, photgraph the new insurance replacment and send the old one out. The problem with this (other than the fact youre not getting the advertised item) is that the phones are then being blocked by the network after the insurers tell them its been stolen or lost. This can take weeks, long after you've paid your hard earned cash. Check that the IMEI number matches the code on the box, the IMEI is a serial number, often found under the battery or by dialling star,hash,06, hash, if the number doesnt match the box then its possible the phone is stolen and the box belongs to another handset. Also dial: star,hash,0000,hash (without the commas), this will show you a) the software version, but most importantly b) the manufacture date of the handset. From this you can tell if the phone really is three weeks old or more like a year and three weeks with a new facia! (This may not work on all phones) Finally if a new buyer with a seemingly english name wins your phone, check their paypal account is in the same name and not a nigerian name. A problem im having right now is a buyer who made an offer on my N70 which i accepted, he's a new buyer registered in Bedfordshire but has paid form his 'uncles' paypal account, the account holders name is nigerian, assuming this is all legitimate he further insists on collecting the phone, 100 miles to buy a second hand phone??? This is so he isnt traceable when paypal close the fraudulent account and take their money back off you leaving you with no phone and no cash. Follow these steps and youre doing okay, if you have any problems threaten to issue small claims application which will incurr an automatic cost of £60 at their expense. This usually gets them mailing you back wanting to fix things. :) Note: I am in no way saying all Nigerians should be avioded, please use caution and sensitivity when judging if your buyer/seller is genuine.
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