I recently purchased an iPhone 4 from Property Room (Orlando) only to find out it had a bad (i.e. reported stolen) ESN. Once a phone is reported stolen it CANNOT be activated! Basically, I now have a very expensive ipod.
At the time I picked up my item I asked the girl at the front desk if they'd ever had any problems with bad ESN's, she said, "Yes", but "if they know they ESN they will normally list it in the auction". It took me all of 1 minute to pull up the ESN on the phone once I had it in my possession and all of 10 minutes to find it was bad from one of the free on-line database sites which show whether a phone can be reactivated. This information was subsequently verified by Verizon and the original issuer of insurance for the original owner.
If it only took me minutes to find the ESN, then why wasn't it included in the original listing as the employee indicated? Why? Plain and simply because they wouldn't be able to sell the phone for as much. [continued below]....
..... I feel "had" and can't help but believe that while it's illegal for the average citizen to "steal", somehow the rules are different for Property Room and the Law Enforcement agencies they represent.
In the interest of fairnesssomething I certainly feel Property Room did not display, they do have a general blanket disclaimer which states: "This item does not come with telecommunications service, such as Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, Dish Network and DirecTV necessary to make the item useful. Telecommunications service may not be available for various reasons including obsolescence, identification of this item as stolen on a telecommunication carriers records, and termination of the relevant telecommunication carriers business."
That having been said, does that mean they shouldn't have to list the ESN in the auction listing when it is so readily available? This would then put the impetus on the buyer to perform due diligence to find out if the phone was indeed "good". A win-win for all parties involved.
I would have never thought anything about it if the Orlando Property Room employee had not said they "normally" list the ESN.
So learn from my mistake. Don't buy anything from PropertyRoom.com without asking a lot of questions and doing your homework.