Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Dodgy Goods

While looking for phones on eBay I came across another 6230i up for sale, for what seemed like a good price. Then I read the description.
First of all, the auction was only for the phone and battery – no box, charger, hands-free kit, manual or any of the other bits that should have come with it. Then it said that the phone was “barred from all UK networks”. In other words, it’s been reported stolen.
If your phone is stolen and you know its IMEI (serial) number you can contact your network who will bar it from all the other UK networks for you – I did this when mine got stolen 3 years ago which basically renders it useless in the UK. It is, apparently, possible to reprogram IMEI numbers on some brands of phone but this is an offence under the Mobile Telephones (Re-Programming) Act 2002 and is punishable by a fine or custodial sentence. So it’s easier to ship them abroad, where the bars have no effect.
Thinking about it, I probably should have reported the auction to eBay as I’m sure this would be against their terms and conditions (and probably against the law too). It’s a pity that there isn’t an international, or even a Europe-wide phone barring system – while a countrywide system makes it more difficult to sell the phones on afterwards if more countries joined up I’m sure it would reduce mobile theft.
incidentally, to complete the set, my mother has a new phone – a Motorola V171. Not sure if I like it – very small screen and somewhat confusing menu system – but she seems happy with it. I’m now using her old Nokia 3310 (an absolute classic, though a bit large and underpowered by today’s standards) until my 6230i arrives – should be tomorrow or Wednesday hopefully.

One Comment

  1. Well at least they said – would be a shame to see someone disappointed.