I recently wasted $50 on a new Boost Mobile SIM card phone, because Boost Mobile will no longer activate iDEN Series phones like the one I purchased.
If you currently use Boost Mobile with a SIM card phone on the iDEN network, you will no longer be able to use your phone after September 2013, according to the customer service representative who informed me that I couldn’t activate my new phone.
Why I Switched To Boost Mobile
I originally Switched from Sprint to Boost Mobile services, because I barely ever used my cell phone, and I wanted to save money with Boost Mobile’s Pay As You Go plan, instead of my monthly Sprint bill.
I was able to continue to use my 2 original Motorola phones that I used with Sprint by simply switching out the new SIM card that I received from Boost Mobile, so it was a convenient transfer.
Everything has been going fine with my Boost Mobile service since then, but unfortunately, I broke one of my phones a few months ago.
Purchasing a New Boost Mobile Phone
One benefit of phones with SIM cards is that you can just purchase a new phone, switch over your old SIM card to the new phone, and continue with your service pretty much uninterrupted.
My family really doesn’t use cell phones that much, so having just one working phone was fine for a while, until I decided it would be a good idea to have the back-up phone again, just in case of emergencies and for use during travel, when family members may be split up for whatever reason.
So even though I hadn’t used the Boost Mobile account for my broken phone in a while, I just figured I could go purchase a new phone, switch the SIM card, and start using my service again.
My previous account balance had expired, but that had happened before, and I could always just re-Boost my account without a problem.
So one day when I was out running errands, I stopped at a local phone store looking for a used version of my old phone, which they didn’t have, and I ended up purchasing one of the basic Boost Mobile phones for $50.
Why I Can’t Activate My New Boost Mobile Phone
I went home, transferred my SIM card to the new phone, and started charging it.
Then I tried to log in to my Boost Mobile account to re-Boost it, only to realize that my account had been inactivated.
No big deal I thought, and I just called the phone number that was indicated to reactivate my account.
That’s when the customer service revealed that since my account had been inactive for over 2 months, it had been permanently deactivated, and I had lost my phone number.
Well, that was a bit disappointing, as I had no idea there was a 2-month limit on inactivity before Boost Mobile would expire my account altogether.
However, the customer service agent indicated that I could simply activate my new Boost Mobile phone for free, and I would just get a new phone number with a new account.
That sounded good and I agreed, until we started the activation process, and the rep realized that I was trying to activate a SIM card phone on the iDEN Network.
Sprint is Shutting Down the Nextel iDEN Network
Sprint will shut down the iDEN Network and has already started reducing the number of Nextel towers.
According to my customer service rep, Boost Mobile customers with iDEN Series phones will no longer be able to use their phones after September 2013.
Boost Mobile actually sent out this message to their iDEN Network customers a while ago:
“As a customer who has an iDEN Series device that operates on the Nextel National Network, we want to ensure you’re aware of the changes we are making to our networks. In June 2012, we will begin the process of reducing the number of Nextel towers. These activities may impact your coverage on your current network. Please be advised that you can continue to use your iDEN Series device even once these changes have taken place. We value your business and strive to deliver an exceptional wireless experience. If you encounter changes to your network coverage and have questions, please contact Boost at 1-888-266-7848.”
Boost Mobile also currently displays this message on their phone activation page:
“iDEN Series phones: Boost Mobile no longer supports new account activations for iDEN-series phones. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. Please call 1-866-402-7366 if you have questions.”
Why Boost Mobile iDEN Series Phones are Still for Sale
So basically, I purchased a new Boost Mobile phone that I can’t even activate, but why would Boost Mobile sell me this phone in the first place?
The customer service rep indicated that while all “official” Boost Mobile stores have pulled iDEN Series phones from their shelves, there may still be independently-owned cell phone shops that have them in stock.
No Big Deal, I’ll Just Return My Phone…Wait, What?
That’s when I realized upon looking at my store receipt that it indicated in bold print at the top of the receipt: All Sales Are Final.
You’ve got to be kidding me, but I guess that’s what I get for purchasing my phone from one of those barred-windowed mobile resellers that look like a cross between a shady liquor store and a run-down pawn shop.
It then hit me that I bought a phone that I can’t activate, and I can’t return it.
I guess I’m having fifty bucks for lunch, because I just ate it.
The Best Part – It’s All My Fault
If only I had tried to log in to my Boost Mobile account before I stopped at the store to purchase my phone, I would have realized that my account had been deactivated, and then I would have simply purchased a new phone online that I would have been able to activate with a new account.
I can’t even blame the store owner, because I indicated to him that I had broken my SIM card phone for an active account, and I simply wanted to purchase a new SIM card phone, so I could switch the SIM cards and continue my service.
The store owner didn’t know that my service had been deactivated, so he gave me exactly what I asked for and what would have worked, had my account been active like I indicated to him.
He even offered to switch the SIM cards and re-Boost my phone right there, which would have led to us discovering that my account had been deactivated, and maybe then he would have helped me and allowed me to return the phone.
Instead, I took my new phone home, only to realize that I had spent $50 for naught.
I can’t even blame Boost Mobile, because it’s not like they sold me the phone directly, although I am a little disturbed that their service for my other iDEN Series phone will be canceled after September 2013, which will require me to purchase another new phone altogether.
Oh well, until then, I guess my $50 mistake will be a back-up option in case my remaining Motorola phone breaks between now and the time that I can no longer use it.
If you’re a current Boost Mobile customer, you may wish to check out the Boost Mobile Referral Program to earn some extra bonus rewards.
Just don’t be like me and get stuck staring at a $50 Boost Mobile iDEN Series phone that’s just sitting in its box.