As previously reported, Sprint has indeed lifted the restrictions on MVNOs that previously prevented low-cost service providers from activating flagship devices and smartphones from Sprint, but the process to activate such smartphones has run into substantial problems.
Sprint MVNO Ting was the first to confirm the lifting of the blacklist earlier today, and has gone further by updating its ESN checker to allow for the activation of devices that were previously restricted such as the iPhone 6/6+ and Nexus 6. However, it also had this to say about the changes and made it a key point to stress how it will affect BYOSD activations in the future:
As it stands, if you bought a Sprint device on a contract, you will have to settle up your bill or any other outstanding balance with Sprint before we can activate the device on Ting. Until your final bill is paid in full, Sprint will block your device from being reactivated. This complicates things if you’re looking to move your Sprint device to Ting at the same time you move your Sprint number to Ting. It’s a classic (very annoying) catch 22.
This change happened quickly. As it stands, it looks like even devices purchased directly from Google Play or the Apple Store may be affected.
We strongly urge our customers not to interrupt their devices’ active state for the time being. There is a chance that only by deactivating your device would you / we learn that it is considered by Sprint to be “financially ineligible,” i.e. is connected in some way to an account that owes Sprint some money. If a device is considered “financially ineligible” by Sprint, they will block any attempt to reactivate it until any outstanding balance is cleared.
The changes are already affecting activations, as customers and dealers report being unable to activate brand new devices that were ordered directly from Google and Apple due to Sprint flagging the devices as “financially ineligible” despite never being tied to a Sprint account, further complicating the situation.
Additionally, Ting representatives have confirmed that Boost and Virgin Mobile devices that have been activated for at least a year on an account will be able to be used on Sprint MVNOs, but all attempts to do so are being thwarted by the changes to the device activation process for the time being, with no immediate word on when fixes will be made.