As we all know, keeping up with devices can be a difficult task. Carriers requiring us to lock into two or three year contracts to get affordable pricing, then dropping a new device the next year, and many of us take to the second hand market to keep our device addiction more affordable. Have you ever bought a used device and had trouble activating the BIS service because the PIN was still tied to the previous owners account? Or ever had tons of requests from the previous owners BBM friends? Well, there are a few simple steps you can take once you purchase that second hand BlackBerry that will enhance your experience and take away from some of the confusion that you may experience.
So you found that new BlackBerry that you want to buy, the condition is good, and it is in your price range, and after a few email exchanges with the seller you are ready to send the money. Well, there are a few things you may want to check on and ensure they are completed prior to sending the money. First thing, if the device is a CDMA device (Verizon, Sprint etc.) ask the seller for the ESN and call your carrier to ensure that it is clean. A blacklisted ESN (one that has been reported lost or stolen) will be absolutely useless to you, as the carriers will not activate it, and the only way to correct it is for the original purchaser, which may not be who you bought from, call the carrier and reverse the lost or stolen claim.
Whether a CDMA or GSM device you will want to ask the previous owner to release the PIN from their BIS account, and they can usually do so by simply calling their carrier and asking them to have it removed, should only take a few minutes on the phone and they can have it accomplished. This will allow you to easily activate the device once you have it in your hands since it can only be tied to one account at a time.
Now that you have the device in your hands, and activated on your carrier there are a few more steps you will want to take to ensure that the device is 100% ready for your uses. A good first step once the device is in your hands is always to factory reset the device, and some great information on that can be found here, and if you want to completely remove the OS, and install something else, some great information on how can be found here. If the device has previously been tied to a BES account, odds are that there are still IT Policies attached to the device, which can hinder the use of some of the features of the device, depending on how they are set. You will want to remove those prior to adding all your information to the device, and checking if they are there is quite simple. Go to your options, then security and here you will see if there are policies attached, and if so you will need to have them removed. To remove these from your device check out some of these forums threads with various methods which have been around for quite some time, and worked for a number of users, and after doing this you will be able to use the device on your BIS account without issue.
One thing you may notice through the course of your use of the device is that you may get random BBM requests from the previous owners contacts if they did not update their PIN to everyone, or had it posted in other places, such as our very own Social Forums, and there are a couple of ways to handle this. The simplest way to handle this would be to set a security question to be displayed on BBM invite requests, so only people who actually know who you are and can answer the question will be able to answer it. To do this simply launch BBM, press menu then scroll to options and scroll to the bottom, the last option will be to display the security question, adding this will prevent random requests. If you want to keep it open you can ignore requests as they come in if you don't know the name, and you are able to ignore future requests by checking the box when the person requests, if you happen to receive multiple requests from the same person.
If you are in the market for a new to you, slightly used BlackBerry, or have recently purchased one that you have been having a bit of trouble with, hopefully this will assist you in getting your device up and running smoother, and help solve a some of the issues you may have run into. When in doubt, or experiencing something else that is not shown above, hop into the forums, as we have millions of members who are around with tons of experience and are always willing to help you out and solve your issues!