Whether you’re buying a new phone or getting an existing one swapped out / repaired, you might want to keep an eye out for the casually slipped in refurbished models. Repair shops, wireless carriers, and eBay sellers would love to hand you a refurb in place of a factory-new one. Why? Well, factory-new phones are just that -new- and it costs more money for carriers or stores to swap out broken models with factory-new ones. And, since it’s hard to tell (sometimes) if a phone is a refurb, many will try to “slip one past ya.” Fortunately for you, you’re a groovyReader, and I’m going to share with you a simple technique for sniffing out a Refurbished Android Phone.
If the code below does not work for you, try this method instead.
Tap your Phone app and open up the dialer.
Using the touchscreen keypad, Dial ##786# (aka ##RTN#).
No need to press dial, the phone should automatically open up to the RTN screen. From here Tap View
Note: If this code doesn’t work, try *#*#786#*#* instead. Stars and numbers must be entered in the correct order.
Scroll down the RTN screen to Reconditioned status. Here there are only two possible status entries:
- Yes – Your phone is a refurbished model.
- No – Congratulations, your phone is not a refurbished model. Instead, it is factory new.
Why should I care if my phone was refurbished?
Refurbished or “reconditioned” means your phone was previously used or damaged, and then returned, repaired, and polished up to make it look “like-new.” In most cases, this means there is no longer anything wrong with the device, and it should work just like a new one. However, sometimes ‘refurbs’ have issues. The warranty is usually never as good for a refurbished device, if it even has one at all… The build quality might also be lower on a refurb since replacement third-party parts are sometimes used rather than the OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturer).
Refurbished devices also have a lower sale value, and this also applies to resale value. If at some point you want to sell your phone on eBay or elsewhere, a refurbished phone won’t garner the same price point as one that is straight from the OEM.
Before buying a phone, or after receiving one you bought online – the first thing you should do is check to see if it is a refurb. If the sale description did not mention that it was a refurb, you can return it and get a full refund or file a fraud claim.
For example, I recently had Sprint send me a replacement after experiencing problems with my phone, and sure enough –it was a refurb. Needless to say, I spoke to Sprint about the finding and they sent me a new one.