1. Get the ESN Number of the Phone. Take the battery off of the phone and look for the ESN number on the label the battery was covering. Models vary, but all of them either show the ESN as an 11 digit number in Decimal format (sometimes abbreviated DEC) or in Hexadecimal format which is a combination of letters and numbers that is 8 digits in length. Verizon can work with either one. It is not the serial number which is usually designated "S/N" or the FCC ID number.
ESN Number is always below the battery
Verizon can use either the ESN, HEX, or DEC Number to activate your phone
2. Make sure the phone is fully charged. You don't want the phone to die when it starts programming because the battery dies.
3. Easily Activate it your phone over Verizon's Web Site. Verizon allows you to activate your phone free of charge over their Internet Site and it only takes 3 steps and a few minutes.
A. If you have not registered to get an online account with Verizon, you can set one up free of charge by clicking Here . You need to register online with Verizon in order to activate your new phone.
B. If you already have an online account with Verizon click Here and log into your account.
4. Login to your Verizon Account Online. Once signed in, click Go in the "My Services" section, next to the model of your current phone.
5. Click "Activate Phone" in the right most column as shown below.
6. Click “Activate Equipment” on the right. (The "Activate New Phone" is only used for phone purchased from Verizon. This option will Not Work).
7. Complete the four steps below.
1. If you have more than one phone number on this account, choose the number you want to activate your new phone to.
2. Enter the ESN Number of the phone you purchased on eBay. (See ESN Location Instructions Above)
3. Select "Other" as reason for change. We've found this seems to work best.
4. Click Submit.
8. You should now see a message that says "ESN Change Successful". Now dial *228 on your phone to complete the online programming of the phone. You will be connected to Verizon Wireless and you will hear "Welcome to Verizon Wireless over-the-air programming". You will be instructed to select 1 to program the phone and you will hear music for few minutes while your phone is programmed. Wait till you hear the message that "your phone has been programmed successfully".
9. If you receive a message that says "Cannot process request...". The message will tell you to call Verizon customer service (1-800-922-0204). The issue that has occurred is that some phones have EVDO and some do not. When you either switch to, or away from, a phone that has EVDO, Verizon needs to click a switch to make the change. You will need to tell Verizon that this is the issue so that they can flip the proper switch.
a. When you call, say: "I was trying to change my ESN online. It did not go through and the website told me to contact customer service."
b. If you do it this way, telling them that you did try to do it online, they should waive the activation fee.