Pepwave Max BR1 MK2 Blacklisted

My Max BR1 MK2 was blacklisted yesterday. I spoke with AT&T and they said that it didn’t come from their system so they aren’t able to remove it. They also confirmed that it is compatible with their network and that switching SIMs like I’ve been doing isn’t an issue (I have multiple $55/100gb plans).

The only other thing I can think of is that I used Bix wireless for a month on the blue AT&T plan until it stopped working and switched back to AT&T directly. I’ve tried reaching out to them but can get a response.

Has anyone else had something like this happen and know how to get removed from a blacklist? I’d hate to buy new hardware and have to accept that I have a $600 paperweight. Ugh

Blacklist happens when a unit has the following bad actors associated with it:

  1. Fraud
  2. Non Payment
  3. Stolen

Once on this list, it will be impossible to remove

The Pepwave MK2 Router is supported on AT&T

https://iotdevices.att.com/certified-devices.aspx

Yeah it’s pretty strange. i bought the device brand new over a year ago and it’s been fine until yesterday. I’ve had it on AT&Ts network exclusively other than the month with Bix to try out the unlimited plan until they got cut off but that was through AT&T also. I switched back to my other SIMs and now 10 days later it supposedly got blacklisted.

Really hoping I don’t have to buy new hardware but don’t see many other options at this point which is ridiculous. Definitely no fraud, stolen device or misuse on my end.

What do you mean by blacklisted? As in it stopped working, you called in to find out why, and you were verbally told it was blacklisted?

Some options:

  1. Ask for your ticket to be escalated to next level and request an explanation
  2. File a FCC complaint to get their attention
  3. Contact their executive customer service team
  4. go to a store and see what a rep can look up

Personally I’ve had luck with #2 & 3.

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Yeah it stopped working randomly so I called to see what was up. They claim that my IMEI was blacklisted and there’s nothing they can do. They told me the only way to get it removed is to contact the manufacturer now. I called where I bought it, 5G store and they said that they and Peplink have nothing to do with any blacklist. I filed an FCC complaint to make myself feel better I guess, but looks like I have a $600 router now without LTE capability and my hands are tied. :disappointed:

I don’t know how this works (American mobile network operators are crazy complicated - almost like they don’t want customers), but surely the only way they can identify your router is by the device IMEI which is actually on the cellular module connected inside the BR1.

So very worse case, I bet you could buy a replacement cellular module off the shelf and swap it over in the BR1 and get back online.

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A couple of comments … I completely agree with @MartinLangmaid 's views. The cellular carriers in the USA are an absolute mess. However, 5G Store could certainly act as your advocate and help with the problem. As time-consuming as such activities are, I can tell you we’d never tell a customer there is nothing we can do – at least until we tried.

I’d also pursue the issue with AT&T. They owe you an explanation. You can prove you are the rightful owner, right?

Finally, kudos for making a complaint to the FCC. We’ve also had some luck with complaints to the Better Business Bureau.

Please keep us informed as to how this goes!

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Thanks everyone for all the tips and replies. I created a ticket with Peplink inquiring about the blocked list to humor AT&T. The response from the ticket was as expected, Peplink has nothing to do with it. I also called 5G store and they confirmed the same thing which was also expected.

I kept persisting and called AT&T repeatedly and must have lucked out with the last rep, Miguel. Somehow he was able to put a request in to remove the block and my device is working again! It seems super strange that after talking with 10 different people including managers who weren’t able to unblock it that this time it was successful. I agree that it seems carriers and the systems are a complete mess.

I can’t believe that persistence paid off. Still glad I made the complaint too since the nature of the complaint was about how bogus it is that there can be a denylist that consumers have no control over.

Im just thankful I didn’t have to purchase new gear since I’ve been really happy with this device.

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Some thoughts… first, did you really contact peplink or 5g store only? peplink tickets some times get routed directly to your reseller. you want to make sure peplink themselves are replying, even if its their ticket system.

Did you ask the rep what screen or system he was checking/filing the request in? Would be great info to know for future. If it happens again, you can say did you check such and such system to the rep.

@mystery thanks for the heads up. I filed the ticket in Peplinks system and it appears to have been replied to by a Peplink rep based on his signature. I also called 5g store tech support directly to confirm.

I figured having the ticket might help in dealing with AT&T since they repeatedly told me I needed to contact the manufacturer. One guy even told me to contact the police and that they would be able to help :laughing:. I have full proof of purchase and everything also and made that clear to them each time and explained that I purchased from a reputable authorized seller.

It seems that AT&T had the ability to unblock the whole time and that I needed to find the right person who was willing to press that magic button. I was really skeptical when he told me that it was unblocked and that I should restart the device. Sure enough it worked and I’ve been online again ever since. Only time will tell if the system doesn’t block it again but for now it’s working at least!

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Ugh, seems that the system blocked the device again. Back to square one trying to deal with AT&T. The most frustrating part is this most recent time i called after being unblocked and blocked again, I tried to get info from them about what steps I can take to resolve the issue. They keep saying contact the manufacturer and my response is that I have, and that I have documentation that they didn’t do this and that I’m the original owner and can prove that. I feel like I’ve already spent more of my time on the issue than what this device is worth but extremely frustrated that they won’t even work with me for a resolution.

you know I wonder if someone cloned your imei #?

did you buy the device brand new from 5gstore or was it an open box/refurb/return?

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Definitely brand new. I can get documentation from them. The only thing I can think of is using a dumb reseller for a month, Bix wireles. I’m guessing they do some shady stuff and somehow my device got caught up in it. Lesson learned there for sure. Unfortunately since I’m always on the road and need service so I’m probably just gonna purchase the new nighthawk from Netgear/ AT&T or look into Verizon and chaulk it up as a loss since I have no power with the carriers.

It looks like a lot of devices that were used on Bix are now blacklisted.

This is a Bix users facebook group where several others are reporting something similar.
https://www.facebook.com /groups/224654955981118
(I purposely inserted a space because the forum was changing the link to Chinese).

I have heard warnings about devices being blacklisted after being used on reseller accounts but this is the first time I’ve heard direct reports of it happening.

I think this is AT&T saying that these devices have been in violation of their terms of service. Of course the end user has no idea what type of plan it really is or what the terms are.

I wonder if Bix were doing something unusually bad or if AT&T are starting to crackdown on resellers in general. Lots of people keep saying that almost none are legit. Unfortunately a lot of people don’t have much choice if they want a high volume plan.

In idle / bored moments I keep an eye on variously resellers and it seems to be getting more and more difficult to get a SIM for your own device. A skeptical person would say it’s because the devices have had “magic” done on them but I don’t know if that’s true.

Yeah I‘ve used directly from AT&T for almost a year and decided to try Bix once to see how it would work for unlimited. I didn’t abuse it and maybe used ~300GB / month so nothing too crazy. Didn’t realize they’d be gone in a little over a month and that my device would be a brick. The most frustrating part is that it’s reported as stolen though. Wouldn’t it come up as fraud or something if it was for violating terms?

A person from AT&T reached out in response to my FCC complaint today so hopefully they can do something but not getting my hopes up at this point.

Yeah I don’t know what the “stolen” status is all about. Others on that FB group are saying that too. Maybe that’s just a bad “translation”. i.e. stolen might be the usual reason for a device being blacklisted so that’s what the reps are calling whatever they see.

I wouldnt look too far into them saying its stolen, its just the category that allows them to blacklist. This is a good reason why you are taking a huge risk using a device with a non-authorized reseller. I think we are going to see lots of crackdowns in the future. VZW did a lot of cracking down a few years ago. At this point, your best bet might be to sell the device and note that it is blacklisted on ATT or as another poster suggested, open it up and swap the modem to a new one with fresh IMEI.

After yet another call with support it seems my device is working again. Only time will tell if it actually sticks this time :crossed_fingers:

This time was a completely different experience than the last people I talked to. They asked to verify my IMEI and then no questions asked the person said they’d open up a case to get it unblocked from them and any other carrier. Like I said I’m still skeptical it’ll stick but it’s been on longer than the last time it was “unblocked“ so we’ll see.

Still never heard back from the person who initially responded about the FCC complaint so I’m not sure if that did anything or not.

An update for anyone else going through this. I got blocked again the other day and then followed up yet again with support and had them confirm that there was actually a case made to unblock the device. Gave them all the details about Bix to attach to the claim.

Today I got a call from someone at the office of the president and they confirmed that the device is officially unblocked. She said it had to go through their fraud department and that they’ve been seeing a lot of this with resellers lately so they’re definitely cracking down. She said if it gets blocked again to call her directly but that it shouldn’t be an issue.

So yet again only time will tell but it seems more promising this time.

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I’m having exactly the same issue after using MobileMustHave’s Envision Services AT&T plan (just discontinued).
I purchased an AT&T Business Wireless plan for my HD2 MBX 5G. It worked for 1.5 hours then wouldn’t Smartcheck (or any other health check). Even with health check disabled, although it looked like it connected, there was zero internet service. My AT&T account indicates that the account has been suspended (Stolen). I called and the rep un-suspended it. It worked, again, for about 15 hours, then went into Suspended (Stolen) and stopped working. I called again and they would not un-suspend it. Both cellular radios in the router have the same result SO it is device related, not necessarily IMEI related. They opened a case and I’m waiting for a first reply.
This is just BS that using a reseller AT&T plan would cause the device to be unusable.
I’m going to try to take the router into the Corporate AT&T store where I purchased the plan. I can’t imagine that they can permanently un-blacklist a device but I don’t have much recourse at the point.
It should be illegal that cell companies have rules that prohibit valid users to use their devices. I’ll go the FCC route next I suppose.

What’s the status of your situation Brave?