SquareTrade Claim with a 14 Digit IMEI/Serial Number

TL;DR: Need a 15 character-long serial number but only have a 14 digit HEX? Type your 14 digit HEX code into here and the 15th digit will be calculated and added automatically.

My Sprint Galaxy S4 survived a jump in the pool, a fall out of a second story window, and plenty of other mishaps over the years, but it finally died today. Luckily, I had a SquareTrade warranty, but I quickly ran into a problem that prevented me from opening a claim: they both wanted my 15 digit serial/IMEI number, and would not let me proceed with opening a claim with my phone’s 14 digit HEX number.

My Galaxy S4 did not appear to have a 15 digit serial number, no matter where I checked:

  • The HEX/DEC numbers under the battery were 14 and 18 digits long, respectively.
  • The serial number on my Sprint packing list that I got with my phone was the 18 digit DEC number.
  • When I clicked “Activate a New Phone” on the MySprint page, the serial for my old phone was, yet again, the 14 digit HEX number.
  • The Samsung.com profile for my registered phone showed the same 14 digit HEX number.
  • My phone was dead, so I could not use dialing codes or the Android settings area to get any serial numbers.

I gave up and finally contacted Sprint, who told me, that quote:

“There is not a 15 digit number. There is the HEX number and also the DEC number which is 18 numbers and that one can be located by removing the battery.”

While it was tempting to add a leading or preceding 0 to my HEX code, a little research showed that 15 digit IMEI numbers are really just 14 digit numbers with an added dummy digit or “check digit”. The last digit of the 15 digit IMEI number is calculated based on the other 14 digits, as to make it easier to tell if a IMEI number is valid. This popular site that checks ESN numbers (Swappa.com) will actually add the 15th, calculated digit for you if you input a 14 digit HEX code to check. Likewise, this site also calculates the 15th digit of a 14 digit IMEI, and also shows you how the math works.

I input my 14 digit HEX number into the above sites and got the 15 digit number I am pretty sure I needed. I called SquareTrade, explained I had a 14 digit code, that Sprint told me they could not give me any 15 digit ID, and that I thought I knew what the missing 15th digit was, and they agreed to continue with my claim. (If you run into any issues with this logic, you probably uploaded your packing slip as proof of your purchase with your initial purchase of the warranty. At least in my case, I was able to assure them that the packing slip serial number matched the DEC number underneath my phone’s battery.)

My claim is now in progress, and I’ll update this post if I run into any problems. I just wanted to make this a quick blog post as it didn’t look like anyone else had written about this 14/15 digit ESN/IMEI challenge when it comes to SquareTrade warranty claims. Hope this helps someone out there in a similar situation!

Update: Warranty went through fine with this approach to adding the “missing” digit to the IMEI!

  1 comment for “SquareTrade Claim with a 14 Digit IMEI/Serial Number

  1. brian s
    November 20, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    hi,
    thank you so much. we have people all the time complaining they only have a 14 digit and want us to give them the 15th digit. i am very happy that you solved this. please keep this post as i am sure it will help many of other people. thanks again

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