What Does It Mean When an iPhone Is Suspended?

By Brian Flax

Violating your carrier's terms of service could result in a suspension of phone service.
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Your iPhone's service could be suspended for a variety of reasons including nonpayment, a phone reported as lost or stolen or a voluntary hold that you request. Removing a hold usually involves calling your carrier or removing the hold online yourself. If your iPhone has been suspended for nonpayment, you can usually clear it up by paying the outstanding balance and a reconnect fee.

Lost or Stolen Phones

If you lose your phone, you can call your carrier to deactivate the line. This will prevent others from using your iPhone to make phone calls, send text messages or use data. An iPhone reported as stolen will usually be blacklisted by the carrier so that it cannot be sold to someone else or reactivated. If you've reported a phone as lost or stolen and then found it, you can usually reactivate the line and remove the suspension by speaking with your carrier directly.

Carrier Suspension

If you've missed a payment or have an outstanding balance, your carrier may suspend your line. You may not be able to make outgoing calls, send text messages or use data until the balance has been paid in full. Sometimes carriers may request that the full balance be paid in addition to a reconnect fee in order to have the suspension removed. You may be able to work out payment arrangements or set up a payment plan if you are unable to pay the bill in full. You'll have to speak with your carrier directly to discuss your options.

Voluntary Suspension

Voluntary suspensions allow you to place your phone line on hold until you choose to reactive it. This may be helpful if you are traveling outside of the country or don't plan on using the phone for an extended amount of time. Most cellular carriers place limits on how long you can voluntarily suspend your phone line. For example, Verizon Wireless allows you to suspend your phone for a maximum of 90 days, with or without billing. If you choose to suspend your line without incurring charges, you're limited to two suspensions within 12 consecutive months. Every carrier has its own policy, so be sure to check before suspending the line.

Service Violations

Most carriers have a terms of service agreement that you must follow. This helps to protect the company, their network and other customers. If you violate your carrier's terms of service, you may find your phone suspended. Violations could include using excessive amounts of data, airtime or text messages or more serious violations like making harassing phone calls. Some carriers may even suspend your service if you use too much data or airtime while roaming on other networks. If you find yourself suspended due to a terms of service violation, you'll have to speak with your carrier directly to have the service restored.