Starlink, for the longest time, halted account transfer requests to alleviate the stress on its customer support team. Luckily, as of February 15th, 2023, self-service transfers have finally been enabled.
In the following article, I’ll detail how you can purchase and sell used hardware, how to fix the Invalid Device ID error, and what to consider when exchanging used hardware.
What To Consider
There are a few aspects to keep in mind when transferring your kit to another person. First and foremost, Starlink does not take any responsibility for the condition of hardware sold or transferred by another party.
This means that it is on you to ensure that the person you are buying from actually delivers on their promise.
Your responsibility also entails ensuring that the location you sign up in isn’t in a congested cell and that Starlink actually serves your area. You can check Starlink’s availability here.
Second, you need to cancel your existing service and pay all outstanding bills before being able to transfer a device.
Third, you would want to provide a so-called Starlink Identifier, which is a number unique to each device, to the person that purchases your hardware.
Here are three options you can get the Identifier from:
- Dish Serial Number: Located on the bottom of the Starlink mast (e.g., 2ABC000000000000)
- Kit Serial Number: Located on the Starlink Kit shipping label (e.g., KIT00000000)
- Terminal ID: Located in the Starlink app under ‘Settings’ –> ‘Advanced’ –> ‘STARLINK’ section –> ‘ID’ (use the number without the ‘ut’ in front, such as 2XYZ000000000000)
Fourth, only new accounts can use transferred hardware (existing emails cannot be used again). If you were signed up to Starlink before, then you need to stick to your existing hardware set.
Fifth and lastly, the warranty period of the transferred hardware does not reset with the ownership change.
Instead, it remains valid from the date of the original purchase from Starlink or its group of authorized resellers (mostly relevant for B2B customers on plans like Business).
You can learn more about Starlink’s warranty guidelines here.
How To Purchase A Used Starlink Kit
Buying a used Starlink kit doesn’t differ much from the regular purchasing procedure.
First, navigate to Starlink’s website where you enter your address in the search bar below. Once you found it, simply click on ‘Order Now’.
Make sure that you order from the page of the internet plan (e.g., Residential or Roam) that you intend to subscribe to as Starlink automatically redirects you to said order page.
Once you’re on the order page, you will see all kinds of boxes that need to be filled out. On the right side, under the ‘Hardware’ selection, you have the option to click on ‘I already have my Starlink’ (marked with green check mark below).
A text box will appear, which asks you to type in your Device ID or Terminal ID – either of which is fine.
If said check box does not appear, then this means that your area is currently at capacity.
Therefore, you won’t be able to purchase used hardware and will have to wait until Starlink’s overall bandwidth capacity increases.
Once you entered the required ID, simply enter all the remaining information (e.g., address, payment data, etc.) and click on ‘Place Order’.
How To Sell A Used Starlink
Luckily, the kind folks at SpaceX made it fairly straightforward to transfer your account to another user. Here’s how it works.
First, you navigate to Starlink’s website and log into your account. Then, click on ‘Your Starlinks’ and choose ‘Manage’ next to the Starlink you would like to transfer.
You will then be presented with your Device ID, which you should note down. Every piece of hardware you receive has a unique identifier that is specifically assigned to your account.
After noting down your Device ID, navigate to the ‘Devices’ section where you find an overview of all the hardware connected to your account.
Then you need to click on ‘Transfer’ and confirm the Terms & Conditions presented in the upcoming window. Now, your Starlink device is permanently removed from your account.
You then need to factory reset your router to its original settings. Once that’s done, simply hand over your kit to the user to whom you transferred it.
How Long Does It Take Until An Account Is Transferred?
Starlink claims that account transfers take effect immediately, meaning once both the existing and new owners complete the above-mentioned steps.
With that being said, the speed of an account transfer is ultimately dependent on the two parties who exchange the hardware with each other.
Since the new recipient will be billed upon activation, he or she would want to ensure that the hardware is being handed over as soon as possible.
Can I Stop Account Transfers?
Sellers can’t reverse account transfers. Once you followed through with the above-mentioned steps, there’s no possibility to use that hardware again.
However, should the buyer of your existing hardware get cold feet, then you can simply sell it to another person.
How To Fix The Invalid Device ID Error
Some users, as seen in the comments below, have reported that they receive an ‘Invalid Device ID’ error.
First of all, if you receive this error message, make sure that your Starlink Identifier (i.e., Dish Serial Number or Terminal ID) has been entered correctly.
If either of those numbers don’t work, then Starlink recommends that you fill out this form, which will automatically be forwarded to its customer support team.
The form will ask you to attach pictures of Dish Serial Number and Terminal ID, who you purchased the hardware from (authorized reseller vs. previous subscriber), and add your contact information.
Customer support will then get in touch with you either via the phone number or email address you’ve provided.
I am particularly eager to see how the new self-service feature will affect Starlink’s customer support woes and whether new service requests are now answered faster.
In any case, being able to conduct account transfers on your own should be a net positive for those who need the service as they can possibly get their hands on the hardware much faster.